The frozen Töölö bay

5.03.2009 at 13:39 | Posted in Architecture, Go At Least Once, Leisure, Romantisch, Walk Route | 4 Comments
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by Edit Bajsz

If you get the chance, walk across the frozen Töölö bay before the ice melts.
People have created some paths on the ice and snow, mainly in the North-South direction. Basically, it’s a shortcut between Finlandia-house and Sturenkatu street, avoiding the steep climb on Linnunlaulu street.
But the reason one should walk there, is to get a new perspective of the city, of the surrounding buildings. I was wondering, why is this perspective so exciting. It would be the same from a small boat rowing on the Töölö bay in the summer. Then I realized, that now we have solid „ground” under our feet, and while on a boat we have to hold on tight, constantly balance ourselves, and it is quite tough to stand still, now we move on the ice as we usually do on the streets of the city: we can walk, stop for a while, look around.


Also, our eye level is lower than usual. This, and the fact that the trees of the parks around the bay are not right in front of us, give a new kind of view over the buildings. The opera house can look pretty scary…



Arkadia International Bookshop

21.05.2008 at 12:08 | Posted in For Coffee or Tea, Gallery / Art Space, Go At Least Once, Leisure, Show a Foreign Friend, Where to Read a Book | Leave a comment
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Barely two months ago Ian Bourgeot opened his bookshop with the idea of creating a meeting point and a sort of cultural centre in midst of the Töölö neighbourhood. Already now a plenitude of ideas and plans for the interior and activities in the place are waiting to be implemented. What you can always count on are tons of interesting books in English, French, Spanish, Russian and even Polish and… a hot cup of tea on a comfortable sofa. See map for Hesperiankatu 9 or visit

Taikalamppu Café

5.05.2008 at 15:14 | Posted in For Coffee or Tea, Go At Least Once, Show a Foreign Friend, Where to Read a Book | Leave a comment
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This café is a true rarity in Helsinki as it would be difficult to find an equally colourful and joyous interior anywhere near at this latitude. There’s a piano, chairs and tables in all colours and styles, drawings and decorations all over the walls and plenty of plants everywhere. The two windows and entrance are facing eastwards so during summer season it’s best to come during the first half of the day and enjoy your cake, coffee and newspaper outside in the sun. The name means ‘magic lamp’ (rightly so) and the address is Torkkelinkatu 21 in Kallio which you can see on the map here. Enjoy!

Did I mention it’s cheap? How about some home-made cake with a chunk of ice cream for 2,50! Add a euro to that and you get a coffee too.

Lemon Grass – Thai Cuisine

5.04.2008 at 17:26 | Posted in Go At Least Once, Where to Eat | 5 Comments
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Lemon Grass is one of my recent culinary discoveries in Kallio and a very valuable one. In fact there aren’t too many good asian restaurants in Helsinki so it was a pleasant surprise to receive a delicious Thai meal for the modest price of only about 10€. Kind service is always welcome too.
The place is located near the Hakaniemi metro station at Kolmas Linja 12.
Click here to see it on the map.

Vegemesta Restaurant

27.01.2008 at 21:57 | Posted in Go At Least Once, Show a Foreign Friend, Where to Eat | 1 Comment
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Vegemesta Vegemesta

Finally something good, healthy and cheap for all the poor souls lost on a late evening around Kallio. Only 3 months old this vegetarian quality fast food is already a hit among guests and residents of the popular Vaasankatu street. My favourite so far is the Kippari Sojaburger – the perfect snack after a tasty Synebrichoff Porter further down at Heinähattu. Use this map to find your way to the burgers.

Pet Cemetery

29.10.2007 at 17:36 | Posted in Go At Least Once, History, Leisure, Nature, Romantisch, Show a Foreign Friend, Walk Route | 1 Comment
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I invite you to visit the Pet Cemetery located in midst of the Central Park, few hundred metres south of Metsäläntie. Preferred time of visit is after dark, the rest you may want to find out yourself. Look it up on the map.
New: Check out typographical details of the graves.

Pet Cemetery

Pet Cemetery

Flea Market Valtteri

25.09.2007 at 16:38 | Posted in Architecture, Buy Stuff, Get Some Clothes, Go At Least Once, History, Industrial, Show a Foreign Friend | 9 Comments

This flea market, although very big and popular, you’re not likely to find by accident unless you live near it – it is located inside an old, brick warehouse along Teollisuuskatu (quite near the Primula Café) and the entrance to the precinct is from Aleksis Kiven katu 17. The best time to go hunting for stuff is on weekends when dozens of people set up their stands (during summer season also outdoors). On weekdays only a self-service version is functioning on which you can still find quite purty wares (see pics below) but then any bargaining is out of question since all products have price tags and have to be paid for at the checkout like in a regular supermarket. Look it up on the map.


Valtteri Valtteri

Primula Café

17.09.2007 at 15:17 | Posted in Architecture, Buy Food, For Coffee or Tea, Go At Least Once, Where to Read a Book | 1 Comment

Sweet and stylish café most probably established after the bakery building located at Teollisuuskatu 3 was erected in the mid-sixties. Since then it has continuously served as a café for the workers of the many nearby businesses and for the staff of the Primula Bakery itself. One of the things I liked about it was the varied clientèle – you can see spotless suits and men in oil-stained gear sitting side by side sipping their coffees. And yes, it offers what one can expect – fresh & tasty bread & pastry straight from the bakery and of course coffee, sandwiches, etc… See photo below for the documentation of a casual breakfast set. Open on weekdays from 7-17. Oh, and did I mention that coffee is 1€? I’m definitely coming back to try out other products. Look it up on the map.





29.08.2007 at 15:24 | Posted in Gallery / Art Space, Go At Least Once, Leisure, Nature, Show a Foreign Friend, Where to Read a Book | 1 Comment


In midst of nature but only minutes from the immediate centre. Happihuone is the place to go when you’re tired of cars, traffic, asphalt, noise, office buildings, glass & steel, shops, products, brands and advertising. It’s a wonderful gallery, art space and whatever one wishes it to be. Located in a beautiful spot between the railways and Töölönlahti.
Unfortunately asphalt is taking over and Happihuone is soon to be torn down, just like Makasiinit, Hanasaari A power plant and so many other beautiful, active places with history. A foreign friend of mine commented once that Helsinki is strange in the way that it seems to have been built only recently. Now we know where that impression comes from.
For more info on Happihuone visit:
or look it up on the map.

Update as of Nov 2007: Finally, after a long struggle, Happihuone has been torn down!

Happihuone Happihuone

Festivals on Suvilahti power plant

22.08.2007 at 12:47 | Posted in Go At Least Once, HSS, Industrial | Leave a comment

by HSS student Iva Pavlovic Latas

When Helsinki’s first power plant, Suvilahti, was put out of work, the city came up with a great idea for revitalizing the place, and making it a cultural spot. Located quite near the city center, and well connected with both, metro and bus services, it is a good spot for massive visiting of concerts and other big gatherings. In those times, the place totally changes it’s face and characteristics, becoming overflowed with people, good music, good food…, all synonyms of a good time spent in the city.
So, whenever you have a chance, let this place be a full experience, for a good day, enjoyed in Helsinki.

Suvilahti Suvilahti

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