Central Helsinki consists of the central and southern parts of Helsinki, south of Pitkäsilta and southeast of Baana.
Getting in is easy as almost all local bus and rail lines end in or at least pass through the city center. Moreover the central railway station, bus station and most major passenger ports are located in or very close to the area.
The 19th century centre
The buildings south and north of the Lutheran cathedral were mostly designed by Carl Ludwig Engel and built in the early 19th century as a new unified city center when Helsinki was made capital of the Grand Duchy of Finland. If you have come to look at the cathedral, why not walk around in the area and take a few photos? Buildings include the Presidential Palace, the City Hall and the Swedish Embassy on the waterfront, the Senate, the Sederholm House and the main building of Helsinki University around the Senate square and the Bank of Finland, House of the Estates and the House of Nobility (Ritarihuone) "behind" the Senate square.
- Esplanadi Park (Esplanadinpuisto). Located between Market Square (Kauppatori) and the two Esplanadi boulevards, this small but stately park has a commanding position at the heart of the city. In the summer time it is full of people sitting on the lawn, meeting their friends and quite often also having a drink or two. In the summer there are often free concerts given by local artists on the stage close to Kauppatori, facing restaurant Kappeli. If you're walking around with an ice cream or sandwich, do watch out for the aggressive birds.
- Kaivopuisto. A beautiful park by the sea in the southernmost part of the city. In summer you might want to sit down for a cup of coffee in one of the seaside cafes and enjoy the view of sailboats and the people on the promenade. Housing surrounding this area is the most expensive in Helsinki.
- Sinebrychoffin puisto. Also known as "Koffin puisto", located in Punavuori district next to the Sinebrychoff art museum. Popular with young people, in the summer it is full of people having picnics or just drinking pussikalja (literally: "beer in a bag", means buying beer from a supermarket and drinking it outdoors), while in the winter kids ride sleds down the snowy slope.
- Kaisaniemi Park (Kaisaniemen puisto). In Kaisaniemi, northeast of the Central railway station. It has a bad reputation of a place where you might get assaulted, however in the daytime it's not more dangerous than any other place in Helsinki. The park has facilities for playing football (soccer) and tennis and is home to some events in the summer, most notably the morning of first of May and the festival "Maailma kylässä" in late May. It also holds Helsinki University's Botanical Garden (entrance from Unioninkatu on the eastern side).
- Observatory Hill (Tähtitornin vuori). As the name reveals, this hill rising above the Olympia and Makasiini terminals of South Harbor hosts an observatory, operated by the Astronomical Association Ursa. The observatory is now and then open to the public, and from the hill you have a nice albeit partial view over the city center (part of the view is obstructed by trees). It is also the place for people to picnic on the may day festival Vappu and on the morning of the Finnish Independence Day the hill hosts a televised flag rising ceremony.
- Diana Park (Diananpuisto). Also known as Kolmikulma (the triangle), this pocket sized park is a nice place to take break from your sightseeing in the summer and just sit down on a park bench and have an ice-cream.
- Lutheran Cathedral (Tuomiokirkko), Aleksanterinkatu. Open 9AM-6PM. The unofficial symbol of the city, this striking white cathedral dominates the central Senate Square. Based on designs by Carl Ludvig Engel and completed in 1852, the cathedral has recently been refurbished and looks better than ever, with the 12 apostles on the roof once again looking down at the world below. Free.
- Uspenski Cathedral (Uspenskin katedraali), Kanavakatu 1, ☎ . Open Tu-F 9:30AM-4PM, Sat 9:30AM-2PM, Su 12PM-3PM. May-Sep Mon,Wed, Sat 9:30AM-4PM, Tue 9:30AM-6PM, Sun 12PM-3PM.. A classical onion-domed Russian church prominently located near the Market Square, Uspenski Cathedral serves Finland's small Orthodox minority and is the largest Orthodox church in Western Europe. The name comes from the Russian uspenie, from the Dormition (death) of the Virgin Mary. The five domes are topped with 22-carat gold, and some of the icons within are held to be miraculous. Free.
- St. John's Church (Johanneksenkirkko), Korkeavuorenkatu 12, ☎ . Mo-Fr noon-3PM. The largest church in Helsinki and a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture. Free..
- Helsinki Old Church (Helsingin Vanha Kirkko) (between Lönnrotinkatu, Bulevardi, Georginkatu and Annankatu). A neoclassical wooden church built in the early 19th century, which is the oldest church in central Helsinki. It situated in the middle of the Park of the Old Church, which is also known as the Plague Park (Ruttopuisto) because it was used as a cemetery for many if the victims of the plague of 1710.
- German Church (Saksalainen kirkko), Bernhardinkatu 4. The Lutheran Church of the German community is situated at the foot of the Observatory Hill and is a visible landmark if you are walking from the Silja Line ferry towards downtown. The Neo-Gothic church was built in 1864 and is also a venue for liturgical and classical concerts.
- Mikael Agricola Church, Tehtaankatu 23. A prime example of 1930's Functionalism at the border of districts of Eira and Punavuori.
- Design Museum, Korkeavuorenkatu 23, ☎ . Open Tu 11AM-8PM, W-Su 11AM-6PM. Closed Mondays.. Exhibitions of modern commercial and industrial design and modern art. The permanent exhibit in the basement showcases the history of consumer-goods design over the course of the 20th century, with a particular focus on the contributions of Finnish designers. If you're a fan of Finnish design products like Marimekko fabrics, Arabia porcelain and Iittala vases and their prototypes this is definitely not a place to miss. admission €10.
- Helsinki City Museum, Sofiankatu 4, ☎ . The museum actually covers a whole series of old buildings around Helsinki, but the centerpiece is the (short) street of Sofiankatu itself, carefully restored as a replica of the 1930s. Free.
- Museum of Cultures (Kulttuurien museo), Tennispalatsi 2nd floor, Eteläinen Rautatiekatu 8. Tu-Th 11AM-8PM, F-Su 11AM-6PM, Closed Mon.. One of Helsinki's quirkier museums, concentrates on changing exhibitions of cultures outside Finland. €5/4 adult/child. Tu 5PM-8PM and F 11AM-6PM free admission..
- Mannerheim Museum, Kalliolinnantie 14 (Trams 1A and 2). Fri, Sat, Su 11AM-4PM. Finnish Marshall Carl Gustav Emil Mannerheim lived in this villa 1924—51. The museum contains his personal home and his vast array of items acquired during his life and on his long travels. €8.
- Military Museum, Maurinkatu 1 (Trams 7A and 7B). Tu-Th 11AM–5PM, F–Su 11AM–4PM. Closed Mondays.. Founded in 1929, the central museum of the Finnish Defence Forces. €4.
- Military Museum Manege, Suomenlinna, Iso Mustasaari (Take an inexpensive ferry from Kauppatori). Open summertime (12.5-31.8, closed 19-21.6) daily 11AM–6PM. Exhibits vehicles and armament used by Finnish forces during Winter War and WW2. €5.
