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Paula Hotti

Helsinki, Finland
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About Paula
Paula Hotti is a journalist based in Helsinki, Finland.

Travel journalism, Finnish current affairs, investigative journalism,feature stories.

Areas of expertise: Scandinavia, Baltic Countries, Uzbekistan, train travel,Current Affairs, Arts & Books, Food & Drink, Social, Cultural, Travel, Climate Change
English Finnish
Feature Stories Content Writing Investigative Journalism
Politics Current Affairs Arts & Books

Ship graveyard creates an eerie atmosphere in the dried-up Aral Sea area

20 Aug 2023  |  Keskisuomalainen
The dried-up Aral Sea area is now home to a ship graveyard, creating an eerie atmosphere. This environmental issue highlights the dramatic changes in the region.

The essential guide to visiting Estonia

18 Aug 2023  |  nationalgeographic.com
Estonia offers a variety of attractions including medieval architecture in Tallinn, street art in Tartu, beaches in Pärnu, and the islands of Vilsandi National Park. The best times to visit are spring for birdwatching, summer for Midsummer festivities, autumn for bear spotting and design festivals, and winter for Christmas markets and kiteboarding. Estonia's landscape features cities with rich cultural scenes, eastern regions with historical significance, southern areas known for folk music, and western spa towns. Travel options include domestic flights, buses, trains, cars, and ferries. Estonian is the official language, and LGBTQ+ rights are advancing. Sustainable travel is encouraged through the RMK app for camping and hiking, and eco-friendly dining options are available. Recommended readings include 'The Ropewalker' by Jaan Kross, 'Estonian Folk Tales', and 'Estonia: A Modern History' by Neil Taylor.

My work for the Finnish travel magazine Mondo

Postcard from Helsinki: ‘A palpable sense of disbelief has descended over the Finnish capital’

04 Jul 2023  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
The article describes the atmosphere in Helsinki, Finland, as the city emerges from the Covid pandemic and faces the new reality of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. With a high vaccination rate, the city's residents were beginning to enjoy outdoor activities and the return of tourists. However, the invasion has led to a sense of disbelief and concern among the Finns. Anti-war protests have taken place, and there has been a significant shift in public opinion regarding Nato membership, with a majority now in favor. Finnish businesses have responded by removing Russian goods from shelves, and individuals are taking steps to support Ukrainians, including offering shelter and sending provisions to the Polish border. The article captures a moment of transition for Helsinki, from pandemic recovery to a community uniting in the face of a new geopolitical crisis.

A Finnish drink with a heroic past

30 Apr 2023  |  www.bbc.com
The article by Paula Hotti explores the history and cultural significance of sima, a traditional Finnish fermented drink made with water, sugar, lemon, and yeast. Sima has its roots in the ancient alcoholic drink mead and became popular in Finland in the 16th Century, largely due to the efforts of merchant Valpuri Erkintytär Innamaa and the endorsement of King Gustav I of Sweden. Initially an expensive upper-class beverage, sima became more accessible over time as sugar and lemons became more readily available. The Finnish Temperance Movement further popularized sima as a non-alcoholic alternative for celebrations. Today, sima is an integral part of Vappu, the Finnish May Day celebration, and its popularity has led to a variety of flavors and commercial availability. The author also shares a personal anecdote of making homemade sima, connecting the historical beverage to modern Finnish culture.

Get to know Helsinki: a city of modern art, historic fortresses and trendy districts

05 Apr 2023  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
The article provides a detailed guide to exploring Helsinki, highlighting the city's architecture, museums, and local experiences. It starts by suggesting a Finnish morning routine with coffee and biking along the shoreline. The Amos Rex museum is recommended for its modern art and unique architecture. The Suomenlinna sea fortress is another attraction, offering historical insights and local cafes. The article also suggests visiting the trendy Kallio district for vintage shopping and dining. Various eateries and restaurants are mentioned, including Café Engel for breakfast with a view, Teurastamo for a variety of foods, and the Michelin-starred Finnjavel Salonki for Finnish cuisine. For accommodation, the article lists The Folks Hotel, Hotel Mestari, and Hotel Haven, each with unique features. The piece concludes with a mention of Rento Helsinki walking tours for a deeper understanding of the city's culture and history.

Finland Embraces Inclusivity with a New Term for 'Freedom to Roam'

05 Apr 2023  |  euronews
Finland's state-owned Finnish Forest Administration, Metsähallitus, has updated the term for the freedom to roam from 'jokamiehenoikeudet' (everyman's right) to 'jokaisenoikeudet' (everyone's right) to promote equality and inclusivity. This change reflects the Finnish ethos of equal access to nature, where residents and visitors can enjoy activities like foraging, camping, and fishing, respecting nature and property. The new term has been positively received by many, including Fatim Diarra, a member of parliament, though it faced some criticism from conservative groups on social media. The Finnish Forest Administration is gradually implementing the new term in its communications, with changes to physical signage to follow in due time. The change aligns with the Council of Europe's recommendations for gender-neutral language and has been welcomed by individuals like Aki Kuitunen, who sees it as a step towards equality in society.

