Saturday, May 31, 2014


VisitHelsinki, the tourist board of the city, has launched its new service HELYEAH. It is a pretty cool website with a great design and layout that gives you a great opportunity to explore Helsinki.

the new HELYEAH wesite

HELYEAH doesn't just have general information about the city but you can also find out what is going on at the moment. Maybe there is a cool free concert tonight that you shouldn't miss. Or there is a big event coming up you haven't heard about so far.

HELYEAH is also full of nice pictures and well made videos about the city. And it is well integrated with several social media channels which gives you the chance to interact with others and find out what people are talking about.

Check it out!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Excellence at EMO

Are you searching for a really good, stylish restaurant with amazing food and nice service? Then check out EMO in Kasarmikatu.

Restaurant EMO

This relatively new place just around the corner from Esplanadi is the perfect place for a wonderful dinner experience. EMO has a really short menu of all together ten courses. But they are all fantastic. 

Appetizer at EMO

I highly suggest, if you are two then get the ten course menu and share it. This way you get to experience everything EMO has to offer. Go on a journey through the best the European kitchen has to offer.

EMO has an eye for decoration also on the plate

Btw. all the ingredients used at EMO come from small producers and farms around Europe.

all ingredients come from small farms and producers around Europe

And of course don't miss out on the wonderful wines they have. The list is long and the selection really good. Get some recommendations from the staff.

dessert with a cup of coffee

You can also come to EMO just for the wine. Next to their restaurant they also have a nice and cozy wine bar that even offers some delicious EMO snacks.

Enjoy your evening!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Seurasaarenselkä in May

Now the leaves are on the trees. This May has been exceptional though. Starting of with some hail the temperatures rose up to almost 30 degrees to then drop again this week to about 10 (this picture was taken on Monday, when it was still warm). Let's see what the summer brings.

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

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Here is #HappyInHelsinki

It's ready. The Happy in Helsinki video. Many thanks to Stephen Penny and Chris Denholm!

For more information on the whole project and possible continuations read the full post from Stephen's blog.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Coffee or Bear?

There are tons of cafés in the Kallio area. One of the most unique and original is probably the Kulmakahvio though. It is a gay café located at the corner of Karhupuisto and it welcomes of course everyone.

Kulmakahvio in Kallio

The interior is something. The whole place is filled with pictures, postcards and other decoration hanging from the wall or standing on the table. The bright colors give the place a happy and cozy feeling.

Choose your favorite among their long list of great coffees and other hot drinks. And of course get one of their delicious pastries on the side.

Give it a try!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Bright nights

These are the brightest nights of the year. Around this time of the year it doesn't really get dark at all and you can watch wonderful late and very slow sunsets.

late sunset in May

Have a good start into the next week!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Day for Europe

Today is election day. Europe is electing a new European Parliament. And if you are entitled to vote, then don't waste your chance.

And remember that you should decide not only on a party but on a candidate as well. What you will do to cast your vote is write your candidate's number on the ballot paper.

election posters in the center of Helsinki

If you still don't really know which party is closest to you, check out the EUvox 2014 website to find your perfect match.

Starting from 19:30 tonight YLE 1 will be covering everything around the election including the results.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Get your own Mölkky

Mölkky is one of the greatest outdoor games ever invented. It comes from Finland but its popularity is growing worldwide. To find out more about Mölkky click here.

Mölkky on offer

And if you don't have one yourself yet then now is your perfect opportunity. At Clas Ohlson you can get the game for just below 20 euros at the moment.

Enjoy the summer and of course the Mölkky games!

Friday, May 23, 2014

One big flea market

Tomorrow is Siivouspäivä (Cleaning Day). And that mean that the whole city transforms into a giant flea market.

Siivouspäivä 2013

You always wanted to get rid of that old lamp that just blocks the way in your small basement already for years? Well, this is your chance. Just put it out on the street and sell it. Siivouspäivä is a new tradition in Helsinki and everyone can join.

If you open your own sales spot, make sure to register it on the official website where you can also find more information on the event. That way people can more easily find you. And maybe you also find some neat stuff yourself.

Good luck and have fun!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The World is a Village

The festival time starts in Helsinki. And this weekend the first big city festival takes place in the center. The World Village Festival welcomes guests on Saturday and Sunday at Kaisaniemi Park and Rautatientori.

World Village Festival in Helsinki

The program is long and there are tons of things to do and see. You find everything from workshops, interviews, theater and artistic performances, presentations, a poetry bus, over 450 exhibitor stands and of course lots and lots of great music from around the world.

All day time events are free of charge. For more information on the World Village Festival click on their website.

Have fun!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Beautiful May sunsets

The sun sets quite late and very slow around this time of the year. That give the opportunity to watch beautiful sunsets with breathtaking colors in the sky over Helsinki.

sunset over Lauttasaari

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sandwich at StreetGastro

It is amazing how well a sandwich can taste if it's well made. And the guys at StreetGastro now that really well. At three different locations around Helsinki they sell their "premium street food" as they call it. And that is no exaggeration.

