Friday, May 31, 2013

Singing for Haiti

Finns love singing. With the initiative Suvivirsi the Fin Church Aid act alliance encourages people to sing together. At the same time they want to draw attention to the situation in Haiti where people are suffering from poverty and the aftermath of the horrible earthquake in 2010.

Stadin Suvivirsi

Today at 17:00 and 19:00 singers from Helsinki come together on Narinkka Square to sing for the people in Haiti. Everyone is invited to sing along. You can donate to Fin Curch Aid at the event or online (by clicking on "osallistu ja auta"). With the money the initiative helps children in Haiti to be able to go back to school.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer at Espan Lava

As every year Espan Lava, the stage in Esplanadi Park, offers a broad program with lots and lots of music. Check out the summer program. You can find everything from Rock to Pop, from Blues to Jazz.

Espan Lava stage in Esplanadi Park

Espan Lava is popular amongst locals and tourists alike. It is probably the busiest open air stage in whole Finland. And the best part is that all performances are for free. Till the end of August over 200 artists and groups from Finland and abroad perform here.

Sit down on one of the benches in front of the stage or have a drink on the terrace of Kappeli right next to the stage and enjoy the program from over there.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bright tourists

On Senaatintori a bunch of unusual tourists arrived to take a look at the impressive Tuomiokirkko.

Lanterns as tourists in Helsinki

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Everything for cycling in Helsinki

At Narinkka Square the Bycicle Center (Pyöräkeskus) is open again for the summer. Cyclist find everything they need here for exploring Helsinki by bike.

Pyöräkeskus in Helsinki

Not only can you can park your bike conveniently for a walk through the center. You can also get it fixed at the same time. Kampin Suutari takes care of quick bike maintenance such as lubrication, mending punctures and changing tires. Or just borrow all necessary tools for free and do the repair by yourself.

And for those who don’t own a bike there is of course also the possibility to rent one from Greenbikes. Prices start from 20 € for half a day.

For more information and special biking events check out the Pyöräkeskus website and Facebook page.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Marimekko celebrates

This weekend the popular Finnish design brand Marimekko has its annual summer party to celebrate its anniversary. Today is the last chance to get their special offers for this occasion. Most products are 15 % off.

special offers at marimekko in Helsinki

So drop by to see if there is something for you. The Marimekko stores in the center are open from 12 till the late afternoon. For more information see also their website.

Have a nice Sunday!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

World Village Festival 2013

The world is a village. And for this weekend this village is Helsinki. Artists and musicians from all over the world come to the Finnish capital to perform live and for free. On seven stages the audience can enjoy music, dance, theatre, poetry, movies, opera, panel discussions, interviews, children’s program and much, much more. It’s a festival for the whole family.

The artists are from all continents and come to Helsinki not just to perform but also to share their culture. The World Village Festival starts today at 11:00 and will continue in Virgin Oil Co. after 20:00. Tomorrow the program is from 11:00 till 18:00. For more information and the program see their website.

Have fun!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Bus on demand

HSL introduced the new KutsuPlus service to make travelling in the Helsinki region even smoother. You don’t have to wait for the next scheduled bus but just order one online.

KutsuPlus bus in Helsinki

Especially for areas where busses don’t come that frequently this service is really useful. And you don’t have to change but will be brought to your desired arrival stop straight away.

When you order your KutsuPlus bus you pay right away online. The price is a bit more expensive than a normal bus ticket but much cheaper than going by taxi. E.g. a trip from Seurassari to Senaatintori will be around six Euros.

For more information on KutsuPlus also visit Good News from Finland.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bienvenido a la Patrona!

Mexican food can be found probably anywhere in the world. And also in Helsinki you’ll find several different Mexican restaurants. But if you are searching for something special you should go to Patrona.

The small restaurant on Annankatu is one of the most popular and probably also best Mexican restaurants in Helsinki. Not many dishes are offered here which speaks for the quality and the freshness of the food. Even though they might have the same classics that you probably know from several Mexican places before their dishes always have a certain something that makes them special.

