Hej hej from Helsinki! Scandinavia was on my bucket list for way too long, so I was super excited to finally tick off my first Scandinavian country Finland. My first stop: Helsinki of course. Helsinki the small and charming capitol of Finland and definitely worth a visit. You can see all of the city in about 1-2 days, as the city centre is quite tiny. So here comes my guide to the perfect 1 day visit in Helsinki! <3
We stayed in the most unique hotel I ever had the joy of visiting: the Hotel Katajanokka. The claim of the hotel is “escape the ordinary” and this couldn’t be more apt as the hotel is a historic former prison. They transformed the prison building with super cool interior design in a cozy home behind red brick walls just a short walk from my favorite part of Helsinki, but you can still visit the former cells in the basement and you really get that prison feeling when standing in the hallway. Btw the prison was closed in 2002 so not that long ago 😉
Helsinki has a lot of fab food options. Of course, you can’t try everything on your one day visit, but here comes my favorites from morning til night!
Start your day with a hot chocolate at Cafe Regatta. This may be the most Instagrammable spot in Helsinki, a tiny red cottage by the sea with the cutest countryside interior and a gorgeous garden with open fire and lamb skins to cuddle into. You can even grill sausages bought from the cafe here!
Lunch time is time to visit Helsinki’s old market hall Vanha Kauppahalli. In the beautiful building you can find the best specialities of Helsinki, from endless selections of smoked salmons and the best sea food to bear and reindeer sausages. Also a must try for the sweet tooth: cinnamon rolls. In Finland, they are called Korvapuusti and I won’t say no to a national speciality #culturalheritage
Afternoon coffee? Visit Kappeli. The fanciest building ever from the outside, so the perfect place for a little #InstaShoot! From the inside, it’s a self-service place and not that fancy anymore, but they do serve really good coffee.
When it comes to dinner time, the place to visit is Saaga. A restaurant straight out a lappish fairytale, where you can find the most gorgeous interior design straight from the North of Finland and of course the best food as well. The starter is a fish buffet with all the local sea food specialities you can only dream of, served in a huge wooden boat. For main, you can order off the menu featuring different reindeer dishes or even bear. Really worth a try! The reindeer fillet was one of the best meats I ever tried and after hearing so many horror stories about bear meat, I can only say that it tastes a little like German Gulasch – so nothing to worry about, just give it a try!
Time for drinks? The coolest bar in Helsinki may be the Holiday bar. Located right in front of some of the most beautiful sights in town, the bar itself is a little sight with it’s cute Holiday sign. I really loved the atmosphere here, nice drinks and – pssst – they do also have a really good cuisine. Try the creamy mussels!
My winter uniform for my Helsinki visit was all about staying warm while still trying to look cool and urban. Most important thing for sure: a warm jacket. I was living these days in my lambskin jacket, leather pants and winter boots. What I totally forget about: the freezing winds in the north. So, think about me and don’t forget to pack some stylish gloves. Cute winter accessories are essential in Finland!
Next stop: Lapland!