- Submarine Vesikko, Suomenlinna, Susisaari (Take an inexpensive ferry from Kauppatori). Open summertime (12.5-31.8, closed 19-21.6) daily 11AM–6PM. Vesikko was one of five submarines to serve the Finnish Navy during the wars in 1939-44. It´s also the only surviving German Type II (Vesikko was the prototype) submarine in the world. €5.
- Newspaper museum (Päivälehden museo), Ludviginkatu 2-4. Tu-Su 11AM-5PM. In the newspaper museum you can learn more about the history of newspapers - journalism and printing. Free.
- Bank of Finland Museum, Snellmaninkatu 2 (next to the cathedral). Tu-Fr 11-17, Sa-Su 11-16. A museum about money and banking, as the name reveals. free.
- Ateneum Art Museum, Kaivokatu 2, ☎ +358 9 1733 61 (+358 9 1733 6228 for tickets). Open Tu-F 9AM-6PM, W-Th 9AM-8PM, Sa-Su 11AM-5PM. Closed Mon.. Ateneum can be considered the most nationally significant art museum, and it has the largest collection of paintings and sculptures in Finland. Particularly notable is the collection of works by major Finnish artists. Works include renowned interpretations of the national epic Kalevala. Adults €6, under 18 free, special prices may apply during major exhibitions. First Wednesday of the month 5PM-8PM free admission..
- Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Mannerheiminaukio 2, ☎ . Tu 10AM-5PM, W-Su 10AM-8:30PM. Closed Mondays.. The sometimes unusual collections mostly include works by contemporary Finnish artists and artists from nearby countries. There are also periodical exhibitions. The building itself is arguably a work of art. €7 for adults, €5 for undergraduate students, senior citizens, visual artists, and groups with at least 7 people. Free admission for visitors under 18. First Wed of the month is free from 5PM-8PM.
- Amos Andersson Art Gallery, Yrjönkatu 23. Mo, Th, Fr 10-18, We 10-20, Sa-Su 11-17. Located in the Forum block. The largest private gallery of contemporary art in Finland. adults €10.
- Sinebrychoff Museum, Bulevardi 40. Tue, Fri 10–18, Wed, Thu 10–20, Sat-Sun 10–17. Promotes itself as the only museum in Finland specializing in old European art. adults €10.
- Pihlajasaari. Few tourists find their way here, but this is a very popular summer spot for Helsinkians, with sandy beaches (including a mixed nude beach) and a restaurant dishing out cold beer and ciders. Ferries run from Merisatama pier at the southern end of Kaivopuisto Park (tram 3) hourly from 9:30AM to 8:30PM, 10-15 min, €5.50 return.
From the restaurant on the top floor of the Sokos department store and the bar on the top floor of Hotel Torni you have a quite nice view of the city. They aren't of course as high as the Empire State Building or even the Olympic Stadium Tower but entrance to both are free.
- Yrjönkadun Uimahalli, Yrjönkatu 21b (across from the Torni Hotel), ☎ . An art-deco bath house with three types of saunas and a swimming pool. Take a sauna and swim in the nude. There are separate days for women and men. Bathing suits are not banned, but almost everyone goes without one. Men's swimming days are: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday; Women's days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday. 1st Floor €5 (or €5.40 with a lockable stall or 'cabin'), 2nd Floor €14. The second floor (accessible only the afternoons from Tuesday to Sunday) includes access to a steam sauna and a wood-heated sauna, as well as a café.
- Kämp Spa, Kluuvikatu 4 B, (Kämp Gallery 8th floor), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mon–Fri 9AM - 8PM, Sat 9AM - 8PM, Sun 9AM - 1PM and 4PM - 8PM (gym and sauna area). Kämp Spa is located in the heart of Helsinki. In addition to the spa treatments, the Spa counts with a gym and 3 different saunas.
- Annantalo, Annankatu 30. Mo-Fr 8–20, Sa-Su 10–16. Feel creative? Annantalo, a multimodal "house of art" arranges art workshops and courses for both kids and grownups, as well as performances and exhibitions.
- Casino Helsinki, Mikonkatu 19, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 12 PM - 04 AM. Finland's only gambling casino. Located right next to the railway station. The only gambling casino in the world to donate 100% of its profits to charity. 2600 square metres of floor space on two floors. About 300 slot machines and 20 gaming tables and several bars. Also includes a luxurious Show & Dinner restaurant, with prices ranging from 70 € to 90 € per person.
Performances are mostly either in Finnish or Swedish.
- Aleksanterin teatteri, Bulevardi 23-27.
- National Theater (Kansallisteatteri), Läntinen Teatterikuja 1.
- Swedish Theater (Svenska Teatern), Pohjoisesplanadi 2.
- Little Theater (Lilla Teatern), Eerikinkatu 2.
- Beach of Uunisaari, Uunisaari island. One of the better kept secrets of Helsinki is the beach on Uunisaari, an island a short ride away from the south coast.
- Helsinki Pride. Parade 1 PM - 2 PM, party 2 PM - 6 PM. Finland's biggest and most famous LGBT pride event. Held over a week in late June, culminates in a parade and open-air party on Saturday. Free of charge.
- Helsinki Samba Carnaval. 3 PM to 5 PM. The biggest samba show in Finland, inspired by the famous Rio de Janeiro Carnaval in Brazil. Held on a Saturday in early June. A great samba parade fills the streets of central Helsinki, with dancers and music players from practically every samba school in Finland. Free of charge.
- Helsinki Burlesque Festival, Pikku Roobertinkatu 12, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 7 PM to 4 AM. Finland's biggest burlesque show. Held on a weekend in late February/early March. Although most of the performers are female, the Finnish burlesque scene has more male performers than that of any other country. Many visitors come in fancy dress costumes, and there is even a prize awarded for the best dressed man and the best dressed woman in the audience. For adults only. 83 € for a two-day pass.
- Jääherne, Hernematalankatu 6. Try some ice hockey with your friends in the Jääherne ice hall on the southwesternmost tip of Helsinki.
- Outdoor Icepark skating in winter, Railway Station Square (in the center of Helsinki). A pair of skates can be rented for an additional fee. The connected Café offers the opportunity of defrosting with a cup of hot glögi. There are also dozens of other places to go skating in Helsinki, including natural and indoor skating rinks. Their list is available at the city's website.
Department stores and shopping malls
Helsinki's main shopping drag is Aleksanterinkatu (Aleksi), which runs from Senate Square to Mannerheimintie. On Aleksi you can find plenty of shops and the largest department store in Scandinavia, Stockmann, which is definitely worth a visit. The parallel Esplanadi boulevards have specialist and generally very expensive boutiques. Access to the area is easy, as trams 2, 4/4T and 7A/7B all run down Aleksanterinkatu, and the area is just a stone's throw from the Central Railway Station and Kaisaniemi metro stations. Close by, in the Kamppi area, you can find the shopping centres Kamppi and Forum and the department store Sokos. Large shopping malls can be found in the suburbs and accessed by public transport from the Central Railway Station.
