Seaside walks along the Helsinki or Espoo coast are a very popular weekend activity. Going for a long walk on a beautiful day, being out in nature, soaking up some sun and getting in some fresh air, and rewarding yourself with a lovely lunch or afternoon coffee and bun brings out many people – no matter the season. Both in bright winter and warm summer days attract lots of people out to these local gems.
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Uunisaari – Uunisaari island and their own restaurant is a wonderful spot just off the coast of Eira on the South of Helsinki. In the winter, the island is connected to the mainland with a little bridge, in the summer there’s a little boat that takes you across the harbour. Get their salmon soup or a cinnamon bun and coffee, you can also spend the day at the beach in the summer or book a sauna session.
Nokkalan Majakka – finally I managed to visit this lovely spot just recently, and I understand why it’s such a popular weekend café. It’s a bit further out from Helsinki, but on a beautiful day, it’s absolutely worth the trip out there. Take a metro to Niitykumppu, and walk down to and along the coastline, and then back to the metro Matinkylä. Great salads and munkki, amazing views out to the sea, and generally just really good vibes in this beautiful, modern wooden building.
Café Mellsten – Out in Espoo at Haukilahti beach lies this gem of a café, that’s open to guests all year round and serves a weekday lunch as well. While the place to be in summer for your beach day, it’s also a popular spot in winter to get a hot chocolate and hang out.
Café Ursula – another classic in Helsinki, on the edge of the Southern coastline with a beautiful sea view all the way out to Suomenlinna island. For a shorter walk but no compromises on the nature-feels, while staying close to the city, this is always a good option for spontaneous walks.
Café Regatta – not many needs here, but for the cutest café that is loved by locals and visitors alike, this little hut near the Sibelius monument is the perfect destination after a walk to get a hot drink, and enjoy it outside by the water after a lovely walk for example from Ruoholahti along the coast and passing by Hietaniemi beach. A true classic, and rightfully so.
Café Paseo – perhaps one of my favourites, and well-known by the Lauttasaari locals. In every season, this beautiful wooden café is cosy indoors with the fireplaces on, and just amazing and relaxing outside on the terrace with the view of the sea. Great to pop in for a casual weekend lunch after a long walk around the island.
Café Kampela – all the way out on the Eastern end of Helsinki, this café in Vuosaari is a trek out for many, but totally worth the trip on a beautiful day. Go for a nice, long walk around the Uutela nature reserve and reward yourself with a sweet treat at Kampela afterwards.
Café Merenneito – Matinkylä beach is always wonderful to visit, and worth the metro ride out to the West. The pier-like terrace is amazing to spend time on, no matter the season – the first time we went here we enjoyed a hot chocolate out there on a freezing cold but sunny day in February.
Café Carusel – Ah, another classic for central Helsinkians, Carusel also on the Southern edge of the city. An easy walk, and a great location for lunch, with a large selection of things (including delicious pizza) on the menu, and plenty of seating space inside and out.
Kasinonranta Paviljonki – Another little wonderful place on Lauttasaari island, further on its West side, that’s sadly only open during the summer months, which is always a great spot to spend a weekend afternoon or head here for breakfast. Lauttasaari is generally an underrated place to head out to, so this is another great reason to do so.
Birgitta – probably my favourite of those on the Helsinki South, Birgitta joins in on the summer-only cafés, which is sad! During the warmer months, I made it my Monday-morning ritual to start the week with a delicious croissant and latte by the seaside, getting an inspiring start to the day and I really miss that!
Ihana Kahvila – this one-of-a-kind makeshift container café on the edge of Sompasaari in the East of Helsinki city, is always a tiny bit of an adventure to get to, as the path leads you through the ongoing construction site until you reach the location. Amazing on a summer day, lounging in the hammock on or a bean bag, enjoy a nice coffee and enjoy a breathtaking city view.
Did I miss your favourite place? Share in a comment 🙂