Gift Ideas from Finland – Unique & Sustainable

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 your Guide to Gift Ideas from Finland. These are gifts to give locally for Helsinki, Finnish gift ideas to send abroad or to give to friends and family in Finland!

One more thing: while there are plenty of direct links included in this post (the majority can be found all around Helsinki and even the airport quite easily, in normal times), but I always want to encourage you to look for used and second-hand items as well. I know for gifts of any kind it’s not the first thing that comes to mind, but in the name of sustainability awareness, we should change that mindset.

Read my guide on Second-hand shopping in Finland here!


Experiences and time

While material gifts can be thoughtful, clever and delicious, there’s probably nothing coming more from the heart than spending time together. Here are a few ideas on how to gift that:

A dinner or brunch date: for food lovers and people in your life that you love but don’t see often, it can be the most wonderful gift to spend time together and catch up over a delicious meal. Check out Raising Hel Restaurants for a collective of local restaurants that have the goal to get everyone to purchase one gift card this year. Support your locals!

A cooking workshop: when we joined a Portuguese cooking workshop at Petiscaria, it was one of the nicest activities ever. While there are more coming soon, you can also get inspiration for example through Airbnb Experiences

Museum card: the card gives you entrance to over 300 museums all over Finland. It’s a lovely gift to give and make it for example a monthly date to go to a museum together.

Nature experiences: such as gift cards or vouchers for something like a wine tasting in the woods or a meal in the wilderness for when the season is on again. Finland, naturally, has a bunch of absolutely lovely activities and experiences our in the nature.

A Sauna or Spa visit – Gift cards are available for example for Löyly Sauna, Allas Sea Pool or Kuusijärvi. Otherwise, a hand-written voucher for Uunisaari sauna or Uusi Sauna are a lovely gift as well.

The EAT FINLAND 2022 restaurant guide book is a great gift for every foodie, I received last year’s edition and loved every bit of it. It includes special deals for some selected restaurants, which are great to use up throughout the year. The book is available for Helsinki, Turku and Tampere. Limited availability, so be fast!

Ceramics workshop: local pottery studio Udumbara offers clay workshops on a regular basis – keep an eye out and book here.

A beauty or wellness treatment: my faves are a massage or a pedicure. Find salons in the area or purchase a gift card for example on Timma.fi, or go a step further and offer a teeth cleaning!


Cooking and home

Finnish design goods are ever so present in many Finnish homes, and if you want to add a little something to your own, or gift a small piece of Finland, here are some of my favourite pieces. The selection is timeless and hopefully, you find something for everyone.

A lovely cookbook – to inspire healthy veggie-based meals without compromising on the deliciousness, check out Veggies, every day of the week. Maybe add a little wooden cooking spoon and you have a great present! Publisher Cozy has tons of incredible Nordic-inspired lifestyle books from cooking to interior, that make a wonderful gift

Home textiles – tea towels, pillow covers or a blanket – I love the wool and linens from Lapuan Kankurit.

Sauna Accessories – for the sauna lover in your life, get the wrap towel or hair towel from Luin Living, or the sauna pillow or towel from Lapuan Kankurit.

Thermos – having a large batch of hot tea during the evening or lots of coffee on a dark winter day or during brunch, are just great.

Homeware – such as tableware from Arabia , a classic Aalto vase from Iittala, a nice knife from Fiskars.

Kuksa cup

It’s no secret that I love my Kupilka kuksa, the traditional Finnish cup that is traditionally made of wood is something that comes in handy during any outdoor adventure. It makes a beautiful gift!

Reindeer print tea towel

This hits two birds with one stone: Lapuan Kankurit is a wonderful Finnish textile brand that is well-known for its high quality, Teemu Järvi is a local artist whose prints of the local flora and fauna have taken over the country by storm. Either of those are a lovely gift to give, and both together – perfection.

Helsinki is my Home book

One of the most beautiful books in my opinion, and a truly inspirational read for anyone interested in Nordic interior. The book takes us through some Helsinki apartments, and also includes some city tips. Highly recommend!

Sauna book

This is such a charming book with heart-warming sauna stories, and a wonderful addition to any coffee table or book shelf of sauna lovers. I already feel like turning mine on right now!

Alvar Aalto bowl

Another piece of timeless design, that fits in every home and is available in tons of colour as well. I got this as a gift from a dear friend just lately and I love it. You can use it as a bowl or a candle holder, but in any way it’s just beautiful and classy.

Marimekko Oven mitts

Marimekko items are the soft entranceway to Finnish design, and the homeware line with the bold prints is ideal for those (like me) who shy away of wearing them. And who doesn’t need a nice pair of oven mitts?

Iittala Ultima Thule glasses

The Ultima Thule line by Iittala is one of my favourites and a modern classic in many homes. You can’t go wrong with these, if you want to get the set of champagne or wine glasses, or just the small candle holder – any are usually very welcome.

Come to Finland Calendar

My mum loves to gift calendars, and I get it: they look nice in the home and they are also around all year with something new to look at. The Come to Finland calendars are cool retro Finland posters, that inspires to travel up North.

Donut candle holder

My favourite discovery of the Habitare design fair is the oak donut handle holder which was designed by the winner of Young Designer of the year. It’s so suble and Finnish, and wonderfully depicts my love for donuts and candles alike.

