Friday, January 31, 2014

Crashed Ice in Serena

Red Bull Crashed Ice is coming to Finland. More specificly to Serena in Espoo. This Saturday some of the skilled cross ice skaters from all over the world come together to compete for the win.

Red Bull Crashed Ice Espoo

It's gonna be quite a show and you can watch it. There are busses taking you to Serena within around 30 minutes. You can also come by car. To find out how exactly to get there check out the FAQ page.

The entrance is for free. Just remember to wrap up in warm clothes. The whole event takes place outside.

If you can't make it to Serena but still would like to watch the competition you can also watch it online. To find the stream or to get more information on Red Bull Crashed Ice check out the event's website.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the show!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The year of the horse

Tonight the Chinese celebrate their new year. In Helsinki this is traditionally celebrated at Lasipalatsin aukio and everyone is invited.

Chinese New Year's celebration in Helsinki

The programm starts already at 15:30 with the New Year's Parade through the city center. At 16:00 the Chinese village at Lasipalatsin aukio opens and together with it lots of small huts and stands that offer traditional Chinese food and products.

During the whole afternoon and there is a full programm on the stage ranging from dances and Kund Fu shows to speeches and songs.

If you have time also check out the New Year's programm at Helsinki Casino.

Finally at 20:30 the Chinese New Year will be welcomed with big fireworks over the city.

Don't miss it! The entrance is of course for free.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Horizon for a clean Baltic Sea

Should you walk along Länsisatama on at Jätkäsaari you will spot a rather new installation. Many small silver tiles in the shape of a wave form a long wall together.

Horizon at Jatkasaari

It is called Horizon was erected to thank the donors for the Clean Baltic Sea Campaign (John Nurminen Foundation). Each donor that supported the project got their own tile with their name on it. The length of Horizon of 54 meters corresponds with the average depth of the Baltic Sea. The designer Hannu Kähönen wanted to highlight the vulnerability of the Baltic Sea that way.

The Clean Baltic Sea Campaign is part of the Baltic Sea Challenge, a project by the City of Helsinki and the City of Turku started in 2007 to improve the status of their coastal waters and the whole Baltic Sea.

Click the links to find out more about both projects.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Find Helsinki's most liked services

You are searching for some more information on Helsinki? Really good information on what's happening, what you should see and where you should go in Helsinki can be found from Helsinki Design Guide. You can also find pretty good pictures here. The team from Smiigo is doing a great job providing you with great tips and suggestions.

Shops, restaurants, museums and cafés mentioned there have not paid anything to get into the guide, but they have been recommended by artists, architects, designers or photographers or chosen by their editors and writers.

Helsinki Design Guide

They publish not only online but also make a printed version available that can be found from the tourist information. There is also a Russian version of the website accessible online.

Check it out!

P.S. more useful links for more on Helsinki and Finland can also be found on the What to click page.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Morning coffee at Picnic

The week starts again. Should you belong to the many people that have to pass through Kamppi every morning to get to work then change your morning routine for ones and stop for a hot cup of coffee at Picnic on the third floor. Here you can sit next to the window and have a nice view over the square between Kamppi Kauppakeskus and Tennispalatsi and see the sun slowly rising above the city.

Morning coffee at Picnic in Kamppi

Have a great start into the week!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ice skating in Kallio

Any plans for the weekend? How about some ice skating? There are several rinks in and around the city.
You might have already read on HelsinkiIn about the one right in the center next to the Main Station. But you can also find a bigger and cheaper alternative a bit to the North in Kallio.

ice rink in Kallio

The entrance is 3 € and for some additional 4 € you can rent skates as well.

Enjoy and have a nice weekend!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Over 1000 good deals for 2014

With the new year also came the new CityShoppari 2014 for Helsinki. You might wanna consider buying it if you are into shopping and going out.

CityShoppari 2014

The book costs 27 € and is filled with over 1000 coupons that give you discounts all over Helsinki in shops, restaurants, cafés, hair salons, theaters, gyms and much much more.

