Helsinki Journals

Summer in Helsinki

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Helsinki by katja_b

Linnanmäki Amusement Park Photo, Helsinki, Finland More Photos
Quote: The atmosphere of Helsinki in summer is cheerful, outgoing, always in the sun. There are a few places to see here that someone may have recommended, but in case they didn't - here's the inside scoop to how a local will get the best out of the summer!

Summer in Helsinki

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Helsinki Cathedral Photo, Helsinki, Finland
Quote:
Take a ferry (public transport, really) to the Suomenlinna Fortress Island just out of the city. Don't forget the picnic basket and good walking shoes! Enjoy the gorgeous view over the city from the tiny Ateljee Bar at the top of Hotel Torni. Walk or jog around Toolo bay - better make it leisurely and rent one of those canoes. Take a spin at Linnanmaki amusement park - the kiddie section is not bad either. Rent rollerblades at Kaivopuisto park and swish past the marina. Pick up a city bicycle (again, public transport) for a 10 FIM deposit and find your way around enjoyably - the map is on the bike. Get a coffee / beer / ice cream and join the enjoyment of th...Read More

Cafe Esplanade

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Cafe Esplanad"

Cafe Esplanade Photo, Helsinki, Finland
Quote:
Café Esplanad is my favourite café summer and winter. It's always busy and quite full, in summer the queue is long and people brim over onto the street on little tables. The clientéle is youthful. It's sort of budget, if you are in for a coffee and carbohydrate splurge (a splurge is never the cheapest option and this is definately the cheapest cafe on the Esplanade). The soups are generous, so are the salads. The various filled bagels and baguettes are mouth-watering. You get adequate coffees and teas. But the reason this is so well known is that they have possibly the biggest cinnamon rolls in town! locals call them "korvapuusti" which actually means a bang on the ear... The other danish pastries...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 18, 2001

Cafe Esplanade
Pohjoisesplanadi 37
Helsinki, Finland 00100
(09) 665 496

Ateljee

Attraction | "Ateljee Bar"

Quote:
Ateljee Bar is a small, if not tiny, cosy and artsy bar at the top of the Hotel Torni. Enter from the Yrjonkatu front door and take the lift to the 14th floor. then walk up a circular staircase to the bar. Actually, you should go here, if nothing else, to see the ladies' restroom. I am totally serious! Ok, the terrace and the bar have also a terrific view, but this is the classiest thing, for those who don't suffer vertigo. You are not seen, but you sit there with the best view over the entire city... I took a Scottish visitor there, and although the tower itself looks rather unimpressive from street level, indeed, it is impossible even to see the bar from there, we went up and "oh my...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 18, 2001

Ateljee
Kalevankatu 5
Helsinki, Finland 00100
+358 9 1311 3472

Toolo bay

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Walk around Toolo bay"

Toolo bay Photo, Helsinki, Finland
Quote:
The parks right behind the railway station surrounding the Toolo bay are constantly under development. Recently it has been improved with flowers, parkways, benches, and various art projects. The heart of the area are the Makasiinit, old railway warehouses which have in the last ten years become a bustling place for hugely popular flea markets, art exhibitions, parties, galleries, and other alternative activities. Currently the plan is to demolish them to build a new music centre - this is dividing opinions betweeen Helsinki folk in a strong way. What cannot be disputed is that they are in a lovely, central place and currently give a breathing spot for alternative, grass-root activities for the people...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 18, 2001

Toolo bay
Downtown
Helsinki, Finland

Linnanmäki Amusement Park

Attraction | "Linnanmäki"

Linnanmäki Amusement Park Photo, Helsinki, Finland
Quote:
Linnanmaki is surprisingly downtown, and a tram line runs right past it. It's fairly small, as it is contained on a rocky hilltop between houses, but that means that there is less running from ride to ride!

The entrance is 20 FIM and then you can either get a day bracelet or buy separate tickets for rides, for about 65 FIM and then 7 FIM (need 1-3 tickets).

It's a classic must for a summer visit :)

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 18, 2001

Linnanmäki Amusement Park
Tivolitie 1
Helsinki, Finland 00510
+358 (9) 773 991

Suomenlinna

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Attraction | "Suomenlinna (Sveaborg)"

Suomenlinna Photo, Helsinki, Finland
Quote:
Suomenlinna is one of the favourite outing spots for locals. It makes an excellent afternoon outing - in summer the connecting ferry is packed with jolly people and picnic baskets. It is a world heritage site, having just celebrated its 250th anniversary, but 900 people live there, too, and 350 people work there daily. The ferry leaves about every 20 to 30 min from the far end of the market square, public transport tickets are valid. It is best to buy them well beforehand at the kiosk or at any R-kiosk 10 mk a piece, more convenient than trying to buy one aboard. I find I always have to run to catch the ferry! The fortress consists of a number of islans, each with its very own characte...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 18, 2001

