Shopping and Eating in Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki is one of the largest cities in the country of Finland.
Shopping in Helsinki
The shops in Helsinki defined by AbbreviationFinder offer the best selection for shopping in Finland. The most handy of us can spend every day in the huge Stockmanns department store in Alexandersgatan 52. This boasts to be the Nordic region’s largest department store. A little further up Alexandersgaten, at No. 19, is a Zara store.
Stockmann’s biggest competitor is Forum in Mannerheimgatan 20, where you will find close to 130 shops and restaurants under one roof.
The best shopping streets in Helsinkiare considered to be the parallel streets of Alexandersgatan and Esplanadis, where there are branches of chains such as Lindex, H&M, KappAhl, ONLY, Backstreet and Seppälä.
An exciting alternative to the clothing stores is the market hall Hietalahti on the southern end of Bulevardi. Here there are very low prices and a huge selection, but you have to have patience when looking through all the goods to find something that is tempting. In the surrounding area, Punavuori, there are many other specialty shops.
Other markets should include the outdoor market at the harbor, where fresh fish, fruits and vegetables, crafts and souvenirs, meat and clothing are sold. In addition, there are a number of stalls selling “slightly different” fast food.
The stores are usually open from 0900 to 1800 or 1900 on weekdays, and from 0900 to 1500 on Saturdays. Some of the larger department stores are open longer in the evenings, and some are also open on Sundays.
In terms of price, Helsinki is not much cheaper than Norway, but you can do some bargaining on locally produced goods. The Finnish jewelry series Kalevala is a popular gift. It is based on both new designs and thousand-year-old ornaments, often in a combination of gold, silver, bronze and wood. Souvenirs with the Mummitrollet are also compulsory to buy from Helsinki, the capital of Finland described on Countryaah.
VAT refund in Helsinki
Don’t forget that you pay VAT and that tourists who do not live within the EU can be refunded on departure. This applies to the purchase of products over a certain amount. Not all stores have a VAT refund scheme, so look for the Tax Free Shopping badge at the entrance if you are going to buy slightly more expensive products. Remember to bring a completed and stamped form and receipt. You also need to show passports.
Eating in Helsinki
If you say the words “typical Finnish food” most of us will probably struggle to come up with any immediate associations. Finnish cuisine has not exactly left its mark in international haute cuisine, and there are considerably fewer Finnish restaurants around the world than Italian, French or Chinese.
Finnish food can easily be described as a mix between Scandinavian and Russian cuisine, logically enough given its geographical location. If you ask for typical Finnish food at a local restaurant, chances are you will be served reindeer or salmon in one form or another.
Helsinki has now become an international metropolis where you will find restaurants with hints from all the world’s cuisine in addition to the usual fast food places. The Finns in no way doubt their traditional eating habits, nothing more than Norwegians, who do not exactly eat smallmouth and lutefish daily.
If you want a good burger then a local tip is to find your way to Kuja Bar & Bistro in Hakaniemenkatu 7 street. Open all days of the week until quite late (except Sundays when they close 2100). Kuja Bar & Bistro is known for wonderful burgers in all varieties and their brunch dishes. The atmosphere is laid back! Read more about Kuja Bar & Bistro.
Why not try something you are guaranteed not to eat at home? In the street Rahapajankatu 3 in Helsinki you will find a restaurant more Russian than those found in Russia. In fact, safe sources, so-called rumors, say that this is the oldest Russian restaurant outside Eastern Europe. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Read more on the website of Ravintola Bellevue.
Sami restaurants do not abound in Norway either, so you can take the opportunity to test Lappi in Annankatu 22, an awesome place with timber walls and fireplace.
Among Helsinki’s restaurants, Kosmos has become an institution. They opened their doors in 1924, and have been a favorite place for the city’s politicians, actors and artists ever since. The cosmos is located in Kalevankatu 3.
Of the beverages, the vodka Finlandia and Koskenkorva and the beer Lapin Kulta are among the internationally best known.
Gourmet pizza is what the restaurant Slate [see image first in article] lures with. And it is true that the pizzas here are very special. It’s a little special place to eat too. For Skiffer is located on Liuskaluoto which is a small island near Helsinki. There are boats here almost all the time from Merisatamanranta.
Slate is open from 1100 to 2130 on weekdays, except Fridays when it closes at 2330. On Saturdays, Slate is open from 1400 to 2330 and Sundays from 1400 to 2000. The address is Erottajankatu 11. Read more on the Slate website.