Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Germans, the invisible foreigners?

Finland is this far away, isolated country up North, right? Well, actually Finland was probably less isolated than you would think. Apart from its neighbors it was also in regular exchange with many German speaking areas and countries.

German Culture Week: the invisible foreigners?

There are a lot of German influences to be found in Finland and especially in Helsinki. The German Culture Week starting this Friday shows that.

In three exhibitions accompanied by several other events it introduces the German culture in Finland, Helsinki as well as German culture in general. More information on the German Culture Week under the motto "The invisible foreigners?" can be found on Facebook and the official website.

All events are free of charge. The exhibitions stay open at the International Culture Center Caisa until October 25.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Finland's neighbors

Finland is often referred to as the country where east meets west. This is due to the geographical location as well as Finland's shared history with its two neighbors Sweden and Russia. And still today both of those countries not only play a role in Finnish politic. They have influenced especially the look of Finland's capital Helsinki.

Quite often you can find remarks or landmarks connected to one of the two. In one spot in town you can even spot both at the same time. And that is at Kauppatori.

The Stone of the Empress and the Embassy of Sweden

As one of the first statues the Stone of the Empress was erected here. It was built in honor of the Russian emperor Nicholas I and his wife Empress Alexandra Feodorovna arrived here when they visited the city in 1833. The engravings are in Latin and translated mean "To the Empress Alexandra on the occasion of Her first visit to the Finnish capital XXIX May X June MDCCCXXXIII". On top of the statue you can see the Russian two-headed eagle who was removed in 1918 when Finland got its independence but was put back in 1971.

Right behind the statue you see the Embassy of Sweden. It was originally built in 1839 and only in the 1920s turned into an embassy. The Swedish architect Torben Grut has the building undergo some heavy changes and designed it to look like the Stockholm palace. The big Swedish flag on top of the building still sometimes makes some cruise ship tourists wonder which city and country they just arrived to.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Light in the underworld Helsinki

It get's dark earlier again these days. That doesn't have to be a bad thing though. Now not only the city lights come back but there is also space for light installations again.

Baana light exhibition

One of them can still be seen today on Baana, the walking and cycling path connecting Ruoholahti with Kansalaispuisto.

"Light in the underworld Helsinki" is light exhibition with several installations along the path. It can be best seen during the evening ours. It is free and open for everyone.

Check it out tonight and have a nice Sunday!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Midnight streetfood

Could there be anything better then a nice street snack after a night out in town? Of course there are tons of small grills all around town. But if you fancy something a bit more tasty and a bit less greasy you should head to the main station.

Apart from the established grills you find food trucks here every night of the week. And among them are some really good ones that you might know from the Helsinki Street Food Carnival already.

Give it a try and have a fun weekend!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Kekkonen's Brew

Urho Kekkonen is a legend in Finland. He was both Prime Minister and President of Finland and through his policy of active neutrality managed to keep Finland's independence from Russia and the opportunity to at the same time keep close ties to the NATO countries in the west.

Keskiolut Kekkonen

Now the Saimaan Juomatehdas brews and sells two new beers in his honor. In collaboration with arki design they created Kekkonen Keskioulut and Juhlaolut. They can be bought from selected supermarkets around Helsinki now.

Give it a try and have a drink in the legendary president's honor.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Good times as Bon Temps

How about trying out a new cafe this week? Maybe with a good afternoon coffee or a nice breakfast before heading to work?

breakfast at Cafe Bon Temps

A beautiful and cozy small place is Cafe Bon Temps in Meilahti on Mannerheimintie. Apart from several small and big, sweet and salty breakfast options they also have a good selection of teas as well as good coffees.

Sit down at one of the wooden tables or sink into one of the pillows on the window sill and relax while looking out onto one of Helsinki's busiest street.

Give it a try and enjoy!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday boat watching

Enjoy today's sunny weather before we have a rainy week ahead. Maybe with a cup of coffee or a walk along the sea. Along Kaivopuisto you can watch the boats pass by before the boat owners slowly start taking them out of the water.

boats at Kaivopuisto

Have a nice and relaxed Sunday!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Hell's Steam

If you don't know where to go tonight and want to try something a bit different from the usual then check out Steam Hellsinki.

