Saturday, 5 March 2011

21st issue: Making a snowman at park

We did a snowman 2 years ago in Ruttis (mentioned in "Budged day in Helsinki part 1")

Next day he was gone. Ok, it was in front of the church...

20th issue: sarcasm.

We like sarcasm. No, we love sarcasm.

Because this way we can say bad things to others and when they notice that we are being rude we can only say "IT WAS SARCASM!" So actually we don't know how to stand behind our own words, always hiding behind sarcasm.

But it just shines through.

19th issue: Etiquette of alcohol culture in Helsinki

- If you take a bottle beer you should drink it from the bottle.

- You should also leave about 2 cm from your beer, because it's not sparkling anymore (even if it was, you have to do it still)

- If no one is watching you you can finish your 2 cm....

- Also you have to say "Lapinkulta tastes like dog pee", then people usually agree you.

- If you see Stella Artois on tap, you should say: "I will definitely take Stella Artois!"

- Ordering Jallu, you have to make it sure that it is one star Jallu. It is one star everywhere, but it's just trendy to make it clear.

- No straw with a drink

- White Russian with full milk from short glass without ice

- Drinking Bacardi Breezer is like drinking juice (only 4% alcohol)

- Dont talk about champagne when you are drinking 7€ sparkling wine

- You can buy a round of drinks, but don't expect that others will buy you any

- Liquor shots with cream are big no-no

- If you want a shot take: Fisu (fisherman's friend shot), Pantteri (mix of Fisu and Salmari (=salty licorice shot)), Averna, Jekku (Jägermaister), ice cold Kossu (Koskenkorva vodka), Fernett Branca. Other shots are not trendy.

- You can go to a bar and drink beer which doesn't have any alcohol, it's not embarrassing, people will understand you (they will think you have been drinking many months on row)

- During the summer spitzer is still trendy!

- Bartenders like if you bring your empty glass to them, but if the bar is busy - don't bother, you will only make their work run slower.

18th issue: working as a journalist

You are allowed to film/photograph in every public place. When working in private place, aks for agreement forehand by e-mail or so.

Print THIS* and put in your wallet.
(*=opening as pdf)

17th issue: Electronic music scene: dub step

There are a few very good dub step groups in Helsinki.
Some I recommend:

Arch of Neo
Niclas Kristiansson / Non Person (Channel Zero, Katusea) *
Matti Pentikäinen / Teeth (Ceebrolistics, Katusea) *

(* = click their names to go to their Myspace profiles)

Check their music on Myspace

Check their music on Myspace

Also clubs & festivals organized:

Alas @ Kuudes Linja 

Kuudeslinja is a night club in Kallio

Kaikukatu 4

How to get?
Trams 6 and 7A/B, Kaikukuja stop.

More info about Alas HERE
More info about Kuudes Linja HERE

NOTE! Alas is also on Basso Radio every Wednesday 9pm 11pm

More info HERE


Soho Bar is bar/club in Punavuori

Ratakatu 9

How to get? 
Tram 3B

More info HERE
Schedule + more info HERE

Pixelache Finland 

Pixelache festival for audiovisual arts.

Organized this year March 10.-13.


More info HERE

Flow-festival has lots of international and local bands. Also dub step will have it's own place again in the festival (or at least last year it had, hopefully this year too!)


Suvilahti, Helsinki

NOTE! Very famous festival, so get your tickets advance!

More info HERE

16th issue: How to complain?

As we know, Finnish people are sensitive. If you just tell your opinion by yelling, will Finnish person get afraid and especially will it be attack to that person. Aggressive behavior is like eating A Finnish person alive.

I'm not teaching you how to lie, I'm just teaching how to not make a Finnish person upset.

Here are some tips, how to complain:


Smile and say "I don't usually like to complain but...anyway it was delicious!"


"Usually I have got very good service here, but this time it seems so busy...." then tell what you have on your mind. Remember to look like you are sympathizing the person.