- Academic Bookstore (Akateeminen Kirjakauppa), Keskuskatu (opposite Stockmann) (Tram: 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10.). The largest bookstore in Northern Europe, with extensive selections in English too. An underground passage connects the bookstore to Stockmann. If for no other reason the bookstore's architecture (Alvar Aalto) and pleasant second floor cafeteria (one of the few with to-table service in Helsinki) might be enough reason to visit.
- Stockmann, Corner of Aleksanterinkatu and Mannerheimintie (Tram: 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10.). Northern Europe's largest department store. The flagship of Finland's premier department store chain. When Helsinkians meet "under the clock" (kellon alla), they mean the one rotating under the main entrance to Stockmann. Large selection of souvenirs and Finnish goods, and the Herkku supermarket in the basement offers an amazing range of gourmet food from all over Europe. There are also smaller branches of Stockmann at the malls of Itäkeskus, Jumbo, Tapiola and the airport.
- Galleria Esplanad, between Mikonkatu and Kluuvikatu (Tram: 2, 4, 6, 7, 9. Metro: Kaisaniemi). Upscale shopping mall, with local brands like Marimekko, Aarikka and Iittala.
- Kamppi Center (Kampin Keskus) (Trams: 2, 9 Metro: Kamppi.). Big shopping mall in the center of Helsinki. Plenty of international brands and restaurants. Long-distance bus terminal in the basement.
- Kluuvi, Aleksanterinkatu (Tram: 2, 4, 7. Metro: Kaisaniemi.). Re-opened after extensive renovations in Autumn 2011, the Kluuvi shopping centre features a range of international and domestic brands. Perhaps the most interesting concept is the Eat & Joy Markethall selling organic and local food in the basement. Grind your own flour and fill your bottles with crude milk but be prepared for steep prices.
- Sokos (Tram: 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, Metro: Central Railway Station.). A large department store conveniently located right next to the railway station.
- Aero, Yrjönkatu 8. New and vintage design furniture, lighting, textiles, jewelery, glass. Finnish designers represented include Eero Aarnio, Alvar Aalto, Tapio Wirkkala, Timo Sarpaneva and Ilmari Tapiovaara. Not for the budget traveller.
- Helsinki 10, Eerikinkatu 3, ☎ . Open M-F 11AM-8PM, Sa 11AM-6PM. This bright-white "lifestyle department store" sells both international and Finnish (designer) labels such as Raf Simons, Wood Wood, Acne and April77 as well as second-hand clothes, accessories, records, magazines etc.
- Iittala Shop, Pohjoisesplanadi 25. Open M-F 10AM-7PM, Sa 10AM-4PM. An airy concept store for the Iittala brand of Finnish glassware, pans, kitchen utensils and more. Personal service by the friendly staff.
- Ivana Helsinki, Uudenmaankatu 15, ☎ . Internationally recognized designer clothes, handmade in Finland.
- Marimekko, Pohjoisesplanadi 33, ☎ . Innovative and unique Finnish interior design, bags, and fabrics. This is the flagship store, but items can also be found at the Kämp Gallery, Kamppi Centre, Hakaniemi Market Hall, or their factory shop (Kirvesmiehenkatu 7, tel. +358 9 758 7244).
- Myymälä2, Uudenmaankatu 23. Gallery and shop for young designers, artists and musicians. And while you are there, check out Lux shop on the opposite side of the street.
- Paloni, Eerikinkatu 7, ☎ . Open M-F 11AM-7PM, Sa 11AM-4PM. Paloni is a creative design concept store. It sells items that are designed and made by over 70 independent designers. Paloni's product range covers women's clothing, accessories, jewellery, home decor, gift items and children's clothing.
- Hietalahti Antique and Art Hall, Hietalahdentori (tram 6), ☎ . Open M-F 10AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-3PM.. Here you can find many antique shops in one place, five blocks southwest from Mannerheimintie.
- Hietalahti Open Air Flea market. Next to Hietalahti Antique and Art Hall, this is the most popular flea market in Helsinki. Open year round, but busiest from May to August.
- Market Square (Kauppatori). At the end of Esplanadi facing the sea, this open-air market sells fresh fish and produce from all over Finland. Open year round. It's busiest in summer, although the Christmas Market in December is also worth a look. One section of the market is devoted to souvenirs, but best buys here are the fresh berries and other produce. In summer, try the sweet green peas (herne). Just pop open the pod and eat as is.
- Old Market Hall (Vanha kauppahalli). Right next to Market Square, this old brick building houses Finland's best collection of gourmet food boutiques. Try to find the stall which sells beaver sausage! It is closed to June 2014 because of refurbishment.
- Eat&Joy Farmers Market, Aleksanterinkatu 7-9. In the heart of Helsinki at Kluuvi shopping center, another one at Helsinki Airport. The markets are open seven days a week and have delicacies from more than 500 small producers across Finland: wild reindeer (poro), salmon, artisan cheeses, berry jams, fish roe, hand-crafted beer and cider, mushrooms, rye bread, smoked specialities, kyyttö forest cow, artisan chocolates and much more – all direct from the producers.
- A.H. Records, Fredrikinkatu 12. Used rock/Finnish/funk.
- Digelius, Laivurinrinne 2. Jazz/classical/world. Very recommended. €reasonable.
- Eronen, Laivurinrinne 2. Dub/jazz/salsa.
- Levylaivuri, Laivurinkatu 41.
- Darkside Records, Albertinkatu 12.
- Keltainen Jäänsärkijä, Urho Kekkosenkatu 4-6 A. Helsinki's largest indie store, covers virtually except classical and electronic. Many indie vinyl and reasonable price. Recommended. €reasonable.
- Stupido, Iso Roobertinkatu 23. Rock/indie/electronics misc. €high.
- Compact Records (Dark Side of the), Lönnrotinkatu 23.
- Music Hunter, Unioninkatu 45. Rock.
A couple of stores with curious business ideas not widely available elsewhere.
- Left Shoe Company, Eteläesplanadi 8B (also inside Stockmann department store). Step on a high tech gadget that measures your foot and then choose what sort of shoe you would like to wear. Get the tailored shoe sent home by post. Only mens shoes. Prices start at around €300 and go up €450 depending on the materials used.
- NOMO jeans, in Kampin Keskus mall, fourth floor. Similar to LSC but for jeans, and for both genders. NOMO makes tailored jeans with the help of a body scanner for a reasonable price (starting around €100) - the idea is, why buy designer jeans when you can get tailored ones at the same price.
- Barbarossa, Yrjönkatu 29. Good price-quality ratio pizzaplace, always fast service. Very small location though, so you might have to eat your pizza elsewhere.
- Bar No 9, Uudenmaankatu 9. Popular bar that also serves a variety of dishes with a twist of cross-kitchen style, priced from €4.90-15.90, most main courses under €10. Tends to be packed at lunch and dinner time.
- Chilli (Keskuskatu 6). Cheap kebab, shawarma, and falafel. Large portions, though be warned that this isn't your traditional Middle Eastern fare. Pitas come with something akin to spaghetti sauce inside. Filling choice, especially on a budget.
- Eerikin Pippuri, Eerikinkatu 17. One of the more popular kebab places in town. On the same street as many bars, so good for a midnight meal as well.