The CityShoppari can be bought at several places around town. Or order the CityShoppari mobile card for your smart phone app to get the same benefits for just 24 €.

All deals can be found from the CityShoppari website (just in Finnish).

Check it out.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

SYÖ! is back in town

Tomorrow the SYÖ!-viikot start again. That means that till February 6 you will have the chance again to get nice meals in several restaurants around town for just 10 €.

SYÖ! Helsinki Winter 2014

This time 29 locations in Helsinki, one in Vantaa, one in Espoo, one in Porvoo, two in Turku and one in Tampere participate.

This is again a great opportunity to try out new places you haven't been to yet. More information on locations and the dishes on offer can be found on the SYÖ! website.

Check it out and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cheese up your soup

Finns have a great way to make their soup or casserole something special. They just put in some Koskenlaskia. This soft cheese can be bought at any supermarket in big bars.

Koskenlaskia soft cheese

Just slice it into small pieces and through it into the pot. Especially for soups that works perfectly and gives even the dullest pea or carrot soup some nice taste.

Try it out!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Apteeki in English

Unfortunately at this time of the year a cold or flu is easy to catch. When searching for medicine in a Finnish pharmacy you might have to get some help first to find the right shelf for what you need. Luckily personnel in Helsinki almost always speaks English.

Apteeki Töölö in Kamppi Kauppakeskus

Should you be trying to find something fast though give the pharmacy in Kamppi a try. Here all shelves are labeled in English as well. So you will get around easily on your own. And in case you still need some help the staff will be happy to help you.

Apteekki Töölö in Kamppi Kauppakeskus is also very well equipped and in a perfect location right in the center of Helsinki.

Try it out! Or much rather stay healthy!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Get your car running

The week has started and you need to get to work again. If you go by car you might face some difficulties in the morning. Here are a few things you should definitely have in your car during the cold time of the year.

- an ice scraper to free the windows of the frost in the morning
- a shovel to get rid of the snow around your car
- a blanket to put underneath the car when it gets stuck in the snow
- oil or spray to unfreeze the lock of your car (this one you should of course not have laying in the car but always with you)

Drive safely and have a good start into the weekend!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

One year in Ullanlinnanmäki in one picture

The year at Ullanlinnanmäki is over. Last week you saw the January picture of the spot. 

hugovk also created a split picture for that series. And here it is.

one year at Ullanlinnanmäki by hugovk

To see the single pictures of one year at Ullanlinnanmäki click here.

For more from hugovk check out his Flickr page.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Will Guggenheim come to Helsinki after all?

After the decision has been made against a Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki last year especially due to financing issues there might be hope again after all.

Here in the South Harbor the new Guggenheim Museum might be built

This week the Helsinki city council decided on reserving a spot at the South Harbor of the city right in the center. The Guggenheim Foundation now starts an international architecture competition to find a suitable concept for the spot.

Only after that a final decision on whether to build the museum will be made. Till then we can look forward to some interesting concepts from architects from all over the world for the South Harbor of Helsinki.

But what is your opinion? What do you think about a Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki? Leave a comment!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Relaxed hang out in the heart of Helsinki

For a relaxed coffee stop in the center of Helsinki you should check out Beanie Café at Kamppi Kauppakeskus. It's a rather new place in probably one of the best location in town.

Beanie Café at Kamppi

But even though Kamppi is extremely busy and the café passed by thousands of people every day it is a good place to chill out a bit and take a break from the hectic of the city. Beanie's lounge design and the laid back music makes you feel relaxed right away.

Coffee is pretty good here, too. And if you desire a sweet or salty bite with your hot beverage you will definitely find what you are searching for here.

Check it out and have a great start into the weekend!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Caution! Thin ice!

It looks beautiful. After last night's snow the frozen bays and lakes are covered with snow and look already like you could walk over them. But be careful. The ice is still quite thin. So rather enjoy it from a distance and wait a little while longer till it's save to go.

frozen sea in Helsinki

Enjoy the winter!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Everything for outdoors

It's gotten quite cold outside during the last days. If you don't have proper clothing it's time to get yourself something to stand this weather. And keep in mind that it might still get much colder.

