A Helsinki weekend was a must on our Finland holiday – and since my parents live only an hour away and have a flat there it’s a pretty easy thing to make happen! We had amazing weather too and got to enjoy Helsinki at its best. It’s such a lovely city (way better than Stockholm ;)) that you should visit if you can! 2017 marks Finland’s 100th independence anniversary, so there’s a lot going on as well. Can you tell I used to work for the Tourist Office in Helsinki haha?!
My dad kindly drove us to Helsinki on Friday morning, and as the weather was sunny and nice we left the apartment as quickly as we could and got some lunch at a place called Healthinki.
The blueberry smoothie bowl looked too good to resist, and I figured all the vitamins would cure my horrible cold (it didn’t, but it was good anyway).
Lana always spots the toys, so before we knew it she had disappeared inside this lovely toy/children’s clothing shop on Fredrikinkatu called Zicco. There seems to be many “old fashioned” toy shops, which is nice. Another great one is Riimikko in my home town Porvoo – so cute!
We continued our walk into town very slowly and once there went to the Academic Bookstore to buy Lana some books in Swedish. She’s very into playing doctor at the moment, so I was glad to find one about just that.
After that we met up with my friend Hannele – not sure what’s going on with Lana’s face!
We walked down to the market square and the new outdoor pool/public sauna/restaurant establishment called Allas.
On the way Lana got really fascinated by this old copper woman, so we had to stop for a while so she could give her some money.
We were all pretty hungry, so decided to try the cafe at Allas. Lana enjoyed a big smoothie all to herself and refused to sit with the boring adults.
Matthew pointed out we were both dressed in typical Nordic stripes, so obviously we had to take a photo!
After an ice cream in the Esplanade Park Lana decided it was time for some horsie action and climbed onto Hannele’s back when she least expected it. She obviously had no choice than to give Lana a ride haha!
It started to get late so we picked up some nasal spray for my blocked nose, went to the supermarket and home where we lazily ordered a pizza for dinner. We were looking forward to watching a film together, but since Lana decided to stay up until midnight that plan never realised.
On Saturday we slept in (Lana was obviously knackered from staying up so late) and walked into town again to look at watches for Matthew, but without success. I wanted to check out the new food court at the top of Kamppi shopping centre and thought this place looked so stylish I had to take a photo. It’s called Sandro’s and if you’re looking for the best brunch in town this is where to go! I think it costs around 30€ though…I’ve been to their branch in Eira a couple of years ago and it still looked amazing.
No expensive brunches for us though as we went for dumplings right next door. Lana loved trying to get to the edamame beans – meaning beans were flying everywhere…Omg I just realised it looks like Lana is using chop sticks!
It’s definitely a stylish food court – you won’t find McDonald’s here!
After lunch we jumped on a bus and a short ride later found ourselves on Drumsö island where we met up with my friend Kati for a preggo photo shoot!
Drumsö is so close to the centre and still you can find views like this – perfect for a shoot!
Kati took the job seriously and although I haven’t seen the photos yet there is no doubt in my mind that I’ll love them!
Leena with family joined us as well and the kids were enjoying playing on the beach whilst the mamas were “working”. Lana really loves the beach and the water!
Again it was getting late, so we wandered home in the warm Helsinki summer evening and managed to get Lana to bed by 9pm so we could binge watch El Chapo and enjoy the peace and quiet! Many a night I’ve made my way home through the streets of Helsinki accompanied by the cries of seagulls and the already rising sun – and it felt good to be walking there (obviously a lot earlier!) with my family this time.
Sunday morning was so sunny and beautiful that we just had a quick breakfast and left the flat. This beach is only a minute away from the apartment.
Had to take a photo of my mum’s favourite flowers.
A short walk away is this lovely public sauna/bar/restaurant called Löyly – a place I discovered last summer and looked forward to visiting again.
Lana’s a fan of smoothies (or “muui” as she calls it) so we got her an orange one. When you ask Lana e.g. if she wants an ice cream she’ll answer with the colour and say she wants a yellow one or pink one – so colours are important at the moment!
Lana loves exploring places…Around noon my dad came and picked us up and we headed back to Porvoo to continue enjoying the day…
…by taking Lana swimming. In fact we all got rid of our winter furs – even though it was pretty cold! (And didn’t do wonders to my cold…)
Helsinki has that summer vibe that I’m always missing in Edinburgh with streets full of effortlessly cool summer people, long sunny days and short, light nights. It’ll always be my summer city <3
x Nina x