Helsinki today: restaurants & a huge fleamarket

Today I got to taste Helsinki the way I really like it: with lots of happy people on the streets and with good weather!

This is not so easy combination that the people living in warmer climate might think… But when Helsinki wants to show its good side, it really is something! There’s a special feeling in the air…


Today we had decided to take part in a huge fleamarket (in Finnish kirpputori), organised every now and then in different parts of Helsinki.

This time the association of Kallio, Kallio-liike, arranged a very popular street market in the bohemian & hipster Kallio neighbourhood, where everyone could just come and start selling their things – for free.


The only requirements where to take all your unsold things back home with you and to make sure that the day would be fun & nice for everyone. And it really was! The sun was shining, there were lots of people selling and buying (perhaps more or less we were the same people but anyway) and everything went smoothly.

It’s so great when people quite spontaneously “occupy the urban space” and use it to strengthen the sense of community. The Vaasankatu street was closed to cars (actually it has been like that all the summer). Another good thing,


However, the fleamarket wasn’t the only event happening in Helsinki today. A lot bigger one was Ravintolapäivä (Restaurant Day), which took place all over the city – and Finland – and internationally!

In short, it’s a food carnival where anyone can open a restaurant for a day – and it’s amazing how many people do it in very creative ways! You just have to take a walk in Esplanadi park, like we did, to get a good glimpse of the variety.


Their enthusiasm is amazing, as is the fact that one gets to taste the most interesting things… Today I was mostly selling stuff at the fleamarket, but I still tasted typical Maleysian soy bean rolls with shrimps and Vietnamese frittata with cabbage. Or something like that… Unfortunately there are no photos of these delicacies, I was too hungry to think about photos at the moment. 😉

Only the creativity of the chefs is the limit when it comes to the food and locating the pop-up restaurants: they can take place homes, gardens, parks, streets, balconies, shops etc. Naturally now in the summer the most of the restaurants are outside, in the November or January edition of Restaurant Day it’s a bit different…

Thank you for today, Helsinki! Looking forward to seeing more days like this, with the city alive and many smiling people around.

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4 thoughts on “Helsinki today: restaurants & a huge fleamarket

  1. Kevin says:

    My goodness, I miss Helsinki. I would do almost anything to move there. I would even learn Finnish!!

    • annsofia says:

      Tervetuloa takaisin! Even if Finnish is not the easiest language, as you know. 😉

      And yes, Helsinki can be amazing – when it wants to..

  2. Eija Gavlick says:

    Oh yes, I do miss Helsinki too. It is my birth city way back when. I left Finland in 1959, after getting married and my husband and I moved to United States.
    Helsinki has grown in leaps and bounds, to the better I might say. It has been over 10 years since my last visit. Who knows if I ever get to go there any more. Age is getting on the way for long travels. When the’ Kaipuu” gets to be too much. I look at my childhood apartment in Internet and my childhood parks I spent at when I was little. Sometime it helps, some times not.

    • annsofia says:

      Dear Eija,

      Thank you for your comment and nice words! I can understand your “kaipuu” for this Northern city, luckily nowadays it’s so much easier to keep in touch with the Internet… as you do.

      Enjoy the spring over there! Here it’s already approaching fast, this winter has been exceptionally mild. A nice chance after a couple of really cold winters.

      All the best,

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