Skincare

…is important for everyone – not just the ladies! Here are three of my favourites that I have converted so many of my friends to over the years. Especially during winter, it’s important to take good care of our skin, face and hands – basically, any body part that is likely to be exposed to the elements. For those who will come to visit or those who are new to the real winters, proper skin care can make a huge difference.

– A lovely face oil or face mask

– Some high-quality lip balm

– Hand lotion for cracked winter skin

– A shampoo or soap bar for the environmentally conscious – for example this one


Accessories

I feel like many of these things are gifts that I would have hated as a kid but love as an adult. These are my favourite Finnish gift ideas and pieces that I also enjoy gifting, and they are a real crowd-pleaser.

A pair of mittens – gloves can be tricky size-wise so I don’t recommend those

A warm chunky beanie – ears and head need extra protection during the colder months, and everybody loves them

Cozy warm woollen socks – for the home, or a slightly thinner model to wear in your shoes outside

Purse or card holderlocal brand Lumi has lovely wallets and accessories to add to their line of high-quality vegetable-tanned leather bags


Food and drink

Who doesn’t like food, and those who appreciate a nice drink will be happy with any related gifts – I have selected a couple of lovely Finnish gift ideas that will make any foodie or drinks connaisseur happy.

Some other ideas that are not listed below:

Lumikarpalo – icing sugar covered cranberries, a favourite from all Christmas markets.

Seabuckthorn juice or cranberry juice – great as a healthy basis for juices or shots, gift them along with a little recipe card and some fresh ginger, and you have a lovely little gift.

Glögi – countless options from apple to the classic berry – a lovely little gift, add some raisins and almonds to complete, or even some glögi glasses.

Cold-smoked reindeer – I’m not allowed to come home to my dad without it – it is sold vacuum-packed and keeps very long, is easy to transport and such a unique, Finnish thing to gift that intrigues many.

Porridge “kit” – put together a little set of your favourite porridge (rice is nice during Christmas time, my personal preference is 4-grain porridge), with a small pack of oat milk, some berry jam and cinnamon – the perfect little breakfast gift.

Fancy baking mix – Flowbake has beautifully designed baking mixes from carrot cake to these muffins, another great little gift, you could add some cookie cutters or a muffin tin along with it.

Seabuckthorn Glögi

Glögi is the ultimate warm drink during the holiday season in Finland, and while I personally find most of them too sweet, this seabuckthorn one has a nice acidity to it while still so smooth and delicious. Along with an optional bottle of white wine to heat up with, this is a lovely small gift.

Cloudberry jam

The Arctic cloudberry is unique to the Nordics and is only found for a couple of short weeks in the summer. This is something delicious and Finnish, that is also something very special. Gift this along a piece of leipäjuusto (Finnish bread cheese) if you can, and you have a lovely little present!

Eat Finland book

A culinary journey through Finland – this charming cookbook takes you through all of Finland and explores traditional recipes with a modern interpretation. So beautiful to look at and a lovely inspiration for everyone living in Finland who’s a fan of cooking!

Anton&Anton Food bag

For those who love cookind and trying new recipes, ordering them a food bag can be a lovely idea that’s something different – and can even be an invitation to cook together some time. Like this local one from Anton&Anton, other suppliers are Sannan Ruokakassi and Food Market Herkku.

Kaffa Coffee

Finns are known to be the world leaders in coffee consumption, and the variety of coffee and local roasteries stand for that. The Christmas coffee by Kaffa roastery was a successful gift last year, and I’ll be giving that as well this year.

Napue Gin

The Napue gin is not only one of the best gins for gin and tonic, but also another Finnish staple – and it makes a great gift, especially those abroad or back at home who are just dipping into Finnish culture. Gift it alongside some tonic water, fresh rosemary and cranberries and you have it.

Artwork & Posters

Wallart and art pieces can really pull a place together. Here are some of my favourite Finland inspired things and/or Finnish artists whose work makes a beautiful gift:


Christmas shopping in Helsinki & webshops

Xmas Garage and Kämp Garden – Kämp Garden, 2 floor, Pohjoisesplanadi 33

My Oh My Xmas Garage – Forum Helsinki

Lokal & Glass House Helsinki

Stockmann & Food market herkku – Aleksanterinkatu 52

Moomin shop – Lasipalatsi

Moi Namaste – Indian craftsmanship brought to Finland

Nudge – sustainable clothing and accessories, Yrjönkatu 30

Weecos – sustainable online shop


Do you have any Gift Ideas from Finland to add? Share in a comment!

3 Comments

  • I’d like to drink that glögi from the champaign glasses which I hold in my hands, warmed by greeting mittens. now! hei hei. *

  • Helene

    Hi Kathrin,
    I love your blog! I have already gathered so many ideas for what to see, do and eat for my first trip to Helsinki – so thank you for that!
    Can you recommend a good place/restaurant/cafe to try ‘Lohikeitto’ in Helsinki? I’m a solo traveler so I’m not really looking for any fancy dining, but more cozy cafes and restaurants

    • kathrin

      Hi Helene, thanks so much for that! Fisken på Disken has the best lohikeitto on the planet – it is a bit fancier but I still go there on my own all the time as well – you can trust me on that 😉 Otherwise, check out the SOUP+MORE salmon soup in the market halls 🙂 Have a great trip!

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