StreetGastro on Vaasankatu

StreetGastro focuses purely on sandwiches. In fact they only have four different kinds on their menu: Possu (pork), Kana (chicken), Härkä (beef) and Vege (vegetarian). And you can't make a wrong choice. All of them are really good. With a delicious bread and lots of fresh lettuce and vegetables they these sandwiches make for an excellent snack and even a decent lunch.

More information on StreetGasto, their locations, opening times and menu can be found from their website.


Monday, May 19, 2014

The hidden Stockmann Outlet

It seems as if it disappeared. The Stockmann Outlet that was located at Keskuskatu is not visible anymore. But that doesn't mean it's gone.

new Nespresso shop at Keskuskatu

Just a few weeks ago a new Nespresso shop opened its doors where the outlet used to be. But if you enter the new shop you will find steps leading down to another store. 

Hidden Stockmann Outlet

And that store is the Stockmann Outlet. There is no sign outside giving any hint that you can still find it here. Apparently Stockmann doesn't really want any customers there. But check it out. You might find really good deals here.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sun and rain

The first half of May is over. With a really mixed weather. Sun, rain, wind and even hail and big changes in temperature.

May sky over Töölönlahti

Have a nice Sunday and hopefully a summery second half of May!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Some berries?

The berry stands are back. Now you can get your fresh berries again at several stands around town.

berry stand on Mannerheimintie

So far most of their products still come from Central and South Europe. With the sun shining and warm temperatures there should soon also be the first Finnish products on offer though.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Damn good kebab

Honestly, compared to Central Europe the döner kebab you find in Helsinki is normally not really that good. At least that is what I thought so far. But then a friend introduced me to Döner Harju. And that is really something special, I can tell you.

Döner Harju can't be spotted that easily from outside. Like most of the really good places in Helsinki they don't make any big fuzz about themselves through banners or such outside. But you might quite easily spot them anyway. Just look out for the long queue at the entrance.

queue at Döner Harju

At Döner Harju you have different meat choices that vary depending on what they just decided to put on their big döner sticks. You can then choose between leipä (the take away version) and lautanen (on a plate, if you'd rather have something more and would like to eat there). Whatever you choose, it's great.

They have their own ideas how to make the meat taste a bit more special then the normal boring kebab meat you find in so many other places. With it come fresh, crisp vegetables and salad all wrapped up in a freshly baked ciabatta bread.

Leipä Kebab at Döner Harju

Fancy a bit with that? They have four different Keisari (from the can though) here. A really good choice with the döner and anyway some of the best Finnish beer you can find.

Give it a try and enjoy!

P.S. Thanks to Matwin for suggesting!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Smokin' hot advertisement

In most cases advertisements are just annoying. But sometimes they manage to surprise.

Like at Iso Omena shopping center in Espoo. Here they installed a completely new way to present advertisements. This machine makes smoke fall down vertically onto the escalators and projects the add onto the falling smoke. From afar it looks like a waterfall and it is funny to see people's reaction to it. Check it out if happen to be in the area. You have to take the escalators from the supermarkets down to the parking lot.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Rolls for lunch

Any plans for lunch yet? What about some filled rice paper rolls? The perfect place for that is Rulla. They have a wide selection of rolls with different exciting fillings. Pick a meal of three, four or five rolls accompanied with one of two delicious daily salads. And don't forget the dip for your rolls. Everything here is fresh. And you can taste that. The food is great, really delicious and makes you full without feeling stuffed afterwards. 

lunch at Rulla

The small restaurant in Yrjönkatu is sharing its premises with Nudge. That means that you can not only have a really nice lunch in a cozy atmosphere. You can also find sustainable products from small local shops that sell cosmetics, children's clothing and Finnish design.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Creating the Future

Arkki, the School of Architecture for Children and Youth, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an exhibition on architectural education. The exhibition at Laituri is open free of charge for everyone interested.

Arkki 20 at Laituri

Till the end of May several different projects that the kids at Arkki have worked on are on display ranging from drawings to scale models. Works from all age groups (4 -19) are displayed.

works of Arkki students

Take a look yourself!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hyvää äitienpäivää!

Today is Mother's Day. Don't forget to give her a call or even drop by with some flowers.

Happy Mother's Day

Have a nice Sunday!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Finland for the win

Tonight the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen takes places. Finland sends their contestants into the ring as well.

The Finnish band Softengine competes with their song Something Better for the victory.

You can follow the semifinal live tonight at 22.00 on TV YLE 2 or online on YLE Areena. To find out more about all the contestants and much more about the show visit the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Enjoy the show!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Dinner with a Michelin Star

Ravintola Ask is without a doubt one of the best restaurants in Helsinki. And that is not just according to my humble opinion. The Michelin jury agreed and awarded the small restaurant in Kruunuhaka a Michelin star.

