East meets west with spectacular views over Helsinki. Russian and Finnish are the most widely heard languages in this exotic venue which served as the Russian headquarters during the latter part of the Second World War. As the tallest building in Helsinki from 1931-1976 it has been the scene of intrigue that shaped the recent history and politics of northeastern Europe. An unforgettable and atmospheric location.
This is your last chance to see Helsinki, the 2012 World Design Capital, before the snow arrives. Explore the fascinating Design District (www.designdistrict.fi), including the Design Museum’s new ‘The Home – A space and a state of mind’ exhibition (www.designmuseum.fi). Visit Kiasma, the museum of contemporary art (www.kiasma.fi), to see Kaija Papu’s life-size knitted police car. Rest your legs in Alvar Aalto’s Finlandia Hall cafe or spend a quiet moment in the stunning wooden award-winning Kamppi Chapel of Silence. If you fancy seeing some older Finnish architecture while enjoying the trees in their autumn colours, the Seurasaari open-air museum (www.visithelsinki.fi/en/see-and-experience/sights-and-attractions/seurasaari-open-air-museum) is the perfect place to spend a bright autumn afternoon. For evening entertainment, take advantage of the Finnish National Opera’s low prices (as little as 14 euros) and enjoy The Magic Flute, Don Carlos or Tosca (www.opera.fi).
This is a small seafood restaurant on the western side of Helsinki. It has plenty of seafaring memorabilia on the walls.
Head along Bulevarden and at the end of the road it is to the right facing the water.
The pricing was decent and the food was delicious.
This record shop is on the same road as the Rock Church and has a good selection of vinyl and CDs, including a metal section. The staff were helpful in pointing out Finnish bands and there is a section of the shop where you can listen to records or CDs to see if you like them, complete with a comfy chair.
A viking-themed restaurant tucked away in a small shopping corridor opposite Stockmann, Harald is a bit pricey but worth the money. (Most restaurants in Helsinki tend to be a bit more expensive.)
The staff were nice and the atmosphere combined with the lovely food (I had bear) made a great evening.
Citykäytävä 2. krs, Aleksanterinkatu 21, 00100 Helsinki
Irish pub in the centre of Helsinki. Authentically Irish with Irish customers as well as bar staff.
As you'd expect for Helsinki, drink is not cheap - about €11 for two half litres of cider.
Old Market Hall, situated along the South Harbour and Market Square, has been selling Finnish delicacies to locals and tourists for over 120 years. It’s a well-known place for meeting up with friends over a cup of coffee and cinnamon buns before shopping for berries, wild mushrooms, game, sea food and freshwater fish. Try fried reindeer slices with potato mash and lingonberry sauce followed by oven cheese with Arctic cloudberries and cream. Alternatively, taste Karelian pasties, made from thin boat-shaped rye crusts filled with savoury rice pudding. Most importantly: don’t forget to buy those all important sausages and beer for the evening of sauna, skinny-dipping and barbecue!
Wanha Kauppahalli, Eteläranta, 00130 Helsinki
+358 9 636177
Open 8am-6pm Mon-Fri, 8am-4pm Saturday
Google map: bit.ly/fvFoj7
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