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Thread: Helsinki

  1. #1

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    Helsinki

    Hi there,

    I will be in Helsinki next wednesday for several days, leaving on Sunday.
    Any recommandations, things not to missed ?
    I expect coldness around -10 °C, snow, but apparently sun should shine.

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    Lightbulb

    Yes: "medal coffee" with Kiira (Finnish Figure Skating Association's congratulatory reception for the media) - but that usually takes place on Tuesday rather than Wednesday after the homecoming of the medalist... :-/ (and invitations haven't been sent out just yet, for obvious reasons.)

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    It depends on what you fancy?

    January is not the best time in Helsinki unfortunately. The forecast says it's really gonna be cold, more like -15 C. Which means that you probably want to spend a lot of time indoors.
    Rockin' Finnish commentator: "And that was supposed to be a flip but it turned out to be a flop."

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    The island fortress thingy (name is totally escaping me) is kind of awesome.

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    Oh, and don't forget Jääpuisto: http://icepark.fi/

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    Go to the Fazer Cafe and stuff your face with orgasmic cakes!

    http://www.fazer.fi/Tuotteet-ja-palv...rl-Fazer-Cafe/

    Ritti, what is the name of the place you recommended that has the best korvapuusti? (aka cinnamon buns)

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    Don't take the trams at night! They are holding tanks for drunken old men. I learned this from bitter experience.
    I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
    (Edna St Vincent Millay)

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    Quote Originally Posted by cygnus View Post
    Don't take the trams at night! They are holding tanks for drunken old men. I learned this from bitter experience.
    And even worse: drunken middle aged men who think think they're still players.

    What was the interesting museum we went to, I think down the hill from the hotel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marge_Simpson View Post
    Go to the Fazer Cafe and stuff your face with orgasmic cakes!

    http://www.fazer.fi/Tuotteet-ja-palv...rl-Fazer-Cafe/
    And they have very nice soups and sandwiches, and the other half of the store is filled with amazing candy.

    Do you mean this coming Wednesday, 1 February? The Finnish National Ballet is performing "Don Quixote" on 1-2 February, there's a free concert on Saturday afternoon by musicans of the Finnish National Opera, 4 February, and the Finnish National Opera is performing "La Fanciulla del West" on Sunday night, 4 February.
    Last edited by kwanfan1818; 01-29-2012 at 04:38 AM.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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    Oh, and avoid running into a campaigning presidential candidate or hordes of paparazzis chasing them on street corners, malls, marketplaces, wherever. The election will take place on Sunday. (On the other hand, you could easily get free coffee and souvenirs at the campaign boots )

    Quote Originally Posted by Marge_Simpson View Post
    Ritti, what is the name of the place you recommended that has the best korvapuusti? (aka cinnamon buns)
    Café Esplanad

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    Go to Cafe Esplanade and have the korvapuusti. They are excellent.

    The food was nice at the Fazer Cafe, but if I went back I wouldn't bother with it. I'd just have 2 desserts.

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    Thanks for the recommandations !
    I will arrive Wed. the 1st, spend two days there for work, so decided to stay for the week-end.
    I had just found the website of the icepark, but no detailed location other than 'near the railwaystation'. not sure I'll bring my skates to skate outdoor by -10°C. Sun should shine though, and I was not in Berne to know how to cope with such a cold

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    I must warn you, -10°C degrees will not be accurate for next week... Forecast shows more like -20°C for wednesday! So better to stay inside...

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    The island fortress thingy (name is totally escaping me) is kind of awesome.
    http://www.suomenlinna.fi/en/

    It is gorgeous. But unfortunately it's an outdoor adventure so winter may not be the best time to explore. I'm sure it's very beautiful on a sunny winter day but it's by the sea so it's likely to be windy as well... MUCHO cold. I would definitely visit Suomenlinna in summer. It's a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marge_Simpson View Post
    Go to the Fazer Cafe and stuff your face with orgasmic cakes! http://www.fazer.fi/Tuotteet-ja-palv...rl-Fazer-Cafe/
    Yes, they have some -worthy desserts! This is especially a popular place between tiffed middle-aged Helsinkier women. But not only them, anybody can naturally enjoy their (expensive-ish) food.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marge_Simpson View Post
    Ritti, what is the name of the place you recommended that has the best korvapuusti? (aka cinnamon buns)
    Yes, Cafe Esplanad is a must! It's very popular, is not too expensive for what you get and it's very hip! Lot of gay people like to come here, I've noticed. The cinnamon buns truly are huge and very good. This place is very often full though! So you may have to wait before you find a seat.

    Quote Originally Posted by cygnus View Post
    Don't take the trams at night! They are holding tanks for drunken old men. I learned this from bitter experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    And even worse: drunken middle aged men who think think they're still players.
    I'm very sorry you two have had such an unpleasant experience with the late night tram! I remember you've mentioned it several times before so it truly must have been awful. I have to say though, that you've probably had terrible luck as well. Because the late night tram definitely isn't always like that. Sometimes there are some drunk middle-aged men, yes , but most of the time they just sit there or babble to themselves. Or even if they may say something to you, it's probably harmless babbling. I've never felt really scared among some drunks in the tram (or any other form of public transportation) because most of the time they are truly harmless and leave you alone. So you two have really had some shitty luck! Then again, I realize that things like these are always more unpleasant when you're in a strange country and not really unfamiliar with your surroundings. I would probably feel the same if it was somewhere other than my home city.