Steam Helsinki

The place at Kamppi opposite of Teerenpeli has changed name and concept regularly over the past years but for a couple of months now draws attention as the cities first steampunk bar. And it is definitely worth a visit.

With an eye for details the owners have put a lot of effort into sticking to the steam punk theme. Everything fits perfectly together. The bar over which a huge zeppelin hovers, the steampunk/jazz music, the decoration items in each corner, the waiters' outfits and even the bathrooms.

And if you are into gin then have a look at their extensive gin selection.

Give it a try and enjoy a cool and relaxed evening at Steam Helsinki! There is a coat charge at the entrance of 3 €.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Be prepared for Friday

This week's Friday is going to be a quite extraordinary day. The biggest strike in decades in going to take place throughout the whole country. As a protest against the new government's austerity measures many employees will not show up for work. Schools and daycare centers will shut down, the railway network won't work as well, along with dozens of other industries.

So be prepared and don't rely on public transport and rather reschudel any important appointments to another day.

For more information on the strike stay tunes on YLE News.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Love and Anarchy on screen

Helsinki's most renowned film festival is about to start again. Rakkautta & Anarkiaa takes place for the 28th time this year in the Finnish capital. From September 17 till 28 movies from around the world will be shown in 12 different theaters around town.

Rakkautta & Anarkiaa ticket sales

And you can get your tickets already now. Sales have started and continue at the venues, online as well as at the Rakkautta & Anarkiaa ticket sales in Lasipalatsi.

Get your tickets as soon as they are still available and have a great time on the festival!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sunny weekend

Seems like fall doesn't come to Helsinki just yet. The weather forecast for this weekend looks very promising and a lot of sun and temperatures close to 20 degrees can be expected.

morning sun over the sea at Lehtisaari

Enjoy the weather outside in nature and at the sea and have a great weekend!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Suomi says Welcome

More and more refugees are fleeing their home country to come to Europe for a better life. In all European countries this leads to controversial discussions.

#suomisayswelcome now wants to set a sign to welcome refugees here in Finland. This Saturday starting at 15:00 a big picnic will take place in Kansalaistori with music and speeches. Everyone can join to show their support for an open Finland.

You can find more information on the event on Facebook.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Stockmann or Brooklynn?

Did you pass by the Stockmann Department Store at Aleksanterinkatu/Mannerheimintie during the last two weeks? Then you might have noticed a major change at the building. Almost everything that used to say Stockmann has been changed to the name "Brooklynn".

During September Stockmann is Brooklyn

Did a company with such a long history and important meaning for Helsinki really change it's name? The answer is no. Stockmann is just running a huge campaign with the Brooklynn theme and even went that far to change the name at their main entrance for that time.

The campaign which features the famous borough of New York City with related fashion, food and events will still continue until the end of September. After that everything will go back to normal and Stockmann will get its old signs back.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Check out Finterest

Do you want to know what is going on not only in Helsinki but in the whole country? Maybe you are looking for cultural sights or events, festivals, kids or sports activities. In all those cases you can now check out Finterest.

The rather new website is a perfect website to find information on what is going on around Finland. All activities and events are sorted by area and accessable through a map. You can also easily ad all your favorites to your own list called "my travel plan".

Give it a try and find out what Finland has to offer.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sibelius' trees

Helsinki celebrates the 150th birthday of Jean Sibelius this year. Among many other events and happening throughout the whole year the city of Helsinki introduced the Sibelius tree walk.

Sibelius tree walk

All around town small signs were attached to selected trees. After scanning the QR code with their smartphone visitors can hear music Sibelius dedicated to the specific type of tree.

So keep your eyes open for those signs and let Sibelius share his feelings about the Finnish nature with you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Helsinki's Waterline

Did you know that Helsinki has over 130 km of coastline? Quite impressive, isn't it? Water is basically everywhere here. You can hardly miss it. The sea reaches deep into the city and even Töölönlahti, which looks like a lake is actually sea water.

Veteen piirretty viiva at Laituri

Since water and the sea play such an important role for the cities and its inhabitants there is now an exhibition on Helsinki's waterline at Laituri

Find out more about Helsinki's coast line and what Helsinkians have to say about it. The exhibition still goes on until September 12 and is as always free of charge.