City: Helsinki weather and walk

My City Series continues! This time we scratch the surface of the biggest city and capital, Helsinki. Helsinki is a pocket-size Metropolis, a mixture of European chic, Finnish straightforwardness and Nordic functionality.

What are Helsinki citizens called?

Helsinkians, in English. In Finnish, this term refers more to a person who has born and grown up in Helsinki. Thus, you can meet Helsinkians in Helsinki and any other location in Finland. It is a quite funny phenomenon. True Helsinkians are very proud of being Helsinkians (and of course, they should). On the other hand, people who, at some point in their adulthood, have moved to Helsinki, like to highlight their roots (and of course, they should).

How is Helsinki weather?

In Helsinki, there is always a freezing wind from the sea! Even in the summer, when other southern towns are enjoying warmness. If I would wear a short skirt in Lahti (one hour to inland), in Helsinki I would dress in jeans and a light knit. An all year round pack list to Helsinki: a light down jacket, a scarf, gloves, a beanie, umbrella and sunglasses. Even in July, trust me.

pack list to Helsinki

A nice walk in Southern Helsinki

The southern part of Helsinki is the most posh area in the city and perfect for city walks. This walk is very short, only around 1 km one way, so you can do it in 40 minutes with all stops or then you can spend three hours, like me…

Helsinki mapStart the tour from the glorious Esplanade “Esplanadi Park” at city centre and find the street “Korkeavuorenkatu”.

The first stop is the old library on the street “Rikhardinkatu 3”. The Hogwarts-part of this library originates back to 1881, and was the place for many historical meetings. The most beautiful part is the 1920s built book tower. Check the opening hours in English.

Rikhardinkatu library in HelsinkiContinue your way onward “Korkeavuorenkatu”Stop by Fasaani Antiques, which is a huge antiques store with everything from tiny timbles to huge Narnia wardrobes. The objects are from Finland and other countries.

vintage finds from Finland and other countriesFurther down the street and you will see Café Succes. This café has been serving customers since 1957 and the French-inspired, effortlessly classy interior always takes you away. Succes has a great creamy salmon soup which I warmly recommend. This cafe scores very high in my Cinnamon bun-ranking. Their buns taste almost as good as my grandmother’s.

Next door, Flower shop Ölanderknows how to make the whole street bloom. I think it is actually the oldest flower shop in Helsinki with more than 110 years of floral knowledge.

the oldest flowershop in Helsinki

Take a right to head on to the street “Vuorimiehenkatu 27″. At first this self-service flea market Kaivarin Kanuuna looks nothing special. However, the wealthy neighborhood brings their stuff here, so the brands are quite impressive. Sometimes overpriced, but sometimes exceptional finds at this location!

The last stop is the small interior shop Armas, at “Vuorimiehenkatu 16”. The positive vibes and cool little decorating pieces are totally worth the visit.

Armas shop

City Series: Check Lahti-city.



  1. TerryF

    So glad you posted this, I am saving it for our trip there this summer. I so hope you are exaggerating about the packing list. We are coming in late August. I had thought mostly short sleeved with a lightweight sweater for mornings and evenings. I really need to keep my luggage down so I have room to bring stuff back.


    1. Varpu Poyry

      Hi! Great to hear that you are coming to Finland! I have used light down jacket countless times during summer time. It is so handy at evening and night time. Especially if you are staying close to coast line, I do recommend it. 🙂


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