Mikko Silvennoinen

English

Helsinki makes you feel like a citizen of the world

TV journalist and presenter Mikko Silvennoinen moved from the remote town of Kiihtelysvaara to Helsinki in 1995, when he began hosting Jyrki, a live daily TV show for young people. “That was my first job. Everything was big, amazing and exciting.” The fact that some of his old friends had also moved to the city helped him adjust. Friends are indeed the best thing about Helsinki, according to Silvennoinen. Having lived in the capital for more than 20 years, he has had time to make plenty of new acquaintances.

“Helsinki is also safe, easy and enjoyable.”

Silvennoinen appreciates how Helsinki is such a “suitably sized city”. It has all the services and events of a capital city, but getting around on public transport, by bike or walking is still fast. For the past 13 years, Silvennoinen has owned a tiny cottage in an allotment garden just a short cycle ride from his home in Töölö. Between May and September, he spends half his nights at the cottage.

“Coming from North Karelia, I am still amazed that I have a pear tree growing on my allotment.”Silvennoinen feels it is important that Helsinki is diverse and open-minded. He also appreciates the food scene, especially the fact that there are so many restaurants representing different food cultures from around the world. “Helsinki makes you feel like a citizen of the world.”

Silvennoinen is amused by how his friends from other parts of Finland never understand why locals run to catch the tram, even though the next one will be along in ten minutes. “It must seem like a short time to wait compared to the countryside, where a bus comes along maybe once an hour. On the other hand, tourists are never in a hurry.”

According to Silvennoinen, the quality of customer service has improved in Helsinki. “In addition, young people especially are really friendly these days and are always ready to help you find your way.”

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