Restaurant Ask in Kruunuhaka

Ask is run by the couple Filip and Linda who together with their staff are doing an amazing job of making your evening an unforgettable experience. 

the menu at Ask

Ask offers a list of eight outstanding dishes and gives you the opportunity to choose four out of them or go for the whole menu. If you have the time (about three to four hours) go for the full experience. You can also choose a wine menu in combination with the food. Single wines are a good choice as well. But in any case ask for their recommendation. All their wines are carefully selected and have their own story.

Greetings from the kitchen

When it comes to the food be prepared to be amazed. The dinner starts of with two small greetings from the kitchen to give you a first hint of what is still awaiting you. 

Perch & Black Radish

At Ask they don't need many words to explain their dishes. The menu doesn't reveal to much. The food here speaks for itself.

Egg & Mushroom

All their ingredients that come from farmers and producers are organic and biodynamic.

Blueberry, Licorice & Sorrel

If you want to experience Ask for yourself don't forget to book a table in advance. The restaurant is quite small. And if you are planning on having all eight courses don't be there too late. It takes a while.

Pancakes & Spruce

Enjoy and have a wonderful time at Ask!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Eurooppa-päivä at Bio Rex

Tomorrow is Europe day. A reason to celebrate. And that is done prominently in the center of Helsinki right at and around Bio Rex.

Europe Day 2012 with Alexander Stubb, Jyrki Katainen and Jutta Urpilainen

An exciting program of discussions, speeches, music and more is awaiting participants. And the event is of course free to join for anyone. Get in contact with candidates for the European Parliament, talk with representatives of countries all around the European Union and welcome the French Foreign Minister in Helsinki.

The full program can be found from the website of the European Commission and lasts from 10 to 15.00.

Join and have a great Europe Day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Punkkibussi on tour

With the spring and the summer the ticks come back to Finland. And they carry a nasty disease called Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). To avoid catching that virus infection you can get a vaccination at any hospital. Or just on the go during your shopping tour.

Punkkibussi in Ruoholahti

And that is because the Punkkibussi is on tour again. This tick bus is a vaccination station on wheels traveling around the capital region. Here you don't need an appointment and can just walk in whenever you spot it and it suits you. To find out when the Punkkibussi is in your area view the timetable. The vaccination costs 45 € for children and 50 € for adults.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Who to vote for

In just a bit over two weeks the election for the European Parliament take place. If you are over 18 and citizen of the European Union you are entitled to vote. But who to vote for? Especially if it is your first election in Finland and you are not familiar at all with the Finnish party landscape.

EUvox 2014

The EUvox 2014 website can help you. No matter what EU country you vote in the system gives you the opportunity to find your best match among the local parties by asking you several questions that you can give your opinion on. And don't worry if you don't speak any English. EUvox always supports English in addition to the local language.

With your result EUvox gives you detailed information on the parties, their opinions and on what matters you agree or disagree with them.

Check it out. And don't forget to vote on May 25!

Monday, May 5, 2014

White Helsinki in May

No, it's not snow. But the weather is quite strange at the moment in Helsinki. During the last days several hailstorms have passed through and made the streets look really winterish. But luckily it is too warm for the small ice drops to stay and they melt away withing minutes.

white Helsinki in May

Unfortunately it seems like we'll have to bare a few more wet and cold days during the upcoming week before it gets warmer again. Have a good start into the week anyway!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Birdwatching with the Finnstick

The birds are coming back to Finland. That's the time that all birdwatchers have been waiting for for months. Now they go out into the nature whenever they find time to watch the homecomers.

But holding up your binoculars for several hours can be quite tiring for the arms. That's why Finns invented a simple device that is now famous among birdwatchers all over the world: the Finnstick.

It is basically just a wooden stick with a small cylindric nose on top that can hold the binoculars. That way you just have to hold the end of the stick. The idea is simple and at the same time genius. You can buy one or also very easily build one yourself.

Enjoy the birdwatching!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Friday, May 2, 2014

Pimp your Finnish for free

You have the feeling that your Finnish could use a little freshen up? The Finnish e-learning company Skilltize offers free conversation lessons (level B1 = intermediate) for several languages right now. You can already enroll for Finnish and German. Spanish, English and Chinese are still to come.

Skilltize website

The class takes place in a virtual classroom in small groups of up to six participants and a teacher. Check it out!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Got your picnic stuff ready?

Today might not be the perfect day for a picnic outside at Kaivopuisto even though it doesn't rain yet. Still that is no reason not to have your traditional Vappu picnic. If it is too cold and unfriendly outside, why don't you just have it inside? With good friends around the perfect picnic can as well also happen on the living room floor.

Vappu picnic

Have a great May 1st and hauskaa vappua!