The Visit Helsinki tourism blog gives you a local and in-depth perspective on HEL YEAH – Helsinki lifestyle: food, design and urban nature in Helsinki. The blog has multiple contributors (in-house and guest bloggers) and it is maintained by Visit Helsinki. All our bloggers write their blog posts based on their own experiences. Find out more about them!

Elisabeth Heinrichs

1958287_10153957806815650_2041593543_nAn urban city girl, originating from the Munkkiniemi district of Helsinki, who enjoys writing. The writer prefers to travel in Helsinki by tram because in that way one sees what’s happening in the city and can follow the beat of it. Her favorite scent is the smell of the sea – it’s a fresh breeze of sea air, which has always been present in the writer’s life. She has lived a couple of years in Italy, from where her infatuation for dresses and appreciation for good food got started. The writer lives in Pasila, which she believes will be one of Helsinki’s most interesting districts in the future. Her ideal Helsinki day would be spent in a café or in a park with loved ones and good food. In this blog Elisabeth writes about food: cafés, restaurants and food related news.

Best in Helsinki
One of the writer’s favorite places in Helsinki is Munkkiniemi, where one can walk along the beautiful beach, enjoy the nature, eat well, drink good coffee and be nostalgic over one’s childhood. Töölö is close to her heart thanks to its wonderful cafés and restaurants, but also because of the Töölönlahti Bay, which she used to walk around almost on a daily basis when she lived in the area for five years. Ullanlinna is also one of her beloved districts because there the buildings are like eye candy for the soul and the best flea market can be found there.

Posts written by Elisabeth

Riitta Kokkonen

RiittaDesigner/traveller/aesthete, who finds inspiration in simple lines, organic shapes, color white, rock music and Patti Smith. Blogs about design and architecture in the city.

Best in Helsinki
The tiny independent design boutiques, layers of the city architecture, the sea and white summer nights on the streets of Helsinki.

Posts written by Riitta

Marketta Lehtonen

MarkettaStarted working as an information officer at tourist information and nowadays is in charge of the event calendar besides the blog writing. Interested in exhibitions, cultural and city events in all genres. Besides the cultural happenings travelling and foreign languages are close to the heart.

Best in Helsinki
Marine Helsinki: places such as Market Square, Suomenlinna Maritime Fortress and Seurasaari Island. Historical Helsinki: districts such as Kruununhaka, Eira and Töölö. The best parks: definitely Esplanade Park and Kaivopuisto Park. Cafés with their delicacies: Fazer, Engel, Strindberg and Ekberg are worth to visit. All in all Helsinki is a vivid capital that’s changing all the time and there is always something new to explore.

Johanna Vilhunen

Johanna VilhunenThe natural beauty of the wild forests and swamps of her birthplace and the closeness of a Kalevala-themed village have lured the writer in to researching finnish traditions and nature since she was a child. After moving to Helsinki, she found the beautiful islands of oceanic Helsinki’s archipelago, the peaceful Ruutinkoski of Haltiala’s farm and the scenically and naturally special Lammassaari-island and the area of Viikki. The central park immediately became a second home to her. Helsinki, and it’s surroundings have offered great sites for many hobbies, such as cross-country skiing, hiking, climbing, cycling, paddling and yoga. It’s great to sharpen the mind in Helsinki’s various exhibitions, film festivals, concerts and free happenings. With regularity, it’s also customary for her to visit the second hand stores and “cleaning day” in Helsinki as both a seller and buyer. There is always a new lovely café or a restaurant in Helsinki for a person who is a constant traveller, such as the writer.

What place in Helsinki would I be
If she was a place in Helsinki, she would be a gloriously minimalistic Hattusaari or the peaceful Ruutikoski of Haltiala’s farm.

