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April 30, 2010 3:04 AM   Subscribe

Australian Mefite in Helsinki, Finland, from 19 May to 23 May. What should I see and do?

Flying visit to Finland. I'll be in Helsinki for about 5 days. Any suggestions for must-see and do things? I'll definitely visit the Suomenlinna sea fortress. I'll buy my nephew a souvenir from the Moomin shop. I love: bicycles, Scandiwegian design, cool bars, music. But I'm open to almost any suggestions. Including impromptu meet-ups with any Finnish mefites.
posted by tim_in_oz to Travel & Transportation around Helsinki, Finland (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm an Australian and I was in Helsinki just last week (longer than expected thanks to the volcano!) There is actually a pretty decent Aussie Bar in town (called just that) opposite the Kamppi mall if you want to chat with other expats.

I highly recommend the design and contemporary art museums. Buy some stuff from Marimekko or check out the design district - easily marked as they will be a design capital in 2012.

You can't go more than two steps without stumbling over a metal bar or karaoke lounge.

Beware - all bars have a coat check fee! 2 Euro in most places. I've not encountered this anywhere else. Does put the brakes on bar hopping just a bit.
posted by wingless_angel at 4:35 AM on April 30, 2010


First, go to a Finnish forest to cool down. It is essential for understanding why everything else is the way is it. Haltiala primeval forest at the north end of the Central park can be reached by either renting a bike and bicycling through the park or by bus 66A terminating at the Paloheinä hiking lodge and then walking. (Journey planner) If you like it, try more at larger Nuuksio national park at Espoo (about 30 kms) to west.

Kallio is a more easygoing part of the city and it is a good place to spend a warm evening barhopping, eating cheap or drinking in the park. eat.fi is the best social media guide for picking restaurants. Most bars there are definitely not cool (they won't last long) but Rytmi has nice people and also the theatre bar on the other side of the same block Koti is very nice, and Siltanen is trendy and has clever interior. Cultural explanation for going to Kallio is to see Kallio church, which should be obvious when you're there.

Near Punavuori design district, the surest bet for a good atmosphere and crowd in the whole town is the rock bar Loose. I'm not sure what is the hottest spot designwise, but the old farts and endlessly changing young designer types still hang out in bar Erottaja (usually with great music) (map: on opposite of this).

On preview: from these bars only Loose has a coat check and only after 21.
posted by Free word order! at 5:10 AM on April 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would recommend a look around the archipelago as well. Really beautiful.

(Also dude scandewegian? Nordic is the preferred nomenclature)
posted by JPD at 5:42 AM on April 30, 2010


Try a sauna. (First syllable rhymes with "cow".) They're more fun when one can walk outside into the snow every 20 minutes. If you find that you can inhale through your nose without burning the rim of your nostrils, it's not hot enough.
posted by cmiller at 5:47 AM on April 30, 2010


The Atelier bar at the top of the Torni hotel is a good place to look out over the city while the sun pretty much refuses to set on it. Chat with some spies.

Day (or overnight) trips you might like: Train to Turku, visit Porvoo, ferry to Tallinn.

The island of Seurasaari - within Helsinki - really offers some great walks close to town.

I am not sure I will be there on the week you mention - but mefimail me if you would like to meet up.
posted by rongorongo at 5:50 AM on April 30, 2010


See the works of Akseli Gallen-Kallela at the Finnish National Gallery.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:23 AM on April 30, 2010


I've previously recommended the art deco swimming hall where you can have all manner of saunas, very pleasant. For that many days, I would consider going over to Estonia for a few days on the ferry.
posted by AnnaRat at 6:20 PM on April 30, 2010


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