Enjoy their delicious tacos with lamb meat and an assortment of sauces to spice things up. Or go for the chocolate chili enchilada, a specialty of Patrona. And don’t worry, even if the portions seem quite small sometimes they are always filling. One of their famous margaritas or a spicy beer cocktail on the side works perfectly with the food.

At Patrona table reservations are highly recommendable. Otherwise you might have to wait quite a while to be seated.

Enjoy the Mexican kitchen!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A foggy day in Helsinki

Heavy fog from the Baltic Sea can make Helsinki look really mysterious. I took this picture a last week.

fog in Helsinki

Looks like fog is something we won’t face during the next days. It rather looks like some rain unfortunately. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Good, solid and traditionally Finnish

Should you be searching for a restaurant that offer traditional homemade Finnish food then Konstan Möljä is the place to go.

Konstan Möljä traditional Finnish restaurant

Decorated like an old Finnish cottage with an eye for details it gives you the impression of being hundreds of kilometers away from the capital somewhere in the Finnish wilderness.

Konstan Möljä is not an a la carte restaurant but offers only buffet. And for 18 Euros this buffet has everything you can think of for a delicious and filling Finnish dinner. Meat dishes like reindeer with mashed potatoes and ham with lingonberry as well as fish dishes like oven baked salmon and silli with potatoes are just a few of the things waiting for you.

Everything is homemade here and you can taste that. For more information visit their website.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sweet and dark island bread

Have you tried the delicious black Archipelago Bread (Saaristolaisleipä)? It’s one of the biggest and most popular exports of the small island group Åland between Finland and Sweden.

This dark sweet bread is made from wheat, rye, malt and dark syrup. It works perfectly with fish toppings like silli or smoked salmon. Archipelago bread can be found in every supermarket.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Replacing Tuomiokirkko?

Sometimes it's all about the perspective.

crane moving Tuomiokirkko in Helsinki?

But hei, Tuomiokirkko has been on this spot already for so long. Isn't it time for a change? ;)

Have a nice Sunday!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

So many things to do today

No idea yet what you want to do today? Well this Saturday there are lots of options.

First of all today is Ravintolapäivä again. Most of you will already know it. Everyone can open a restaurant, café or snack bar for one day. Over 400 pop-up restaurants will be welcoming visitors today in the center.

Or follow the Kalamaraton. Fishermen from all over Finland will come to Helsinki today to show their fishing skills. From noon till midnight they have 12 hours time to catch as much as possible in the Helsinki waters. If you are interested in fishing you might still be able to learn something from the professionals today.

And in the evening don’t forget to watch the semifinal of the ice hockey championships. It’s a classic: Finland vs. Sweden. That’s the most emotional game you can imagine in Finland. So if you want to have the real experience watch it in one of Helsinki’s sports bars and root for the blue and white lions. The game starts at 16:00 and will also be shown on MTV3.

Another event that involves Finland and Sweden will be the final of the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malmö, Sweden today. And Finland’s candidate Krista Siegfrids is considered to have good chances for a high ranking. The event will be broadcasted live on YLE 1 and YLE HD starting from 22:00.

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Beware of the seagulls

In Helsinki the sea is all around. And so are the seagulls. And if they want something they won’t stop till they get it. Especially ice cream and sandwiches eaten outside can easily become a target for them.

Some shopkeepers already warn their customers of the flying danger. So keep your eyes open especially when being close to a harbor. Or otherwise your delicious snack will soon be enjoyed by someone else.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Super Movie Day

Are you up for a movie despite the wonderful weather? Then today is your day. It’s SuperPäivä at Finnkino. That means that all movies are just 6.50€ today (7.50€ for 3D). And also popcorn is on special offer today for just 3€ for the 3 liter bucket.

Finnkino Super Päivä

For more information on the program and your nearest theater click go to

Enjoy your movie!  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ihana Helsinki – Stadi welcomes the spring

Tomorrow the city festival Ihana Helsinki starts. Till Sunday the museums, shops, shopping centers and restaurants will be decorated and Helsinki will be taken over by flowers.