Posts written by Johanna

Laura Saksala

LauraSaksalaLaura was born in the city of Turku on the West coast of Finland, but Helsinki has been her beloved hometown already for some time now. She loves Helsinki’s vibrant urban culture to which the citizens contribute creating continuously new phenomena and events. Her flat is situated in Kallio district’s heart, near the Bear Park. She really enjoys Kallio’s laid-back and slightly bohemian atmosphere. Laura likes to visit urban events, try new cafés and restaurants and enjoy carefully planned and created dinners with friends at home. Arts, such as music, theater and modern visual arts, set her on fire in Helsinki or elsewhere in the world. At home, Laura entertains her energetic and social Cornish Rex cat named Hiski.

Best in Helsinki
Helsinki is a unique mix of urban nature and vibrant city culture. Kallio area is an interesting place to sense this uniqueness. Just stroll around the streets, enjoy a cup of quality coffee, pop into a vintage or handcraft design shop and have lunch in one of the restaurants which offer a vast variety of delicacies from trendy street food to high level cuisine and Finnish traditional dishes. Or come by night and feel the rhythm of the many bars and clubs of the area. Check out the new Food Helsinki? HEL YEAH! brochure!

Posts written by Laura

Marianne Saukkonen

marianneA mother of two, living in Helsinki, loves the sea, the beaches, events and cafes. Also fond of boating, travelling and hiking with the family. Is interested in city events, culture and interior design. The beaches and outdoor recreation areas of Vuosaari are familiar jogging routes and playgrounds. Writes about events and city culture, also in a family’s point of view.

Best in Helsinki
Pihlajasaari island; a fantastic oasis just in the vicinity of the city centre but still out at sea. Can be reached by your own boat or by a ferry. Sandy beaches, beautiful cliffs, stunning views , a cosy restaurant and the best sauna in town.

Posts written by Marianne

Leena Karppinen

Leena KarppinenI’m a third generation Helsinkian and madly in love with my hometown. Art, photography, architecture, cycling and innovative people inspire me. I’m a mother of two and thanks to my kids I have found new sides of Helsinki. My three year old and my baby girl have taught me to see the city with new eyes, and mount the sea lions at the Havis Amanda fountain!

Best in Helsinki
Local events around the city, museums, raw sea breeze, surrounding islands, different layers of architecture and people, the Helsinkians. I love to enjoy a cup of good coffee in some of my favorite cafés and chat with the workers – and other customers.

Taru Emets

Taru EmetsA mommy dearest for tourists, a fussy language freak and an easily embarrassed photographer. A tea maniac and nowadays also a coffee moocher. Unless it’s one of my soft days, I will let you know if you misuse a comma. A shameless lover of movie culture, microhistory, and salty scents from Helsinki’s harbours.

Of all the places in Helsinki, Jätkäsaari is the one that keeps pulling me in. The vast open sea, the growing city culture and the feeling of departure from the West Harbour all hit me in my restlessness. Jätkäsaari always reminds me of how the best antidote against melancholy is – to travel.

Emmi Kallio

Emmi KallioA life-loving adventurer who was born and raised in Espoo but who has been living in Helsinki for several years now. Traveling has always been close to heart through studies, work and hobbies. Loves sunny summer days with a good book, coffee, nature and the sea, sports in all forms, watermelon and seeing and experiencing new places and things.

Best in Helsinki

The colorful and unique woodhouse districts of Puu-Vallila, Puu-Käpylä and Kumpula always surprise. There’s something new around every corner, be it a beautifully decorated window, a lilac spreading its branches and sweet-smelling scent to the walkway or a street painting decorating the area.

Päivi Meros

Päivi MerosI have worked with a lot of artists, scientists and business activities. Now I am an event producer Visit Helsinki. Behind my event producer road  there is Helsinki Day on the Espa stage and in front gleams our bright winter the LUX Helsinki event.

In my work I want to provide people different experiences. I strongly believe that ordinary day can festive if you just dare to spice it up. Managed my crises in thirties and I have learned to appreciate even more the love ones and doing good things. I enjoy the pure nature and it’s diversity. In Finland particularly seasonal differences fascinate me, and at the same time bring interesting challenges for event producers. R. Niebuhr wisdom sentence fits here too “Give me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the strength to change the things I can, and the wisdom to distinguish between these two things apart.”

