Friday, 4 March 2011

5th issue: Low budged day in Helsinki part 1.

Walking around Helsinki is easy, because the city is small. Also when you walk you can discover something that you wouldn't by sitting in the tram. If you still want to take the tram and don't want to pay that over 2€ ticket fee, I recommend to go without paying. It's easy and called "pummilla matkustaminen" = "Traveling as a bum"

You can travel like this by metro, tram, ferry and train. Busses require tickets. Note that you will have to keep your eyes open, because there are also ticket inspectors (=Smurffit - Smurfs) around and if you are not aware of them, might you have to pay 80€ fee + price of a regular ticket.

There are heaps of people who never pay for tickets - and if they get 80€ fee every 6 months, it's still cheaper than buy a full price month ticket.

This is how Smurffs usually dress up

Sometimes they don't wear the Smurff-clothing!


Modern art museum Kiasma, The national gallery of Helsinki Ateneum and Sinerbychoff art museum (located next to Sinerbychoff park) are free every months first wednesday from 5pm to 8pm.

Libraries are open for everybody. There is a nice library in Rikhardin katu (Rikhard street) which has also strong historical story. Wide selection of foreign books and newspaper. Other libraries are found in Kallio, Eliel (central) and Töölö. I will make bigger issue about the libraries later on.


You would think that the cheapest is to have a picnic in the park, but food is expensive in Finland, so suddenly you might find yourself paying 10€ for your picnic goods. I would recommend you to go to Kallio for cheap food.

Du Dii is a very nice (but small) thai restaurant/take-away. If the weather is nice, grab some Du Dii food and walk 30 metres to Karhupuisto (where Kallio library is as well).

Du Dii food prices
6-10€. Portions are huge and heaps of vegetarian selections available.

Viides linja 7, from the tram stop just start walking towards Merihaka, down the hill, on your left side. Next to the sex shop.

Mon 11-19
Tue-Thu 11-20
Fri 11-19
Sat-Sun 12-20

Lot's of COPS(!!) use this place for dining, so don't be surprised if you are on the line with 5 cop.

Pelmenit is an Ukrainian restaurant. All I can say is: VERY GOOD PLACE! I went there after a hard night out, I just walked in and asked "what vegetarian you have?" The chef answered me "Russian pancake" and I was sold! I got a huge portion on filled pancakes which I wanted to finish because they were so good, but I just couldn't! ALso one experience is the whole restaurant and it's atmosphere.

Early birds lunch 5-6€
9-15€ (I think my pancakes were 9€)

Kustaankatu 7
Best you get here with tram and metro. Metro stop is Sörnäinen and head to Vaasan katu (Vaasa street) walk straight Vaasa street and Kustaan katu is the second street going don on your right. By tram you hop off at Flemingin katu (Fleming street) and it's the first street on your left.

Mon closed
Tue-Fri 9-22
Sat-Sun 11-22

Hanging around

There are heaps of parks in the central where people like to hang around with their friends. These parks have differences: certain kind of people hang in certain parks...

Espan puisto (Esplanadin puisto) is shit and you shouldn't hang here. Lot's of people coming from suburbs hang here. Good thing in this park is that there are lot's of places where you can use the toilet (e.g. Kämp shopping mall)

Espa from the bird view (this bird has fish eye lens)

Ruttis (Ruttopuisto)  is very close to Espa, but a million times nicer. There are huge trees that make also shadow if the sun is too strong (yes, sometimes sun gets very strong here too). There are old graves around the park. This is maybe the reason it's called "Plague park". When we had stronger gothic scenery going on in Finland, there were lot's of gothic people spending time in this park. Now it's slightly hipster.

not many "public" toilets near. Collect all your carbage!

Bulevardi 10

Koffari (Koffin puisto, Sinerbychoffin puisto) this is the main hipster park. If you don't have a fancy hair cut and ray-ban glasses - think twice. Just joking, you can go there anyway. And it's a nice park, because it's hilly and has a pond (which is not that clean, but it's nice that there's water)! Theres also market close.

Sometimes free concerts are held in Koffari!

Few public toilets available. DO NOT PEE OUTSIDE IN THE PARK! Also lot's of people living around, so don't get so noisy. Collect all your carbage!

Bulevardi 40

Sometimes unsophisticated people come to Ruttis :( 

Kaivari (Kaivopuisto). This park is a bit boring and dodgy. When I was 15 and living in Vantaa I was thinking that Kaivari is the coolest place in Helsinki. What Kaivari offers you is a very nice view to the sea! And this is absolutely worth of visiting for this. Also during work days the place is empty, so you can play there soccer or so with your friends!

Concerts kept (usually free) during summer, but the bands are usually pretty crappy Finnish pop-bands.

No toilets around, avoid Kaivari 1st of May         because it's full of drunk mid-aged people who sing songs and stupid technology student's who think they are "very" funny with their ugly coveralls. Also you will see lot's of people peeing outside... Animals are taking over the city...

How to get?
Tram 3T or by foot

Vappu aka May Day. Picture from Wikipedia.

Lot's of sparkling wine bottles!

Karhupuisto is a nice park behind Kallio library. Here lot's of students and alcoholics spend time. Lot's of places to get food and booze near, and when it get's cold you can go and continue in cheap bar.

How to get?
Tram 3B, 9 and 1A. Hop off at Karhupuisto.

Alppari (Alppipuisto) is mostly for hippies. It's hidden and secret - and this is the reason it smells like joint all the time. Sometimes these hippies are playing some psy-trance there and dancing, so if you are into that shit - this is your place! Also end of the summer lot's of concerts held in the park for free. Good indie bands playing too!

During the spring time cherry blossoms bloom.

How to get?
Tram 3B and 3T. Hop off at Linnanmäki stop. Continue straight towards the woods. You can also ask someone, People in Kallio hoods are more helpful.

Toilets found rarely. If a concert held, then there will be.

Good times in Alppari!

To the islands!

As I told, you can travel without paying if you are aware of the ticket inspectors. If you feel like heading to the islands, one is Suomenlinna. Later I will make bigger topic about the islands. To Suomenlinna (also known as Suokki) you get by ferry that is operated by HSL (Helsinki public transportation), so actually you would have to pay that 2+€ ticket, but you can also just walk in. No one is checking you. Ticket inspectors come to ferries sometimes, so remember to keep your eyes open!

On the ferry going to Suokki.

Remember to take your swimsuit with you!

Pictures from Helsingin Sanomat

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