View of Helsinki. Photo: Jussi Hellsten/Visit Helsinki
View of Helsinki. Photo: Jussi Hellsten/Visit Helsinki

Helsinki – much more than just Marimekko

The Finnish capital of Helsinki has achieved world renown for its cutting-edge design and furniture. But there is much more to the city than that. Here are our top ten tips for where to have coffee, immerse yourself in culture, or satisfy your appetite during your design holiday.

Kallio. Photo: Visit Helsinki. Villipuutarha Café. Photo: Susanna Kesänen/Visit Helsinki


The district of Kallio has become ultra-fashionable in recent years. It has a vibrant artistic and cultural scene, complemented by cozy restaurants, boutiques, and cafés.


Villipuutarha Café

Extremely popular little café in Kallio. People come here for the atmosphere as much as for the food. The weekend breakfast at 23 euros is well worth reserving a table for!

Karlsgatan 13

Flying Dutch. Photo: Jussi Hellsten/Visit Helsinki

Flying dutch

Occupying a beautiful location by the waterfront, this is the perfect place to stop for a refreshing beer or two. Opens up its large terrace as soon as the weather starts getting warmer. A must for beer lovers!


Story/The Old Market Hall. Photo: Jussi Hellsten/Visit Helsinki. Hotel Haven. Photo: Royal Restaurants

Story/The Old Market Hall

The old market hall was completely renovated last year and after its facelift is now an even nicer place to visit. Here you can browse among the stalls selling fish, shellfish, meat, spices, vegetables, tea, and much more, and then sit at one of the many great places to eat. The Story restaurant is a new addition to this old environment, where some of Finland’s most prominent restaurateurs have created a special place with outdoor seating by the waterfront and where the ingredients come straight from the market hall next door.

Södra kajen

Hotel Haven

Luxury accommodation option for those wanting to treat themselves to something special, with a stylish and indulgent stay in Helsinki. Hotel Haven is centrally located in bustling Salutorget.

Unionsgatan 7

Soul Vintage. Photo: Jussi Hellsten/Visit Helsinki. Kiasma. Photo: Niko Soveri

Soul Vintage

Vintage clothing in a stylish boutique that is an experience in itself. Hand-picked second-hand goods sit among art by talented artists who are just starting out.

Helsingegatan 6


Kiasma, The Museum of Contemporary Art, was refurbished during the winter and is once again ready to show off its 8,500+ works. Its art collection originates mainly from Finland, while the spectacular building is a work of art in itself. Designed by architect Steven Holl, it was inspired by the natural light of Finland.

The Kiasma Café serves lunches, a popular deli buffet, and selected organic wines.

Minna Parikka. Photo: Visit Helsinki. Alppipuisto Park. Photo: Kai Kuusisto

Minna Parikka

A must for all shoe lovers! The story of Minna, who started designing shoes at the age of 15 and has now become a world-renowned designer, is almost like a fairy tale. Now her shoes are worn by the likes of Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift – as well as many Helsinki locals.

Alexandersgatan 36

A21 Cocktail Lounge

This award-winning bar serves cocktails that delight both the eyes and the taste buds. Nearby is the A21 Dining restaurant, where every dish is inspired by the wonderful nature of Finland.

Kalevagatan 17

Alppipuisto Park

A picnic in the beautiful Alppipuisto Park is a relaxing interlude during a busy day in Helsinki. Sit down among the lawns, ponds, fountains, and cherry trees and enjoy!


Text: Ida Thunberg

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