At the end of October, Nordic Choice Hotels will open two new Clarion hotels in Helsinki, in addition to boutique hotel Hotel F6, which opened in the city this summer. For those looking to visit the Finnish capital, here are some of the best experiences on offer.
Helsinki’s restaurant scene has exploded in recent years, with both young and established chefs and owners opening a wide variety of new and exciting eateries across the city. Three restaurants that are particularly hot right now are Roster, The Cock and Kolmon3n.
Roster (Pohjoisesplanadi 17) and The Cock (Fabianinkatu 17) can be found in the city centre, in the district of Kamppi. Roster offers guests a warm welcome with a well-balanced modern, international menu, and a broad selection of wines that includes organic choices. Signature dishes include a delicious Black Angus beef tartar and a divine grilled Italian squid, and steak for the whole family is served on Sundays.
The Cock is a great choice for lunch as well as dinner – here you can sit down to a dozen oysters or enjoy a three-course meal with Asian, south European and Finnish influences.
Kolmon3n is situated in Kallio – the part of the city where everything noteworthy seems to be happening right now. This small restaurant with space for around 30 guests serves a new menu every day, based on the available raw ingredients, with most options being vegetarian. The menu offers two, three or five-course meals.
Finland is famous for its saunas, but it isn’t always easy for visitors to Helsinki to take part in this tradition. Until as recently as this summer there was only one public sauna left in the city, but then Löyly Sauna (Hernesaarenranta 4) opened in the Länsisatama district. Löyly is an architectural masterpiece constructed from pine, and gives you the option to cool off by jumping straight into the sea. The premises also offer a restaurant, a bar and terraces with outdoor seating and excellent views. The only thing you need to take with you is your swimsuit!
The capital’s other sauna is Kotiharjun Sauna (Harjutorinkatu 1) in Kallio. Whereas Lyöly is a modern, hybrid sauna, Kotiharjun was established in 1928 and offers a completely different experience. Here, you need to bring your own beer and towels, but cleansing treatments and massage are offered. Kotiharjun is without a doubt a classic Helsinki experience that is not to be missed!
Helsinki offers a vibrant night life across the entire city, with small pubs to be found on practically every corner. One of the most beautiful is Sea Horse Terassi by the park at the start of Kapteeninkatu in the part of the city known as Punavuori. Here, beer and light meals are served in a yellow functionalist building. A good choice is a Lonkero or Lonkku – a Finnish drink combining gin, lime juice, syrup and ice.
One of the city’s major celebrities, film director Aki Kaurismäki, owns two bars situated next door each other in Kamppi. Corona (Eerikinkatu 11) is a popular choice among the city’s creative inhabitants, where you can check out a live performance in the cellar or test your skills on one of the ten pool tables. Next door is Kaurismäki’s other bar, Kafe Moskva.
Boutique hotel Hotel F6 (Fabianinkatu 6) opened its doors this summer, and since then its bar, Runar – named after the hotel’s very own Boston terrier – has been the place to be and be seen for the city’s young, discerning clientele. All four of the bar’s award-winning bartenders are famous names on the Helsinki nightlife scene – ask them to mix you one of the evening’s special cocktails! – and DJs play here at weekends.