Sunday, June 30, 2013

WFV #8

What might this little vehicle be for? Does a grown-up really fit in there and is it just driven by paddles? Lots of questions! Does anyone know the answers?

weird Finnish vehicle

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Salmiakki Ice Cream

Finns love ice cream, a passion they share with most other people on this planet. But Finns also love Salmiakki (salty licorice), a passion they share with just very few other people on this planet.

salmiakki ice cream in a cup

And Finns even like combining those two. The result is salmiakki ice cream. You can get it at almost any ice cream parlor in the country. And it’s – let’s say – interesting. If you don’t like salmiakki anyway then keep your hands off it. If you enjoy eating the salmiakki candies then give it a try.

And if you want to see how much the reactions of Finns and other nations on salmiakki ice cream are then watch this advertisement. You will get it even without understanding the language.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Billiard with the Kaurismäkis

The number one place to play billiard in Helsinki is unaccountably Corona Bar. Several billiard tables are available here – one for snookers nine for pool. On the weekend you should be early or otherwise got to wait a bit. Once you have a table you can play as long as you like and pay by time later.

billiard at Corona Bar

And this place has an interesting history too. 20 years ago it was founded by the world famous Finnish directors Aki and Mika Kaurismäki in the style of a laid back New York street bar.

Prices for drinks are very reasonable here. Check it out and have a fun night! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Beware of the ticks!

If you are planning on spending some time in the countryside you always face the risk of being bitten by ticks which can in worst case cause the so called Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus infection.

A vaccination can protect you from this danger. You can get it either from your doctor or you keep your eyes open for the Punkkibussi (tick bus) driving around the capital area the whole summer through. Without an appointment you can just come there and get the vaccination within a few minutes. It costs 45 € for children and 50 € for adults.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Makkara over the fire

What about grilling some sausages over the fire today? And if you don’t know where or don’t want to light a fire yourself just come to Café Regatta.

grilling at Café Regatta

The small and cozy café is one of the best summer places in Helsinki. They have a fire burning all day till late at night and for just 1.80€ you can get a sausage to grill over the flames. Mustard and ketchup are of course also available.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mölkky – the Finnish summer game

Most Finns spend a big part of their summer at their summer cottages. One of the best things to spend time there in the middle of nowhere is with some fun games. A truly Finnish one is Mölkky.

Mölkky at the summer cottage

The outdoor game that was invented just in 1996 rapidly became popular in Finland. The concept is rather easy. With a wooden throwing pin (called “mölkky”) you have to try to hit the other pins marked with the numbers 1 to 12. The winner is who scores exactly 50 points first.

The game can be bought at any toy or department store. But most Finns will have their own set already anyway.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Rock on the Beach

This week Hietaniemenranta turns into one of the hottest music festival areas of the country. On Wednesday, Friday and Saturday amazing acts will rock the big sand beach in the heart of Helsinki at Rock the Beach.

Big names like Green Day, Billy Talent, Stone Sour (Wednesday), Thirty Seconds To Mars, Reckless Love, Haloo Helsinki (Friday), Rammstein, Paramore, Danko Jones (Saturday) and many many more will perform on three stages at the sea.

Tickets are still available.  Have a great time at Rock the Beach!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Yhdessä - Together

Should you spend this weekend in Helsinki then visit the photo exhibition Yhdessä (Together) at the Main Railway Station Helsinki. In the exhibition that is still on display till Sunday photos are shown of people that share a special relationship. They share something – small or big – with each other. Their stories are all very different. Decide for yourself which one you find most impressive and moving.

Yhdessä photo exhibition at Rauttatienasema Helsinki

The exhibition is free and after this weekend can still be seen online till the end of the year.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Juhannus Kokko

The Juhannus Kokko (Midsummer fire) is a very old Finnish tradition. It originates in the Eastern Finland but has over time become popular all over the country. It is lit to scare away bad spirits.

juhannus kokko at Pihlajasaari

Last night lots of those big fires were lit everywhere in Finland - like on the Helsinki island Pihlajasaari.

Have a nice Juhannus Day!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Hyvää Juhannusta!

Today is Juhannus, the Finnish midsummer. Most people have left the city to spend it with family and friends on their summer cottages.

The city might appear like a ghost town since most places – even bars and pubs – will be closed. But there is still something going on here during Juhannus.

Juhannus tree at Seurasaari
Juhannus tree at Seurasaari
Experience for example the traditional midsummer celebration at Seurasaari where the big Juhannus kokot (fires) are lit. The celebration starts at 18:00 and continues till late at night. The entrance fee is 18 €. Kids under 15 years are free.

Or see the big Juhannus fire further outside on the island of Pihlajasaari. A boat takes you there from next to Café Carusel. The fire is lit at 21:00.

Have a great Juhannus!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Have a nice holiday!

