Now we scratch the surface of the biggest city and capital, Helsinki!

Helsinki is a pocket-size Metropolis, a mixture of European chic, Finnish straightforwardness and Nordic functionality.

I put together a local’s little guide to show you some new sides of the city.

This guide tells you my favorite restaurants & cafès and the perfect city walk off the beaten path.

What are Helsinki Citizens Called?

Helsinkians, in English. In Finnish, this term refers more to a person who was born and grown up in Helsinki. Thus, you can meet Helsinkians in Helsinki and any other location in Finland. It is a quite funny phenomenon.

True Helsinkians are very proud of being Helsinkians (and of course, they should).

On the other hand, people who, at some point in their adulthood, have moved to Helsinki, like to highlight their roots (and of course, they should). They never refer to themselves as Helsinkians.

How is Helsinki Weather?

Well, Finland isn’t a bikini vacation destination. It’s cool or cold compared to many other places in the world.

That’s part of the Nordic magic! The fresh air, a cozy fireplace and hot drinks, comfortable clothes… What a bliss!

In Helsinki, there is always a freezing wind from the sea. Even in the summer, when other southern towns are enjoying warmness.

Still, it is my favorite city in Finland so don’t get too scared! There are plenty of things to do even if the weather was bad.

Download here 40 Things To Do in Helsinki in Bad Weather!

40 Helsinki things to do in bad weather

What to Wear in Helsinki?

It’s all about proper clothes when you visit this Northern beauty.

An all year round pack list to Helsinki: a light down jacket, a scarf, gloves, a beanie, umbrella, and sunglasses. Even in July, trust me.

If you come in the winter time, replace light down jacket with a warmest jacket option you have and take a pair of long johns or woolen tights with you.

Seriously, I cannot stress how important it is to have two layers of clothing warming up your legs and proper waterproof winter shoes.

pack list to Helsinki

10 Delicious & Pretty Places to Eat or Have a Coffee in Helsinki

I’m a proper foodie, so I feel I definitely should let you know about my favorite places to eat.
These spots have become my regulars because
  • They offer great food that doesn’t cost a fortune
  • They have a distinctive soul which I love (The energy of the staff, a beautiful interior… You know what I’m talking about. That vibe that makes you wanna stay.)
  • They offer relaxed, casual eating (no dress code!)

Coffee places

#1 Restaurant Story

Situated in the middle of the Old Market Hall, the interior of this place is Scandi-gorgeous.

Delicious sweet and savory treats and a seasonal menu featuring fresh farm to table dishes.

Story restaurant Old Market Hall Helsinki

#2 Cafe Kuuma

This darling little coffee shop is located in the heart of Helsinki Design District. Order the all-day breakfast or one of their sinful bakes.
This spot can be crowded. If you don’t want to wait for a table, grab your order as a takeaway and enjoy outside.
Kuuma Helsinki cafe

Lunch

#3 Roslund

The most legendary meat shop in town. Located in the Hietalahden Market Hall (another Market Hall you should visit besides Old Market Hall).
In my opinion, they do the best burgers in town.Roslund Helsinki restaurant

#4 Fat Ramen

Fat Ramen is next to Roslund in the Hietalahden Market Hall. Their hearty soups are huge and super tasty.
My favorite lunch spot with the girls.Fat Ramen Helsinki restaurant-min

#5 Cafe Köket

My go-to place if I need to distance work at the center as there is plenty of room in the halls of this Jugend era gem.
Located along the pristine Aleksanterinkatu, next to the Cathedral of Helsinki.
Also loved my mums with their toddlers and babies!Köket Helsinki restaurant

#6 Paulig Kulma

Paulig is a Finnish coffee roastery so this place is all about coffee.
Extended opening hours and great location in the middle of everything.
Healthy salad lunch buffet from Monday to Saturday. Try the Finnish invention, the vegan protein called Pulled Oats, as a side with the salad bar.Paulig Kulma Helsinki restaurant

#7 Cafè Succès

Nestled in the middle of one of the most charming districts in Helsinki, this is a terrific coffee or lunch spot. Finnish classics all the way with a Parisian flare.Cafe Succes Helsinki

Dine

#8 Restaurant Penny

Dimly lit with candles, the atmosphere is cozy and romantic in this tiny restaurant. I just love this place!
On weekdays there is a lovely lunch. Make a table reservation when you can.Penny restaurant Helsinki

#9 Sandro

A bubbly spot for brunch, lunch or dinner. Sandro puts a spin on North African and Middle-Eastern dishes.
Healthy, fresh food in four locations.Sandro restaurant Helsinki

#10 Sushibar + wine

Cool Scandinavian design, top-quality sushi, organic wines and pretty people.
Works everytime with a friend or the hubby!

A local’s walk in Southern Helsinki

The southern part of Helsinki is the poshest area in the city and perfect for city walks. This walk is very short, only around 1 km one way. So, you can do it in 40 minutes with all stops, or then you can spend three hours, like me.

Helsinki mapStart the tour from the glorious Esplanade “Esplanadi Park” at the city center and find the street “Korkeavuorenkatu.”

The first stop is the old library on the street “Rikhardinkatu 3”. The Hogwarts-part of this library originates back to 1881. It has been the place for many historical meetings. The most beautiful part is the 1920s built book tower. Check the opening hours in English.

Rikhardinkatu library in HelsinkiContinue your way onward “Korkeavuorenkatu.” Stop by Fasaani Antiques, which is a huge antique store with everything from tiny timbles to huge Narnia wardrobes. The objects are from Finland and other countries.

vintage finds from Finland and other countriesFurther down the street and you will see Café Succès. I already talked about this place above. Succès has a creamy salmon soup which I warmly recommend. This cafe scores high in my Cinnamon bun-ranking. Their buns taste almost as good as my grandmother’s.

Next door, Flower shop Ölanderknows how to make the whole street bloom. I think it is the oldest flower shop in Helsinki with more than 110 years of floral knowledge.

the oldest flowershop in Helsinki

Take a right to head on to the street “Vuorimiehenkatu 27″. At first, this self-service flea market Kaivarin Kanuuna looks nothing special. However, the wealthy neighborhood brings their stuff here, so the brands are quite impressive. Sometimes overpriced, but sometimes exceptional finds at this location!

The last stop is the small interior shop Armas, at “Vuorimiehenkatu 16”. The positive vibes and cool little decorating pieces are worth the visit.

Armas shop

Download here 40 Things To Do in Helsinki in Bad Weather!

40 Helsinki things to do in bad weather

Hello there!

I’m Varpu. One blonde,
travel-loving,
Finnish engineer driving this site.

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