In weather like this, spring and summery temperatures, life in Helsinki moves into the outdoors. As the city is surrounded by water, it has countless beautiful spots by the water along with stunning lookout spots. These invite you to gather some friends, drinks and food and have a lovely picnic outside. Especially with days this long, an afternoon picnic often turns into a nightlong hangout. I’ve picked out my favourite picnic locations in Helsinki – plus some food tips on what to get for your picnic! Enjoy your picnic!
Eiranranta Beach is right on the Southern tip of Helsinki, and hands down my favourite spot to be. There is a little beach even, but the warmed up rocks in the Baltic are just perfect for a picnic. The location is unique to me because of the amazing view of the open sea and just a few little islands and the occasional cruise ship passing through.
Practical info: Busses 14 and 18 to down there, but I suggest you just walk from the centre, beautiful walk!
Restrooms: public restrooms can be found near Café Carusel
Lonna Island is one of the islands right in front of Helsinki. It has only last year been opened to the public. Hopping on one of the little boats by the market square gets you to Lonna in just 10-15 minutes before the boat continues to Suomenlinna. There is a restaurant as well but the picnic spot on its coast with a magnificent and unique view onto the Helsinki skyline is just a beautiful and romantic spot – particularly in the evening hours.
Practical info: JT-Line from the market square, check the schedule online
Closest store: no grocery stores on the island itself, get food in the market hall or the market from where the boat leaves. Picnic baskets can be bought directly from Lonna’s café, €17/person.
Closest supermarket: Alepa, Aleksanterinkatu 9, www.alepa.fi/
Restrooms: in Lonna’s café and/or restaurant
None of my lists of favourite-anythings would be complete without my beloved Töölönlahti Bay, the inland bay in the heart of Helsinki. Not only are the green areas around it beautiful as they are, but the best spot for the picnic is on top of the rocks next to the Finlandia Hall.
Practical info: trams stop closeby at the tram stop called Hesperian puisto (Hesperianpuisto Park) – take tram number 4, 7 or 10
Closest store: Alepa, Pohjoinen Hesperiankatu 5, www.alepa.fi
Bathrooms: there are public restrooms around
Tips for food
From markets: Browsing around the Market Square and the Old Market Hall always give me inspiration on what to get – buy for instance some rye bread, cured salmon, some sweet peas to snack on, berries – the ideas are endless.
From stores: packed salads and bread with your preferred toppings are probably what many people do, but not my favourite choice. I’d rather prepare some quiche, a pasta salad, and buy some fresh baguettes.
From restaurants: a popular place to get inexpensive takeout pizza is Barbarossa in Yrjönkatu, from there you can easily venture to all my three favourite spots. Takeout sushi from Hanko sushi is not cheap but amazing.
Written by Kathrin Deter.