August 23, 2012

10 things to do in Finland & Helsinki - Part Three

It's the day before J.'s wedding and there is just no time to take some pretty outfit pictures. Therefore I give you the final part of my Travel series for Finland. Updates on the wedding outfit and location will come soon!


8. Helsinki shopping

I love shopping in other countries as they often have stores that you can't find in your own country AND nobody else will wear those clothes! I have a couple of favorite places in Helsinki, but of course there are tons of other great locations.

- Hietalahti fleamarket
This fleamarket is so different from German ones. Here, almost everybody tries to sell their used things. At home a lot of stands are held by antique stores and they firstly don't sell clothes and secondly are totally overprized. I always make a great bargain or two at Hietalahti. This year, I found several great necklaces, a real leather bag, a red blazer and a few dishes from Finnish brand Iittala. I probably would have bought more, but my suitcase wouldn't have managed that.


- Aleksanderinkatu
This is one of the main shopping streets in the center of Helsinki. It holds stores like Lindex, Seppälä, My o My, Vila and other that I really like. The prizes are quite similar to German stores, but of course high fashion brands like Mullberry and Louis Vuitton can be found just one street away on the Promenade Esplanadi.

- Shopping Malls Forum and Kamppi
They also hold the usual suspects like Aleksanterinkatu, but I prefer the stores there a bit. Closer together and some just seem to have a bigger selection. Forum is my favorite, as it also has a Gina Tricot, Indiska and my favorite, the Moomin store. I am in love with those little creatures and just started collecting the beautiful mugs that are sold by the Finnish company Arabia.


- Stores in the design district
Finland is the world design capital of 2012, but they already started putting a focus on design several years back. Up and coming artists and designers are supported and all around the center of Helsinki, stores carry products by these new brands. It is definitely worth a try. I have discovered several new brands that have awesome designs. 

- old market halls at the harbour and in Hakaniemi


Those are old market halls from the last centuries and the stores still look like from those old times. They sell traditional food, fresh fish, reindeer and elk meat, souvenirs and also small restaurants can be found inside. It is worth a visit for some more traditional gifts and really good food. The prices are quite high, but the stores are great for "window shopping" as well.

9. Take a daytrip to Tallinn

Or visit Sweden, St.Petersburg or else with the ferry. Helsinki (as well as Turku) have several cruise lines that go regularly to all those destinations. Even Riga or Germany can be reached by boat. In the summer the express cruises go even faster and you can reach for example Tallinn in 2hrs. 


We took a day cruise with Wikingline that takes you there in the morning, gives you 4hrs in Tallinn and then goes back in the evening. We had a great afternoon of sightseeing and really enjoyed this short getaway. I do advice a bit longer tours when you don't know your way around. I had been in Tallinn already and therefore could show Mr.B quite a lot of sights, but otherwise the time is not enough to do a lot. But maybe a weekend trip would be nice!

10. Finnish nightlife

There is a lot to do in Helsinki, even though the locals would probably say otherwise. I really like the bars and restaurants in Helsinki and can only recommend places like the Irish Pub Molly Mallones. I have enjoyed clubbing in recent years, but my tastes have changed, therefore I cannot talk much about the clubs. I prefer a nice bar like Belge or would go for a night of dancing at one of the local dance pavillons for a traditional lavatanssit. I definitely think everybody should try a karaoke night while being in Finland. Especially on the cruise ships, karaoke and dancing old-fashioned Finnish tango are the two things that should be done. (Ps: I read this in the book "Die spinnen, die Finnen" written by my professor from my Erasmus semester in Tampere. He moved to Finland and has written a book about his journey to becoming a true Finn!)

These were my 10 things that one should do during a visit to Finland. You can also re-read part one and two. I hope you liked it and please let me know, if you could use those tips or have any other great recommendations.


Frlklein said...

Das ist ja schön! Nach Helsinki möchte ich auch unbedingt mal!
Ein schönes Wochenende,
alles liebe

AHeartandSoulStory said...

Helsinki kann ich nur empfehlen. Es ist wirklich eine Reise wert und so anders als zum Beispiel Dänemark oder Schweden. Es hat noch einmal einen ganz eigenen Flair!

Laila said...

I'm just planning my trip to Helsinki at the moment and read all 3 of your posts - thank you, they have been a big help! Lovely pictues too :) xx

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