Initially, the idea of going to a place like Helsinki, Finland sounds super awesome.  However, my 2 days there turned out to be quite a disappointment. To be honest, I would never recommend anyone visit there on vacation, when there are so many other cooler cities to go to, no offense. Here are the things it lacked –

1. good shopping
2. warm weather
3. good looking people
4. beautiful architecture/sites to visit

However, since this is a travel tip blog, I will still fulfill my duties and give you recommendations of things to do if you do ever find yourself stuck in Helsinki. English is prevalent throughout the city so no worries if you haven’t been brushing up on your Finnish.

Stay.
If you go, you should try staying at the Klaus K hotel. It’s one of the Design Hotels, which is this awesome chain of super trendy (think W, but more expensive) hotels around the world (mostly outside of the US). The hotel had very awesome shampoos/body wash from their spa. The highlight of my entire trip was eating at their Italian restaurant, Toscanini – I know you’re thinking, “Good Italian in Finland??!” It was seriously the best pasta I’ve ever had. In my life! full stop.  (and yes, I have been to Italy). I would seriously fly back just to enjoy that meal again.

helsinki_klaus

Eat.

So other than Toscanini, I did enjoy some delish seafood at a cool restaurant called Fish Market. We stumbled onto it searching on the 50 best restaurants in Finland. It came up as #12. Very cute ambiance, food was good, overall a very satisfying experience. I ate fish sticks (I know, silly of me), which are pictured below.  Other than that, I do recommend you trying some Indian food in Helsinki. I learned that Helsinki is one of the best cities for Indian food outside of India, thanks to all the Indian employees at Nokia. Random huh?

helsinki_fishmarket

Shop.

Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that most stores in Helsinki do not open until 11:00am or sometimes even 12:00pm! There really isn’t great clothes shopping in Helsinki, but you can find great stores for furniture, decorations and knickknacks. Stores all look very trendy and “Scandinavian”, but sorry girls, it is definitely no Paris or Italy.

helsinki_popot

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