Thursday, October 31, 2013

Good morning, light!

A clear sky is awaiting us today. Nothing too common on a fall day in Helsinki.

Enjoy every beam of sunlight you can get during this time of the year and have a nice day!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A real record store

Digelius at Viiskulma is one of the few real record store that can still be found in Helsinki. Here it’s all about the music. Not just CDs but also lots of LPs are lined up in the shelves here and waiting to be listened to. You can find both new and second hand.

Digelius music store

Digelius has a great selection of World and Jazz music. And also has some small treasures like special music books or special CD collections for sale.

LPs and CDs at Digelius

The shop has a long history. And through all this time is has been taken care of by Emu, the guy working here already for 40 years. If you are searching for something special or need some recommendations he’s definitely able to help you.

Drop by and bring some time! It’s a great place!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Something new from 3 Kaveria

The ice cream company 3 Kaveria brought two new delicious flavors to the market.

new 3 Kaveria flavors

After the immense success of their other products they now made Blackcurrant-Orange available. And if you are a fan of really basic flavors you can also now buy their vanilla ice cream in slightly bigger buckets.

To find out where you can get Kolmen Kaverin Jäätelö check out their website.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Fog over the city

These days it can get quite foggy in Helsinki.

fog over Helsinki

During those days this is how Helsinki looks from the sea. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Homemade Pinaattilettu

Pinaattilettu (spinach pancake) is a Finnish specialty. And you can really easily make them by yourself.

homemade pinaattilettu

Here is a simple recipe:

You need:

150 g spinach
2 eggs
5 dl milk
2,5 dl wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
Some black pepper

Boil the spinach just for a few seconds and then cut it in very small pieces (or unfreeze deep-frozen spinach).
Beat the eggs and mix them with the remaining ingredients.
Leave the dough for around 30 min.
Bake the lettu in a normal or a blini pan.

The Pinaattilettu tastes really good with cottage cheese and lingonberry jam or hot butter and cheese.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Shopping at Ainoa

Are you up for some shopping this weekend? Then check out the new shopping center in Espoo at Tapiola. Kauppakeskus Ainoa that just opened this week.

Kauppakeskus Ainoa in Tapiola, Espoo

This weekend they have a lot of program going on. See live music and shows the whole day through. There are also some special offers and a lottery waiting for you.

inside Kauppakeskus Ainoa

So check it out and have a nice weekend!

Friday, October 25, 2013

An Event of Thousand Tales

The Helsinki Book Fair 2013 is open. Around 1000 writers, scientists, artists, opinion leaders and politicians will be on stage and over 700 presentations will be held at 12 different  venues. 

Of course big and small publishing companies will have their stands there as well and provide their own program.

This years guest land is Germany. And many renowned writers like Siegfried Lenz or Wladimir Kaminer will be at the book fair as well.

The event is hosted at the Helsinki Messukeskus. Entrance for adults is 16 €. The fair is still going on till Sunday and is open daily from from 10:00 till 18:00 (Friday till 20:00).

For more information visit the official website.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Helsinki Music Marathon

Today the Helsinki Music Marathon starts today. For the third time now this event is being organized in cooperation with bars and restaurants around Helsinki.

Helsinki Music Marathon 2013

Dozens of bands and singers will perform in seven locations in town during the next three days. The festival will be opened tonight at 19:00 at Sir Eino by Cherry and the Night.

The music varies from rock to funk, pop and blues and much more. And the best thing is: All gigs are for free. So check out the timetable on the Helsinki Music Marathon website and plan your next three evening.

There is a lot to see - and hear of course. So don’t miss it!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Snow in October

While the temperatures in Central Europe are still around 20 degrees Finland already had the first snow.

First snow near Lahti

I took this picture last weekend on the way to Lahti. But even in and around Helsinki the first snow came down already.

During the next days the temperatures rise again to around 10 degrees though.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate

Chjoko in Kruunuhaka is THE place for chocolate lovers. The small shop offers a pretty impressive selection of classic and extraordinary chocolate products. And almost all of it is self-made.

macarons, petit fours and pralines at Chjoko

Try their heavenly pralines, cakes and petit fours. And don’t miss out on their macarons! They are some of the best I ever had.

Of course there is also chocolate ice cream. You’re saying chocolate ice cream is boring? Then you haven’t tried the ones at Chjoko. They have several different versions all based on either white, milk or dark chocolate combined with some spicy or fruity flavors.

Oh, and if you are a real chocolate fan you might want to come to their Saturday ChocolateBrunch where you can try and eat as much as you can for just 16 €.


Monday, October 21, 2013

The Aalto Vase

The so called Savoy Vase from Alvar Aalto is probably one of the most popular Finnish design products of all times. It can be found in almost any Finnish household and is – like most Finnish design products – timeless.

Alvar Aalto's famous Savoy vase

The famous designer Alvar Aalto created it together with his wife Aino Marsio for the luxury Savoy restaurant in Helsinki in 1936. With the vase Aalto also participated in a design competition of then Karhula-Iittala glassworks factory.