For readers, I would like to offer new tips, peeks into the back rooms, and above all the great reasons why you should visit in Helsinki.

In my free time I enjoy dancing, laughing, dinning and sometimes even singing.

Which Helsinki place I would be ….

I’d be in the eastern Helsinki – Kallvikinniemi. There, I felt a great love and that a sense is wonderful to return to.

Guest bloggers

Otto Lilja & Alex Aalto

promokuvanettiinOtto & Alex, two twenty-something guys, have finally set up their home base in Helsinki’s district of Etu-Töölö, after living abroad. Helsinki is now their home and passion, but the hectic traveling still haven’t stopped. Otto is constantly producing new content and working in a clothing store, so he is all the time exploring with his “eyes and mind wide open” what happens in this urban city. Stories are told in his humoristic and groovy own way, which hooks you up immediately. Photography is Alex’s work and biggest passion, and he tells big stories through images with the highest standards. Smaller and bigger events and happenings are brought to you in his very own and colorful style. These fun and eye-catching boys are alive and everywhere!

Otto’s & Alex’s personal blog.

Heidi Kjellman

Kuvan toimittanut Heidi Kjellman.30-year-old woman from Helsinki. Works as an online producer for an Internet marketing agency. Has had a food blog called Tiskivuoren Emäntä for more than five years now. On her free time she creates new recipes and practice food photography as much as she can. She also enjoys experiencing new restaurants of Helsinki. Tries to spend as much time as she can at her summer cottages located up north in Lapland and South-Eastern Finland, Myllykoski.

Heidi’s personal blog.

Kathrin Deter

Photo provided by Kathrin DeterKathrin has lived in Helsinki since 2010 and made it her mission to show visitors how Helsinki is beautifully different. Experiencing Finland beyond the common stereotypes is something that makes her thrive every day. Nowadays works as a freelancer in the tourism and travel industry, she also writes for her website and blog Luminoucity as well as for the cityblog Spotted by Locals. She loves urban nature, living the city life and experimenting with styles, good food and live music.

Set Erdman

Photo: Set ErdmanA small town boy that grew up to be a man that has lived the better part of his life away from his native country. But Helsinki is home. A beloved one. The love affair with Helsinki began in 1982 and in 1987 the writer moved here. Apart from a two year sojourn in Vaasa, he has been a “stadin kundi” (“a city chap”). If one stays long enough in one plays one will grow roots and one finds ones favorite spots. But a stranger in a strange land will always have that curios perspective, that keen eye one will have just because one didn’t grow up in the midst of it. The writer’s ambition is to let the readers get a taste of what Helsinki can be for someone that doesn’t master the native language – Finnish. He wants to take you places you might not easily bump into on your own, but also show you the very obvious with a little twist to it. Culture, cuisine and architecture and some historic flashbacks mixed with what to do if you like sport activities – both as spectator and participator – are fields of interest in the mind of this writer. He might also take you shopping for a haircut, a tie or a pair of gloves.

Best in Helsinki
Without a doubt Helsinki’s public transportation system, and the arrangements that in recent years have come about for those who prefer to use a bike, is something that the writer wants to point out as a factor that can be labeled “Best in Helsinki!”. And here the trams are the frosting on the cake! In the winter, a favorite spot is the Ice Park (Jääpuisto). Here you find people from all around the globe trying to stay on their feet, and happily take a fall, skating together with others that practically where delivered to this world with skates on their feet. Set is an avid café lover and as the ice melts away the writer can be seen enjoying a caffè latte from one of the cafés with a view towards Suomenlinna with the sun in his face behind a pair of shades.

Minea Hara

minea haraBrought up in Eastern Helsinki, grown up in Vallila. Now a tangle-haired and curious freelance journalist, also a student of organizational communication at University of Jyväskylä. Gets excited about free events and dreams about chips that do not make you puffy. Fills up with pride every time Helsinki is noted worldwide.

