Posted by: Debra Kolkka | June 26, 2012

Helsinki….cool city

Helsinki is the World Design Capital 2012. Finland has always been famous for design and this year the whole city is a showcase.


Many shops and businesses have special displays to celebrate local design. I especially loved the pop-up Finnish Design Shop at the Old Customs Warehouse beside the harbour. (See a recent post at Beautiful Helsinki for more on the shop)


Many would be aware of brands such as Marimekko, Iitaala, Arabia, Artek and Nokia, without knowing they are Finnish.

I took the number 6 tram to the old Arabia factory which now houses an outlet store for several of these brands.


What a curse having an almost full suitcase. One day I am going to come here with an empty one.

As well as being cool, it was actually cool….temperature wise. Even though it is summer I arrived to cold weather and pale skies.



I did my usual walk around Tooloonlahti to see the beautiful gardens.



The bay was full of gorgeous birds.


It was great to see families of Canada geese.


The babies are grey balls of fluff.


The harbour market was in full swing.


With all the delicious summer fruits on display.




The Helsinki mermaid was popular with seagulls.


I did my usual doorway spotting.




And I ate lots of delicious food.



The sun came out on my last day so I walked the entire city again.


Helsinki is beautiful in summer….even if it cool.

Keep an eye on Beautiful Helsinki over the coming weeks to see more of my stay in Helsinki.

Have a look at the cool guy playing music on bottles.


I have travelled to Helsinki many times, in all seasons, and I love this city. There are several other posts on my visits, take a look in the Helsinki category and take a look at Beautiful Helsinki.

Thank you WordPress for Freshly Pressing my post, what a lovely surprise!


  1. I love the photos of the doorways!!!

    • I likes every photos

    • There is a whole post on Finnish doorways…I love them

  2. What a wonderful place, Deb. I would love to summer! 🙂 Adore the Iitaala range, but it costs an absolute fortune here – $60/plate!

    • It isn’t as expensive in Helsinki and Marimekko is very reasonable here, particularly the fabric. I usually buy enough for a table cloth when I come.

  3. OMG, those baby geese are DARLING! Does it get any cuter than that!? By the way, do you know what to spiky, purple-pink looking flowers are called? I’ve never seen anything like them.

    • I have no idea what they are either. Perhaps someone out there will know.

  4. This post makes me want to go to Helsinki.

    • It is a beautiful city, I hope you go there for a visit.

  5. Loved reading about the Arabia – I have a wonderful set of Arabia brown and navy nuts print from 1964 wedding gifts – love it still -in perfect order – and use it occasionally. Marimekko – well that amazing fabric never ever wears out – had it for Danielle in the early seventies when she was tiny and those dresses got passed on to litttle relatives and friends .. Wonder where they are now. Thanks for trip down memory lane.

    • I have some Arabia pieces that I bought 40 years ago and I still use them and love them.

  6. It really looks beautiful, Debra. In San Francisco I think of you each time I go to “Crate & Barrel” a great shop that stocks all Marimekko fabrics. They are so colorful!!!!

    • How nice to be associated with colourful Marimekko fabric.

  7. Helsinki looks interesting. It’s obviously not a big city if you were able to walk it in a day. I must head north one day!

    • Helsinki is gorgeous, full of beautiful Art Nouveau buildings. It is mostly flat and very easy to navigate. You must go!

  8. Wow, wonderful … so many pretty things to look at. Love the Helsinki mermaid shot.

    • The mermaid is by the beautiful harbour, keeping an eye in things.

  9. I recall reading that Helsinki is not old like many of European cities. Is that true? Cheer to the bottle player!

    • Much of Helsinki was built between 1890 and 1930, which is why it is full of gorgeous Art Nouveau buildings. The original city burnt down in 1808 and wasn’t capital until 1812. It is a beautiful city, you should visit.

  10. I have been to Helsinki in winter and didn’t like it 🙁
    After reading I thing I must revisit it 🙂

    • You should go back, it is a gorgeous city.

  11. I bet you appreciated the cool weather after the heat wave in BDL.
    Great pictures; now I want to visit Helsinki.
    You have an eye for spotting the beautiful wherever you go!

    • It is easy to find beautiful things in Helsinki.

  12. Helsinki with your post makes me to travel there too… I loved them all. Thank you dear Debra, love, nia

    • Helsinki is a great place to visit. I go 4 times a year, on my way to and from Italy.

  13. stunning! love the babies and mermaid : )

    • The goslings were gorgeous and not frightened at all.

