Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas in the city

Today it's worth paying a visit to the center of Helsinki. There are lots of Christmas events going around town.

marrimekko Christmas stage being built

Visit e.g. the marrimekko Christmas stage on Mikonkatu to watch one of their Christmas shows. Performances will be on stage the whole day through.

Or come to Kamppi Kaupakeskus and enjoy live music from Lenni-Kalle Taipala at 14:20 and 15:10. At 14:00 a 500 people choir will sing Christmas songs. And of course don't miss the fireworks at 16:30. To see the full program for today and tomorrow at Kamppi visit their website.

Also the Christmas Bazaar mentioned on HelsinkiIn yesterday will be open the whole day through.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Weihnachtsbasar at the German School

The German Weihnachtsmarkt is famous all over the world. To get a little bit of this feeling you should come to the German School right in the center of Helsinki this Saturday.

Christmas Bazaar at the German School in Helsinki

From 10 to 17.00 the gates are open for everyone and the school turns into a Christmas bazaar offering everything that belongs to a proper German Christmas. Sip some Glühwein and have some of the delicious Christmas cookies. Or look for some traditional German Christmas decoration. Listen to German Christmas songs and enjoy the atmosphere.

Have a nice and Christmassy weekend!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The last boats

Now the harbors in and around Helsinki are empty again. Most boats have been lifted out of the water for the winter. When the ice is gone in spring they come back. Really few anyway still have their vessels in the water. But that will also just take another few days. 

last boats in the water

So far the weather has not been that cold yet for November. Let's see what December brings.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Little Saturday

Why is the working week just so much longer than the weekend? Why couldn't the weekdays be shared a bit more equally? The Finns also saw this problem and found a solution for it. They just divided the working week in half and invented the small Saturday.

Iso Roba on Wednesday night

Wednesday is the so called Pikkulauantai. Meaning that if there is a day during the week where you would go out for drinks or partying it would usually be Wednesday night.

Walking through the streets of Helsinki on a Wednesday evening you will realize that there are way more people on the street than normally. Especially among students this is quite popular and a good excuse to go for a drink in the middle of the week.

So why not have a Pikkulauantai drink yourself today? To find suggestions for a nice place to go click here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Stockmann's Christmas window

It's a sign that the Christmas season has started. The Stockmann Christmas window is open. Especially among children it is extremely popular. On the corner of Keskuskatu and Aleksanterinkatu a winter wonderland with moving plush animals and music is awaiting anyway who wants to get into the Christmas mood.

Stockmann Christmas window

This year there is also an additional Lego Christmas window.

This year's additional Lego window

Take a look! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Christmas lights are back

In a big celebration on Senaatintori the Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu where illuminated yesterday. The highlight - especially for kids - was the big Christmas parade through the city. The big star of the event was of course Joulupukki (Santa Claus) who also joined the parade with his sleigh.

Waiting for the Christmas parade

Christmas dogs

illuminated dresses at the Christmas parade

Joulupukki on his sleigh

the Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu

The lights on Aleksanterinkatu make the city look very Christmassy already. Come and take a look!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunrise over Helsinki

The sun is shining today. Enjoy the beautiful day for a nice Sunday walk. But don't forget to wear warm clothes. The temperatures are close to 0°C today.

sunrise over Helsinki

Have a nice Sunday!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

All you need for brunch

Aren't weekends a great thing? And what could be better on a Saturday or Sunday morning than a late brunch with loads of delicious food?

brunch at Flada 13

One really nice place for brunch can be found right in the center on Kalevankatu called Flada 13. Brunch is served here Saturdays and Sundays from 10 till 16:00. And you will find everything you wish for here. A big buffet with several different salads, a big variety of bread, cheese, ham, fruits and loads of other stuff. Included in the brunch is also an omelette with toppings and fillings of your choice like bacon, peppers, cheese, chili and even rips.

What about some freshly baked waffles as a desert after that? And maybe some home made cake as well?

One more great thing about Flada is that it's relatively small and provides a cozy atmosphere. Since space is limited you should order a table in advance though. Brunch is 22 € per person.

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, November 22, 2013

A drink by the fire

You want to check out something new in Helsinki this weekend? If you are a fan of modern design and lounge style you should visit the bar at Hotel Haven by the sea.

fireplace at Bar Haven

Bar Haven is a really nice stylish hangout where you will always still find a free table or sofa. Even during the busy pikkujoulu weekends there is always enough space.

And they have quite and amazing selection of drinks. You can find big varieties among spirits and wines.

Bar Haven is an upper price location but definitely worth visiting at least for one drink. So make yourself comfortable next to the fireplace and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Always order from the bar

Especially among visitors and tourists I still see it quite often that they sit down in a pub or bar and wait for the waiter to take their order. Sometimes they might be lucky but in most cases they will just wait in vain.