And this is actually quite a good time for purchasing some winter clothes. At the moment sales are still ongoing almost everywhere. Most stores have pretty good discounts of often around 30 to 50%.

Partioaitta store in Helsinki

If you are searching for some real warm outdoor stuff though you should take a look at the professional places to buy the right gear. Should you be in the center then come to Yrjönkatu. Here you find two really good stores right opposite of each other: Partioaitta and Retkiaitta. You find pretty much anything there that keeps you alive and healthy outside even with minus 30 degrees or less. And both places also still have the sale going on.

Retkiaitta store in the city center

Check it out!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Frozen sea

Within just a few days the sea around Helsinki froze over almost completely. And in the morning together with a clear sky this can create rather nice pictures.

Sorry for all those pictures during the last days! Hope you guys don't mind.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Ullanlinnanmäki in January

Just in time for the January picture it started snowing. And today even the sun showed up for a short time.

With this picture the year at Ullanlinnanmäki is complete. To see how the view from Ullanlinnanmäki changed during one year you can see the pictures of the previous months here.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

First real snow

After weeks and months of rain and mild temperatures the winter eventually arrived in Helsinki. Now streets and houses are covered in snow and we have steady minus degrees.

White Ruttupuisto

Enjoy the white Sunday!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Brews and bites at Bryggeri

Fans of microbreweries and good food should come to Panimoravintola Bryggeri in Sofiankatu right next to the Senatsquare.

taps at Bryggeri

When entering you stand in a small pub with a few tables and chairs. Taking the stairs down you get to the actual place with loads of space. Here also the restaurant is located. One side of the room is covered with white enlightened curtains that give you the feeling that it's bright daylight outside.

Try one of their owned brewed beers like Pils, Red Ale or their seasonal beer (at the moment Winter Weizen). They also offer other microbrewery beer. Ask for a recommendation. You might even get to try them first.

Winter Weizen at Bryggeri

Bryggeri is also a good place for either a snack on the side or even a real dinner. The menu changes constantly. The dishes are delicious and even quite affordable.

Check it out! Today is Saturday!

P.S. Thanks for the tip to matwin!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Organic food and more

Friends of ecological products will love Ruohonjuuri Ekomarket. No matter if it is superfood, rawfood, fair trade or organic products you will find it all here. Everything is well sorted and the friendly stuff will help you if you don't find what you are searching for right away. Unlike other places there are also always enough employees around for you. They have an amazingly big assortment of almost everything you would need for your everyday life.

Ruohonjuuri Ekomarket at Kamppi

You can find four branches of Ruohonjuuri Ekomarket in Helsinki. The easiest one to find is at Kamppi right next to the shopping center. Ruohonjuuri can also be found in Tampere and Turku. Or if you want you can also order the product you like online at there online store.

Check it out!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

First sunshine in 2014

The sun still exists. After weeks and weeks of dark gray sky I didn't believe it anymore. It seems like we would get rid of the clouds for a while.

first sunshine in 2014

The clear sky will also bring some pretty cold weather with it. Tomorrow the temperatures will fall below zero and on the weekend we can expect up to -15°C.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Prices going nuts

Finland is known to be quite an expensive country. Mostly people speak about alcohol in reference to this topic. But actually a beer at a bar can still be bought at quite a reasonable price even in the city center of Helsinki.

nut shelf in Finnish supermarket

The product where prices explode is a whole different one - it's nuts. If you are a tourist or expat in Finland and see what is charged for nuts here you should hold onto something. Prices tend to be two to three times more expensive than in Central Europe. Just lately I saw a package of pine seeds (100g) for no less than 9 Euros.

I just wonder if there is any logical explanation for those prices (maybe some special taxes on nuts like on alcohol and candies?) or if there is just someone making a lot of money having a monopoly on importing nuts to Finland. If anyone has an answer to this burning question please write a comment.