Suomenlinna
Suomenlinna (sea Fortress)
Helsinki, Finland

Hietaranta

Attraction

Hietaranta Photo, Helsinki, Finland
Quote:
The locals call it Hietsu and it is part of the Helsinki summer as much as anything. It is THE beach, it actually has sand, and the shallow, semi-salty baltic water warms up relatively nicely. On a sunny summer day it is packed with people, exposing the range of tannability in the average Finn: most people can stay in the sun and will catch a bit of tan in the process, some tan extremely well, and then some stay pale all year round. Bring a blanket. Go get the volleyball net. Paddle in the shallow waters, though after a bit it deepens quickly. Join the unabashed enjoyment of a beautiful summer day! The beach is accessible through two routes: Etelainen Hesperiankatu or Hietaniemenkat...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 19, 2001

Hietaranta
near Hietaniemi cemetary
Helsinki, Finland

Kumpula open air swimming pool

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Kumpula open air swimming pool Photo, Helsinki, Finland
Quote:
The pickier kind of people will think that the seawater is much too green and dark to swim in. Oh, you can go to the swimming stadium if you like. But if you want the local's inside scoop, direct your trip to a real gem: the Kumpula outdoor swimming pool was built for the 1952 Olympics and they have renovated it but retained the fifties look and feel. It has indoor changing rooms (coin operated lockers and a free "cloak" service), with saunas and showers in the basement. I don't know about the men's facilities, but at least on the women's side the sauna is a very good one, considering it is public! Yes, no swim suits in the sauna. Bring a small towel or something to sit on. In fact, I was there ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 20, 2001

Kumpula open air swimming pool
Allastie, Kumpula
Helsinki, Finland

Vanhankaupunginlahti

Attraction | "Vanhankaupunginlahti :) east of the city"

Quote:
The river hits the bay through an old hydropower plant, located on a small island at the mouth of the river. On one side there is a dam, on the other there is an obstacle course for salmon. (They have cleaned up the river a lot and planted fish, even salmon and trout) The canoes for rent are on the Hameentie side of the bay. The water is still, with a current of course because of the river, but otherwise usually very calm. In the early spring the melting waters swell the river up and the salmon rapids attract those with kayaking experience - definately not for beginners. Unfortunately I don't know that much about kayaking to say more. How to get here? by public transport ta...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 23, 2001

Vanhankaupunginlahti
East end of Hameentie - mouth of the river Vantaa
Helsinki, Finland

Viikinlahti park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Viikinlahti park Photo, Helsinki, Finland
Quote:
What might bring you to the east of the city? Good question. Maybe you took the free transport bus to the Arabia porcelain factory shop, just half a mile down the Hameentie road. Maybe you were looking for nice biking trails through the natural park of Viikki. Maybe you are a birdwatcher freak! Maybe you like doing the unobvious. The river Vantaa hits the bay on two sides of a little island. On the island is a museum of technology (currently they have a special from bikes to motorbikes exhibit). There is also a wooden house, the cafe Kuningaskalastaja (=Kingfisher) - very quaint and pretty, nice atmosphere, art on the walls, bit like visiting a dainty old auntie. Their salmon soup has...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 23, 2001

Viikinlahti park
East part, starting end of Hameentie
Helsinki, Finland

Arabia

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Arabia factory shop"

Quote:
You mean you don't have an Aalto vase yet or a Kaj Frank tumbler? What about your mother-in-law? During the tourist months there is a bus shuttling between downtown and the Arabia factory shop, willing to scoot shoppers back and forth. You may also take the tram number 6. The factory shop stocks first and second grade goods in glass and ceramics. There is also an exhibition upstairs. (currently, July 01, they are having a renovation sale) Whether you are looking to stock up on your elegant Teema set, or you want just a little something for a friend (I recommend any the glass votive candle holders, very sweet, and not too expensive), or you want to get the biggest Aalto vase ever, you s...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 23, 2001

Arabia
Pohjoisespanadi 25
Helsinki, Finland

Citybike Photo, Helsinki, Finland
Quote:
Those who have been to Copenhagen and seen the public bikes there know what I'm talking about (except I never saw any available, just empty stands.) One of the nicest ways to get around as a visitor is to exchange a 10 mk coin for a bicycle. These odd-looking bright green bikes are available at special stands around down town, and they even bear the public transportation logo on them. Pop in a coin, take the bike and pedal off!

The map of the center area is stuck on the bike, to show the area of allowed biking and to locate drop-off spots. If you find a bike and return it to the stand you earn 10 mk.