After the summer house we spent only two full days in Helsinki. It was a brief visit, and it rained very often, so we did not get to visit as much as we had planned. But this short stay was very pleasant and I made a mental note of returning to Helsinki again this autumn (each year I say this, and then by the time the cold weather begins in Paris, we prefer to travel to warmer places. Let’s see about this autumn).
Some highlights of our Helsinki visit were (not in any particular order):
- Walking around Kauppatori (The Market Square) and Senaatintori (The Senate Square): watch the luxury cruise ships leave for Tallinn and Stockholm, admire the architecture dating back to the first part of the 19th century (the Russian rule), contemplating at the market by the sea whether to buy a reindeer skin or one kilo of strawberries!
- Visiting Artek, the world famous Finnish design and furniture shop (http://www.artek.fi/index.html). A must!
- “Grillata“: prepare and eat Finnish barbeque (which includes salmon of course). For cooking ideas, see What does Finnish barbeque look like?
- Kappeli (http://www.kappeli.fi/): this restaurant/bar/cafe opened in 1867. It is a Helsinki institution and located in a beautiful, wooden building right by the Market Square. We had just coffee.
- Putte’s Bar (http://www.puttes.fi/): I ate a very good Funghi pizza that came with chanterelle mushrooms. I loved the pizza but I have two remarks about the place: I had made a reservation and we were seated downstairs, in the darkest corner. Also the wine is super expensive (like almost everywhere in Finland).
- Liberty or Death (http://libertyordeath.fi/): we drunk cocktails with famous ice hockey players. Could it get more Finnish?
- Alppitori (http://www.ravintolatori.fi/alppila/): they have excellent hamburgers. My chicken burger came with avocados. My husband’s burger came with crispy bacon. And the best part is that they have French rosé wine for 25€ per bottle.
- Siltanen (http://www.siltanen.org/): we had drinks at this club/bar/restaurant that I like very much. It is trendy and hip, and has that industrial feeling. They have DJs and groups playing almost every night.
Time went by very fast and sooner than I realized, I was sitting in an airplane looking at those thousands of tiny islands scattered around Helsinki and its coastline.
Must try Putte’s Bar because never heard about it
The menu is quite limited: pizzas and salads (I think this is it) but it has a nice atmosphere. Just do not go downstairs, at least not in summer 😉 It is on Kalevankatu. Coming from Stockmann, keep going up. Kosmos is on your right hand side, and Putte’s will be on your left. Worth trying.