Order from the bar

In Finland it's not really common to serve drinks to the table. You'll have to get whatever you want from the bar yourself. If the order takes a while to prepare like a cocktail or so the bartender might be kind enough to bring you the drink later.

For those of you who haven't been to Finland before this might be good to know. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A coffee with Alvar

Yes, it really still exists. Café Aalto at Akateeminen is still where it used to be. And the Starbucks downstairs doesn't change anything about it. 

Café Aalto at Akateeminen

Probably the rumors of them closing even got them a boost of customers. Last weekend the place was packed.

And it is a nice place in general. You can feel the spirit of Alvar Aalto who gave the place its name. They have a nice and wide selection of cakes and tarts. Prices are at the higher end though. You could easily find something cheaper in the center. But the atmosphere of Finnish Funkis style and being surrounded by books has something to it.

Check it out!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

One year Esplanadi in one picture

Last year I took one picture of Esplanadi every month. The result was twelve quite different looking pictures showing the change of the seasons in Helsinki.

hugovk made the effort to put them all in one picture. Had to share that with the rest of you oft course.

Esplanadi once per month for one year

For more cool pictures - especially the season change strip from Naurissalmi - check out his Flickr page.

Thanks a lot, Hugo!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ullanlinnanmäki in November

It's November but it doesn't feel like it. Sure there is the occasional rain here and there but over all the weather is still really nice with a lot of sun and mild temperatures. No thick winter jackets needed so far.

Ullanlinnanmäki in November

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

Sunday, November 17, 2013

News in English on Yle TV

Did you know that you can watch news from Finland in English every day? The English news desk at Yle broadcasts daily on Yle TV. 

Yle News on TV

Yle News air from Monday to Sunday at 15:05 on Yle 1. It's a great way to catch up with what's happening in Finland at the moment.

You can also watch the latest Yle News broardcast at any time on their website.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pop-up restaurants and chocolate

Today is the last Restaurant Day of this year. Hundreds of small restaurants, cafes, bars and food stands pop up everywhere in the world again. And as always the highest density and variety of pop-ups can be found in Helsinki with over 200 participating restaurants just in the center and over 400 in the whole capital region. To find what you are looking for visit the Restaurant Day website and make a list of your favorites. Or download the app to your smartphone and find the restaurants on the move.

Ravintola Päivä turns living rooms into restaurants for a day

But for the chocolate lovers among you there is another event that you shouldn't miss for the world. At Wanha Satama in Katajanokka it's all about chocolate today at the Suklaafestivaalit. For the fourth time chocolate vendors from around Finland come here to present their products. For 13 Euro entrance fee you can learn more about chocolate and of course taste it.

Whatever you decide to do today, have a great weekend and enjoy!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Progress at Keskuskatu

The construction work on the pavement of Keskuskatu is already going on for a while. The street slowly takes its new shape already though.

construction work on Keskuskatu

Big parts of the pavement are already done. Like Aleksanterinkatu also Keskuskatu will get underground heating so that ice and snow will melt right away during the winter.

It seems likely that the street will be ready for use again before the winter comes.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Starbucks is open

Yesterday the first Starbucks in the city center of Helsinki opened on the first floor of Akateeminen Bookstore. Long time the windows have been taped close. The opening day was a well kept secret and expected much earlier already.

Starbucks in Helsinki

Contrary to assumptions the traditional Café Aalto doesn’t close but will stay at its current location on the second floor.

The whole Akateeminen Bookstore underwent major renovations while still preventing its characteristic Aalto style.

So no matter if you are a Starbucks fan or not there is something new to check out at Akateeminen for everyone.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

SLUSH 2013

Every year start-ups from Finland, the Nordics and whole Europe meet in Helsinki for the two day SLUSH event.

SLUSH 2013

This year’s event is as big as never before and starts today at Kaapelitehdas. On five stages pitches, interviews, discussions and presentations will be held from morning till late afternoon. The program can be seen online.

Unfortunately tickets are already sold out. But if you are interested in following some of the program don’t worry. You can follow the whole event online via live stream.

Check it out! It’s worth it!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Christmas is on its way

The first Christmas decoration arrives in Helsinki.

First Christmas decoration in Helsinki

Yesterday the the red Christmas balls at Kamppi were put up.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sweet delights from Teemu and Markus

Some of you might already know Patisserie Teemu & Markus . This wonderful small bakery used to be at Kiseleffin Talo. A few weeks ago they reopened at Yriönkatu right opposite of Hotel Torni.

Patisserie Teemu & Markus

Patisserie Teemu & Markus has a small small but amazing selection of cakes, tarts and other tasty pastries. Try their wonderful macarons. Or go for a Finnish classic. I highly recommend the voisilmä pulla. They are probably the best in town.