Most of you probably already just have half the day of. Tomorrow the Juhannus weekend begins and with it for most people also the summer vacation.

Light holders from Railway Station on vacation
even the light holders at the Railway Station are on vacation

So wherever you go have a great and relaxing time and in case you stay in or maybe travel to Helsinki during the summer don’t forget to check HelsinkiIn from time to time. 

One light holder left at Railway Station
except for this guy

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Royal Bubbles Wednesday

Treat yourself with a bubbly glass of sparkling wine after a hard day of work today. Today is the perfect day for it. From now on every Wednesday is Royal Bubbles day at all HOK-Elanto (S-Group) restaurants, pubs and bars. From 16:00 till 18:00 you get 12cl of sparkling wine for just 1.50 €.

Royal Bubble Wednesday

All HOK Elanto places are listed on their website. You can also easily spot them as the places offering discounts with the green S-Card.

Enjoy a sparkling afternoon!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Perfect view over historic Helsinki

The new University Library is an impressive piece of architectural work. But did you know that apart from its beauty and functionality as a building it also has one of the best views over historic Helsinki?

view from roof terrace at the University Library Helsinki

At the back end of the 7th floor you find a long terrace with tables and chairs from where you can overlook Tuomiokirkko and many more of the so famous neoclassical buildings around and behind Senaatintori.

roof terrace at the University Library Helsinki

The terrace is open for everyone. But please pay attention not to disturb the students. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Ullanlinnanmäki in June

The sun is up long, the trees are green and the summer is here. It has been a bit chilly the last days but the temperatures expected to rise again for Juhannus.

Ullanlinnanmäki in June

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

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Save at the season sales

The season sales are about to start. At some places like Stockmann they already began on Friday. Many more shops in Helsinki and the whole country will follow during the next days. With discounts of often 40 to 50 % you can save quite a bit of money.

Sale at Stockmann

So if you were anyway planning on doing a shopping tour now is the best time.  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Not too late to get a taste

In case you haven’t been to Taste of Helsinki yet there are still three sessions this weekend (Saturday at 11:00 and 17:00, Sunday at 11:00). Tickets are still available online or at the entrance.

Unfortunately it is basically impossible to try everything. Here are some recommendations:


GREEN SHELL MUSSELS & YUZU yuzu-lemon dressing, seaweed caviar (Gaijin)

”EARTHQUAKE” – Organic egg 64,7°C with mushroom toffee (Luomu)

Main Dishes:

PORK BELLY YAKINIKU grilled pork belly marinated with sweet soy, Japanese watercress (Gaijin)

NECK OF WILD BOAR with false morel pie and sauce of raspberry leaves (Juuri)

ROASTED WHITE CHOCOLATE, strawberries with lemon verbena sherbet (Smör)

SALT-CARAMEL CAKE with pine fudge and rhubarb (Juuri)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Make your own Magnum

Till the end of June Magnum has a pop-up store at Vanha Ylioppistotalo. Here you can create your very own Super Magnum.

Make your own Magnum at Vanha Ylioppilastalo

First choose between dark and white chocolate as a coating for your ice cream. Then you can choose three out of a whole bunch of crazy toppings like dried strawberries, chili flakes, mini marshmallows, candies ginger, chopped macadamia nuts and much much more.

After giving the chocolate some time to dry you can enjoy your creation. You get your own Magnum with three toppings for 4 €.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What was your best Helsinki Day experience?

I hope the weather didn’t scare you away and you all anyway attended some of the many events that took place at yesterday’s Helsinki Day. What was your best experience?

Dinner under the Helsinki sky on Pohjoisesplanadi

Was it maybe the huge picnic on Pohjoisesplanadi in the evening? A concert? An exhibition? Or something else?

Leave a comment how you liked the Helsinki Day 2013 (despite the weather of course)!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Street Photography – Shanghai vs. Helsinki

As part of Helsinki Day the photo exhibition Helsinki Street + Shanghai Coca will be opened today. It presents the people and lives of Helsinki on the one and Shanghai on the other hand.

picture by Yin Zi
The pictures from Shanghai come from photographer Coca Dai who lives and works in the city. His works have been shown at several prominent photography festivals around China. All the pictures from Helsinki have been made by the photographers of

The official opening will be at 14:00. “Street Photography – Shanghai vs. Helsinki” will be the topic of the discussion starting at 18:00 with the photographers. The exhibition at Magito Studio is open for the public free of charge till August 3.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Helsinki!

Tomorrow the whole city celebrates. Not just in the city but in many areas in Helsinki there will be something happening. So don’t miss this important day.

Radio Aalto Helsinki Day concert 2012

The Helsinki Day starts traditionally at 9:00 in the courtyard of the City Hall where the Mayor Jussi Pajunen will hold a speech, followed by some live music. During the day countless events will take place all over the city. One of the highlights will be the free Helsinki Day concert by Radio Aalto at Kaisaniemi starting at 15:00 with performances by Anna Puu, Haloo Helsinki!, Sunrise Avenue and many more. All of tomorrow’s events are listed on theofficial website.

