Saturday, June 30, 2012

Go out and have fun!

There are so many things going on in Helsinki during the summer that it sometimes gets tough to decide what to attend. This weekend and especially today you have lots of great choices again. And since the weather seems to be quite stable there is nothing keeping you inside.

Last Monday Helsinki Pride began. It is the biggest GLBT event in Finland. Lots of events will take place till July 1st that are of course open to everyone. Watch the big parade today at 12 e.g. or enjoy live music at the free Festival in the Park at Hakasalmi Park. More information and the whole program can be found on their official website.

Starting from 12 there will be also again live music at Espan Lava. Under the motto Rock&Jazz several bands will be performing till the early evening. Music at Espan Lava is of course free like always.

You want more free live music? No problem. On Iso-Robertinkatu the Sun Roba Festivaali takes place. It’s a street festival with lots of music and events the whole day. It will be opened at 12.

You were wondering, why there are so many black dressed heavy metal people everywhere in the city these days (I mean even more than normally)? It has to do with Tuska (Finnish for pain, agony) Festival. If you are into heavy music this is the place to go this weekend. In Suvilahti bands will be performing on four stages. Tickets are 65€ for one day (90€ for two days) if you buy online or 75€ (100€ for two days) at the ticket box at the entrance. Check out their website.

Till Sunday also the Event Park of the European Athletic Championships at the Olympic Stadium is still open for visitors and has lots to offer. It’s the perfect place for families.

There is definitely something for everyone. So have a great weekend!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Surf the city with Angry Birds

You are visiting Helsinki and would like to use mobile internet on your smart phone or tablet in the city? Of course you want to avoid the ridiculously expensive costs for roaming abroad. Or you don't have a data plan but still want to access the internet on the go.

Well, NextMesh has come up with a solution. In cooperation with Rovio they installed a huge wireless network that covers the whole center from Kauppatori to Kamppi and is still growing. The network is for free for everyone and doesn’t require registration or login. This makes Helsinki the first capital worldwide to be covered by one united wireless network.

To use the service, just check for the Angry Birds network when you are in the center. You can also find more information on the Angry Birds WiFi Helsinki Facebook page.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Europe’s best in Helsinki

Two days ago the European Athletics Championships 2012 started in Helsinki. With a big celebration on Senaatintori with live music, speeches and a live show the games were opened.  

Yesterday the first competitions started. And there are still lots of tickets available for following the games live in the stadium. Of course you can also watch the championships from home. Yle broadcasts lots of it on TV and all the games at YLE areena.

If you don’t want to pay for the tickets but still want to inhale the atmosphere of the championships why don’t you just drop by the Event Park next to the stadium where you can watch the competitions together with other enthusiastic fans, enjoy live music and do lots of other things? For more information about tickets sales, the event park and the competitions check out the official website.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

the Finnish Fish and Chips

Some of you might have tried it already last weekend at Juhannus dinners. Silli and potatoes are one of the most traditional Finnish dishes. 

Silli is nothing else then pickled herring. But here you get it in thousands of different versions. To get an idea go to one of the big supermarkets and head for the fish shelf. Of course you can also catch your own fish and pickle it yourself. But you still should make use of the big variety stores in Finland offer.

With the silli you serve boiled potatoes. And that’s already it. You can of course widen your meal with some smoked salmon, mätitahna (caviar cream – more on that some other time), tzatziki and butter.

It sounds quite basic but believe me, it’s great food for a warm summer day when you don’t want to spend too much time with cooking and just want to have a light dish.

Try it!

By the way, silli with potatoes is also a traditional Christmas dish in Finland.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ice cream light

In the US it is already popular for ages. Now Frozen Yoghurt is also sold in Finland. At Spice Ice you can now get the ice cream alternative. It is produced from yogurt and milk and doesn’t contain crème which makes it less fat and calories which makes it a bit healthier than regular ice cream. Its yogurt taste makes it a refreshing treat for a warm day.  

At Spice Ice you can choose between two different – unfortunately not really that cheap – sizes for either 4.50 € (small) or 6,10 €. The small portion comes with two the big with three toppings (they have quite a nice and big variety).

And if you are not really that keen about frozen yogurt, you can of course also just stick to the good old ice cream (they have soft ice and balls).


P.S. You don't get Frozen Yogurt at all Spice Ice shops yet. But you can definately get it at Kamppi and Itäkeskus.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Walk and Feel Helsinki

That is the name of a cell phone supported route through Helsinki. From the harbor in Hernesaari to Errotaja at the beginning of Esplanadi Park you can now get a free guided tour along some of Helsinki’s sights. Everything you need for that is a smart phone with internet access. If you arrive to Helsinki by ferry from Tallinn this is the perfect way to get to know the city. But also if you are just interested in getting to know the western part of Helsinki like Hernesaari, Munkisaari, Eira and Punavouri you should consider taking a bus to the harbor and walking back this route.

On the path you find 10 check-points marked with signs where you should stop and check your phone. You will get information about the area (in texts and videos), get recommendations about places to visit (sights, shops, restaurants and events) and find out about your exact location.

You can of course start the tour at any of the stops. If your phone supports NFC just tap the butterfly on the sign. Otherwise scan the QR code or just visit with your phone. Information is available in English and Finnish.

Have fun exploring!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

60 years Lonkero

Lonkero is the perfect drink for summer and has a long tradition in Finland.

The history of this drink dates back to the year 1952 when the Olympic summer games were held in Helsinki. The city expected masses of tourists and to make it possible for bars to serve big amounts of refreshing drinks the company Hartwall created two pre-mixed long drinks (gin with grapefruit and brandy with Pommac). The production of the brandy-pommac version was stopped in the 70s but the gin-grapefruit-mix became extremely popular among Finns in no time. Today Lonkero – how the locals call it – is the most sold single product at Alko.

For this year’s 60ths anniversary Hartwall sells Lonkero also in the retro bottle from the 50s again.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer under pressure

The summer arrived in the city and if you are planning to enjoy Saturday night in the heart of Helsinki in a great atmosphere, breathing in the warm summer air of the city while sitting outside and chatting with your friends over a drink or two you should head to mbar.

In winter it’s just a small salad bar and café but during the summer they open their big summer terrace and bar. During warm days it’s always crowded there and on the weekends they quite often have live music or DJs playing.

Prices are average and the atmosphere is just great. Check out the website to see their program for the summer.

Enjoy the summer in the city!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Take the vintage tram

You are in Helsinki on the weekend? What about a ride through the city in over 60 year old trams?
With old motor cars from 1955 or with an open trailer from 1919 you can go for a ride through Helsinki now every Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy the flair of those historical vehicles and experience a whole different way of tram travelling. 

What better time could there be than now in the summer to drive around the city sitting in a historic open trailer?

The trams leave from Kauppatori on the weekend from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. every 20 to 30 min and will operate till the end of August. More information can be found on their website. Don’t get scared away by the pricelist there. They apply just for renting a whole tram for an event. A normal ticket is 5 Euros and can be purchased when entering the tram.