Best in Helsinki
The city’s hidden courtyards and the evening sun hitting old stone walls. The best way to spend a day off is either by bathing at Uimastadion, having a picnic in Pihlajasaari or taking a walk at Kivinokka in Herttoniemi.

Anne Salmela

annesalmela25-year-old tourism student, who will graduate later this year. At this moment she is doing an internship at a travel agency. Her hobbies include writing a travel blog, doing outdoor stuff with her dog and going to gigs.

Anne’s personal blog.

Anu Nylund

Anu Nylund AinolaAnu Nylund has been working in diverse jobs in the tourism business in Finland and abroad for more than 20 years. She is specialized in responsible tourism, in tourism education and tourism in Spain. Her academic background comes from the Master of Social Sciences in Tourism research and now she is working as a Development Manager in Tourism Education and as a Helsinki Guide. Anu is an active member of the Fair Tourism Association in Finland since 2004.

Ilmar Metsalo

Ilmar MetsaloOriginally from the nearby city of Espoo, Ilmar has moved to Helsinki to study. History of Helsinki is one his main interests and he could write about it more than most blog readers would like to read. Biking has always been a great way to explore the city but lately long walks with a small dog have become more common.

Best things in Helsinki are the streets where no one seems to be in a rush. A sunny autumn day is when the city looks the most beautiful.

Markus Veikkolainen

MarkusTech savvy experience wizard.

Online travel professional and the founder of Helsinki based #heleats food media. Markus loves to eat so he is the go-to-guy if you are looking for tips on where to eat or drink. His motto goes like this ‘Live to Experience!’

What Helsinki eats?

Andy Kruse

IMG_0446On his teenage travels to Finland, this writer had a good feeling about a hippie skater girl he met, who ended up becoming the mother of his two Finnish/American kids. Now calling this Northern country home, he works as a teacher and a writer, appreciating journalism for its adventure, education, and expression. He considers himself a relativist, feeling that the various views and opinions around the world don’t necessarily fit into right or wrong, but are simply relative to one’s experience.

Ksenia Kosheleva

ksenia_koshelevaA Saint Petersburg-raised and Helsinki-based journalist and travel writer, who runs Art & Food columns for Pro Helsinki. In between staring at the computer screen, she’s a devoted museum goer, preaching the philosophy of Moominvalley and drinking barrels of Paulig’s coffee – somewhere like a thousand cups ago, she even wrote and published a guidebook about Helsinki.

Best in Helsinki
She loves the unbearable lightness of being that Helsinki gives you. The city is really juggling with the urban personality and utopic serenity: one second you are in front of something monumental snapping photos, next second – you drink coffee in a little wooden house with kayaks passing by and random bunnies hopping around. It is a unique kind of capital where you can practice mindfulness on daily basis. To the point that it makes this guest blogger wonder: why people here even consider paying for yoga classes? The city itself is like a never-ending savasana. Occasionally you might wish for more action, hustle and bustle… but then just close your eyes, inhale deeply, and let all the lingering thoughts fade away. For free.

Hanna Kärppä

Hanna KärppäJournalist, blogger and Helsinki-lover. I have a huge passion especially for Helsinki’s cutest little cafes and delicious brunches. I love photographing, traveling and running in the nature.  My favorite hobby is just to wander around in the city, especially on summertime and by the sea.

Best in Helsinki

The sea and the closeness of nature. I’ve always loved the sea, and as a child spent a lot of time in our family’s summer cottage in the archipelago by the sea. The sea always brings my heart warm feelings: lots of joy and a sense of freedom.

Hanna’s personal blog.

Suvi Joensivu

Suvi JoensivuWorks as a content specialist in a startup called Loves to try out new things, aims high on a climbing wall and calms down on a yoga mat. She is passionate in what she does but has always a twinkle in her eye. Says that is important to remember to laugh, most at yourself.

Best places in Helsinki according to her are the sea, endless streets and an inspiring atmosphere.