June 12 was chosen as Helsinki Day since this was the day in 1550 that the Swedish King Gustav I founded the city at the mouth of Vantaa River. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Best frozen yogurt in town

Several places in Helsinki have frozen yogurt. But if you want to have the real good stuff you should visit Yobot in Töölö.

Yobot in Töölö

Not just can you choose between natural and flavored frozen yogurt, it also tastes way better than anywhere else. And not to speak of the toppings. I bet you there is no other place in the city with such a huge variety of candies, fruits, sauces, sprinkles, crumbles and more.

frozen yogurt topings at Yobot

Yobot has self service. Just mix however you like and pay later by weight. Instead of frozen yogurt you can also try their amazing smoothies.

So drop by, the weather is perfect for it. Or keep your eyes open for their new Yobot-Cycle selling 5€ froyo portions in town.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

After midnight

The nights are bright around this time of the year in Finland. And it's still getting brighter during the next days.

Helsinki around midnight in June

I took this picture a few minutes after midnight last night.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A smoothie with a perfect view

Senaatintori has probably the most impressive scenery in Helsinki. And if you want to enjoy it over a cup of coffee or a whole meal there are several options. Most of them are not that cheap though.

smoothie in the CIAO Café at Senaatintori

But there is a café a bit hidden that can offer you the same beautiful view even with a small budget. The CIAO! Caffe (part of a chain) is located in the second floor of Kiseleffintalo. Get one of their delicious smoothies, some Italian ice cream or just a normal cappuccino and look over Tuomiokirkko and the whole square.

Friday, June 7, 2013

More space at Skiffer

Skiffer on Liuskaluota is one of the must-go places in Helsinki during the summer. They have the best pizza and one of the top summer terraces in the city. And since this year their terrace got bigger.

Liuska and wine at Skiffer

Anyway I highly recommend coming their early if you want to get a table. Be there around five if you want to have dinner at Skiffer.

terrace at Skiffer on Liuskaluota

Skiffer is open from Tuesday to Thursday between 12:00 and 21:00, Fridays and Saturdays from 12:00 till 22:00 and on Sundays from 12:00 till 19:00. For more information on the place read the HelsinkiIn review or check out Skiffer’s website.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Humans of Helsinki

In 2010 the photographer Brandon Stanton began a fascinating project. He started taking pictures of people in his home city New York. Together with a small story about them he posted them on his blog Humans of New York. The website became a big hit in no time.

The idea spread and was adapted in cities all over the world. And so a group of enthusiastic photographers also started Helsinki’s version of this wonderful project. The twelve photographers contribute to Humans of Helsinki almost daily.

Check it out, click though the portraits and get to know the humans of Helsinki.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Along the waterfront of Espoo

What could be better at this time of the year than enjoying this marvelous weather close to the sea? A perfect opportunity for a walk or a cycling tour along the shore offers Espoo. The Espoo Waterfront Walkway stretches over 40 kilometers from Laajalahti till Saunalahti. The whole way is signposted to always keep you on track. Along the way you pass parks, boat harbors and swimming beaches. And several cafés and restaurants invite cyclists and walkers for a break in between.

Espoo Waterfront Walkway

Explore new beautiful bays and beaches and breath in the fresh sea air at the waterfront of Espoo.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Taste of Helsinki

Imagine picking your own dream menu with dishes from the best restaurants in Helsinki. That is exactly what Taste of Helsinki is about. It is the largest gourmet and wine festival in Finland and takes place from June 13 till 16.

Top restaurants like Demo, Gajin, Juuri and many more offer each three signature dishes. It’s up to you to combine them the way you like.

You can book a certain session (lunch or dinner) for one of the days. With special coupons (markka) you can then buy the different dishes. Tickets for the event are for sale online or at the gate. Better get your ticket in advance though.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Beach terrace at Mattolaituri

Mattolaituri has a gorgeous terrace and is one of the places to go in Helsinki during the summer. For this season they extended their terrace with a sandy beach area and some comfortable beach chairs. Here you can enjoy the beautiful view over the small islands with a refreshing drink in your hand.

new beach chairs at Mattolaituri

Have a relaxing sunny Sunday!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A city of sea and islands

Finland is the land of a thousand lakes. All together there are around 188 000 of them in the whole country. Surprisingly enough in Helsinki itself we barely find any sweet water except for a few ponds. Most of the water you can see in Helsinki is actually the sea. Even what appears to be a lake like Töölön Lahti (on the picture) is in fact just a bay.


But Finland is also called the land of a thousand islands (179 000 to be correct). And here Helsinki has a lot to put to the table. The Helsinki archipelago consists of around 330 islands. How many of them have you visited already?  

Helsinki archipelago