Live like a local – written by Anne Seppälä
Nothing beats the feeling of going beyond the regular experience of visiting a new place. But even if you’re a local, you might occasionally need some inspiration, and like in this case, figure out some cool things to do in Helsinki. Not being an average city, you’ll find a wide range of places and activities in Helsinki to try out, whether you wish to experience Helsinki in one day or spend time here for a longer period of time. We came up with some interesting ideas on what to do in Helsinki while capturing the essence of the local lifestyle!
Foxtrail – a city adventure in the center of Helsinki
Are you looking for new things to do in Helsinki? Would you like to get to know the city in a fun, new way? Challenge yourself and your friends and book yourselves an unforgettable city adventure. Are you smart enough to follow the clues through the streets of Helsinki?
Best things to do in Helsinki? Go for food!
The days spent in the city are perfect for those who are eager to find out the characteristics of the city and things to do in Helsinki while living like a local! If you’re an early bird and in the city for summertime, one of the fun things to do in Helsinki is to try out the market squares in Hietalahti, Hakaniemi and Töölö to see people go through second-hand treasures and enjoy their first caffeine bite for the morning. Or if the weather is already colder, why not go people-watching in any of those trendy cafés in Punavuori and enjoy an Instagram-worth breakfast at the same time? Levain, Southpark, just to mention few, will be easy on your eye and healthy for your heart as well!
When it comes to food, Helsinki has a great selection of restaurants to suit all tastes. Lunch-wise our recommendations go to Penny, which is a sharp and small hideout in the trendy Punavuori district and Pompier, which has two restaurants in the city and a reputation for serving quality dishes for dinner as well. And to go really Finnish, why not try the salmon soup in the Neighbour Bistro while admiring the sea view at the same time! For dinner the crazy-popular BasBas is a Helsinki must do (if only managed to book a table!) and Pastor surely has the best cocktails and ceviche in town!
Explore or relax? Choose your cup of tea on what to do in Helsinki!
Although Helsinki is a bit smaller in the scale of capital cities in Europe, even in the very center you will sense the differences between the districts and their vibe. The city is best explored by foot or a bike, so why not grab one of those yellow city bikes to have your own tour de Helsinki or plan a walk while having a cozy fresh-grounded coffee from a local supplier. The city attractions are well-located for this purpose as well and the city being so compact, one of the easiest things to do in Helsinki!
After the day’s work, you’ll see people gathering to cafés and bars to enjoy each other’s company. On a sunny day, Cafe Ursula, Löyly and Mattolaituri are popular oases by the sea and tempting for the thirsty. But you’ll find almost any terrace buzzing, since the Finnish mindset acknowledges summer being too short to waste any time and not to enjoy it. So what happens when the weather gets colder? The trendy places around Punavuori and Kamppi will treat those in search for the coziest places and beverages. The more urban and alternative Kallio district will be pleasing as well, since the atmosphere is laid-back and not too heavy on your wallet either. For those loving any bar hopping or so, a tour in Kallio is one of the best things to do in Helsinki!
In case you’re feeling spontaneous, we’d also recommend to look out for any activities in Helsinki that might be interesting for you: yoga by the sea, live music gigs and workshops of all kinds take place all year round. Furthermore, our Foxtrail city adventure is a unique approach to familiarize oneself with the city, offering a cool perspective also for those who wish to enjoy Helsinki in one day! But the best thing about the city is how it’s constantly evolving and providing a wide range of fun things to do in Helsinki. What doesn’t change is its Nordic charm that surely will get you as well!
Anne – I work in communications and creative writing, but choosing my holiday destination sometimes feels like the toughest job. Lucky we have Helsinki!