Likes & Dislikes


Helsinki - Aleksanterkatu in July - r.s. photo

, Markers for Helsinki: Authentic, cool, distinctive, relaxed, mysterious, green, hipster, individual, casual, lively, livable, lovable, lovely, punk, minimalist, rough, rocky, stylish, traditional, trendy, calm, unconventional." (Alexandra)


“In the opinion of many friends and acquaintances, Helsinki is a rather ‘underwhelming’ destination, compared to other European capitals, and I will grant them that the city may not be as rich in ‘sights’ as other places(?) while what is there, in terms of ‘famous building/church/whatever maybe isn’t all that visually captivating or iconic(?) as the sights in certain other big European cities. What I will say, however, is that I TOTALLY FELL FOR HELSINKI. Honestly, every street corner seemed to offer some spontaneous new surprise. A grocery store selling Japanese cuisine of amazing quality and quantity, a café bearing the slogan ‘why join the navy when you can be a pirate?’ (this is also the name of the café) and a hundred other funny or surprising things which, while they’ll never warrant inclusion in a travel guide, added up to give me the feeling that this is a city full of mischief, fun and good things and good humor.” (2018)


“This is a city with a great atmosphere. Clean air, and though there are plenty of cars and buses, you rarely smell any fumes or pollution. Then there are the many forests, lakes and natural rock formations which can be found everywhere, and which fill you – even if you’re just visiting – with a sense of calm. People have things to do, but they don’t rush. Things seem to move at a snail’s pace compared to a more bustling metropolis, though locals will tell you that in Helsinki, everybody is in a hurry. 😊 People approach one another with empathy here, rather than with suspicion or disdain.

They also have an interesting approach when it comes to dealing with minorities. There are usually two signposts on every street – one is in Finnish, while I suspected that the other might be Swedish – a guess confirmed by Finnish colleagues. Whichever language has more speakers in that area, its sign goes on top.

You’ll also see a lot of cyclists and runners out on the street. A female jogger caught up to me while I was waiting at a red light, and she didn’t stop, but ran on the spot until we got a green light to cross. Probably it’s some combination of diet and this active lifestyle, but many Finn’s don’t look their age – a fact pointed out to me by a colleague. That’s probably also why I looked at a shop assistant and thought she looked about 14.


,, In my view, Helsinki is boring, Sorry to say: a null compared to other Northen European capitals." 



With the Helsinki Card, trams, buses, metro and boat tours to Sveaborg are free.

Helsinki - tram and rental bikes - s.b. photo

Helsinki - public bus

Helsinki - taxi

Helsinki - alternative parking mode

Helsinki - tram - Ata photo

Helsinki - metro interior - j.k. photo


Our recommendations

1. Delicious Finnish buffet at € 19 at Ravintola Konstan Möljä, a very famous traditional restaurant in Helsinki.

2. The Market Square (Kauppatori) facing the port, eat a salmon soup accompanied by bread from the islands (saaristoleipä)

3. Toca (Unionsgatan 18) - a fusion of Nordic cuisine with Italian cuisine

Helsinki - fish dish

Helsinki - reindeer dish with redcurrant plus mashed potato - d.j. photo

Helsinki - street food - h.z. photo

Helsinki - light Finnish lunch - j.k. photo

Helsinki - long table - in June - j.k. photo


Our recommendations: 

1. Aleksanterinkatu Street is the main shopping street

2. The old market hall  (Vanha kauppahalli), to buy local products, eat a salmon sandwich or just look around

Helsinki - bear and venison pate - s.b. photo

Helsinki - a flea market in front of an old market hall (Kauppahalli) - j.k. photo


Our recommendations: 

1. Trillby & Chadwick (Katrinegatan) - Very exclusive, almost a secret tip

There are enjoyable dance-music clubs for ages over 50, too.

Helsinki - pub crawl car (tram converted into a bar) - j.k. photo

Helsinki - Old Market Hall - good coffee

Helsinki - Esplanade Park - a cafe terrace in summer - j.k. photo

Public safety


Helsinki - police - s.b. photo


Tap water comes from mountain springs and is of very high quality. Saudi Arabia, for many years now, has been buying drinking water from Helsinki.

Helsinki - Covid--19 - The huge, lamp-holding statues at the entrance of Helsinki Central railway station are now wearing mask - Ata photo (September, 2020)


1.  You will find the main tourist information center in the central station, Kaivokatu.

Helsinki - street sculpture setting a bad example - d.j.

Helsinki - defiance


Helsinki - s.b. photo

Helsinki from the sea - r.s. photo

Destination in brief

Helsinki, the capital of Finland is in the south of the country, on the northern shore of the Gulf of Finland

Helsinki lies on a rocky headland, along the, Baltic Sea  over 120 km (75 mi).

Population (in 2020): 1.3 million - Helsinki has 6.2% Swedish-speaking residents and is officially bilingual. The Swedish name for Helsinki is: Helsingfors.

Average net monthly salary (in 2020): 2500 Euro

Finns have one of the longest words in the world at 61 letters:  lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas, which means ‘airplane jet turbine engine auxiliary mechanic non-commissioned officer student’.   It is not in everyday use...


-5 ° C (23F) on average in winter and 15-20 ° C (59-68F) in summer.

Helsinki is the world's coldest capital, with a yearly average temperature not exceeding 0 °C (32F). In 51 days per year, no sun visible in the sky. Annually, there are around 120 rainy days.

(In winter, there is no snow on the sidewalks and boulevards of central Helsinki. The city heats the granite slabs from underground, so the snow and ice immediately melt.)


Helsinki could develop so much more than Turku, thanks to being closer to St. Petersburg (the Russian tzar ruled Finland).

Helsinki is perhaps the only city in the world where statues of ancient times are originally preserved; none of them were demolished for any political, ideological (or hysterical...) reason. In Helsinki's main square, you can see a Russian tzar statue,  a Swedish coat of arms on the Finnish government buildings' facades, and the original Cyrillic names in the downtown streets.



Helsinki - the new Central Public Library - Ata photo

Helsinki - Aleksanterinkatu (Swedish: Alexandersgatan) is a street in the centre of Helsinki - in September - j.k. photo

Helsinki - kids corner in a cafe - the lady is not a grandma, but staff person in charge of playing with the kids - j.k. photo

Helsinki - Pitkäsilta Bridge - Elter photo



Helsinki - local kids eating apple - j.k. photo

Helsinki - marketeer in a strawberry apron - j.k. photo



Helsinki - Cathedral - l.l. photo

Helsinki - Uspenski Cathedral, an Eastern Orthodox church - l.l. photo


Helsinki - Amos Rex, Helsinki's leading private museum- m.h. photo

Design District 

There are a number of art and design stores in the Design District

Helsinki - Design District - kids furniture - i.k. photo

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