Exploring the Silk Road by Train in Uzbekistan

05 Apr 2023  |  Lonely Planet
Paula Hotti shares her experience of a train journey through Uzbekistan, exploring the ancient Silk Road. Opting for overland travel, she describes her six-year avoidance of flying and her return to air travel to reach Uzbekistan. Starting from Urgench, she takes the Soviet-era Sharq train to Khiva, enjoying the communal experience and the scenery. She details the train facilities, the camaraderie with fellow passengers, and the landscapes from Khiva to Bukhara and then to Samarkand. Hotti contrasts the modest Sharq train with the modern Afrosiyob bullet train, which she takes from Samarkand to Tashkent. She provides practical advice on purchasing tickets, food and drink options, and facilities on the trains and at the stations. The article concludes with Hotti reflecting on the fulfilling experience of her train odyssey along the Silk Road.

The slow train through Italy and Slovenia: a panoramic journey from Trieste to Lake Bled

05 Apr 2023  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
The article recounts the author's train journey from Trieste, Italy, through the Prosecco region, and into Slovenia, highlighting the scenic views and historical significance of the route. Trieste, once part of the Habsburg monarchy, is connected to Villa Opicina by the Ferrovia Transalpina, which the author takes to reach Ljubljana. The journey continues on the Bohinj Railway, offering views of the Julian Alps and Lake Bled. The author notes the rustic charm of the trains and the mix of modern and historic elements along the way. The trip includes a temporary bus service due to maintenance work. The article also provides recommendations for hotels along the route and mentions Eurail's rail pass offer. The author expresses a desire to revisit the route, emphasizing the intimate experience of slow train travel.

Basel: A Swiss city's art, history, and culinary delights

01 Apr 2023  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
The article provides a travel guide to Basel, Switzerland, highlighting its historical Altstadt, the Basel Minster, and the modern Fondation Beyeler museum. It also suggests various dining options, from budget-friendly market hall stalls to upscale restaurants like Walliser Kanne and Restaurant Krafft. The article features several hotels, including Bloom Hotel & Bar and Volkshaus, for accommodation. Additionally, it describes the unique experience of swimming in the Rhine with a Wickelfisch swim bag. The guide emphasizes Basel's blend of art, history, and culinary delights, with a nod to its geographical proximity to France and Germany.

Why Taking a Slow Boat Is the Perfect Way to Explore Finland

26 May 2018  |  Culture Trip
Finland's Finnish Lakeland, the largest in Europe, offers a unique slow boating experience that aligns with the country's slow living culture. The region, characterized by Lake Saimaa's extensive shoreline and historical significance, provides various boating options from scenic tours to historic routes. Major cities along the lake include Savonlinna, Mikkeli, and Joensuu. The article highlights the appeal of slow boating as a way to immerse oneself in Finland's serene and picturesque environment.

The 10 Most Instagrammable Spots in Helsinki

17 May 2018  |  theculturetrip.com
Culture Trip, founded in 2011, aims to inspire meaningful travel experiences that respect cultural uniqueness and environmental sustainability. The company offers premium small-group trips, including Culture Trips, Rail Trips, and Private Trips, emphasizing responsible exploration and authentic local experiences. Committed to environmental responsibility, Culture Trip ensures all trips are flightless within destinations, fully carbon offset, and has goals to achieve net zero emissions soon.

This European Country Has The Cleanest Air In The World Here's Why

04 May 2018  |  Culture Trip
Finland boasts the cleanest air in the world, as reported by the World Health Organisation and the Finnish Meteorological Institution. The country’s air quality is attributed to its remoteness from industrial pollution and stringent environmental protections. In contrast, regions in Asia and Africa suffer from the worst air quality, with significant health impacts. The article highlights the global disparity in air quality and the severe health risks associated with polluted air.

Finland's First Openly Transgender Man Gives Birth

11 Apr 2018  |  Culture Trip
A transgender man in Finland has given birth, marking a significant first in the country. The father, who legally changed his gender in 2015 but paused his transition to conceive, faced bureaucratic challenges due to his male social security number. Despite these hurdles, the pregnancy and birth were successful, and the father praised the medical staff and authorities for their support. The event has sparked criticism of Finland's requirement for infertility to change legal gender, a policy unique among Nordic countries.

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