For those of us who are expats, family and friends at home love a little glimpse in our lives up North, and Christmas gifts from Finland are always a welcome novelty. For those of us who have moved here with our family and we want to strengthen our relationship with the new home in Finland, or just for those Finland-enthusiasts in your life – this is a collection of gift ideas of Finnish items or things that are super useful to have when (living) in Finland. Especially with winter in mind.
Fiskars has been recommended to me ever so often over the years, as both a lovely summer and a delightful winter destination for a day trip from Helsinki. About an hour drive west of the Capital, snug around Fiskars river lies this stunningly picturesque village, that is also home to the famous company Fiskars that produces the uncanny orange scissors, knives and so forth; and the Ägräs Distillery which is known for its nature-inspired spirits. Streets lined by red brick houses, a bit of old industrial charm and gorgeous nature around it, Fiskars managed to make me thoroughly happy and finally got me excited for winter and Christmas.
It’s been great to see the second cycle movement grow stronger. In Finland, the recycling culture has always been active and present, and it shows from the re-use mentality in any kind of consumer goods all the way to repurposing buildings rather than new construction. Second-hand shopping is widely popular and encouraged, and possible both online or offline in stores. Here are my favourite tips for second-hand shopping in Helsinki, both in-store and online.
Marski by Scandic is my parents’ favourite hotel, for several seasons. It’s right opposite of Stockmann, so a great central location, the tram to our apartment leaves in front of the door and there is a taxi line during the nights, so my mum has great entertainment when she can’t sleep. But over the years, it really needed an overhaul, and it finally got it – and is now the first Scandic Signature Hotel in Helsinki. Marski now fully embraces all the oddities, phrases and curious facts about the Finns that resounded throughout the land.
Over the years I have found my love for the outdoors, and Helsinki is the best place to enjoy nature in all seasons. You can live in the buzzing Capital of Finland, but still be in untouched nature within 20 minutes from the city centre. If you are looking for a day trip in the Helsinki area, for a short hike, a seaside adventure or a relaxing afternoon – here are my favourites!
Villa Nagu is an incredible house on the shoreline a couple of kilometres outside of the town of Nagu, and it is the perfect spot for what we had in mind. Secluded in the wilderness, cosy, yet full of design details, and hence was the perfect inspirational spot (and just the most beautiful backdrop) for us.
I am not a professional outdoorsy person, but I have pretty strong opinions on, well, everything. My recent hiking trip to the St. Olav Waterway reminded me how much I enjoy playing around with different outdoor bits and bobs and figuring out what I enjoy using, especially in this season. Being outdoors is great, and the gear that works for you is just a wonderful way to make your experience better, so I’m happy to share with you what those are for me!