"I'm sorry, I didn't know there's a line", so you pretend like you did the mistake. Finnish people don't like to say if they have made a mistake, because they think they make mistakes all the time. The whole life is mistake for us.


"Let's check from Google, I might be wrong too.." Usually Finnish person smoothens when you say first that you might be wrong.


"Maybe I didn't say it clear, I meant credit. What is it in Finnish by the way?"


"I don't like to complain, but my complain feels smaller than the problem I got from your product... It's surprising because your other products are excellent!"

What I mean, is that you have to always be a bit sorry because you have to complain. I can promise that this way everything works better.

We are sensitive, don't step on us :(

15th issue: Swedish speaking people do it better!

Swedish-speaking Finns are our biggest minority group. They have their own radio channels, own tv-programs and tv-canals, parties,.. they have their own culture!

When I was a child I had few Swedish-speaking Finn friend. We were speaking Finnish with them, because I couldn't speak Swedish. I never though they were different...

When I was working in a bar we were having Swedish-speaking Finns party there, called Svenska Talande Klubb (Swedish speakers club). Soon I realized that it's not a tabu that these people are much more sophisticated than many full Finnish speakers are! I started to admire them for their politeness, cleverness and even that they are much more stylish than Finnish people. Finnish people seem like bunch of farm people compared to Swedish-speaking Finns.

So, if you just don't get along with full Finnish people, I recommend you to try with Swedish-speaking Finns. They are much more social! Even guys are much different than full Finnish ones, these guys are much more kind and thoughtful! I bet they will even buy you flowers.

Special parties organized by Swedish-speaking Finns?

Svenska Talande Klubb is held in Korjaamo once a month. Tickets around 7-10€ + 2€ for cloakroom service. Usually bands from Sweden and other Scandinavian countries playing, like there has been Salem Al Fakir (SWE) and Donkey boy (NOR)....

Where's Korjaamo?
Töölönkatu 51B

How to get?
Trams 3T, 4, 7B, 10. Hop off at Töölön kisahalli.

More information HERE.

14th issue: Nationalism.

I am nationalist: I love my country and I know my grandpa was one of the soldiers who helped Finland to get it's independency. And that's it.

Then there are people, who call themselves nationalists, but they are more like new age nazis. These people think Finland has too many refugees and everyone who looks different are living with government's money. This doesn't have anything to do with nationalism, this is straight taken from the ideology of Hitler.

Avoid people who have this kind of necklace: 

 They are usually those wrong kind of nationalists. It's sad that they have stolen our national sign. By using these they know who is in "their side." What's silly, these people don't remember that Finland had to send over 200 000 people as a refugee to Sweden back in the days...  

Usually if I see someone wearing this necklace I tell them my opinion of them. As I have multicultural background I don't support their ideology at all.

13th issue: Converse HEART Marimekko

Filmed in Helsinki. You will spot e.g. Esplanadi (mentioned in "budged day in Helsinki part 1"), Kiasma (was mentioned in "budged day in Helsinki part 1"), Kauppatori, The Finlandia House, The Government House, Ice Skating place (which I told in "the winter issue").

I like this pattern black and white:

Picture from Kauppalehti

12th issue: Cannabis=drug

I wrote that people smoke weed in Alppipuisto, but they do smoke it elsewhere too. But if you get caught by cops, will you get a fee and even end up in court. Yeah, just because of 0.5 grams of weed.

So, be aware of the cops and you'll be fine.

Now I m going to tell how serious some people are about cannabis, even if it wouldn't have THC in it. Today (5.3.2011) newspaper wrote about K-supermarket in Kamppi where they found organic cannabis cookies for 3.32€. They called the boss of the market and told about the cookies. What did the boss do? He took straight away the cookies away from sale.

So what's the point?

These cookies don't have THC at all. Actually hemp seeds are very good for health. What's the point taking the cookies away from the market? A lack of knowledge, stupidity, old-aged and narrow minded.

Still they sell these cookies in eco-market Ruohonjuuri, which is only 500m away from Kamppi supermarket.

