06 Nov Helsinki!
Mr. Hola here, back at it with some tips and tricks for visiting Helsinki! The Finns are known for their love of sauna and efficiently managing their words and personal space (as illustrated here (source) and here). Last but not least, Finnish culture effectively revolves around Moomins. Understand Moomins and you’ll understand Finns.
Credit: a big thanks to Martta Mäkinen for her assistance with this post!
Finnish is sort of its own thing, sharing commonalities with Estonian and Hungarian. When sounding out words, be sure to pronounce every letter/character. For example, “Suomi” is pronounced: “sue-oh-me” – once you get the pronunciation down, you’ll be all set. You won’t understand any of the words, but you’ll know how to pronounce them :).
Things to do:
Allas Sea Pool
Ever wanted to go from a hot sauna to the nearly-frozen sea? This is where you do that. They also have a normal, heated pool (if you’re into that sort of thing).
Suomenlinna is an island a short boat ride from Helsinki. You’ll need more time for this, but it’s an interesting way to spend a few hours.
Temppeliaukio Church – it’s a church built into a rock! How neat is that?
Food & Drink!
Cafe Talo – a great little coffee shop / bar.
Hagnäs torg – an indoor food market with plenty of options.
Gallery Restaurant Wellamo
Juttutupa – good food and live music.
Kaarna Baari & Keittiö – looking to sample traditional Finnish food? You can do that here with what are effectively “Finnish tapas.”
Kauppahalli (Old Market Hall) – another indoor market.
Pub Thirsty Scholar – aimed a bit more at students, it has a neat medieval cellar atmosphere.
Helsinki has a very good bus and tram system – use the HSL app to buy mobile tickets.
The Helsinki airport has easy transport train and bus between the city. Check out more details here.