- Event Arena Bank, Unioninkatu 20. Free flow lunch restaurant that offers a spacious and luminous environment to spend the lunch hour. The daily Lunch Club menu consists of four different choices all for 9,20€. There is choice of Scandinavian style home-cooking, Mediterranean or Asian delicacies, salad bar and soup of the day or vegetarian meal.
- La Famiglia, Keskuskatu 3, ☎ . 11AM-midnight daily. Unpretentious Italian food even for under €10, although the most of the items on the menu should be listed under the Mid-price section. The weekday lunch buffet of soup, salad and two kinds of pasta (€7-10) is still a particularly good value.
- Golden Rax, Forum second floor (Mannerheimintie 20) and Mikonkatu 8. Cheap and greasy, all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. Includes soggy pasta, wilted salad, and soft drinks. €9.95 per person (€8.95 11AM-2PM on weekdays), €1.95 extra if you want ice-cream.
- Happiness Thai Buffet, Kaisaniemi Metro station. Open M-F 11AM-8PM, Sa Su noon-7PM.. Decent Thai food with vegetarian options in an all-you-can-eat buffet, single dishes also available. Do yourself a favor though, and pass on the coffee. Buffet €7.90, single servings €7..
- Kahvila Suomi, Pursimiehenkatu 12, ☎ . Open M-F till 9PM.. Huge portions of tasty no-nonsense Finnish food like meatballs and mashed potatoes, which explains the dock workers that crowd here at lunchtime. The Japanese tourists, on the other hand, come because the cult hit movie Kamome Shokudo was filmed here! Most mains under €10, lower priced sandwiches available..
- Pasta La Vista, Mikonkatu 8 (Ateneum). Menu changes often, vegetarian options also available. Pick a pasta, a filling and a sauce, for €7.70-8.70..
- Singapore Hot Wok, Kamppi Shopping Centre, E floor, Urho Kekkosen katu 5 B. Select from a few tasty plates of Wok. €9.50 per head..
- Sky Express, Annankatu 31. A pizza spot very close to the city center. It's a relatively small place, but the service is very fast and the place is open late at night. Opens around 11AM, and closes at 11PM (10PM on Sundays). Try the Päivän jättipizza ("Daily giant pizza"), which is a large, thin pizza with a varying selection of fillings plus a 0.4 liter soft drink for €6, which is almost unbeatably cheap.
- Sodexo, Multiple places, ☎ . M-F 8:00-15:00, Lunch: 10:30-13:30. Around €9.6 for lunch..
- Splizzeria, Kaivokatu 10, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 11 AM - 11 PM. A fast-food pizzeria with a unique idea: the dishes available are "splizzas", of which half consists of one variety of pizza and half of another. You can order from a list of 10 different combinations. No table service, you fetch the splizzas from the cashier desk yourself. Getting your order ready usually only takes about five minutes. Prices around 10 €.
- Unicafe Ylioppilasaukio, Mannerheimintie 3 B. Open M-F 11AM-7PM, Sa 11AM-5PM. The biggest and most centrally located student restaurant and cafeteria is only a two-minute walk away from the main railway station. The lunch price is only €4-6 including drink, bread and the salad buffet, and €2.4 if you happen to own a Finnish student card.
- VPK, Albertinkatu 29. M-F 11AM-3PM. Run by the Volunteer Fire Brigade, this restaurant serves a daily changing buffet of hearty Finnish fare in a cafeteria straight from the 1950s, complete with grim portraits of moustached Hosemasters staring down at you. Pea soup and pancakes on Thursday are particularly popular. €9.50 per head..
- Wrong Noodle Bar, Yliopistonkatu 5. M–F 10AM–9PM. Sa noon–9PM, S 1PM–7PM. Asian-European fast food concept. €7-10 per meal.
- Cafe Balzac, Iso Roobertinkatu 3-5. A nice place to pop in if you are walking through the so-called "design district" area. Well hidden on an inner yard this French-style cafe/pub/restaurant one man show is a really nice find.
- FishMarket, Pohjoisesplanadi 17, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mon-Thu 6PM-11PM, Fri-Sat 5PM-11:30PM. Finnish seafood restaurant and only seafood bar in Helsinki. Situated in the city center at the corner of the Kauppatori market place.
- Juuri, Korkeavuorenkatu 27, ☎ . Open M-F 11AM-2PM (lunch) & 4PM–10PM (à la carte), Sa noon-10PM, Su 4PM-10PM.. Tiny restaurant known for its special Finnish entrées called sapakset (a play on tapas), with roots in Finnish food tradition. Try the cabbage roll with crayfish or the egg cheese with marjoram. All sapakset €4.3, main dishes €24. Lunch sets €7.5-10..
- Kappeli, Eteläesplanadi 1. Traditional Finnish dishes - reindeer, fish, etc. Some of the prices are on the high end of mid-range, but you should get polite service and well-prepared food with a lovely presentation. Cozy, relaxed, relatively quiet atmosphere (although the restaurant is apparently well-known and therefore might be more crowded during late evenings & tourist season). The roasted lamb with garlic potatoes is a good choice, as is their take on Finnish-style blueberry pie. They also offer a cheaper self-service cafe on the left side of the restaurant, along with a bar (opened in 1867) in the middle of the building. Main lunch dishes €14-18, main dinner dishes about €15-36..
- Konstan Möljä, Hietalahdenkatu 14, ☎ . Traditional Finnish food. Very nice if you want to try all kinds of Finnish meals! Lunch buffet €7.90, main dishes €15+, dinner buffet €18..
- Kosmos, Kalevankatu 3 (Trams: 3, 4, 6, 10), ☎ . A Helsinki institution dating to 1924, proudly serving "Helsinkian" food — a melange of Russian, French and Swedish influences. Try one of the three classics: Vorschmack with duchess potatoes, the Sylvester Sandwich au gratin and Baltic herrings with mashed potatoes. Mains €15-25.
- Salve, Hietalahdenranta 11, ☎ . 115 yrs old harbour restraurant. Salve's operations began in 1897 as a small food kiosk for sailors. Even now, you can catch the feeling of Salve's past - a time when ships were made of wood and men were made of steel! Herrings of Salve you should taste.
- Sea Horse, Kapteeninkatu 11, ☎ . Established in 1933 as a basic eatery, this joint has slowly become a local legend affectionately known as Sikala ("Pigsty"), and both the decor and the menu are still preserved from the 1950s. A long-time Wallpaper Magazine favourite. Try the famous herring dishes or the onion steak Meals between €10-30..
- Zetor, Kaivopiha, Mannerheimintie 3-5, ☎ . Tourist restaurant with lots of character and great quality Finnish food. Plenty of old tractors and Finnish memorabilia. Main meals between €10-20..
Central Helsinki is dominated by restaurants dedicated to international cuisine, and these are particularly useful for vegetarian visitors, Finnish food being largely meat-based. A particular touch is provided by a bunch of "Nepalese" restaurants, which actually serve generic north Indian food, but almost any of which you are guaranteed to leave happy and full. Localized Chinese and Italian cuisines are also well represented.