Like the owner said about the cookies: "inappropriate!" 


Wheat flour*, wheatmeal*, vegetable margarine (vegetable oils and fats* [non hydrogenated]:- palm oil*, palm kernel oil*, sunflower oil*, water, emulsifier: soya lecithin, natural flavourings, citric acid), rasins*, barleymalt syrup*, coconut*, hemp flour* (3%), egg*, almond flakes*, soya flour*, sea salt, cardamon*

11th issue: Stereotyping Finnish people

This issue is not stickily about Helsinki, but this will help you to understand some the young adults in Helsinki.

If your country would have darkness for 5 month on a row, I bet you'd understand why we are the way we are. I have some friends who have moved to Finland from other countries and they have taken the darkness very hard and actually left Finland.

If you have depression in your family, but you haven't had it - I would not recommend you to visit Finland during the winter. Your depression gene might activate here.


Finland was known for it's black metal scene a few years ago, but gladly this scene is dying. In Helsinki it's rare to see any heavy metal dudes anymore. Mostly Helsinki is full of hipsters and ... hipsters. Some people say that they are not hipsters, but I think everyone is a hipster here. Me too. It's just so easy to generalize people. Hipster is the new black (metal).

Smaller groups

Also there's a small amount of certain people who have past as geek. There's one generation, which used IRC for socializing. These people were mostly spending time online talking about computer games..and having net sex. Virtual sex, yeah. Later on they started to organize IRC meetings and met each other. And there are many couples who have met in IRC and now are married! Amazing huh!   

80's gothic scene lived it's new wave from beginning of 2000's to mid 2000's. There were gothic clubs organized where music was all about Siouxie and the Banshees, The Cure, Bauhaus and so on. Now this scene has died, but still you can hear these bands in a ordinary club, by hipsters playing these bands.

And also there were new age hippies, who exist still. It's very easy to get along with Finnish hippies: they are kind and smiling. A bit shy, but loyal!


We are still depressed and melancholy. Our hipsters play in bands or they are one man band song writers. Many of the hipsters have past as black metal dudes, IRC users or gothic. Still these people are black metal, IRC users or gothic from their hearts, they just now dress up differently.

Still hipsters worship. That's me worshipping on the right side.

10th issue: Drink and drive

Public transportation quits running after 1:30 am. After this night busses run, but only during weekends (fri-sat) where you will have to pay 4€ for a ticket if you travel inside Helsinki. This 4€ is stupid to pay, if you only go a few stops. Usually the busses are packed up and full of idiots (especially if the bus is continuing to Vantaa).

Also you can prefer taxi, but they are super expensive, but if you have 4 people going in one taxi it's much cheaper if you are splitting the bill.

I usually prefer bike, no matter how drunk I am. I know it's not a good idea, but ... I do it still. And actually with a friend it's much more fun!

Ilkka and Antti show how to do it.

9th issue: Surviving without money aka student life

Did you spend all of your money and next salary day is after a few days? No worries! Collect bottles, you will easily get 5€ just walking through a park. If you have an apartment - just organize a home party and you'll get lot's of recyclable bottles and cans!

My bottles are waiting next to the entrance the day I wont have any cash

Friday, 4 March 2011

7th issue: Love Helsinki

6th issue: Low Budget Helsinki vol 2


All the time going on

FOLKS-club (Folks klubi) is organized every weeks Thursday in Korjaamo. It's all free and live music with DJ's. Also some discounts from the bar, with membership card (which you can have straight away from the desk for free). With that card you will get -20% from tap beer and cider (meaining the price is 4€) and a glass of house wine for 4€ (16cl). During the winter, spring and autumn held inside, during the summer it's held outside at the terrace.

More information HERE

Töölönkatu 51B

How to get?
Trams 3T, 4, 10 and 7A. Hop off at Töölön Kisahalli.

Ravintola OM'PU has very cosy atmosphere and almost every night DJ playing music. Drinks are cheap and workers are the best! Also free 80s Mortal Combat!