My suggestion though: next time you travel abroad don't come back with a bottle of wine but rather with a full suitcase of delicious cashews, peanuts and macadamias.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tuomiokirkko in color

If you haven't been to LUX Helsinki yet you still have two days to go. It would be a shame to miss it - especially the amazing light and sound installation Corazón at Tuomiokirkko.

Tuomiokirkko at LUX Helsinki 2014

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ice lights without ice

It's way too warm for this time of the year and also for the beautiful ice lights (jäälyhty) that are common to make in Finland in the winter time. But with a bit of creativity even with this kind of weather ice lights are possible to make.

plastic ice lights on Narinkka

Those plastic ice lights are next to the Chapel of Silence on Narinkkatori.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hawaii in Helsinki

Are you up for some new tastes in the new year? This long weekend gives you the perfect opportunity to try out nice restaurants in Helsinki. One of the best ones is Hoku.

The small place in Punavuori has a Japanese-Hawaiian fusion kitchen and that is something you shouldn't miss out on. The simple interior is dominated by bamboo and wood and together with some small pictures from Haiwaii makes you feel a bit like being on a vacation.

Edamame and Gyoza at Hoku

But the best thing at Hoku is of course the food. Go e.g. for a typical Japanese starter like Edamame (soy beans) or some Gyoza (filled dumplings).

Braised Crispy Pork Belly and Bi Bim Bap

For the main course you can choose from a selection of wonderful meat and fish dishes like Braised Crispy Pork Belly, Bi Bim Bap (Teriyaki Beef) or Salmon Teriyaki. And why not have a Hawaiian Longboard beer with your dinner to make the experience complete.

Guava Cheesecake

Portions at Hoku are big and filling. But if you still can after the main course you should also go for one of their delicious deserts like the Guava Cheesecake or the Fudge Brownie with Kahlua Ice Cream.

Fudge brownie and Kahlua ice cream


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Lux Helsinki 2014

As every year in January when the nights are long and there is little sunlight in Helsinki it's time for the big light exhibition Lux Helsinki.

LUX Helsinki 2013

This year twelve light installations are put up all over the city center. With light and often also sound the visitors dive into a wonderful, sometimes surreal world of colors lightening the darkness. Follow the LUX path leading you along almost all of the installations in the center.

The Lux exhibitions can be viewed starting from today till January 8 every evening from 17:00 till 22:00. Additionally the LUX IN exhibition at Kaapelithedas is open from 14:00 till 22:00. The Fire Circus Walkea at Kansalaistori performs daily from 18:00 till 19:30.

For more information visit the LUX Helsinki website.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Start Up Sauna

Innovation is the engine driving the Finnish economy. To support good new ideas not getting lost but actually turning into real businesses the state supports start ups where it can. But also other institutions are doing their part. 

Start Up Sauna in Espoo

Aalto University opened the Start Up Sauna a few years ago. The old warehouse on the campus in Otaniemi is now home to many small business that are trying to find their way to big success. Here they can rent cheap rooms and set up their first own office. But even entrepreneurs without any cash for rent can come here in work for free in the open space. 

For those of you working on a new business themselves this might be a great opportunity to get away from your desks at home and also get some idea exchange with other curious minds from the capital area.

For more information and to find out what's happening at the Sauna visit the official website.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It's your turn

On HelsinkiIn I try to provide you with useful and up-to-date information about things to know, do and see in Helsinki. But of course there is always something that I miss and that would be nice to share with the readers of HelsinkiIn.

HelsinkiIn contact form

That is why I need your help. If you hear or know of something that you think should be posted about here and you think more people should know about (that could be events, tips about cool locations or anything else interesting) please drop me a line through the contact form or in the comments.

I'm very much looking forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

HelsinkiIn wishes you all a happy New Year 2014!

Baltic Sea at Uunisaari in January

Hopefully it's gonna get even better than the last one.