Embrace those festivals!
Even though summer might seem far away still with snow and stuff, summer seems to be around the corner and plans need to be made! City-wide celebrations of summer, art and food are perfect ways to see Helsinki in a new and different way. Part of trying to boost the “experience your city like a tourist”, I think these must-go dates for anyone living here, and also a perfect thing to do for any tourist. If you’re not at a cabin and the city is empty (like around midsummer on the picture below), the city is boosting with activities, things to do, music, fun and life.
Wonderful Helsinki – yes indeed! An initiative to take over Helsinki with flowers and make it even more pretty than it already is. Really looking forward to this one!
Another major classics of Helsinki’s unique festival scene is famous Restaurant day. It brings out thousands of people to celebrate (homemade) food. Everyone is invited to set up their own restaurant for a day and sell their dishes. A great way to show off your own cooking skills and also to try things from all around the world. It’s my favourite event of the city, me and a couple of friends also participated a couple of times, selling Belgian waffles in a BeDeFiLux cooperation – and we’re back this May! So visit us in Ruttopuisto and get a yum waffle with cream and berries. What’s not to love?
Aaaah and another food celebration I can’t wait for!!! As a lover of exquisite foods (I’d rather spend money on food than on shoes, that oughta tell ya something) this festival was my highlight last year and I’m so down for this year. What’s happening? Selected high-class restaurants of Helsinki set of mobile kitchens in Kansalaistori park and sell some tapas-sized dishes for 4-6€, so you can taste yourself through the best of the best! It’s not cheap, certainly, last year I spent something around 75€ (including the entrance fee) but it was worth every single cent. Plus, if you’d go to one of those restaurants, you’d probably spend the same amount on one meal, here you got tons of choices and you could have eleven different desserts. Win. (I’m drooling on the table here, looking at the menus…..)
Last year the absolutely amazing “Rock the Beach” festival took place on Hietaniemi beach and it was probably the highlight of my summer 2013. Sadly it’s not happening this year, instead the dudes from Sonisphere are rocking Hietsu. Could be worse to have Metallica, Slayer and Ghost having a party in my backyard.
If the rock and metal thing isn’t really for you, Flow festival might be. It is probably also one of the best festivals I ever went to, when it comes to organisation, set-up and atmosphere. I got the chance to see the Nick Cave play there last summer and it was fantabulous. Music ranges from alternative, indie, jazz to all kinds of contemporary tunes and takes place in Suvilahti, where also Tuska (see below) takes place. Helsinki’s most popular restaurants set up a street food park which was delightful, Flow is really more about celebrating art and summer, alongside music. If you’re in town during Flow, get at least a day ticket and check it out! Really worth it! My favourite photo stream from last year’s Flow, here!
Alongside the Punavuori Block Party, Kallio’s Block party is probably the most popular interpretation. Whereas Punavuori is (or at least, was, in the last years) a tad more focussed on family activities and classy artsy stuff, Kallio screams more like alternativebohemianhipsterwhatever, go go go! The Block parties are basically a party where the city districts celebrate themselves, with music, entertainment, street food and general happy togetherness in the main streets of the neighbourhood. Local music acts on various stages, picnics everywhere – it’s the place to be to watch the curious peoples of unique Kallio. Really cool photos from last year here!
The classics amongst Helsinki celebrations, the Night of the Arts is – surprise – a night full of art! Happening within the Helsinki Festival weeks (which are massive, check this out), this night, the city booms of cultural events of all kinds: music, poetry, dance, theatre – everything. Get some people, roam around the city all night long, hooray!