Siltasaarenkatu 15 (Kallio)

How to get?
Trams 1A, 3B, 6, 7B, 9 to Hakaniemen Tori, or metro to Hakaniemi.

Pasifico is kinda of reggae-ish place but also dub and dub-step nights. Wednesdays DJ playing and most of the drinks 3€. Cloakroom charge 2€, free before 10pm. Popular between 20 year olds.

Kallio. Helsinginkatu 15.

How to get?
Trams number 3B and 9. With 3B hop off at Kaarlenkatu and with 9 in Fleminginkatu.

End of spring to mid-summer

Helsinki Reclaim The Streets is held every year and it's a protest about making Helsinki central car-free. The whole idea is to take over a certain part of the street (changing every year) and make party in the street. Lot's of DJ's playing, people dancing and good atmosphere!

Usually organized the second weekend of June.

M bar terrace has usually DJ's and live music during weekends.

Middle on Helsinki. Easy to find.

Maailma kylässä-festival is held in Kaisaniemi park. It's kind of world village festival. Local and foreign bands, delicious food and good atmosphere!

This year: 28.-29.5.2011

How to get?
Kaisaniemi park is just next to the railway station.

Alppipuisto like I wrote, there are lot's of smaller festivals organized in Alppari. Usually these festivals suck lot's of people in it, so it's also nice way to see old friends. This year there's going to be free festivals too:

Elmu kansanjuhla is kept 29.-30.7.2011
Oranssi-Fest TBA (24.7.2011?)
Alppipuisto Jazz TBA (31.7.2011?)

How to get?
Tram 3B/T and 8. Hop off at Linnanmäki stop.

Senaatintori has lot's of gigs. Mostly they are not free, but as the gigs are held open air, you can listen to the music without a ticket. Last year bands like Arcade Fire played there!

End of summer

Taiteiden yö - The Night of Arts - is held end of August. There's happening all around the central during the day. Just walk around. Everything mostly free of charge.

This year 26.8.2011

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

Thursday, 3 March 2011

4th issue: Merihaka - beauty comes inside


From the central helsinki...

By foot 15 minutes
By tram 10 minutes (3B, 6, 9, 1A)
By metro 5 minutes (hop off at Hakaniemi, take Hakaniemi Tori exit)

Merihaka is underestimated neghbourhood, just next to the Hakaniemi market area (Hakaniemen tori). Only one bridge separates Merihaka from Hakaniemi. 

Why against?

Usually people don't like Merihaka because it's ugly and reminds people of Soviet Union. It's gray buildings are depressing.  I have to admit that the architecture is not that suitable comparing for other apartment buildings, but at the same time Merihaka's architecture is expressing the time they were built.

But many people don't know how nice Merihaka is - if you live there. Ok, Helsinki is flat so we don't have high buildings. Merihaka has apartment buildings that have even 15 floors.

Merihaka was built between the 70s to the mid-80s. The apartments are big (smallest ones around 30m2 and biggest ones around 55m2). What makes these apartments nice to live is that the walls are so thick that you wont hear a thing from your neighbors. Also one priceless thing is the scenery Merihaka offers: you hake a nice view from Helsinki from the higher apartments. Also some of the apartments have a sea view. As Finland is located to north we don't have light during winters. This is when those flat apartments get super dark. But Merihaka has it: The higher your apartment is, more you get light in!

I lived in Merihaka in year 2009. I was sharing a 52m2 apartment with my friend. Or rent was (only) 700€ and our apartment was on the 10th floor. I still miss this apartment a lot and if I ever had +200 000€ I would buy an apartment from Merihaka. I even gave Merihaka a nickname: Merry haka.


On the top floor there's a sauna and a smoking area. The higher your apartment is, the better the view is. There are 2 elevators, so this makes Merihaka different from Soviet Union, where they didn't have any elevators. And yes, you can find a soviet union map from one point in Merihaka, just as a joke. Heh.

Inspiring place

Finnish movie director Aki Kaurismäki has been using Merihaka in his movies. Mostly his movies are about working class people, and Merihaka was built for working class! So I see a meeting point right there!