    To Skatak, if you want to escape the cold and enjoy classical music, then I'd go and visit the brand new lovely concert hall that we have here (called The Music House). The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra is playing Rachmaninov and Sibelius on a couple of nights this week. I'm not sure about the ticket situation though, but you can always ask. http://www.musiikkitalo.fi/web/en/co...earchEvents/1/

    As for museums, my favorite is Kiasma, the Museum of Contemporary Art. http://www.kiasma.fi/kiasma_en They have some pretty cool stuff. Some other big museums feature the National Museum, the Ateneum Art Museum and the "Nature and Science" Museum.
    Last edited by Hanna; 01-29-2012 at 09:15 PM.
    Rockin' Finnish commentator: "And that was supposed to be a flip but it turned out to be a flop."

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    We would have just chalked it up to bad luck, but then when we described it the next day, the message was "Why did you dumb-asses take the tram at night instead of the commuter train when they are holding tanks for drunk men?", much more politely, of course
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    We would have just chalked it up to bad luck, but then when we described it the next day, the message was "Why did you dumb-asses take the tram at night instead of the commuter train when they are holding tanks for drunk men?", much more politely, of course
    It was scary, because the tram driver pretended to be oblivious to what was going on, and we had to hop off the tram and then flag down a taxi in the middle of the highway.

    What was the name of the nice restaurant that we went to with the big group? Finnice was all nervous because Victor Petrenko was sitting across from us. The food was good (although I didn't think the fish heads looked very tasty) and the prices were reasonable.

    We took a really interesting guided tour by bus, but I don't remember the name of the company or where we got on the bus. Anyone?
    The outdoor market down by the harbor had some really cool stuff.

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    If you are in a need of a restaurant, you could use this on a smart phone: http://eat.fi/en/helsinki

    It is very nice because you can see how previous diners have rated the restaurant and also what restaurants have their kitchen open at the moment.

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    Exclamation

    It's going to be REALLY cold this week. The latest forecasts say it's going to be as cold as -20-30 C on Thursday-Friday. I strongly recommend you pack some really winter-proof outerwear (quilted trousers and coat) and fleece clothing layer if you can. Don't even try to survive with a Central European style of "winter" clothing (=multiple layers of innerwear, wolly sweaters, scarves, but only a thin coat and jeans as outerwear) ... you'll get killed in no time if you venture outdoors!

    On the other hand, keep in mind that all indoors spaces in Finland ARE warm and properly heated, no matter how cold it is outside, so you won't need to protect yourself from draught or coolness if you decide to stay indoors. The same goes for (most) buses and trains - they will be warm unless they are more than 20 years old. Also, the underground stations in Helsinki city centre are more or less warm because they are underground, but in the suburbs they are open-air.

    Regardless of how cold it might be, if the sun is shining, it is really worthwhile to go somewhere outside the city - even only to the sea to have a walk on the ice - because the nature is likely to be extremely beautiful (and the snow and the scenery will be quite different from the Alps or wherever you Central Europeans get your snow experience from)!


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by IDC a.k.a. Ritti View Post
    ... you'll get killed in no time if you venture outdoors!
    Probably, this should have said "you'll kill yourself" rather than "you'll get killed".

    Also, Laura Lepistö is going to perform (or at least show up) at a free outdoors(!) skating event at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium on Wednesday - to support Sauli Niinistö for president.
    http://www.niinisto.fi/tapahtumat/
    It's 5 to 7 pm, free of charge, "bring your own skates and warm clothing" , and you can meet with some Finnish top athletes and Mr. Niinistö himself.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by IDC a.k.a. Ritti View Post
    Also, Laura Lepistö is going to perform (or at least show up) at a free outdoors(!) skating event at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium on Wednesday - to support Sauli Niinistö for president.
    Ah Laura. Why did you get yourself involved in the campaign. First North Korea and now this.
    Rockin' Finnish commentator: "And that was supposed to be a flip but it turned out to be a flop."

  20. #20

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    Thanks all for your comments !
    I'll try to face the cold bravely. Thing is I will stay indoor thursday and friday, but will have to walk two blocks there. How Finns handle this ? I planned to put generic trousers and shoes, I don't see myself arriving at the place and changing clothes lool (even if meeting start around 8 am). Although I read it's not uncommon to bring shoes when you visit friends.

    I definitely planned to go walk on the frozen sea ! That must be something.

    What about taking the tram (3T ?) to go around the city in a warm environment (and, possibly no drunk guys in the middle of the day) ?

    Do you think I should try sauna ? If you have good address, you're welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by IDC a.k.a. Ritti View Post
    Probably, this should have said "you'll kill yourself" rather than "you'll get killed".

    Also, Laura Lepistö is going to perform (or at least show up) at a free outdoors(!) skating event at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium on Wednesday - to support Sauli Niinistö for president.
    http://www.niinisto.fi/tapahtumat/
    It's 5 to 7 pm, free of charge, "bring your own skates and warm clothing" , and you can meet with some Finnish top athletes and Mr. Niinistö himself.
    DAMN !!! My plan lands at... 7pm. and I could have brought my skates
    And I guess the ceremony for Kiira's medal was today ?

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