- Asia I, Hietalahdenranta 6, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. M-Th 11:00–22:00, F 11:00-23:00, Sa 16:00-23:00, Su 11:00-21:00. Good Chinese food. The only Chinese Hotpot buffet in Helsinki. Mains €12-23, Hotpot buffet €27 (4 people or more, €20 each), Brunch €16.
- Belge, Kluuvikatu 5 (Kauppakeskus Kluuvi), ☎ . A reasonable selection of Belgian beers, a nice range of bistro fare, and a good location for people watching. The dining room upstairs is non-smoking. Main dishes €12–17.
- Brasserie Kämp, Pohjoisesplanadi 29, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-W 11:30AM–midnight, Th-F 11:30AM–1PM, Sa noon–1PM, Su noon–midnight.
- Cantina West, Kasarmikatu 23, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 11 AM to 12 AM mostly. Reported to be the best Mexican restaurant in Helsinki. Located very near the city centre, spacious and with stylish cliché Mexican decor. Various dishes themed after Mexico and Texas, although no extra-hot chili specialities. The Cantina West Hamburger, the Pork Baby Ribs and the Cajun Blackened Steak are recommended. A bit on the pricy side though. Main courses 15 € - 32 €.
- Restaurant Carlito's Helsinki, Kluuvikatu 4, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 11:30AM–10PM, Fr 11:30AM–10:30PM, Sa 1PM–10:30PM.. Carlito's is located in the corner of Aleksanterinkatu and Kluuvikatu in the centre of Helsinki. Its specialities are gourmet pizzas, large salads and pastas made of high quality ingredients.
- China Tiger, Korkeavuorenkatu 47, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Mon-Fri 11:00-23:00, Sat-Sun 12:00-23:00. One of the best Chinese restaurants in Helsinki. Excellent food, a nice atmosphere and really good service. Extra points for the interior design. Lunch €9.2, mains from €12.8.
- Colorado Bar & Grill, Simonkatu 9. Tasty Tex-Mex food. Main dishes €10-25..
- Empire Plaza, Urho Kekkosen katu 1, Kamppi Shopping Centre. Tasty Chinese food. Main dishes €7-20, lunch buffet €8.5..
- Everest, Luotsikatu 12 A, ☎ . A well-known "Nepalese" (north Indian) restaurant. Main dishes €10-20..
- Gastone, Korkeavuorenkatu 45, ☎ . Nice restaurant with an Italian flavor. Reservations suggested, particularly on the weekend.
- Ravintola Kaisaniemi, Kaisaniementie 6, ☎ . 11 AM to 4 PM, open longer on event nights. The oldest still operating restaurant in Helsinki, if not in all Finland, dating back to 1827. There is no public transport stopping nearby, but it's a short walk away from the central railway station or a bit longer walk away from Taka-Töölö around the pictoresque Bay of Töölö. Serves Finnish and international cuisine, a bit pricey though. A very spacious terrace, only open in summertime. Try the hamburger, it's probably the best in Helsinki. The restaurant is normally only open for lunch, but it often holds event nights and private parties on weekends. It is located right next to the railway leading northwards from Helsinki, making it a bit noisy, but you can't blame it - the restaurant was there first.
- Korea House, Mariankatu 19 (Tram 1, 1A, 7A,7B), ☎ . Mon-Fri 11AM-11PM, Sat non-11PM. The only Korean restaurant in Helsinki. A cozy place with friendly staff and even frequented by Korean travelers! You can try all sorts of delicious Korean food here. Superb value for the price at lunchtime (11AM-2PM) when dishes cost about half of what they otherwise do. Mains around 20€, lunch around 10€.
- Mai Thai, Annankatu 31-33, ☎ . One of the best Thai restaurants in Helsinki - simply incredible! Make sure to reserve a table in advance, and heed the chilli ratings when ordering.
- Mandarin Court, Lönnrotinkatu 2, ☎ . Finland's first attempt at an authentic Chinese restaurant, seems to get watered down more and more every year but still has a nice selection of dim sum. Main dishes €11–15..
- Meze Point, Mikonkatu 8, ☎ . Mediterranean meze plates, several vegetarian dishes. Excellent vegetarian moussaka. Main dishes €15-20.
- Mt. Everest, Lapinlahdenkatu 17, ☎ . Good Nepalese food. Main dishes €10-20..
- New Bamboo Center, Annankatu 29, ☎ . Well-known and popular downtown Malaysian-Chinese restaurant. Cheap lunch/dinner. Vegan-friendly with several vegan dishes. If you like elbow room you might want to pass on this restaurant, since the seating is somewhere between "intimate" and "cramped". The food is very good, though.
- Pikku-Nepal, Annankatu 29, ☎ . A very good "Nepalese" restaurant. Good vegetarian options. Main dishes €13–25..
- Sports Academy, Kaivokatu 8, ☎ . 11 AM to 11 PM mostly. As the name says, a restaurant for sports fans. The establishment takes up two floors, the bottom one consists of a bar, the top one of a restaurant. Both are furnished with sports memorabilia and have live TV coverage of major sports events both in Finland and abroad. The menu is very meat-oriented, with little vegetarian options. The Classic Burger is recommended. For light dining, try the hot wings, but be warned - the hottest sauces available are absolutely scorching hot. Main courses 13 € - 32 €.
- Suola, Annankatu 6, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mon-Tue 11:00-00:00, Wed-Thu 11:00 - 02:00 (04) Fri 11:00 - 04:00 Sat 14:00-04:00 Sun 16:00-22:00. The newest addition to Helsinki's restaurant scene. Located in the busy Punavuori district this nicely decorated place classifies itself as a modern bistro. Vibrant in the evenings as well, great choice for cocktails. Kitchen open until 22:00 daily. Lunch 8-15€, mains from 16€.
- Tamarin, Iso Roobertinkatu 18, Fredrikinkatu 49, Eteläesplanadi 4. Tasty Thai food. Main dishes around €14, lunch buffet €8.5..
- Zucchini, Fabianinkatu 4. Open M-F 11AM-4PM (lunch served the whole time).. Cozy vegetarian lunch restaurant with a daily changing soup and main dish (around €9).
- Boathouse, Liuskasaari island, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Open in summer (1st of May until 30th September 2010). Located on Liuskasaari island, Boathouse offers seasonal kitchen and a wide selection of wines.
- Chez Dominique, Rikhardinkatu 4 (Tram: 10.), ☎ . Finland's only Michelin two-star restaurant, run by famed Finnish chef Hans Välimäki. Set dinner courses of innovative French food with fresh Finnish ingredients and modern twists start at €79 per head, not including drinks. Those wishing to sample the full range of delights in this restaurant should expect to pay €250 or more. Reservations essential.
- Demo, Uudenmaankatu 9-11, ☎ . An unusual high-class restaurant geared towards the young and trendy, Demo's decor is minimalistic, but the food is of excellent caliber. There are no menus, only set courses pre-chosen based on what is fresh and available for the evening. Easily deserving of its Michelin star. Reservations essential.