The city welcomes the spring and upcoming summer with this event that takes now place in the second year. Apart from beautifully decorated stores and streets a full program awaits visitors and customers.

Tomorrow the festival starts with a shopping night. Participating stores and shops are open till midnight.

For more information visit the officialwebsite. Enjoy Ihana Helsinki! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fuel up in Finland

During the summer time many tourists drive around Finland with their own or a rental car. When running out of gas fueling up here in Finland can present quite a challenge.

You should know that in difference to many other countries most gas stations are self service stations. That means that you have to pay your gas in advance at the pump. Of course as always in Finland you pay by card. The amount you choose on the display is just the maximum you are willing to pay. So in case you want to fill up the tank completely choose a high number. Just the actual amount you took will be deducted from your credit card of course. After paying you normally have around three minutes to take the nozzle and fuel up.

There is always an option to choose your own language at the machines. If you just follow the instructions nothing much can go wrong.

Have a nice vacation!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Blini Russian style

The fact that blini in Russia are quite different from the ones in Finland often causes confusion on both sides of the border. In Finland blinis are small and thick whereas their Russian counterparts are thin and more comparable to crêpe.

If you want to try the Russian version without having to take a train to Saint Petersburg you should pay a visit to Blinit. The small blini place on Sturenkatu offers blinis with sweet and salty fillings and toppings for very reasonable prices. Try e.g. the classic with roe, onions and sour crème or as dessert the one with fresh strawberries and ice crème.  The blinis are made freshly and don’t disappoint. Even other Russian specialties such as pelmeni, borscht and solyanka are served here.

For an inexpensive Russian snack in between this is exactly the right place.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ullanlinnanmäki in May

It's almost summer and the first leaves show on the trees.

To see how the view from Ullanlinnanmäki changed during one year you can see the pictures of the previous months here.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Brunch at the coffee roastery

La Torrefazione has one of the best coffees in town. But did you know that they also serve delicious brunch?

You can choose between three different versions. Take for example Saaristo (from the island) with different smoked fish, fish roe, air dried ham and the traditional dark archipelago bread. Or choose Suomi get a yogurt with fresh berries and muesli, Karelian pie, quail egg and other delicacies. You can also go for the basic continental breakfast. With each brunch comes either a smoothie or a waffle as dessert.

Brunch at La Torrefazione is served Saturdays from 9:00 to 12:00 for 14.50 € and Sundays from 10:00 to 13:00 for 18.50€.

Have a nice weekend!

Friday, May 10, 2013

A glass of water for charity

Now you can donate for charity comfortable while enjoying a drink at a bar. With the Unicef Tap Project you just buy the water you normally get for free for 1 €. You can also decide to give more than that. The money will be used by Unicef to provide children worldwide with access to clean, drinkable water.

Many bars, restaurants and cafés but also shops and other companies in Helsinki participate. So don’t forget to give the extra Euro next time you see this sign.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The herrings are back

It’s time for fishing again. Every year in May the herrings come to the shore for a few weeks to mate. At this time it’s fairly easy to catch some yourself with just a fishing rod and a few hooks. You can find a more detailed explanation in this post.

Good fishing and tight lines!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Kampintori celebrates Europe Day

Today the European Council invites everyone to celebrate the Europe Day in the center of Helsinki. The day is filled with program, interesting discussions and possibilities to inform yourself about Europe and the European Union.

Interesting guest, among them members of the Finnish government like Jutta Urpilainen (Minister for Finance), Ville Niinistö (Minister of the Environment), Carl Haglund (Minister for Defence) and even Prime minister Jyrki Katainen, will join in for speeches and discussions.

Furthermore each EU nation is represented with an information stand where they will be happy to answer any questions you might have about their country.

The Europe Day program started at 8:30 and will continue till 16:00. Come and take a look!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

3 kaveria ice cream – yummy and local

Forget Ben & Jerry’s, forget Häagen-Dazs and get some of the delicious new 3 Kaveria ice cream. It is a great combination of milk ice cream and sorbet. And it is local.

