Weekend Trip Helsinki | Travel Diary

Right before moving to Singapore, we decided we wanted to have one more weekend trip within Europe in order to explore another capital. Helsinki crossed our mind as we had a stop there when we had our pre-move-visit in Singapore in July. Back then, it was bright even at 10 pm (due to its northern location). However, for late September, we pictured Helsinki to be somewhat snowy, and we expected a lot of Scandinavian design, a cute old town, and of course the Moomins. What we did not expect was a big amount of incredibly good and affordable food. In the end, we left Helsinki with a lot of inspiration for our apartment in Singapore and with a few more kilos on the scale… 😉

On a Friday evening after work, we departed from Berlin TXL and with Finn Air (love!) directly to Finland’s capital. Because of the time difference, we arrived late in the evening, but on the other hand, we flew through sunset during the full flight time which was insanely beautiful: The sky presented itself in the most beautiful and incredible colors, I’ve ever experienced anything like this on any plane before.


Upon arrival and still, on the runway, we googled for top rated restaurants in Helsinki. I can only recommend making a reservation for dinner, as we disappointingly learned, that most of the restaurants were booked out already. This is why we ended up planning all our restaurant visits for the next few days still in the plan, making according to reservations. To our choice of the day, Finnish Tapas Restaurant, we went directly from the airport.

The reception in the restaurant “juuri” was a bit unusual, the hostess seemed grumpy and disinterested. As a first impression of Finland and/or Helsinki as a whole, this was a little unlucky, as we did not feel really warmly welcomed… Fortunately, the mood changed quickly and we were offered delicious tapas, as the kitchen was already closed. Thus, it happened that we were more or less the last guests in the restaurant and could fully enjoy the atmosphere: Colored plastered walls, stylish, yet raw design, wooden chairs that reminded us of our school days… interesting, the restaurant could have been in Berlin Neukölln.

The food was fantastic, we had a little bit of everything and were very happy to have been more or less forced to try it, because to be fair we have to say that we probably would not have ordered the food by ourselves, let alone cooked it. In tapas size, the portions were just right for this purpose.


Our hotel was located at the Mannerheimintie (how sweet the Finnish language is…), a big street, which once led through the city centre and where the Stockmann, a big department store, so to say the KaDeWe Helsinki’s was located. The “Marski by Scandic” we had chosen less because of its great location, but more because of its interesting design. And the photos had not promised too much: The Finns lived up to their reputation: The design of the hotel was so modern that I wondered if the hotel would not open until 2020 🙂 ?! At the reception, you could also buy all kinds of Finnish specialties: Liquorice, gin, and many merchandise-products from the Moomins <3 Frontal to the entrance was an inviting bar, which we unfortunately never made it to, but the gym and restaurant were excellent and definitely gave the hotel a top recommendation.

The next morning we went first of all to the breakfast buffet. The breakfast was included in our hotel price and even though we basically think that city trips, specially short ones, can be “started” very well in nice breakfast locations, as one always gets a good impression directly here, we wanted to try the buffet at least for one day. Actually, it was the best breakfast buffet that we have ever seen in a hotel. There was EVERYTHING. And if I write everything, then in this case I metaphorically mean everything. From “silky eggs”, cooked constantly at 64°C, to porridge with all kinds of ingredients, freshly baked bread, vegetable pans, Finnish pancakes, pickled salmon, croissants and even small wheatgrass and blueberry powders to mix into fresh juices … the choice was huge.


Strengthened by the delicious breakfast we went directly to the Design District (to be honest, our hotel was somehow located there, too, because the Design District covers more or less the whole city center)… We strolled from one shop to the next, always looking for inspiration for our new apartment in Singapore. Until we finally ended up at LUX Bags… the rest is history and doesn’t belong here. 🙂



In the evening we went to a bar, which we had already chosen in advance. However, in this bar, mobile phones/photos and such were strictly forbidden, so we didn’t take any, but spent the time together offline. We talked about our upcoming move to Singapore, about furniture, traveling, and plans, and we enjoyed the time without a mobile phone to the fullest.

Of course, we did not miss the breakfast in the hotel the next day and ate again a lot of everything we liked the day before and checked out afterward. Although our flight did not leave until the early evening, we still wanted to enjoy as much as possible of the wonderful sunny Sunday. Unfortunately, it was freezing, at least in the morning, the wind was blowing icy and Helsinki showed itself from a rough, northern side.



Daniel: 6/10

Verena: 7/10

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