- FishMarket, Pohjoisesplanadi 17, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Lunch:Open on request. Dinner: M–F 6PM–11:30PM, Sa 5PM–11:30PM, Sun closed.. High quality seafood restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere. FishMarket is located in the corner of the Kauppatori market place, easy to reach by Trams 1 and 1A.
- Havis, Eteläranta 16 (Trams 1, 1A and 2), ☎ . The successor of the legendary Havis Amanda, "Daughter of the Baltic", and still the best upscale seafood restaurant in town.
- Karljohan, Yrjönkatu 21, ☎ . Very nice restaurant opposite the Hotel Torni with Swedish and Finnish traditional cooking and keeping high standards. On Thursdays, try the traditional lunch of pea soup and pancake.
- Olo, Kasarmikatu 44, ☎ . Combines North European ingredients into a modern Scandinavian cuisine while using seasons best ingredients available.
- Postres, Eteläesplanadi 8, ☎ . Tu-F 11:30AM-2PM, 6PM-midnight, Sa 6PM-midnight. Airy restaurant with one Michelin star and great views of Esplanadi park, serving elaborate modern cuisine, but with plenty of Finnish ingredients like local fish, dill, liquorice, cloudberries, etc. Despite the name, there's nothing Spanish about the place, and the desserts are perhaps the weakest point of the menu. Reservations essential for dinner, but for their great value three-course lunches you may be able to sneak in without one. Lunch from €29, dinner from €53.
- Lappi Restaurant, Annankatu 22, ☎ . Although Lapland (Lappi) is on the other edge of Finland, you can enjoy cuisine of Lapland in Helsinki too.
- Rivoli, Albertinkatu 38, ☎ . Traditional fine dining restaurant quite close to the SAS Royal and Scandic Simonkenttä hotels. Specialities include oysters, shellfish and mussels in season (this was the first place in Finland to import them) and zander in an onion and cream sauce (traditional style).
- Saaga, Bulevardi 34 B, ☎ . Traditional Lapp food in kitschy Lapp surroundings — reindeer horn chandeliers and the lot — but unlike some of the competition, they don't compromise on food quality. The octolingual menu runs the gamut from smoked elk to bear meatballs. Don't miss the buttermilk pancakes (äkäset) for dessert. €50 for a full meal..
- Särkänlinna, Särkänsaari island, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Särkänlinna offers a Nordic cuisine. Located Särkansaari island, it provides a magnificent premise for any kind of function from dinners for two to elegant weddings or private parties. Särkänlinna is especially famous for its traditional crayfish parties.
- Savoy, Eteläesplanadi 14, ☎ . A luxurious restaurant with a magnificent view of downtown Helsinki's rooftops. Savoy is decorated just as Alvar Aalto designed it in the 30's, and they still serve some of the dishes that Field Marshal Mannerheim used to order, such as the famous Vorschmack (a comparatively cheap €18). Other mains from €40, while the opulent "Menu Savoy" will set you back €102.
- Bellevue, Rahapajankatu 3, ☎ . The oldest Russian restaurant in Helsinki was founded by emigrants from the Rodina in the turbulent year of 1917. Fitting location in the shadow of the Orthodox Uspensky Cathedral and a professional kitchen dishing out Russian traditional favorites with a French twist.
- Kasakka, Meritullinkatu 13, ☎ . Less well-known thanks to its location slightly out of the way and on top of a steep hill to boot, this restaurant must be doing something right to have stayed in business since 1969. Mains €20-30, set menus €38-55..
- Saslik, Neitsytpolku 12, ☎ . Traditional Russian delicacies. Russian music and decor of old samovars, stained-glass windows and paintings. Try traditional blinis or Saslik's bear specialities. Meals €20-35, bear dishes €66-76..
- Wellamo, Vyökatu 9, ☎ . Not strictly Russian, but a longtime favorite of both bohemians and the Orthodox community from nearby Uspensky Cathedral. Apart from the wonderful Russian dishes, lighter Mediterranean fare is also available.
- Farouge, Yrjönkatu 6, ☎ . Lunch M–Sa 11AM–3PM Closed Sun.. Probably the only real Lebanese restaurant in Finland. Friendly service and excellent food. The hand made baklava might be the best this side of the Mediterranean. Main dishes €14–38.
- El Greco, Ludviginkatu 3-5, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 11:30 AM - 11:00 PM. Greek restaurant. Serves authentic Greek food, based mostly on lamb, chicken and fish. Stylishly decorated and spacious. Main courses 20 € - 30 €.
- Kabuki, Lapinlahdenkatu 12, ☎ . Helsinki's best-known Japanese restaurant and a favorite of Finnish celebrities, which explains the signed ice hockey jerseys and Star Wars memorabilia scattered throughout. Alas, while the food is decent, it's not quite the real thing. Reservations recommended. Closed Sat.
- Palace Gourmet, Eteläranta 10, 10th Floor, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. M–F 11.30AM–2.30PM and 6PM–midnight. Fine dining restaurant that also offers private rooms for meetings and events up to 500 guests.
- La Petite Maison, Huvilakatu 28, ☎ . Classic French cuisine on one of the most idyllic streets in Helsinki. Only 22 seats. Bib Gourmand recognition in the 2006 Michelin guide. Menus (three to six courses) €61–89..
- Sasso, Pohjoisesplanadi 17, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mon-Fri 11–23 Sat-Sun 13–23. Classic Italian fine dining restaurant with one of the largest Italian wine cellars in Helsinki. Menus (three to six courses) €50–80.
- Vltava, Elielinaukio 2, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 11 AM to 11 PM mostly. The best Czech restaurant in Helsinki. Located very centrally right next door from the central railway station. Very difficult to miss as it takes up the entire building. Several floors on the premises, the ground floor consisting of a bar, the upper ones of a restaurant. Several Czech beers on tap, and the menu is based on Czech cuisine with copious amounts of sausages and sauerkraut. Main courses 20 € - 32 €.
- Yume, Kluuvikatu 2, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tue-Sat 17:00–24:00. Japanese restaurant. Modern Japanese cuisine and an extensive sake and tea list.
- Ateljee Baari, Kalevankatu 5 (Hotel Torni (14th floor)). Despite the name it's more like a cafe, located on top of Hotel Torni, Finland's first high-rise. Excellent views over Helsinki's downtown. You even have a view from the (famous) toilets. Highly recommended. Find the elevator close to the lobby to get there, but be prepared for expensive drinks. If you're on a tight budget, you can just enjoy the view on the elevator level.
- Café Ekberg, Bulevardi 9, ☎ (09) 6811 860. One of the classic Helsinki cafés.
- Cafe Engel, Aleksanterinkatu 26 (opposite the Lutheran cathedral). Where the locals go for tea and snacks. Very relaxed, lovely courtyard out the back with films projected late into summer evenings.
- Café Kafka, Pohjoisesplanadi 2 (Swedish Theatre). A lovely building with a relaxed atmosphere. Here you can find one of the best espressos in town.