This picture is taken from a book about Aki Kaurismäki

Later I will go and take some pictures of Merihaka...

Merihaka from one view from Wikimedia.

HAWT Merihaka!

Ylioppilaslehti wrote about Merihaka in January'11. Because Helsinki is the world design capital of '12, they suggested that Merihaka would be colored PINK. Here's the whole article (only in Finnish).

3rd issue: Jallu aka Jaloviina - Finnish alcohol.

Jallu is cut brandy. There is only one Jallu, but it has two different available:

One star Jallu has 1/4 brandy (alcohol 38%)
3 star Jallu has 3/4 brandy

Also soon there's gonna be two star Jallu available. Limited edition.

One star Jallu is the most famous one and usually people ask in the bar "are you using the one star Jallu?" Three star Jallu is not trendy and if you drink that you became anti-trendy and everybody laugh at you. Really, I've been there.

Cooking with Jallu

People use Jallu for cooking too. You can go and eat meatballs in Jallusauce in Ravintola Tori (located in Punavuori) for 12,5€.
Also some people put Jallu in cake. Hotel Helka's restaurant (located in central Helsinki) has white chocolate parfait with Jallu! You can add Jallu in everything you want...

Drinks with Jallu

Usually one Jallu is served 4cl, but you can also have 2cl, just remember to mention the bartender. You can enjoy your Jallu as a shot or add it in any drink. Here are few trendy tips:

Three words: cider with Jallu. You order one... let's say... Crowmoor and 4cl Jallu. Drop Jallu innit and suddenly you are very drunk. This is amazing drink!

Jallu is also good with ginger ale and coke. remember, no straw and not so many ice - it's not trendy. In coffee? Sure! Jallu coffee is delicious!

We love Jallu!

Jallu, Jalmari, Jaloviuna, Jalkkari = these all are names for Jaloviina! Also there's a adult magazine called Jallu...

Ravintola Tori
Recipe for meatballs with Jallu sauce
Hotel Helka
Wikipedia: Jaloviina

2nd issue: How to make friends with Finnish people

Finnish people are extremely shy. I would definitely agree with the aim that Finns and Japanese people are the most shy people in the world.  Some people may think we are rude, as we don't like to have small talk and we prefer answering the questions with one word. If you are lost and ask for help, it wont be surprising if some people just totally ignore you.

But this is shyness, not that they would do it to be rude. We are extremely introvert and unsure. Now some Finnish people may say that I am generalizing, but it really is true. And this is what we are and this is why we are so special.

So, how to make friends with Finnish people:

How to start

Finnish people love dogs, but they behave like cats. So, usually Finnish people want to be the ones that come to you. If you are super social, like Americans or Australians, you might get only bad look without an answer. 

If you try to be friend with a Finnish person by smiling to him/her every time you meet, it's not a good thing either. Especially girls will say "what the fuck that one idiot is always smiling to me, he doesn't even know me!"

So I would just say that: ignore a Finnish person as long as you can, they come to you. This might take time, but after this you are going to be good friends! 

Don't ever get too cheesy

Finnish people hate cheesy. Especially French guys behavior doesn't work here. If you say cheesy, a Finnish chic say: "A FRENCH GUY!" So, if you are a French guy and trying to meet a Finnish chic, don't be so French.

My tip is that you go to a girl, stop like 80cm away (so don't ever get too close) and... now this is the trick: look at her, deep in her eyes, and ask something stupid like "do you know where I can smoke here" 
and then just thank and walk away. Don't look behind.

Why do you do like this? Because first a Finnish girl thinks "oh my god, that guy is coming to talk to me, what a jerk" then she thinks: "that idiot is totally going to try to score me, not in a million years" and then when you only ask where the smoking place is, she's gonna think "what the fu*k, why wasn't he interested of me!" And you might actually get the girl like this, because next she's going to come and talk to you in the smoking area asking where are you from..etc. So this is ignoring.