    • Elena I viewed ur web Site; you that Girl on that show!!!
      lets connect Harris is The Producer G

  14. nice place and countries…I am very interested in the contents of this post, I wait for the updates

  15. Nice work.

    • Thank you. Helsinki is a beautiful city.

  16. Beautiful photos, what a beautiful city! Man and nature at its best!

    • I went back the next day and the goslings were nowhere to be seen. I hope they were asleep in their nests.

  17. Thank you so much for coming to visit Helsinki, and I’m really glad you enjoyed the experience. Finns (and Finland) are like night and day depending on whether you visit in summer or winter! You girls picked the right one! 🙂

    • I have been to Heksinki a dozen times in all seasons and I love it! I have also travelled all over Finland from Hanko to Inari and from Oulu to Lapeenranta and had a great time.

  18. All from your story, I do really love it. It is so beautiful and nice place “Market, Garden, City and Fruits”.

    For one who got the dream to travel the world ,they should do tour to Helsinki.

    • Helsinki is a wonderful city to visit.

      • I will go there in next, after I got enough money for air ticket…..

        I try to work hard…. starting from now.

  19. Oh, Deb, I just noticed your post was FP! Congrats, my friend, you deserve it!

    • Thank you, it was a bit of a surprise….a good one.

  20. Very good taste. Thanks.

    • Helsinki is a beautiful city.

  21. Haha, yea, i think this summer has been pretty cool in Finland, usually it gets warmer, let me say between +20 and +25 degrees. Winter is a whole different thing though, but anyways worth visiting in my opinion, since there are some cool and special winter things to do in Finland! So you should try that one too sometimes, just remember to wear a lot of warm clothes.

    • I have been to Finland a few times in winter and I love it! I was there in February this year and I will be back there later this year as well. There are some winter photos of Helsinki on my Beautiful Helsinki blog.

  22. Love the photos of Finland – my husband has been trying to convince me to do a trip to FInland.. and seeing the photos I’m more keen to go.

    • Finland is beautiful, you should visit. The people are friendly and very good looking.

  23. Oh i wish I can visit the place too. 🙂

    • Finland is a beautiful country….you should go.

  24. How many times you’ve been Freshly Pressed? Congratulations!!!!!

    • 3 plus once on Bella Bagni di Lucca. It is a lot of fun.

  25. It isn’t too often that you here of Helsinki, but what a beautiful place! Your photographs are gorgeous.

    • Helsinki is a beautiful city, with lots to see and do.

  26. I’ve been wanting to go to Helsinki ever since I saw my first Kaurismaki film. I enjoyed your post!

    • Thank you. I hope you visit Helsinki one day.

  27. Oh how i wish i could visit this city someday. You have some beautiful clicks here. Great post.

    • Thanks, Helsinki is a great place to visit.

  28. Sounds wonderful! And lovely photos. Thanks so much for sharing! Inspiring.

    • Helsinki is a lovely city to visit, I have been many times in all seasons and I love it.

  29. Amazing post! Love the photos. Sounds like a really incredible time. I really like your blog, can’t wait to see more from you!


  30. Helsinki looks beautiful! I especially love the doorway photos.

  31. The photo os the baby ducks is adorable! Great, great work!

  32. Thank you for sharing ,i like nice post

  33. Beautiful pictures! It’s so different to see Helsinki ‘in the summer’ – even though it’s still cold. The only time I got a chance to visit was in frosty January.

    • I agree; most beatuflist lady… art is so surpreme.. you feel me…the pictures are travel

    • I love it in the winter as well.

  34. Splendid photos! I’ll go there sometime in August.

    • It should be lovely in August. Have a great time.

  35. Lovely! I’ll add a link to your blog on my blog. Very inspiring pictures, btw!

    • Thank you for the link, I will slide over to your blog and take a look.

  36. Reblogged this on Welcome to cynthiafrancis!!!.

  37. I’m going there next year. Lovely pictures!

  38. Hi Debra, What beautiful digital pictures. Thanks for sharing!

  39. Totally enjoyed my time in Helsinki, its surroundings and other places in Finland in cities and between them. So did my son who was thrilled to be there as well. We were there in summer, have numerous fotos, but also want to return in winter to see new views of places we’ve seen. Be sure to check Savolinna where there’s a splendid opera festival each summer. Even if you don’t like opera music, its an incredibly beautiful town with so much to experience….just like the rest of the country. I started learning Finnish for my return visit LOL Complex language but also rewarding.

    • I tried to learn Finnish when I was a child from my grandfather, but I didn’t get far. I can count to 6 and say hello and thank you and that is about it.