- Cafe Succès, Korkeavuorenkatu 2, ☎ . This traditional cafe serves excellent delicacies. Famous for their enormous cinnamon rolls (korvapuusti), also available in Cafe Esplanad.
- Espresso Edge, Liisankatu 29. A cozy bohemian café with a South American vibe, popular among the artsy types of the Kruununhaka neighbourhood, and Faculty of Social Science students from across the street.
- Fazer, Kluuvikatu 3. Famous for its decor, architecture, ice-creams, pastries and coffees, this 110-year old café, run by Finland's largest chocolate maker, has been an institution since its birth. There's also the Fazer Bakery shop next to the café. If you are visiting, pay attention to the round room topped with a dome. People say that if you tell secrets here, the other customers will hear them across the room due to the acoustics of the dome.
- Gran Delicato, Kalevankatu 34, ☎ . Open weekdays 8.00-22.00, Saturdays 10.00-18.00, Sundays closed.. A very cosy cafe serving Mediterranean salads and paninis, and a variety of coffees. The Greek owner is a showman, usually around to amuse customers. Coffees 2-4€, salads 7-9€, pastas and soups 7-9€.
- Kakkugalleria, Erottaja 7. French-type cafe in the Design Forum. Try the lovely Sacher cake. Take away is cheaper.
- Kämp Café, Pohjoisesplanadi 29, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. M–W 11:30AM–midnight, Th F 11:30AM–1AM, Sa noon–1AM, Su noon–midnight.
- Strindberg, Pohjoisesplanadi 33. One of the oldest and most historic cafés of Helsinki. Great terrace on the posh Pohjoisesplanadi with views of the Esplanadi park, restaurant on the 2nd floor. Very popular among locals.
Bars and pubs
- A21 Cocktail Lounge, Annankatu 21. A high-priced but incredibly high quality cocktail bar situated in the city center, a few hundred meters from Stockmann's. Generally serves classic cocktail drinks with a twist, but also features several cocktails with a distinctly Finnish vibe (featuring garnishes such as birch leaves and fresh cloudberry) and innovative house specialities. According to worldsbestbars.com, this unlikely find is one of the world's best bars , winning the title of the best bar in the world in 2009 and 2010. Drinks €7-25, try the Birch Cooler, Blinker or XXX..
- Ravintola Wanhakettu, Malminkatu 22. A journey into traditional Finnish bar culture, where fireside debates and poetry recitals are a common place occurrence in this historical tavern. Frequented by a more intellectual if not boisterous crowd, the common traveler will find a home away from home at Wanhakettu. A famous haunt for many members of the classical artist communes of Käpyla and Suvela. According to historian Antti Mäjänen of the Ostrobotnious Historical Society, it was in this very spot that the second treaty of Vyborg was signed in the summer of 1902, adding character and flavor to this lovely tavern of old. Drinks €3.50-15, try the Karhu III Pint, Salmari or Kolme Leijonaa Malt Whisky..
- Ahjo, Bulevardi 2 (Klaus K), ☎ . Closed Sundays.. Named after the forge where the mythical Sampo of the Kalevala was made, this is a slick modern bar-lounge with two sides to it: a pure white space as you enter, with a bar counter and sofas, and a darker back room with nooks and crannies for a quieter chat. Drinks €6-8, try the Ahjotonic..
- Aussie Bar, Salomonkatu 5 (next to Kamppi shopping mall). Open Mon - Tue, Sun: 14:00 - 2:00 and Wed - Sat: 12:00 - 3:00.. The name says it. Place to go get some drinks with some international fun. Live music every Wednesday and the weekends are always crazy in Kangaroo Land...
- Butterfly (previously Baarikärpänen) (Located in Mikonkatu, right next to the Central Railway Station.). Offers R & B and Top 40 hits in a nice lounge-type bar with big comfortable sofas and a dance floor. Reasonably cheap.
- Baker's, Mannerheimintie 12. A great place to start up your party. From Tues to Sat they have a sparkling wine happy hour from 5PM: for 100 minutes, a glass of cava costs 100 cents (that's €1). The service might be somewhat rough. Also lots of young people there on weekends. Has a bar, nightclub, pub and serves also food.
- Black Door, Iso Roobertinkatu 1. English pub. Weekdays are relaxed, weekends have live DJs and a full bar. A place to go for quality beers, ales, ciders and whisky.
- Corona Bar & Billiards, Eerikinkatu 11, ☎ (+358-9) 751 75611. A bar and billiard hall owned by the film director brothers Aki and Mika Kaurismäki, echoing the melancholic mood of their films. Also check out the affiliated Kafe Moskva bar next door for authentic Soviet style experience, complete with Russian music played on dusty vinyls and Russian vodka and champagne. Downstairs is Dubrovnik, a small club-cum-movie theater that can be rented for private events and host occasionally live gigs or clubs..
- Erottaja Bar, Erottajankatu 15-17, ☎ . A small, consciously crude bar, that formerly was known as one of the primary hipster hangouts in central Helsinki. The bar is now all but deserted by the trendy crowd, and the music turned into the usual fare of hit-list pop, but on the upside the service is friendly and there is ample sitting room at the tables.
- Molly Malone's, Kaisaniemenkatu 1. An Irish pub/nightclub near the Central Railway Station. Popular among Finns and tourists alike. Live music every night. If you happen to be in Helsinki at St.Patrick's day (March 17th) this is definitely where you should go.
- Loose, Annankatu 21. A very street-credible rock bar, it is highly popular among Finnish rock musicians.
- On The Rocks, Mikonkatu 15 (near Central Railway Station). Located next to Baarikärpänen and Texas, this is a rock-oriented bar with occasional live bands and stand up comedy acts. Minimum age 23.
- Sports Academy, Kaivokatu 8. One of the best sports bars in Helsinki, and definitely the place for you if you are keen about football (soccer) or ice-hockey. A two-story building just opposite the railway station, filled to the rim with TV sets and several giant projectors. A variety of pub food also served - try the crayfish pasta or the ribs. There can be long queues before popular events - get in early!
- Vanha ylioppilastalo ((usually just Vanha)), Mannerheimintie 3. A bar/café just opposite Stockmann, owned by University of Helsinki's filthy rich students' union. Not very special in the winter, but the rooftop patio in the summer is nice. In the evenings, the club attracts a slightly-over-18 audience.
- The Circus, Salomonkatu 1-3. Music venue club.
- Cuba, Erottajankatu 4. A night club with a somewhat more "Latin" touch and softer tunes. Clientele mostly trendy young adults. Open until 4AM, often hosts student parties on weekday nights. No entrance fee.
- DTM, Mannerheimintie 6 B, 2nd floor (with stairs/elevator). Open M-Su 21:00-04:00. Formerly "Don't Tell Mama", DTM is the largest combination of gay cafe, bar, disco and nightclub in Scandinavia, with 2 dancefloors and 3 bars. Popular among younger, trendy people and some celebrities. Straights usually welcome, too, as long as they don't "take over" the place. Entrance Su-Th €2,50 Fr €5 Sat €8 (on special nights fees may vary). Around the corner is located Hercules Gay nightclub.
