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.

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.




Rikhardinkatu Library

4.09.2007 at 12:54 | Posted in Architecture, History, Romantisch, Show a Foreign Friend, Where to Read a Book | 1 Comment

The old library on Rikhardinkatu street is an important spot on the map of Helsinki’s centre. The building was completed in 1881 and shortly after became the National Library. Nowadays the extensive library system is called Helsinki City Library, but out of the 40 libraries this one remains so far my favourite. Despite the many years and the all-embracing, continuous modernization this place maintains the spirit and atmosphere of an old library. Look it up on the map.


Library Library


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

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