This patisserie is open from Tuesday to Saturday and is always worth a visit. Drop by or check out their website to check out their sweet treats online.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hyvää isänpäivää!

Happy Father's Day! From time to time the sun should show itself today. Why not have a nice walk through the nature with the whole family?

sun over the Black Lake at Nuuksio

Have a nice Sunday!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Hyvä Helsinki at Design Forum Finland

The Design Forum Finland just started its campaign Hyvä Helsinki/Awesome Helsinki. The Design Forum is without doubt one of the best places to look for Finnish design in the city. And with their shop-in-shop campaign they feature several great design companies from throughout the city.

Hyvä Helsinki campaign at Design Forum Helsinki

Till February 1 you will find everything from fashion to furniture, from interior items to textiles. Featured brands are Costo, Diohel, Kauniste, Mifuko, Trash Factory, Uusix workshops and Woodnotes.

The Design Forum is always worth a visit. But especially during the following four months. Check it out!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sunday is Father’s Day

This Sunday is Father’s Day in Finland. Have you already gotten a present for your father or husband? He’ll appreciate it.

something for dad

You still have two days time to find some nice present. Many shops and stores have special Father’s Day offers and specials.

Good luck finding something and have a nice weekend!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Red Nose Day in Helsinki

As part of the Red Nose Day (Nenä Päivä /Näs Dagen) the Swedish speaking radio channel YLE X3M still broadcasts live today and tomorrow from Kamppi Kauppakeskus from 9 till 18:00. Drop by and take a look at how radio is done. And help donate for the good cause. 

YLE X3M at Kamppi

Tomorrow evening at 19:10 the big Red Nose Day gala will be broadcast live at YLE 2 TV.
For more information on the Red Nose Day check out the official website.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jazz by the sea

What about some fine Jazz and accompanied with some delicious food and all that right at the shore? During their Jazz Syksy 2013 Café Ursula at Kaivopuisto organizes still another three jazz evenings this year.

Jazz Syksy 2013 at Café Ursula

One of them will take place today. Tickets are quite pricy with 57 € per person but include a three course menu and some excellent jazz music. To check out the program and the menus served take a look at Café Ursula’s website. You can reserve tickets via phone or e-mail.

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Books for free

You forgot to take something to read for your upcoming bus ride or for your metro trip? No worries. You don’t even have to buy a new book at the store. Just grab a one for free at the book shelf of Kampin Suutari shoemaker shop at the entrance to the long distance buses.

book shelf at Kamppi Kauppakeskus

The shelf contains all kinds of second hand books coming from the recycling center and is being refilled regularly. You can find books in Finnish, Swedish and English. The shelf is accessible anytime even if the shoemaker and everything else at Kamppi Kauppakeskus is closed.

Check it out! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

First Christmas shopping

I know it’s still a while until Christmas. But better be early with you preparation than having to run through the city to find the last roll of wrapping paper on December 23. And if you are in Helsinki as a tourist you probably want to bring back something from your trip to Finland – the country where Santa Claus lives.

Christmas department at Stockmann

No matter if you are searching for some nice christmasy souvenir or just want to get the first decoration for your home you should head to the Argos Hall on the fifth floor of Stockmann in Helsinki. A whole Christmas world is awaiting you here with lots of beautiful Finnish Christmas products. You also find Christmas candy and pastry here.

And believe me, after spending a few minutes here you will be in the Christmas mood for the first time this year.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Another foggy day

It's another foggy day in Helsinki. But that's of course no reason not to go for a walk through the nature.

fog in Pihlajasaari

Have a nice Sunday!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Belated All Saints'

Today the Finns celebrate All Saints’ Day by visiting the graves of loved family members and leaving a candle. Most shops are closed today. But wait a second, you might say. Isn't All Saints' always on November 1 and not 2?

Well, already in 1955 Finland decided to move the holiday to the Saturday between October 31 and November 6. At that time this was actually quite convenient for people since Saturday was still a regular working day. That way people had a long weekend. Nowadays it doesn't really help us much though. Except for the ones working in shops and supermarkets of course. But tomorrow on Sunday most businesses will be open again.

If you urgently need some groceries you will find most small supermarkets such as Alepa, Siwa and K-Extra as well as K-Market in Kamppi Kauppakeskus open even today.

Also keep in mind that for public transport the Sunday timetable applies today.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Electronics and more at Messukeskus

Do you already have plans for the weekend? If you are interested in electronics, games, photography, filming and entertainment you should head to the DigiExpo at Helsingin Messukeskus. From Friday till Sunday Finnish and international companies present their new products there.

DigiExpo 2013

The entrance to DigiExpo is 16€ per day. The ticket also includes the entrance to the four other fairs taking place at the same time at Messukeskus: HIFIExpo, SkiExpo, board expo and Lätkä Säbä Expo.

Check it out and have a nice weekend!