- Hercules Gay Night Club, Lönnrotinkatu 4. One of the busiest gay nightclubs in Scandinavia, mainly a 30+ clients, dancefloor and 2 bard, good for bare-faced cruising. Entrance free; coat check €2.50 (on special guests nights fees may vary). Around the corner is located DTM Gay nightclub.
- Vatican, Simonkatu 6. Vatican (former Jenny Woo) tries to profile itself as a nightclub for trendy young adults. You can lie on couches next to the crowded dance floor while sipping some bubbly.
- Kaarle XII, Kasarmikatu 40, ☎ . Open Th-Sa 10PM-4AM.. A Helsinki institution better known as Kalle, this former church hasn't had a renovation in years and really needs one. It still continues to pack in a hard-partying thirtysomething crowd, especially on Thursdays. No less than six different bars (all small), playing top 40 tunes, rock and Finnish pop. The last of the bars has a dancefloor and gets particularly packed, with people dancing on the tables. Minimum age 24.
- The Tiger, Urho Kekkosen katu 1 (Kamppi Center). Open W-Sa 10PM-4AM. Formerly Lux, this is a contestant for the title of Helsinki's classiest mainstream nightclub, with its dress code, stylish decor, relatively high prices and an age limit of 24. Five bars, two spacious terraces, a VIP lounge and six luxurious booths that can be reserved. Live music on Thur. Cover charge €4-8, free entrance before midnight..
- Le Bonk, Yrjönkatu 24. Open W-Sa 21-04, Sa 16-04. Design music club with 3 floors. During the summer very nice roof terrace.
- Playground, Iso Roobertinkatu 10. Entrance to this literally underground spot is easy to miss as it is hidden in an inner court, next to Swengi karaoke bar. With a maze-like setup, the venue features electronic music nights and the weekly Sunday morning club opening at 5AM and going on until early afternoon (note that alcohol sales only start at 9AM due to legislation). Drinks €5-8.
- Tavastia/Semifinal, Urho Kekkosen katu 4-6. One of the most prominent rock clubs in Scandinavia, a must see for fans of live rock of any kind. Semifinal has smaller indie/alternative bands for a young crowd. On special nights the two clubs are joined, but usually they host separate gigs. Tickets for all gigs can be bought in advance from the Tiketti ticket sellers next door. The annual Tavastia new year party is an institution in itself, with fans flying from all over the world for the show.
- Teatteri, Pohjoisesplanadi 2. A complex featuring a deli, a restaurant, a bar and a night club, all of them trendy and popular among the well-dressed crowd. Check out the aptly named Clock Bar (Kellobaari) downstairs. Closed Sun.
- Eurohostel, Linnankatu 9 (Tram 4). Helsinki's largest hostel, very close to the dock for the Viking Line ferry and the Uspenski Cathedral. Dorms from €24.10, single rooms from €45 (plus €2.50/person for non-HI members).
- Hostel Erottajanpuisto, Uudenmaankatu 9. A small, clean, and friendly hostel with a central location. €27€ for a dorm bed.
- Hostel Suomenlinna, Suomenlinna C 9 (ferry connection from Market Square). All year open hostel located at the Suomenlinna sea fortress. Great for a quick escape from the city. The ferry runs from 6AM to 2AM so you are not totally cut off.
- Omena Hotel Yrjönkatu, Yrjönkatu 30. A self-service budget hotel concept with no front desk in the centre near Kamppi. Book and pay on the Internet and let yourself in with a passcode. Toilet, shower, 26" LCD-television, small fridge, microwave, water kettle + disposable cups, coffee, tea, hair dryer and dining table. Omena-breakfast €7.50/person. Business-package €16/night includes Internet connection, two volitional movie per day and breakfast. Parking €17.50/night. Omena hotellis have been established in most major Finnish cities and are used widely by Finns travelling in their own country. 4 person room from €45/room..
- Omena Hotel Lönnrotinkatu, Lönnrotinkatu 13. The same budget hotel chain has another hotel a couple of blocks south. 4 person room from €45/room..
- Hotel Finn, Kalevankatu 3B, ☎ , fax: +358 9 68443610, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 15.00, check-out: 12.00. A young, regenerating hotel right in the city center. Even though the rooms are small and fairly no-frills, the hotel is comfortable and cheap. Under new management, the hotel seems to be getting better (and cheaper) by the day. There are 27 rooms, which can accommodate from one to four people per room. Location absolutely perfect. From 55€.
- Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka, Vyökatu 1, ☎ . Housed in what was the Nokka prison until 2002, this classy hotel has retained the original exterior and the internal corridor, but the rooms themselves, built by combining two to three cells, retain no trace of their past. Walking distance to city center. From €99.
- Best Western Hotel Carlton, Kaisaniemenkatu 3, ☎ , fax: +358 9 660 112, e-mail: email@example.com. Best Western Hotel Carlton is a personal, 19 room hotel in the very center of Helsinki, only 100 metres from Helsinki Central Railway Station.
- Cumulus Kaisaniemi, Kaisaniemenkatu 7 (M Kaisaniemi). A centrally located but minimally equipped business hotel. From €83 for a double in the low season.
- Hotel GLO, Kluuvikatu 4, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hotel GLO is situated in the centre of Helsinki, between Aleksanterinkatu and Pohjoisesplanadi.The hotel has a direct entrance to the shopping centre Kämp Galleria. The Palace Kämp Day Spa is located on the top floor of the hotel. Glo clearly lives of being the slightly cheaper alternative next door to Kämp, but is not quite able to match the quality of service of a true luxury hotel either.
- Travellers Home, Lönnrotinkatu 16 D. Central location, clean, and good amenities. Wi-fi €5/day. Fully-furnished flat from €85/night.
- Hotel Haven, Unioninkatu 17, ☎ . Hotel Haven, Finland’s first member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is designed to provide homely warmth, exclusive comfort and high-quality services for the discerning guest. From €169.
- Klaus K, Bulevardi 2, ☎ . Helsinki's first boutique hotel, although they prefer the term "personal contemporary hotel". Rooms range from the small Passion & Mystical types to the aptly named Envy Plus. Central location, funky styling and reasonable prices make this a winner. From €115.
- Hotel Kämp, Pohjoisesplanadi 29, ☎ . Opened 1887, this historic hotel claims to be the only true 5-star in Scandinavia, with doormen in top hats, yacht charters and prices to match: the eight-room Mannerheim Suite can be yours for only €3300 per night. Part of Starwood's Luxury Collection. Rooms from €120.
- Radisson Blu Plaza, Mikonkatu 23, ☎ . Classy hotel in a protected and carefully renovated, Kalevala-inspired 1917 building, located near the railway station within easy walking distance of Aleksanterinkatu. Excellent breakfast buffet. From €150.
- Sokos Hotel Aleksanteri, Albertinkatu 34, ☎ , fax: +358 (0)20 1234 644, e-mail: email@example.com. Situated in the heart of the city in the trendy Punavuori neighbourhood, next to the historical Alexander Theatre. From €139.
- Radisson Blu Royal Helsinki, Runeberginkatu 2, ☎ .