Helsinki Summer Guide

Helsinki in summer and Helsinki in winter are very different from each other. If you have chance to visit the city in those two seasons, it will be as if you have seen two different cities. That’s why I wanted to write summer guide for Helsinki. (Of course, there will be winter guide soon too) In the sense of touring in Helsinki, the classical Helsinki Cathedral and its surrounding streets comes to mind immediately, but actually Helsinki offers more than that. I’ve met lots of people visited the city before saying “Helsinki is a boring city” but to say that has to be a one of the main sins… Here are some suggestions that change your perception about the city.

Food and Drink in Helsinki

Helsinki is one of the cities that started to grow its name in the North recently. The city’s newest Michelin-starred restaurant, Grön, allows you to try delicious dishes prepared with natural and local products at reasonable prices.

 

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The Cock“, open until late at night with the motto “There is a new cock in town”, is a restaurant that you must absolutely pass by in Helsinki since they offer affordable prices and quality food. As a person who lives in Turkey, I always want to try döner kebab in foreign seas. I really enjoyed Harju Doner, which we can call it a hipster döner place where you can eat döner with a Finnish touch. If you also like Vietnamese cuisine like me, you should definitely visit Lie Mi, which is also known as a convenient and innovative restaurant!

Although Helsinki looks like a small city, there are too many options around. For example, Lonna, an old military training site, is an island that can be reached in a short time from the city center by ferry. This island, which has a restaurant and a cafeteria that uses old military buildings, also offers sauna and swimming in the sea. The island also has a very beautiful view of Helsinki. If you are lucky, you can even come to a concert in the island.

Helsinki also has a very developed alcohol culture. Craft bars offers a wide variety of beers, small local bars that produce their own gin. Il Birrificio is one of them. You can spend all your day while trying their tasty beers if you neer Helsinki Design Distict. Also go and chat with locals at Tommyknocker Craft Beer Bar while eating crickets as nuts.

The Helsinki Distilling Company is located in Teurastamo, where old hangars and tiny factories are transformed into a cultural campus today. Go to this area on a sunny Helsinki day and try the Helsinki Distilling Company cocktails. You can also participate in tasting tours if you have booked in advance!

Why join the navy when you can be a pirate“. One of the best names on earth, this place is renowned for its healthy drinks, coffee and co-working spaces during the day. Cocktails at night! If you are hungry, there is a very nice and healthy food menu.

 

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Trillby & Chadwick Detective Branch … This is one of the best secret bars in Europe. To get in, you need to go to Katariinankatu 1, pick up the vintage phone behind an old door and talk to Detective Trillby. Only if there is room inside, you are accepted.

The Best Helsinki Coffee Shops

As Finland is the most coffee-drinking country in the world, it is possible to find many fine coffee shops in Helsinki. For example, Good Life Coffee is one of the best coffee shops that you can find in the city (Actually it is really hard to find a bad one). Ihana Kahvila is one of the most interesting cafes with its unusual location. I will talk a bit more in detail about the area, but this is a region that will be subject to Nordic-noir series. In fact, Johan & Nyström from neighboring Sweden is also offers really good coffee & coffee workshops with a warm and minimalist decor.

 

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Things to see / to do in Helsinki

Sompasauna

There are more than one sauna in Finland for every two people. For that reason, whatever season it is, you should definitely go to the saunas. Sompasauna, referred to as the “Ghetto” sauna, is maintained by volunteers. The sauna allows you to experience sauna culture with a twist. Samposauna, which is open 7/24, is located at one end of the city, near abondaned ships, among construction cranes. Although it looks like a desolate and frightening area while walking, a nice crowd welcomes you when you are in the area. Here you can go into the sauna and go right into the sea. Also Ihana Kahvila mentioned above is near here. There is also a very beautiful graffiti wall 800 meters long in the district.

Photo: Saunakulttuur

Amos Rex

Amos Rex, which is now hosted by a newly restored building in contemporary architecutre style*, built during the Second World War,, draws attention with its architecture and exhibitions. You should visit Helsinki even if there is only Amos Rex to visit. For the opening exhibition of Amos Rex, which is open towards the end of August 2018, teamLab exhibition that combines light games and artificial intelligence, is truly worth seeing.

Photo: Amos Rex – teamLab exhibition

Flow Festival

If possible, try to match your trip with the amazing Flow Festival, which is one of the best festivals in Helsinki and even in Northern Europe. So you can experience one of the best festival of your life at evenings, while daytime exploring Helsinki. For more information about the festival, you can read our previous article here.

Fotoğraf: Flow Festival (C) Samuli Pentti
Photo: Flow Festival (C) Samuli Pentti

Segway Tour

The Segway tour, which provides a quick tour of Helsinki, is really well planned. Driving segways is so simple, providing local guides to navigate the city’s worthy highlights in an easy and fun way! You can click here to learn more about the tour.

 

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Löyly

Löyly, which people call as “Sauna Renaissance”, is a place that combines architecture, sauna experience/ restaurant and sea fourtet* just outside the city. If you have time in Helsinki, you should visit Löyly which is co-owned by the Haftdan / Jasper Pääkkönen from the the tv-series Vikings.

Photo: Kuvio

Helsinki Nightlife

Even though it seems like a calm city, Helsinki night life is really unique and fun. Kaiku, renowned for its three separate dance rooms, bars and its garden, is one of Helsinki’s most popular venues in recent times. The venue is so special that in 2016 the Estonian President was one of the DJ’s here for a night 🙂 Ääniwalli, also a nightclub among industrial buildings, though a bit far from the city center, is one of the nightlife’s attractions that you should give it a try..