Just arrived in Helsinki and wonder what are the must-experiences in the oh-so-beautiful capital of Finland? There is a lot to see and making choices can seem hard. But not to worry! Use our tips and discover the best bars, coffee places, restaurants and other sights that Helsinki has to offer.
DRINKS WITH A VIEW
After a hectic day of racing it’s good to kick off the boots and relax. If you’re craving a delicious drink or two, here are some great bars – topped with amazing views!
Clarion Sky Room, Tyynenmerenkatu 2
The rooftop bar at the new Clarion hotel in Jätkäsaari has great views over the Hietalahti harbour area. The lounge bar features designer furniture and offers a spacious atmosphere, while the creative drinks list will keep you entertained for a drink or three!
Torni Ateljee Bar, Yrjönkatu 26
To get to the top of the “Tower” you have to ride the elevator up to the 13th floor of the Torni hotel and then climb the narrow spiral staircase up to the rooftop bar. There you will find terraces on both sides offering spectacular views over Helsinki. The Ateljee Bar is a true Helsinki classic where you can enjoy a coffee after dinner or drinks with friends. The drinks list is updated regularly with delightful surprises, and the bartenders can even fix you a cocktail if it’s not on the list. While you’re there, don’t forget to visit the toilets for a “once in a lifetime” experience!
Bar Cón, Urho Kekkosen katu 1
Bar Cón is a Spanish restaurant that can be found on the giant disc that hangs above the Kortteli restaurant complex on the fifth floor of the Kamppi Shopping Centre. Bar Cón has the largest Vermouth selection in Scandinavia that customers are welcome to taste. Behind the bar you will find a great terrace that offers views over Kamppi and Annankatu that you wouldn’t have seen before!
BEST COFFEE PLACES
Finns love a good cup of coffee. Infact, we are the biggest coffee consumers in the world with a whopping 12 kg coffee bean consumption per person per year! If you want to blend in with the locals, these are some coffee places that you might want to pay a visit.
Helsinki Coffee Roastery’s Coffee Bar, Päijänteentie 29
A coffee lover’s and Instagramer’s dream, the Coffee Bar in Vallila (Helsingin Kahvipaahtimon päiväkahvibaari) can be described in one word: wonderful. If you get there in time you can sit down on the carpenter’s benches with your laptop and get some work done.
Café Tin Tin Tango, Töölöntorinkatu 7
The Tin Tin Tango is like a touch of Central Europe in the heart of Töölö. You can get into the mood with a delicious breakfast, which is served all day long! Oh yes, and you can also do your laundry at the same time, as there’s a self-service Laundromat on the premises!
Café Regatta, Merikannontie 8
This quaint red cottage has to be one of the best places in town for a date. It’s hard to decide whether Regatta is best in summertime, when it becomes one big sun terrace, or in wintertime, when you can grill sausages on an open fire… Whenever you decide to visit, you can always enjoy the delicious cinnamon buns!
Ihana Kahvila, Nihtikuja
Ihana Kahvila, the “Lovely Café” really is just that: lovely. Housed in a converted container in the middle of the docks in Sompasaari, this tiny café is open in summertime only. As there are no indoor facilities to speak of, the café is open in summertime “weather permitting”.
TAME YOUR HUNGER IN THE BEST RESTAURANTS
Helsinki is known for its vibrant foodie scene, so be sure to try some of the best restaurants in the city. The food options range from local delicacies to dishes from all around the world – let your hunger be the guide!
Löyly, Hernesaarenranta 4
The restaurant of the Löyly Sauna Complex in southern Helsinki is perfect not only for relaxing after a sauna or spa treatment but also to pop in for some good Finnish food.
Kortteli, Urho Kekkosenkatu 1
The buzzing Kortteli restaurant complex on the fifth floor of the Kamppi Shopping Centre offers treats for all tastes. Kortteli is easy to reach after a shopping day in Helsinki.
Via Tribunali, Sofiankatu 4
This authentic Neapolitan pizzeria in the heart of the Tori Quarter has a great atmosphere. At the heart of Via Tribunali’s menu is their huge, turquoise, Neapolitan open fire oven – this mouthwatering oven pizza will leave you wanting more.
Gaijin, Bulevardi 6
For modern North Asian flavours try Gaijin. The menu includes a diverse assortment of tasters that you can share and that are usually served with a bowl of rice.
KuuKuu, Museokatu 17
KuuKuu is a local neighbourhood bar and kitchen in the Töölö district that serves handmade Finnish treats. In summer time you can enjoy your meal on KuuKuu’s cozy terrace and soak up some sunlight.
Sushibar + Wine, Fredrikinkatu 42
Sushibar + Wine on Fredrikinkatu is very Scandinavian in terms of interior décor and the menu. Enjoy delicious Japanese treats with a nordic twist and great wine!
A SIGHT FOR SORE EYES
Besides wining and dining there are many unforgettable sights to be seen in Helsinki. Here are some of our top picks for a day well spent in the picturesque capital of Finland.
Market Square, Eteläranta
Located at the South Harbour at one end of the Esplanade Park, the Market Square is Helsinki’s most international and famous market. The booths here sell traditional market foods and treats, as well as handicrafts and souvenirs. There are also heated café tents where you can comfortably have a steaming hot coffee even on the coldest days in winter.
Löyly, Hernesaarenranta 4
Public sauna and restaurant complex in Hernesaari district on the southern tip of Helsinki. The complex includes a traditional Finnish smoke sauna, two other wood-heated saunas, a year-round terrace and a restaurant. It is possible to take a swim in the sea, also in winter.
Allas Sea Pool, Katajanokanlaituri 2 a
Allas Sea Pool is a marine spa and an oasis of urban culture right at the heart of the city. Allas is open all year round, providing unique experiences and recreational activities for townies and travelers. The marine spa has three saunas, two warm water pools and one sea water pool, to which the water is pumped from nearby streams and filtered clean.
Suomenlinna Sea Fortress
A Unesco World Heritage Site, Suomenlinna sea fortress is one of the most popular attractions in Finland for a reason. With its museums, events and restaurants Suomenlinna offers a unique experience for visitors of all ages. The fortress is easily accessed all year by public transport ferry from the Market Square. In summer also by JT-Line ferry.
The Senate Square and its surroundings form a unique and cohesive example of Neoclassical architecture. The square is dominated by four buildings designed by Carl Ludvig Engel (1778-1840): Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland.