While I’m enjoying my last day of summer vacation with my family at the Algarve I want us to “go back” to Helsinki and talk about my top 7 places to visit in Helsinki, like I did on my Barcelona trip in early July. I’ve always been a lover of the North and I was so happy to be back in Helsinki after almost 8 years – exploring the same streets but seeing it all with different eyes …
1. Helsingin Tuomokirkko & Uspenski Kirkko
I’m not much of a religious person but I think churches are part of European History and Culture which is why I want to start off my little 7 places to visit – guide with the two “main” churches in Helsinki. First, the Helsingin tuomiokirkko which is the white cathedral and I guess even the most photographed monument in Helsinki. I didn’t went in but enjoyed the great atmosphere on the steps climbing to the top for a great view. Second, the Uspenski Kirkko. This red beauty of an orthodox church is definitely a must see when your are in Helsinki because the moment your enter the cathedral you are stunned by it’s breathtaking decoration and all the splendour that you would only expect to find inside a Russian Palace.
2. Vanha kauppahalli (old market hall)
In all my five days in Helsinki there has been not a single day I haven’t visited the old covered market (Vanha kauppahalli) – mostly for a breakfast takeout to enjoy it at the waterfront only meters from the entrance. I always enjoyed strolling through Stockholm’s famous Saluhall in Östermalm and the same has been true to it’s Finnish equivalent. The food is amazing and the people are so nice and helpful. Though it’s often crowded with tourists it is definitely a must see in Helsinki.
Vanha Kauppahalli: Eteläranta; opening hours: mon-sat 8am-6pm
3. Story Restaurant
If you aren’t in the mood for a picnic but you enjoy the atmosphere of Vanha kauppahalli than head straight to the middle of the building where you gonna find the Story Restaurant which is definitely the place to be for a lunch and also offers delicious snacks if hunger kicks in and lunch time is still far off or already over 🙂 Bon Appetit!
Story / Vanha Kauppahalli: Eteläranta; opening hours: same as market hall, only Sunday 10am-4pm
4. Design District
Not far from the Old Market Hall you can find the Design District of Helsinki with many lovely design shops selling products by Finnish Designers. The Design District consists of a few streets in the very old town of Helsinki which stretches between the harbor and the Cathedral of Helsinki (the white one 🙂 ). So if you are looking for something special this is the place for you to be.
Design District: Katariinankatu and Sofiankatu
5. Café Tieldekulma
The day I arrived in Helsinki I spent alone, as my sister and her friend arrived by train in the evening. So I went exploring the city on my own. After 3 hours of walking and talking pictures of every sight that came across my lens I was desperate for coffee and literally stumbled into the next coffee shop for a cappuccino to go. But while I was waiting for my order I looked around and realized what a lovely cozy place it is and decided to stay, spending the remaining time watching people passing by the big window front of the café. It is the Tiedekulma Café and it turned out to be one of the favorite coffee shops by the students of the nearby University of Helsinki. The café is directly situated in one of Helsinkis best shopping streets and makes a great spot for a coffee break when hunting down some Scandi Fashion.
Café Tiedekulma: Aleksanterinkatu 7
6. Viale – Interior Design
We passed by this Interior Design shop by tram (line 3 – which is btw. the best public sightseeing tour) and I know I had to come back for some interior shopping. They mostly sell the Danish Label Hay but as it’s one of my favorite interior brands it didn’t bother me at all and instantly had to get my hands on this and that 🙂 sorry not sorry 🙂
Vaile: Bulevardi 5
Sushi is always a good idea (!). We came across the amazing little sushi and wine bar when we were on our way to our apartment. Hungry for something that involved salmon and rice we headed straight for the lovely restaurant and had the best sushi in a long time. Anyway, we really enjoyed the super laid back atmosphere and would definitely recommend it to any sushi lover! Btw. they also have great Veggie Rolls 🙂
Sushibar+Wine: Fredrikinkatu 42