Monthly Archives: May 2016

Shopping Finnish Design In Helsinki

Marimekko Fashion Show in the Esplanadi Park.
Marimekko Fashion Show in the Esplanadi Park.

If you’d like to find the most famous Finnish design brands, such as MarimekkoIittala or Aarikkatheir stores are located in the city center on Pohjoisesplanadi street. On the same street it’s easy to spot many other Finnish brands, as well as the luxurious international ones, such as Louis Vuitton.

Marimekko has also a store in Forum Shopping Center, as well as an outlet store in Herttoniemi, which is outside of the city center, however there’s an easy access to the store by metro (address: Kirvesmiehenkatu 7, Helsinki, Metrostop: Herttoniemi). The outlet store is open every day, except on Sundays. This outlet store is very popular especially amongst Asian tourists.

Iittala Shop Helsinki. (Photographer Elina Sirparanta)
Iittala Shop Helsinki. (Photographer Elina Sirparanta)

Alvar Aalto design can be found in the store called Artek, next to the Stockmann department store, on Keskuskatu.  You can also visit an interesting and unique store called Artek 2nd Cycleon Pieni Roobertinkatu. In addition to Alvar Aalto design, the products in this boutique include items by such classic designers as Ilmari Tapiovaara and Yrjö Kukkapuro.

Aalto vase designed by Alvar Aalto, found in almost every Finnish home. (Photographer Elina Sirparanta)
Aalto vase, designed by Alvar Aalto, can be found in almost every Finnish home in different colours. (Photographer Elina Sirparanta)

Aleksanterinkatu street is full of nice shops, too. In the big department store, Stockmann, you can find a great selection of Finnish brands as well as the international ones. When you walk the street towards the Market square, you’ll find a funky shoe store, Minna Parikka Shoes. Many famous stars, including Lady Gaga, have fallen in love with Minna’s playful shoes.

Minna Prikka Shoes on Aleksanterinkatu.
Minna Prikka Shoes on Aleksanterinkatu.

The Moomin Shop can be found in the Forum Shopping Center, in the heart of Helsinki, as well. There’s a Moomin Shop also at the Helsinki Airport. Check all the shops at the Moomin store locator.

The Moomin Shop. (Photographer Ari-Pekka Darth)
The Moomin Shop. (Photographer Ari-Pekka Darth)

Within walking distance from the city center, you can find a so called “Helsinki Design District” in Punavuori area where you can shop in various smaller Finnish boutiques. One of them is called Ivana Helsinki, also seen in New York Fashion Week. Check all the stores and happenings on the Design District website.

Ivana Helsinki Shop. (Photographer Elina Sirparanta)
Ivana Helsinki Shop. (Photographer Elina Sirparanta)

visit finland


Helsinki Fun Guide – tips from the locals

Summer in Helsinki. (Photographer Lauri Rotko)
Summer in Helsinki. (Photographer Lauri Rotko)

Helsinki is a unique Nordic Capital, between East and West. There are lots of interesting shops, restaurants and sights that you can find, with the help of this little guide, including some inside tips from real people living in Helsinki. As a Helsinki native myself, many of these places on the list are my favourite places, as well. In this list I have included the favourites of trendy city people living in the heart of Helsinki.

The writer of this article is Kata, a Finnish flight attendant living in Helsinki.


Finnish design:

  • Marimekko
  • Marimekko Outlet
  • Iittala
  • Artek
  • Minna Parikka
  • Moomin shop
  • Aarikka
  • Pentik
  • Ivana Helsinki
  • Stockmann

Finnish souvenirs:

  • Market Square
  • Torikortteli
  • Kauppahalli
  • Stockmann

Famous International Brands:

  • Stockmann
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Luxbag
  • Della Marga
  • Furla, Boss, Michael Kors etc. Galleria Esplanad
  • L’Occitane
  • Mulberry

Flea Markets:

  • Hietalahti Square
  • Konepajan Bruno
  • Vallilan Stoori
  • Kaivarin Kanuuna


Finnish Cuisine:

  • Saaga
  • Lappi
  • Juuri
  • Nokka
  • Olo
  • Havis
  • Saari

Asian Cuisine:

  • Restaurant China
  • Long Wall
  • Kabuki
  • Koto
  • Samrat
  • Namaskaar
  • Farang
  • Gaijin

International Cuisine:

  • Saslik (Russian food)
  • Boulevard Social
  • Bronda
  • Pjazza
  • Yume
  • Grotesk
  • Sandro’s


  • Kamome (A Japanese film “Kamome” was partly filmed in this cafe), Address: Pursimiehenkatu 12
  • Café Engel
  • Café Esplanad
  • Café Strindberg
  • Kappeli
  • Aschan Cafe Jugend
  • Café Veranda (Finlandia-talo)
  • Fazer Café
  • Ekberg
  • Johan & Nyström (Katajanokka)
  • Marke Square and Kauppahalli


  • Kafe Moskova
  • Putte’s Bar & Pizza
  • Grotesk
  • Teatteri
  • Kiila
  • Pjazza

Terraces and seaside cafés/bars:

  • Torni Ateljé Bar
  • Ursula
  • Café Carousel
  • Birgitta
  • Hernesaaren ranta
  • Mattolaituri
  • Piritta

Island restaurants:

  • Restaurant Saaristo
  • Saari
  • Restaurant Boathouse
  • Restaurant NJK
  • Restaurant Pihlajasaari

Great picnic spots:

  • Suomenlinna Fortress Island
  • Kaivopuisto
  • The stairs of the Helsinki Cathedral
  • Pihlajasaari
  • Seurasaari

Sauna and swimming:

  • Löyly design sauna (New in 2016!)
  • Allas Sea Pool (New in 2016!)
  • Yrjönkadun uimahalli
  • Stadionin uimala

For families & kids:

  • Finnair Sky Wheel
  • Linnanmäki
  • Sea Life
  • Korkeasaari Helsinki Zoo
  • Suomenlinna
  • Natural History Museum
  • Science Center Heureka

Daytrips outside of Helsinki:

  • Ferrytrip to Tallinn (Estonia)
  • Nuuksio
  • Porvoo
  • Fiskars
  • Tammisaari, Hanko