When we are drunk you can make good friends with us - for one night. Next day we don't usually want to see you anymore. Making friends with drunken Finns is not ideal way. Making friends with a little bit tipsy Finnish is better. 

Making friends with a bartender

I used to work in a bar. We had so many people coming and knowing us by names. But for us they were customers. Sad part was that they though us as friends. I would never ever spend time with my customers on my free time. So, you can try to make friends with bartenders. They are usually social and kind - but only when they work. Don't forget that they are getting paid for talking to you.

Spending some time

Helsinki is small. Super small. Everybody knows someone who knows someone. So if you finally make friends with one Finnish, you have a good opportunity to make several others!


Finnish people care about you, but they don't say it every day. If they say it once - it means it and we don't feel like saying it all the time. After we have said it once, it has been said and don't expect to hear it soon again.

Especially in Helsinki it is very hard to make friends, but as I said, once you make friends with a Finnish person it means a good friendship. Usually female are more social than dudes.

Making friends in the street

Not in a million years. Don't ever think you can make friends with a Finnish person like this.

1st issue: When to travel Helsinki: winter

Depending on what you want to see. We have strong 4 seasons going on through the year.

I wouldn't suggest to come here between end of September to January, because it's dark and cold. What you will mostly see is angry people - especially near Christmas. Also if you want to go to bar or a gig, you might have to wait even 30 minutes in the cold before getting in! There's also a way to avoid this: go earlier to the bar (meaning 11 to 12 pm). What many Finnish use is, that they get their names on the list. But this way you must know someone who works in the bar.

How to discover the beauty

From February to beginning of spring (=end of March) is very good time to visit Helsinki, if you want to see the beauty of this city when it's covered with snow. The days are now longer and mostly it's sunny all the time. The weather can be cold, but it's worth it. And if you get cold, there are plenty of bars/coffee shops in the central Helsinki, where you can go and have a warm soy latte or so. Also in sundays there are plenty of people having a sunday walk  - in the ice! Yes, from February to mid March you can walk on the ice. This way you can have a good panoramic view from Helsinki from the sea and by foot. Walking over the water, just like

Also this way you can go to the islands. But remember to stay where other people are. In some points the ice might be melted. Many people also die because of going to wrong places... So keep your eyes open!

Good places to walk in the ice is near Kaivopuisto, where you get by foot or with tram number 3T. If it's a sunny day I would recommend walking! But remember to wear warm clothes, especially wool socks.


The first sunday of March is Laskiainen. This means everybody goes sledding! Ok, not everybody, but Laskiainen is very good reason to do this. Before hitting the sledding hill, you must pack with you Jallu hot chocolate. Jallu aka Jaloviina is Finnish strong alcohol, which has got super trendy during 2 years (later I will give tips what else you can to do with Jallu). When you mix Jallu with hot chocolate it makes a very good drink which warms you up! After sledging you must go and eat Laskiaispulla, which is a basic bun with cram. Also inside it you can choose marzipan or jam. I usually take mine without both of those. Just with cream!

Good place to go sledding is in Koff park, Koffin puisto (real name Sinerbychoffin puisto). It's located between Hietalahti and Punavuori. Also you can find secret sledding places from Kallio, because Kallio is much more hilly place than central Helsinki. I will tell about Kallio later on.

This weekend I m going to post how to do vegan Laskiais-bun!

Concerts and gigs?

It sure is true that no one want's to play a gig in the cold. And no one wants to stay outside and listen. So during the winter all the concerts and gigs are held inside. Bigger concerts are usually held in ice hockey halls, when smaller ones are in Tavastia, Kaapelitehdas, Korjaamo and so on. I will make a better list of these later on.

Ice skating?

There is a ice skating place in the central, but it costs a lot and its full of Russians, because their tour busses stop just near there. Better place to go ice skating is in Kallio and Braahen kenttä. You an get here straight from the central with tram numbers 3B, 9 and 1A. Also busses run but I wouldn't prefer using busses because the drivers are usually angry.

HFUT is rising again!