  40. You’ve been Freshly Pressed! Congrats this post among many others deserves it! Any decent spas in Helsinki? Im thinking of a 5 day vacation after the summer season. Hope all is well! 🙂

    • Finland is famous for sauna. Every house and hotel will have a sauna. I don’t know of any spas, but there must be some good ones.

  41. I hadn’t heard of Helsinki before listening to Architecture in Helsinki, ever since then I’ve wanted to travel to Sweden and visit ♥

    • That’s great, but Helsinki is in Finland.

      • *Sweden and Finland, I pressed enter too early lol sorry

      • An easy mistake. Sweden is gorgeous too,actually I have only been to Stockholm, but I liked it.

  42. I love your entire blog, great photography and wonderful spirit. I am European, ( Germany) migrated to the U.S. over 20 years ago, I am a photographer and some more, Italy is the only country I am getting homesick for, I’ve been there so many many times. When I looked at your post of San Gimingnano I could smell the city and hear the little swallows flying around, the sound of the Vespa’s and all that reminded me when I spent there a week about uhh, almost 30 years ago. Somehow your entire work speaks to me. Good luck. Cornelia

    • Thank you, Italy is special and if you love it, it is very hard to not want to be there.

  43. Great shots, it’s on my list of places I want to travel to!

    • You should go to Finland, it is a beautiful country.

  44. The photos of fruit are so awesome!

    • Those strawberries were delicious….they tasted as good as they look.

  45. Convincing, I have to go! And I. want. those. dishes. Oh, & that duck!

    • Helsinki is a great city to visit….you should go.

  46. Beautiful!

  47. Helsinki has never been on my list for travels but may have to add it soon. Thanks for the great pictures….and thanks for sharing your tour. You Matter! Smiles, Nancy

    • I hope you visit Helsinki one day. You will love it.

  48. I am from Helsinki but living now in Ukraine. Get homesick after looking these pictures.

    • I hope you get to visit home soon.

  49. Thank you for opening my eyes to this beautiful place!
    Wonderful photo’s, they bring the city to life.

    • I hope you visit one day.

  50. Now that I live in Lithuania, I will surely visit Finland and Helsinki.

    • It isn’t too far away for you.

  51. Wow…the birds were so beautiful…loved helsinki…trillion liked 🙂

    • There will be more on the birds soon on Beautiful Helsinki.

  52. Makes me smile to read these comments about my home country 🙂
    During the winter tourists should head up north or east of Finland. Helsinki isn’t too nice during the winter.
    Great fotos, specially berries!
    More Finnish art can be found from my blog site…

    • I have been in Finland in the winter. I love the snow, but I can imagine that it would be difficult to live with this for months at a time. Thank you for the link to your blog.

  53. i’ll be there next month, coincidentally. guess i will be very excited. love all the birds btw…

    • I’m sure you will love Helsinki. I hope the sun shines for you.

      • thanks, i hope so too. so excited for the coming summer holiday and see helsinki with my own naked eyes…

      • thanks, i’m so excited! thanks for posting and giving some ideas

  54. What a gorgeous city! Thank you for the pictures. I especially love the one of the mermaid and the birds. I follow a blogger who lives in Helsinki and I always love the photos he shares, if you’re interested in seeing more.

    • Helsinki is a gorgeous city. Thank you for the link to the blog.

  55. Congratulation on being freshly pressed!

    • Thank you, it is a lot of fun.

  56. Thanks for making us travel with you through your beautiful photos!

    • I hope you visit Helsinki one day.

  57. Wonderful post as always Debra! I had this one sitting and waiting in my inbox to read later and saw it was FP so dove straight in. Congrats and as alwasys your posts never disapoint! Thanks for sharing ! N

    • Being Freshly Pressed is always a surprise and excellent fun.

  58. It’s amazing how some people can take such beautiful pictures with instagram! I love looking at them too!

    • These are not instagram photos, I don’t even know what they are.

  59. Finland, the land of 1000 lakes! I am from a neighboring Estonia, and I am glad you found Finland and Helsinki so charming 🙂 Congrats on Freshly Pressed!


    • I think there are many thousands of lakes in Finland. I go several times a year and I love it. I have another blog called Beautiful Helsinki.Being Freshly Pressed is fun.

  60. nice. Will have to make my way to Helsinki soon before it gets into winter. I’m not that far away too.

    • Helsinki is lovely in summer when everything is green.

      • on the contrary i’m actually waiting for winter..Northern Lights.. 🙂

  61. Great shots.thank you for sharing.

  62. I enjoyed my long ago visit to Helsinki and the rest of Finland. Thanks for sharing.

    • I go to Finland 4 times a year. I love it!

  63. Reblogged this on chaotiqual.

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