5 Reasons To Visit Helsinki

When you’re looking to book a European getaway, Helsinki probably isn’t the first spot you think of. If you’re like us, you’re constantly dreaming about adventuring through Rome or Paris… but Helsinki, Finland?  What’s even there

It’s time to let you in on a little secret… Finland is cool. And it’s just getting cooler.

We just returned from spending a week in Helsinki, not knowing what to expect. We went with zero expectations, and we can honestly say that it blew us away. We’re already planning our trip back - that’s how epic it was.

Here’s why you need to go, too:


Maybe it’s our old age, but we dig a place with good public transportation. Don’t get us wrong, we still walk everywhere (we averaged 7 miles/day in Helsinki), but it’s nice to have options, you know? Public transport in Helsinki is incredibly clean and easy to use, and consists of bus, tram, metro, local railway and ferry services. You can purchase a Dayticket for unlimited use on public transportation for up to a week, making it easy to zip around the city!

Morning walks at the Helsinki Cathedral

The bus system is so easy! And affordable!


We’d go back to Helsinki just for the food. Seriously. They have everything - from traditional Finnish cuisine (reindeer, lingonberry porridge, bear stew), to trendy vegetarian restaurants and dumpling shops… it’s impossible to go hungry! See a list of our favorite Helsinki restaurants here.

Delicious first meal at Ravintola Savvotta

Dumplings in Helsinki? YES!


Shhh.. don’t tell anyone, but we’re normally not big museum people. We get bored. Not the case in Helsinki, every day we went to at least one museum - we couldn’t get enough! From colorful and interactive art exhibits at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, to learning about mammals at the Natural History Museum of Helsinki, to the whimsical architecture at the Amos Rex, we were mesmerized by Finnish history, culture, and arts. And there were still so many museums that we didn’t have time to see!

Living in a Dr. Seuss book!

The most massive game of telephone?

Incredible exterior of Amos Rex Museum

These are all of the components of an iPhone side by side!

One of our favorite exhibits! These light bulbs represent dandelions. So pretty!


Fun fact: There are more saunas than cars in Finland! The population of Finland is just over five million, and there’s three million saunas - that’s one sauna per household! For Finnish people, the sauna is the place where they relax, spend time with friends and family, and find physical and mental healing. It’s a way of life that we can definitely get behind, and there are some pretty remarkable saunas sprinkled around Helsinki. Two must-try saunas are:


Löyly is a pampering and soothing oasis on the Helsinki waterfront. Its modern, wooden architecture is jaw-droppingly beautiful, and the interior is just as stunning. Book your sauna session in advance, take a refreshing dip in the Baltic Sea, and enjoy a drink by the fire.

Löyly is nestled against the frigid Baltic Sea

Allas Sea Pool

Located in the middle of Helsinki, right next to the Market Square, Allas Sea Pool is one of the most picturesque sauna experiences in town. Their hot and cold pools overlook the harbour, and we recommend taking a dip right around sunset.

Amazing views of the city from Allas!


If we learned anything during our time in Helsinki, it’s that the Finnish take two things very seriously - saunas and coffee. They have legal coffee breaks (two 10-minute breaks a day, to be exact), and most drink around 3-5 cups per day! Many cafes will even include a free refill with your cup of coffee, and Cafe Regatta will actually give you 5 cents back for each refill or “santsikuppi” you drink! Other coffee shops that shouldn’t be missed are Good Life, Kaffa Roastery, and Kuuma.

Cafe Regatta is so picturesque!

Too much good coffee

Helsinki surprised us. We had no idea how enchanting this part of the world is, and how quickly it is evolving. From innovative restaurants, to bustling coffee shops and a growing art scene, Helsinki is on the rise. There is no better time to explore it than now - before word gets out about this charming city.

So… Meet ya there this summer?

Where to Eat in Helsinki 2019

We just returned from the dreamiest trip to Helsinki, filled with beautiful sights, mesmerizing architecture, friendly locals, and a LOT of good food. The culinary scene in Helsinki is growing rapidly - everywhere we turned there was a new restaurant popping up! As self-proclaimed “foodies” that can easily get overwhelmed in such a scenario, we’ve made a list of our favorite spots in this epicurean mecca, with the hopes that it will be of help to you. Let us know if we missed a spot! (Because you better believe we’ll be back!)


What do you do when an old McDonalds is up for sale? You turn it into a vegetarian's paradise, of course! YES YES YES wins for freshest, healthiest fare - and also for the most Instagrammable restaurant in town. Make sure you try the Halloumi fries.


This little gem of a spot is perfectly minimalistic and easy to miss, and we love it for that. Way Bakery and Wine Bar specialize in coffee, sourdough bread, natural wines, and light bites that are ideal for sharing. We suggest going around 4pm, for a pre-dinner drink and snack.

We LOVED the little shareable plates!


Ever since our trip to Japan we have become extremely passionate about dumplings. (Bobby once ate over 30 dumplings in one sitting.) It’s an epidemic. We can’t pass them up. Lucky for us, we happened to stumble upon Hills Dumplings, who proudly serve “The best dumplings in Helsinki”, and we’ll gladly give them that title. Try the “New School Dumplings” for something fun and different!


Grön is a newcomer on the Helsinki culinary scene, but they’re quickly taking it by storm. Not only does it have a Michelin Star, but they were just named “The Best Restaurant in Finland”! No big deal, right? Their four-course tasting menus are plant-based, focused, and seasonal. It’s a dining experience you won’t forget. *There are only ten tables, so be sure to make a reservation in advance.

The food is art at Grön!


Ravintola Savotta serves tasty and hearty Finnish food - complete with a picture-perfect view of the Helsinki Cathedral! Their extensive menu features everything from reindeer sausage to vegan soup, and the candlelight and Scandinavian decor makes it one of the coziest spots in town!

One of the best views in town!


Not only is Ekberg Finland’s oldest bakery, it’s also the most delicious. Whether you grab a seat at their cafe or grab some baked goods at their patisserie, it’s a must-try when you’re in Helsinki. Try their famous Napoleon pie!


This traditional little Nordic cafe sits right on the water, and it couldn’t be cuter. Cafe Regatta is one of the more popular places in town, but don’t let that deter you. It’s as charming on the inside as it is on the outside, and the menu is surprisingly reasonable. Order a hot chocolate (with marshmellow), and enjoy it outside by the fire!


One of the best breakfasts we had during our time in Helsinki was at Story Kortteli - a restaurant tucked away on the top level of the Kamppi shopping center! Don’t let the location fool you - their dedication to quality food and modern design is truly inspiring, and the views are pretty epic too!


From the same team as YES YES YES, The Cock is a playful and lively neighborhood restaurant and bar that serves everything from steak frites to sushi bowls! They also make a mean Negroni.


If you’re looking for a tasty, quick bite to eat, or you’re like us and just really like pizza, run - don’t walk, to Pizzarium. It’s Roman style pizza at its best, with plenty of toppings to choose from.


Helsinki is famous for their bustling markets, and Hakaniemi Market Hall is (in our opinion) the best. You’ll find traditional market foods and treats, making it a fun option for breakfast, lunch, or an early dinner.