Summer is set to make a return appearance during August, so it’s time to get all the amazing summer things off the list that you might not have been able to experience yet. But – worry not – I got some inspiration for your ultimate Helsinki summer experience and the sun will join you again very soon.
Live the terrace life
The best outcome of the spring is definitely the increase of terrace space around Helsinki! With regulations easing on restaurants, and particularly on terraces, the city has seen a lot of new and beautiful outdoor spaces popping up. Enjoying a drink or a lovely meal outside is just the ultimate summer feeling.
The new Senate Square terrace is a wonderful space to spend some time (and have a meal, for example from Paisano, but also places like Dekki in the city centre are just perfect to enjoy the warm days.
It’s no secret that kayaks are my happy place – the gentle movement of water and being so close to it at the same time is one of the few situations that manage to shut my mind off completely. It’s really easy, so don’t be afraid if you’re a total beginner.
Great spots for kayaking: Natura Viva, Laguuni, Kikkapakka, Melontakeskus
The little canopy kiosks all around Helsinki are such a local gem, and I’ve tried to visit as many as possible when the weather was nice! They are the most lovely little spot to catch up with a friend over a nice drink or enjoy a casual meal.
My faves: Way, Tenho, Signora Delizia. Still on my list: Vöner, Tacos de Kuurna.
Book an archipelago cruise or a Boat ride
Every summer, I explore Helsinki’s coastline by boat. It’s just absolutely beautiful and it’s fantastic to see our city from a different perspective. You can get a private boat tour with Helsinki Boats (highly recommended) but I also enjoy the Evening and Sunset Cruise with IHA Lines (you don’t need to have dinner there, but it’s actually pretty good!).
Get out of the city for a day hike in nature
Little city escapes are the best, especially in summer. Getting out of the city for a bit can be a great change of scenery, and as Helsinki is not only surrounded by National parks, but also home to 330 islands, nature is never far. This year, I particularly enjoyed the trip to Porkkanniemi and the Northern Part of Nuuksio. There are countless different destinations and trails for everyone. Read about my favourite City escapes here:
Market square treats
One of the things I told me many years ago: Finnish strawberries are not where I will be frugal. They are so sweet and especially delicious because of the long hours of sunlight, unlike you’d get them anywhere else in the world. They come at their price, anything from 5-8€ per litre from the market square sellers, but it’s worth it every time. And I learned it the hard way – you’ll regret not getting them when the season is over. Another must: a coffee break in one of the tent cafés. Always special to me is Kaffeli in Hakaniemi and their possumunkki (not pictured), and the Töölöntori café as well.
Second-Hand shopping & Flea Market day
If you are interested in any Finnish design, the second hand and flea market culture is absolutely for you. I’m all here for a treasure hunt, for home items, design pieces or also clothing – there are several well-known places all around Finland to shop for second-hand goods and it’s a delight. See my Guide to Second-Hand shopping below and check our Second Hand Style Finland for even more. It’s a loved pastime around here and heading out to venture out for goodies has been a highlight of my summer so far.