My Helsinki has everything from dress shops to cabbage pies!
Actress and stand-up comedian Kristiina “Krisse” Salminen loves to spend her time in Helsinki in cafés with her friends. In addition to her friends, other aspects about her hometown that she appreciates include the sea, the islands, the parks, old buildings and all the events. “Helsinki is not too big, but I still keep finding new places here!”
Salminen lived up to the age of ten in Hollola and then Lahti. At the age of twenty, she spent one summer living in a commune in the Katajanokka district of Helsinki having found a summer job at the Kaivohuone restaurant. Cycling to work and back home again when the sun was rising, Salminen fell in love with the coastal scenery and Helsinki Cathedral.
When Salminen became host of the Breikki educational TV programme, she moved into an apartment next to Hakaniemi Market Hall. Her older brother had previously lived in the same apartment, so Hakaniemi was a familiar neighbourhood. For the past ten years, Salminen has lived with her husband, children and dog in a house in Tapanila. Getting into the city centre takes just a quarter of an hour by local commuter train.
“I love in a lovely wooden house neighbourhood. I wanted the same kind of atmosphere as I had as a kid in Hollola: a small village community where you can pop round your neighbour’s garden for a drink and the atmosphere is straight out of an Astrid Lindgren story.”
Salminen also enjoys the nearby Fallkulla animal farm and feels she could still live in Tapanila when she eventually retires. “You don’t really even have to go into the city centre. ”The actress likes how Helsinki’s residential districts offer so much to choose from. “You can live right in the heart of the city or practically in the countryside thanks to the excellent public transport network.”
Tuomarinkylä is a beautiful place that just like from an old Finnish film. It really feels like visiting the countryside. There you can find the “Annan Kartano” restaurant, horse stables, a swimming beach and clothing boutiques. There is also a nice cycling route along the Vantaanjoki river. I usually walk from Tapanila to Tuomarinkylä with a friend every week to go shopping and to eat out. We also filmed many scenes for the Siskonpeti TV series in Tuomarinkylä – whenever we needed a picnic place or old house. By the way, one of the most famous ghosts in Helsinki, the “Lady in White”, lives in Tuomarinkylä Manor!
Suomenlinna is lovely. I have been on the islands there for many parties and gigs. My friends have a sailing boat, so we like to sail with them to the guest harbour at Suomenlinna and eat out at the Valimo café-restaurant. It’s also nice to combine a visit to Suomenlinna with island hopping by ferry. My brother and his wife at the time lived at the army barracks at Suomenlinna in the late ‘90s.
Whenever they had performances at the Suomenlinna summer theatre, I would spend a few weeks with them and look after their three kids. When I gave them rides in a cargo bike, the tourists would ask me how it felt to be a young mother living at Suomenlinna!
This boutique in the Punavuori district is owned by lovely Päivi, who sources her apparel from France and Italy. She usually has just one or two examples of the same dress. I have been a regular customer for almost ten years. It’s also a nice place for a chat. I go to Deb whenever I need a party dress and can’t be bothered to go to one of the big shops. It’s a completely different experience than shopping in major clothing chains!
A fun escape room in Helsinki is Exite, which can be found in the otherwise pleasant district of Katajanokka. You can go to Exite with kids of friends. The escape room games are really exciting. I went with my 11-year-old most recently, so we went for “Diamonds in Danger”. It made me notice how competitive I can get. It feels like you’re in another world!
Rönttösrouva is a really nice bakery café in Tapanila. I ordered cakes from there for my child’s christening already 16 years ago when we lived in Puistola. I often sit on the cafés terrace with my dog and chat with the locals. I usually enjoy a savoury cabbage pie there and take home some buns and rye bread. Rönttösrouva also sells the best Christmas pastries in wintertime!
I lived right next to Hakaniemi Market when I was twenty. These days I often visit the Kahvisiskot coffee tent with a friend. I usually purchase the same things from the market stalls. Also when visiting other places, I like to go to the markets and market cafés. That’s how I remember which town I’ve been to! Markets are homely places where you find yourself chatting with strangers!
What a lovely concept. I’ve often sold my old clothes at the Relove shops in Töölö and on Fredrikinkatu, and I also just reserved an old sled from the new Relove in Stockmann’s. I let the salespeople price my own clothes. The cafés at the shops are also really good and high quality. Both the food and the interiors look great!
You can get Vietnamese food from Lie Mi on Bulevardi and in the Kamppi, Töölö and Kallio districts. The restaurant on Bulevardi is quite new. I recently went there with my husband and some friends with whom we often travel around Europe. Eating out together feels like being in a foreign country. The interior and staff at Lie Mi are fantastic, and the food is the best in the world!