Most of us sort our household rubbish and put paper, plastic, and glass in their appropriate bins. That kind of recycling is great, and we should definitely keep doing it (or start, if you haven’t yet!). But this is recycling on a whole different level. Helsinki knows how to recycle whole buildings! Well, technically “repurpose” would be a better word. There are several old buildings and industrial areas in Helsinki which have been repurposed to create centres of culture. We can transform any kind of space, from the sterile hallways of a hospital to the gritty machinery of an electrical plant. And theatres, art galleries and working spaces rise from the ashes like cultural phoenixes.
I can’t completely explain why I’m so attracted to these areas. Maybe it’s the concept of creating something new and flourishing out of a cold and abandoned space. Maybe it’s the intriguing juxtaposition of factory buildings and collections of fine art. But I really do love these locations. They’ve got an indescribable but infectious vibe. They may not look like much at first glance, but once you’ve spent some time exploring them, these places will draw you in.
If there’s one type of place I like to frequent, it’s cafes. I’m an extremely active purveyor of everything related to coffee- and tea culture, and there are few things that make me happier than finding a great new cafe in Helsinki. In an effort to go a bit further than just listing my three favourite cafes in Helsinki, I thought I’d focus on a specific type of establishment: a concept cafe.
A concept cafe, at least for the purposes of this post, is one that goes a step further than just serving coffee, tea, baked goods and sandwiches. It might combine the cafe with some other kind of business, or maybe just immerse every aspect of the cafe with some sort of theme or style. Below are three places in Helsinki which fit this bill, and are definitely worth the visit if you’re looking for a memorable coffee time experience.
What do you expect from a museum with free entry? Maybe a few pieces of mediocre art? Perhaps some boring artefacts which you try to be interested in but completely forget once you leave the museum. There are definitely some free museums which suffer from these downfalls, but it doesn’t have to be that way!
Even if you’re down to your last euro, you can still see some interesting museums in Helsinki. The three below are free at all times and are definitely worth the visit. If you’re hungry for more, try to be in Helsinki in the first week of any given month. That’s when many museums offer free entry on a specific day of the week. Here are some examples:
LUOMUS natural history museum: month’s first friday
Kiasma contemporary art museum: month’s first friday
Sinebrychoff art museum: month’s first wednesday