Enjoy drinks and Finnish snacks along with art-house films at cinema-meets-bar Riviera. You’ll hopefully have a better chance of bagging one of its 55 seats now than when it opened over a year ago and instantly became one of Helsinki’s hottest hang-outs.
SEE ALSO: Essential guide to Helsinki, Finland
One of Helsinki’s hottest openings in 2017 was Merikerho. Literally translated as ‘Sea Club’, this is an old freight ship transformed into a distinctive restaurant/music venue with a vast sun deck. It’s moored at Suvilahti, where Kallio reaches down to the sea.
3. Kotiharjun Sauna
For a literal Kallio hotspot, experience the wonders of true Finnish sauna at the 1920s Kotiharjun Sauna – Helsinki’s last traditional wood-burning public sauna. Hitting the street to roll in the snow before warming up in the sauna during winter months is optional.
4. Ansa Second Hand
Ansa is one of Kallio’s most tempting design beacons, selling a carefully curated collection of vintage items. Alongside Nordic gems, it has a renowned collection of Japanese haori (traditional kimono-style jacket) and kimonos dating back to the 1920s.
5. Kallio Church
Fashioned from Finnish granite, the beauty of Kallio Church’s rough-hewn facade contrasts with its gorgeous Art Nouveau interior. Climb the soaring 94m tower for a breathtaking vista – and listen at noon and 6pm as its bells play a Sibelius tune.
6. Pub Sirdie
Kallio boasts many of Helsinki’s best-loved drinking dens. One fabulous old-timer still pulling in 21st-century punters is Pub Sirdie – a friendly, atmospheric dive bar with a legendary jukebox spinning 45s dating back to the 1960s.
7. Oma Maa
With Hakaniemi Food Hall closed for renovation until late 2018, Oma Maa (loosely translated to ‘A Land of One’s Own’) on Kaarlenkatu is an enticing small-scale alternative that sells food sourced from local Finnish farmers. There’s a great cafe on the premises too.
PHOTOS: JUSSI HELLSTEN, HELSINKI MARKETING, OMA MAA
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.