3 Kaveria jäätelö vadelma-valkosuklaa

The three work colleagues and good friends Heikki, Ilkka and Sauli always shared a passion for ice cream. So they decided to go on an adventure and went to Italy and learn how to make good ice cream. Coming back they started their own business called Kolmen Kaverin Jäätelö (three friends’ ice cream) in 2012. Within a short time their products became a huge success in Helsinki.

Three different flavors are already on the market (strawberry-vanilla, blueberry-cardamom and raspberry-white chocolate) but there is more to come. To ensure the freshness and high quality of their product they only use ingredients from local farms. You can get their delicious ice cream in selected K-markets around Helsinki.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Don't miss a single hockey game!

Sadly most hockey games are not shown on free TV. Fortunately with your smart phone you can always stay up-to-date with what happens at the World Championships.

Therefore you just need to download the official IIHF World Championships 2013 smart phone app. It provides you with schedules and scores, background information on teams and players and with everything else that happens at the World Championships. You can also make your own predictions for the games and guess which teams wins.

The app is free. It’s available for WindowsPhone, Android, Blackberry and iPhone.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

It almost feels like summer

When the sun is out and the wind stops blowing and you sit next to the sea watching the shimmering water it feels like summer already arrived in Finland. And lots of summer places and terraces already opened in Helsinki.

A few hundred meters from Uunisaari where this picture was taken Skiffer, one of the best pizza places and best summerhangouts opens in May on the weekends.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Recycling Factory takes over Kaapelitehdas

Kierrätystehdasis all about recycling, energy efficiency and sustainable lifestyle. Hundreds of ecological products from over 40 companies are waiting to be explored. Or join one of the workshops where you can learn handy things like how to sew a laptop bag or repair your bike yourself.

If you need a break in between try some of the delicious organic or vegetarian dishes at one of the restaurants and cafes. Also take a look at the schedule of the stage program.

One of the highlights is the Free of Charge Market. Bring stuff that you don’t need any more and find useful stuff that others brought there – all for free of course. For free is also the entrance to the event. Kierrätystehdas opens both Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 17:00.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Let's watch the Hockey Championships!

The Ice Hockey World Championships 2013 start today. As last year the games are partly played in Helsinki and partly in Stockholm with the difference that the last games (starting from semifinal) will be in Sweden this time.

And as last year if you want to see all the games you will have to either get a subscription to MTV3 total (24,95€), buy the games as a whole package (24,95€) or singularly (7€) online at Katsomo or find a nice sports bar that shows the championships.

All Finland games will be shown on MTV3 for free though:

03.05.    20:00     Finland – Germany
04.05.    20:00     Finland – Slovakia
06.05.    20:00     Finland – France
08.05.    20:00     USA – Finland
10.05.    20:00     Russia – Finland
11.05.    16:00     Finland – Austria
14.05.    20:00     Latvia – Finland               
16.05.    18:15     Quarterfinal 3
18.05.    15:45     Semifinal 1
              19:45     Semifinal 2
19.05.    16:45     Bronze Medal Game
              21:15     Final      

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ullanlinnanmäki at Vappu

Here comes the Vappu special of one year at Ullanlinnanmäki. People are celebrating May 1st with the traditional picnic at Kaivopuisto.

To see how the view from Ullanlinnanmäki changed during one year you can see the pictures of the previous months here.

This was Vappu 2013

The sun was shining, the temperatures were mild and the whole city was celebrating. Thousands of people came to the traditional picnic at Kaivopuisto again and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Vappu picnic at Kaivopuisto 2013
Kaivopuisto turns Finland's largest and most crowded picnic area

Ullanlinnanmäki at May 1st 2013
the traditional brass band at Ullanlinnanmäki

Picnic and white caps everywhere at Kaivopuisto 2013
white caps everywhere

Salsa dancing at Vappu 2013
salsa sounds and dancing

It seemed like the sun wanted to make up for the exceptionally long winter this year. Already Mantan Lakitus on Tuesday took place under perfect weather conditions.

Mantan Lakitus 2013
people waving their caps

Havis Amanda with Vappu cap
Amanda with her Vappu cap