Even though the vase is extremely popular till today Aalto never made any money with it since the design was owned by the factory.

If you are searching for a nice souvenir from Finland this is probably one of the most typical gifts you can find. The vase is sold in several different sizes and colors nowadays and can be found from almost any department store or online.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The colors of fall

In fall nature paints the most amazing colors on the trees on on the sky.

Have a nice Sunday!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A walk through Nuuksio

It has gotten colder but it’s still sunny and the fall shows its best side. So how about a walk through Nuuksio Nationalpark this weekend?

Black Lake in Nuuksio

Sure lots of people will have that idea. But even though parking might be a challenge as soon as you get a few hundred meters away from the parking area it is easy to find a path that is completely empty. Check out what kind of route suits you best online or on the signs first.

Haltia Visitors' Center in Nuuksio

You can also visit Nuuksio's brand new visitors’center Haltia with information on the park, an exhibition about Finnish National parks and a restaurant.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Lintsi’s Carnival of Light

Linnanmäki is celebrating the end of the season with the Carnival of Light. Till Sunday thousands of small and big lights illuminate the park till late in the evening.

Carnival of Lights at Linnanmäki

Every night entertainment, special offers (food and snack as well as entrance to Sea Life) and live music from Roope Salminen & Koirat, Saara Aalto and Paula Koivuniemi are awaiting the visitors. And as always the entrance to the park is for free. For more information on the program visit their website.

Don’t miss the Carnival and especially the big fireworks on Sunday at 21:30! 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The budget airport taxi

Taxi rides from and to the airport can be pretty pricy. You can calculate with around 50 € easily if you leave somewhere from the center.

Of course you can take the Finnair bus or line615 instead. But if you want it to be a taxi there is also another option.

Yellow Line Taxi stand at Helsinki Vantaa Airport

With Airport Taxi Yellow Line you can save quite some money on that trip. Depending on your location in Helsinki prices for the ride start from 27.50 €.

For taxi rides the price depends on the amount of passengers and where you want to go in Helsinki. Most of the city lies in zone 1 for which they have a fixed price of 29.50€. For more than two passengers or destinations in wider Espoo the prices are slightly higher.

For more information on rates and on how to book a taxi check out their website.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ullanlinnanmäki in October

Fall is here. And probably the most beautiful in years. The sun shines almost every day and the leaves on the trees show hundreds of different shades of yellow, brown, red and green.

Ullanlinnanmäki in October

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

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Orange juice fresh from the vending machine

Now you can get a big cup of fresh squeezed orange juice any time you like. At Kamppi you can now find an orange juice vending machine by the Italian company Oranfresh. For 3 € the machine squeezes the juice from sun ripe oranges for you. Wait around one minute till the delicious and healthy drink is ready to take away.

Orange juice vending machine at Kamppi Kauppakeskus

The machine can be found inside Kamppi Kauppakeskus next to the entrance to the metro station.


Monday, October 14, 2013

The airport train will come – in 2015

Helsinki-Vantaa is – according to many studies – one of the best airports in Europe. Unfortunately until now you only get there by bus or car. But since 2010 a new train connection from the center is under construction.

The train connection to Helsinki-Vantaa airport will start in 2015

The tracks and the new modern station at the airport were supposed to be ready already next year. Now those plans had to be changed and it was announced that the train connection could be taken into use in July 2015.

You will have to have a little more patience. And in less than two years can use the fast and easy connection straight from the center.

Until then the bus 615, the Finnair bus and taxis get you to the airport.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Golden fall

afternoon sun in Ruoholahti

These days the fall shows its most beautiful side. The sun is shining through the colored leaves on the trees.

golden fall on Pihlajasaari

Go out for a walk and enjoy those wonderful days! Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Happy birthday, Ateneum!

Tomorrow is Ateneum’s birthday. And this occasion of course doesn't go without a big celebration. The renowned museum in Finland that hosts the biggest collections of classical art in Finland starts its special program on Sunday at 11:00. During the whole day the museum is admission free.

Ateneum in Helsinki

Ateneum awaits the visitors with workshops, guided tours, lectures and discussions. For more information check out their website.

Have a nice weekend!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Shopping at Forum

Finally the week is over. Are you planning on doing some shopping? Of course there are still the Hullut Päivät on Saturday and Sunday. But you should also check out the new renovated Forum Kappakeskus.

new upper floor at Forum Kauppakeskus

The upper floor has been completely renewed and amongst new shops many new cafés and restaurants are awaiting you here.

Check it out and have a nice weekend! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Flagging for Aleksis Kivi

The flags are flying again today. Traditionally on October 10 is celebrated as the Day of Finnish literature.

flying flag in Helsinki

Today the Finns honor their National writer Aleksis Kivi who would turn 199 today. Kivi is most famous for his book “Seitsemän veljestä” (The Seven Brothers) which was the first significant novel ever written in Finnish language.

