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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

A foodlover’s take on Helsinki: My Food Walk with HappyGuideHelsinki

Today, I would like to tell you something about being a foodie traveller high up North. You might be tempted to think: Will it really be tasty and focused on food there, when a visit to the high North is mostly marked (and marketed) by the great outdoors, magic landscapes, wild territories?

 

The capital city of Finland, Helsinki, is refreshingly different though. My taste buds tingle to the surprising varieties of spicy salmon, fresh fish, heart-warming soups and great craft beers. Even – or especially – now during winter.

“HappyGuideHelsinki offer a so-called Food Walk that I can really recommend. The owner, Karri, is a great and inspiring person: I hope you’ll meet him!”, my Finnish friend Eva tells me. As I am contacting HappyGuideHelsinki, I am referred to Daniela, who as an Austrian has been living in Helsinki for more than two years now. I could not have imagined a better guide to spend this two hour food tour through Helsinki with: Both of us keep going back and forth between an official tour and some easy talking among friends, all the while tasting the great variety of present-day, Nordic cuisine here in Helsinki. Check this out.

Auf geht's bei der Food Tour mit Happy Guide Helsinki in der Old Market Hall direkt am Meer von Helsinki ...

Off we go on our Food Walk with Happy Guide Helsinki in the Old Market Hall right by the sea of Helsinki …

 

... in der wir uns von Käse ...

… where we start off by tasting local cheeses …

 

... über Wurstspezialitäten ...

… reindeer (!) salami …

 

... bis hin zu köstlichem, frischen Fisch verkosten!

… as well as fresh, fresher, freshest! fish!

 

Inklusive dieses ganz besonders gewürzten Lachs. Mein Favorit an diesem Morgen!

Love this tasty, spicy salmon we find here! My favourite on that morning tour.

 

Darf's etwas mehr Fisch sein ..?

More fish for you ..?

 

Oder vielleicht doch lieber die "frische Gemüseküche", liebevoll in Glashäusern gezogen ...

Or some more veggies, happily grown in the green houses of wintery Finland …

 

... denn im Gegensatz zum restlichen Europa sehen lokale Produkte ...

… because locally grown veggies …

 

... dem strengen Winter gemäß im Februar nicht ganz so farbenfroh aus. Wobei: Diese Markthändler trotzen -3C im Freien ..!

… as well as the surroundings boast a little less colour during wintertime. However, a word of respect here: These market people selling souvenirs withstand the cold of about -3C ..!

 

Zeit für ein bisschen Schokolade. ...!

Time for a little chocolate, then. …!

 

Hierher entführt mich Daniela guten Gewissens ...

Daniela takes me here knowingly …

 

... zählt finnische Fazer-Schokolade doch mittlerweile auch zu ihren Lieblingen.!

… a long-time convert to the delights of Finnish Fazer chocolate.!

 

So ganz nebenbei lerne ich noch etwas über den "finnischen Jugendstil" im Spiegel der Historie des Landes ...

Walking next to her, she also fills me in on the curious architecture of Finnish Art Nouveau …

 

... bevor wir Daniela's liebsten Greißler samt Craft-Beer-Laden aufsuchen!

… before visiting her favourite small, local shop offering a huge craft beer selection in the back!

 

Nur ein paar Straßen weiter lockt das Lakritze-Paradies!

A few streets on, we visit a true liquorish paradise!

 

Unglaublich, was die Finnen an (salziger!) Lakritze hier verzehren ... Meins, muss ich gestehen, ist die besondere Mischung dann doch nicht so sehr.!

That’s if you like liquorish … The Finnish eat it with lots of salt (!) too …!

 

My real favourite among all the tips presented as part of this Food Walk with HappyGuideHelsinki has been the market hall with its funny-sounding Finnish name “Kauppahalli”. It is located only a few minutes’ walk from our hotel, Indigo Hotel Helsinki at the Boulevard street of downtown Helsinki. During the day, “Kaupahalli” is a (centrally heated!) paradise for families and food shoppers of all sorts, while turning into a funky nighttime place each Saturday: A live DJ adds some music, there is wine, beer, burger and many things more. Very cool indeed: My Helsinki travel tip for you!

Auf zur "Kauppahalli" in Helsinki ...

Off we go on our way to “Kauppahalli” in Helsinki …

 

... dem gemütlich warmen, köstlich duftenden Treffpunkt für Kulinarik-Fans aller Art.

… our meeting point for food lover people of all kind.

 

Am Ende meines Food Walk mit Daniela nehmen wir hier einen Vitamin-Shot ein ...

At the end of my Food Walk with Daniela, we take a vitamin shot here …

 

... und holen uns Appetit für die nachmittägliche Gemüsesuppe im coolen Helsinki-Marktlokal "Soup Kitchen".

… wetting our appetite to this hearty soup from a place called  “Soup Kitchen”.

 

Darf's zur optimalen Stärkung noch ein klassisches Roggen-Lachs-Brötchen sein, wie es den Finnen gar so sehr beliebt?

Or would you rather choose the all-time Finnish favourite: Salmon on rye bread?

 

Besides all the food, Helsinki of course offers more cool things to do. For a Sunday brunch, I can recommend you head to the popular Café Tin Tin Tango in the city’s Töölö district, right next to the sea with its equally popular Regatta Café. Helsinki with its large main streets and wide open alleys, easily lends itself to a happy city stroll too: I love the fact you always meet either the sea or a park in this city. Must make a point of coming back in the summer, then!

Walking by the market hall of Helsinki ...

Walking by the market hall of Helsinki …

 

... with a view of elk or reindeer statues ...

… with a view of elk or reindeer statues …

 

... as well as cool fatbikes for the even cooler young people of Helsinki!

… as well as cool fatbikes for the even cooler young people of Helsinki!

 

For accommodation, I can recommend you to stay at Hotel Indigo Helsinki ...

For accommodation, I can recommend you to stay at Hotel Indigo Helsinki …

 

... sas well as heading to restaurant “La Famiglia” for dinner: Their beetroot and goat cheese burger is simply sensational ..!

… as well as heading to restaurant “La Famiglia” for dinner: Their beetroot and goat cheese burger is simply sensational ..!

 

Helsinki, I'll be back!

Helsinki, I’ll be back for more warmth & sunshine !!!

 

Looking for even more images from my trip to Lapland & Helsinki? Here they are. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: We have been invited by VisitFinland on this trip to Lapland & Helsinki. All opinions are my own.

Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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