Check out one of my older post for more information on flagging in Finland and subscribe to HelsinkiIn on Twitter to always be informed about the next flag day.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Parking without coins

Everyone knows the situation. After finally finding a parking spot in the center you want to get your ticket and realize you don’t have any small change with you. All the searching was in vain.

easy parking in Helsinki with the ParkMan app

The Finnish company Neligrate came up with a solution for that. With their ParkMan app you can pay your ticket over the phone. After finding your spot you open the app. Confirm your position and the price and start the parking time by sliding the park button. When you come back just slide the park button again and the precise amount will be withdrawn from your credit card.

This system not only works in Helsinki but also in many other cities in Finland, Sweden and Denmark. For more information and to download the app (available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone) visit the ParkMan website.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Stockmann going crazy again

Tomorrow this year’s second Hullut Päivät start again at Stockmann in Helsinki and all their other branches throughout the country.

Hullut Päivät 2013 at Stockmann

As always most offers are just valid for one of the five days. It might make sense to take a look at the catalogue in advance and make a plan when to come to Stockmann during those days. Remember that some products are sold out quite quickly and sometimes it’s recommended to be there already early in the morning to ensure you still get them.

More information on the special offers can be found from the Hullut Päivät website (just in Finnish and Swedish). Hullut Päivät are on till Sunday October 13.

Enjoy the crazy days!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Try something new

SYÖ!-Viikot are on again. And as always that is a great chance to try out places you haven’t been to yet. Till October 17 restaurants in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Porvoo, Tampere and Turku offer selected dishes for just 10 Euro. That way you get to experience location, service, food and atmosphere of places you don’t know yet or haven’t been to in a long time for a reasonable price.

SYÖ!-Viikot October 2013

To find more information on participating restaurants and their offers visit the city magazine website or the official facebook page.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Empty Kamppi

This is how empty Kamppi can be on a Sunday morning. And about some of the few people that stand and sit around you couldn’t even say for sure if they are already or still here.

Sunday morning at Kamppi

In a few hours when the shops open at 12 it will be as busy as usual again.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The home of Gallen-Kallela

Akseli Gallen-Kallela was one of the most famous Finnish painters and is well-known for his illustrations of the Finnish national epic Kalevala.

The Gallen-Kalela museum in Tarvaspää

In 1961 his house and studio in Tarvaspää, Espoo was turned into a museum and opened for the public. Here you can find out more about the painter whose work was extremely important for the Finnish national identity. For an entrance fee of 8 € you can visit the museum that shows not only where Gallen-Kallela lived and worked but also has changing exhibitions. Most of Gallen-Kalela’s famous paintings aren’t on display here though but at Ateneum in the city center. If you take your smart phone with you, you can have a free audio tour through and around the museum.

Also the surrounding area is worth the visit. Stop for a short break at the small café next to the museum and go for a walk around the small island the museum is build on. Tarvaspää is perfect for a nice weekend walk.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Dim Sum and tea

There are hundreds of Chinese restaurants out there. Most of them have quite similar and unspectacular food. But there is something new in town that makes Chinese food something special again.

Dim Sum for lunch at Natural Flavour Tea House

Natural Flavour Tea House in Aikatalo is not just a place to have exotic tea. They also serve Dim Sum (Chinese dumplings). Normally three or four dumplings come together in a small basket and come with different fillings like pork, chicken, shrimp, fish or vegetarian mix. Natural Flavour Tea House is more of a lunch than a dinner place. But the Dim Sum also works well as a snack in between. Especially together with a nice cup of Chinese tea of your choice. Check out their lunch offers. They might be a bit higher than usually in Helsinki but are worth their price.

Check it out and enjoy!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Zoo for free

Tomorrow is Korkeasaaripäivä. That means that during the whole day the entrance to Helsinki’s zoo is free. And that’s not all. Of course also a day filling program is awaiting all visitors. For this special day the zoo also expands its opening times by two hours, welcoming guests till 18:00.

Information on how you get to Korkeasaari best can be found from their website. Don’t miss it!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Manga and a cup of coffee

You love manga comics? Well, then you will love the Manga Café in Kaisaniemi. The whole café follows the manga theme. And of course there are tons of manga comics to read. The whole back wall is covered with a shelf filled with the Japanese comic books.

Manga Café in Kaisaniemi

Real manga fans could probably spend whole days here browsing through comics while enjoying some hot beverage and a sweet treat.

hundreds of comic books at Manga Café Helsinki

A real must for manga enthusiasts! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Time for reflectors again

Today is Heijastinpäivä (reflector day). Time to attach a reflector to your jacket or bag again.

October 1 is Reflector Day

The nights get longer again. The sun rises around 7:30 and sets around 19:00. Since we spend more time in the dark it is a good idea to use a reflector from now on. This way cars can see you much better during the dark morning and evening hours. 51 % of Finns already use one of those small helpers that increased pedestrians’ visibility and safety considerably. They can be real life savers - especially for kids.

You can get them at any supermarket for a few Euros. Sometimes they are even given away for free.