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Light Art Free Tour – January 2019 in Helsinki

Light Art festival, held in January and called Lux Helsinki has became a yearly tradition. This free to enter outdoor exhibition consists of sculptures, pictures and audiovisual art pieces which have light as paramount feature. Especially first timers in Helsinki feel a bit lost with the culture and location references of the Light art pieces hence we are hosting a Light Art Free Tour in Helsinki, running every day of the exhibition. On the tour we’ll give you context and and additional information of Helsinki and Finnish society to better understand the art.

Book your spot here. It’s free – we just want to be able to anticipate the number of people joining the tour.

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Green Cap Tours proudly presents:

LUX Helsinki 2019 – Free Walking Tour

Light Art festival which has became a yearly tradition is coming again. This time we host Lux Helsinki 2019 Free Walking Tour running every day of the exhibition. Book your spot here. It’s free – we just want to be able to anticipate the number of people joining the tour.

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The post LUX Helsinki 2019 – Special Free Walking Tour appeared first on Green Cap Tours.

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Schedule until the end of April 2019:
During winter we organize Helsinki Free Walking Tour on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays @11AM. Starting from the Senate Square, the base of main staircase leading the White Cathedral. Please reserve your spot. This way we can anticipate the group size and provide appropriate amount of guides.

>>>>Reserve FREE WALKING TOUR in ENGLISH HERE<<<<

Tour gratis Helsinki en Español
Todo el invierno, hasta finales de marzo, los sábados a las 11:00.

Empezomos a las 11:00 en el fondo de las escaleras de la Cateral de Helsinki en Hallituskatu 9 (en la Plaza del Senado). Por favor reserve su lugar. De esta forma, podemos anticipar el tamaño del grupo y proporcionar la cantidad apropiada de guías.

>>>>RESERVAR TOUR GRATIS EN ESPAÑOL AQUI<<<<

Helsinki Free Walking Tour with Green Caps

This is the third year when Green Cap Tours offers Helsinki Free Walking Tour. And the feedback has been truly heartwarming. We must be doing things right! As the demand is rising we want to keep serving the travellers the best way possible. Welcome to join the Green Cap Free Walk according the schedule. Sundays and on public holidays we have to rest to keep fit and able to give guys the most entertaining Free Walking Tour in Helsinki.

Helsinki Free Walking Tour by Green Caps - YouTube
What is Free Walking Tour?

When in need of quick and simple orientation to a new city, Free Walking Tour with a local guide are great. There is no ticket purchase beforehand, you simply come to starting place and at the end of the tour you can leave a tip if you feel the tour was worthy. Tipping is completely voluntary.

Free Helsinki Tour content

This is a great introduction tour to Helsinki. Especially if you are visiting Helsinki for the first time, this tour is perfect for you. We’ll take you through the interesting history of our capital and tell you essentials about the everyday life in Finland. We give you information regarding the places, restaurants and attractions you should visit. On the walking tour led by a local Finn you will get way more personal and in depth guiding than any of the bus tours ever. Helsinki is very walkable city and the distances between sites are short hence walking tours make more sense than sightseeing buses.

Here are some highlights of the Helsinki Free Walking by Green Cap Tours

  • Senate Square
  • Helsinki Cathedral
  • University of Helsinki
  • Wellfare State functions
  • Bank of Finland
  • The Mecca of the Finnish Karaoke Scene
  • Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral
  • Presidential Palace
  • Sauna Centre
  • Market Square
  • Epicenter of National Celebration called Vappu
  • Esplanade Park

The tour is going to take approximately 2 hours.

We will help you build a Helsinki -story to share with your friends! We also do plenty of themed tours and private tours for groups. If you are a bigger group, 10 pax or more, we recommend you a private tour. Check the our full catalogue on https://greencaptours.com/experience/

Helsinki Free Walking Tour – starting place and time

The tour starts from the Senate square, the white cathedral stairs. During winter 2018-2019 we have a Free Walking Tour in English on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays starting at 11AM. Meet your guide with a green cap by the large staircase of the church.

En el invierno de 2018-2019 organizaremos una ronda en español todos los sábados (excluyendo festivos).

Hallituskatu 9, Helsinki  (address for googlemaps etc.)

Easy way to get there: Take a tram 1,2,4, 7A or 7B and get of at “Senaatintori” -stop.

The tour is tip-based and there is no reservation is needed for individuals, though highly recommended. This way we can anticipate the group size and provide appropriate amount of guides.

If you guys have a group attending (4 or more) we need really need the before notice. This way we can maintain a high quality service by having additional guides if necessary. We don’t take bigger groups of 10 pax or more to the free walking tours because this will lead to bloated group sizes.

Please reserve your spot. This way we can anticipate the group size and provide appropriate amount of guides.

>>>>Reserve FREE WALKING TOUR in ENGLISH HERE<<<<
Por favor reserve su lugar. De esta forma, podemos anticipar el tamaño del grupo y proporcionar la cantidad apropiada de guías.

>>>>RESERVAR TOUR GRATIS EN ESPAÑOL AQUI<<<<

The post Helsinki Free Walking Tour during Winter appeared first on Green Cap Tours.

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Suomenlinna seafort is the most visited sight in Helsinki and there are plenty of reasons for it. In this writing we wanted to sum up the main points of the magnificent place. I hope you find this writing both intriguing and practical. If you want to know more, we are at your service: sales@greencaptours.com

Welcome to Helsinki

A wooden ship rocking slowly under your feet. Through the mist you start to see shapes. A stone wall of Suomenlinna fortress is coming your way with cannons pointing out. Quick! Turn right! The ship turns slowly, unnervingly, but just in time and into narrow strait. The bottom left side of the hull scraping stones. The noise gives goosebumps, but the massive, journey ending thud never comes. Sailing on through you see rocky walls of a strait on both sides. The massive centuries-old fort passes by on the left. What a perfect place to sink an enemy ship! Welcome to Helsinki.

Suomenlinna-seen-from-a-ferry-by-Michal-Pise-wikicommons-CC-BY-2.0 minor edits done

Sailing to Helsinki from the south, Suomenlinna Fortress Island will be on your way. The narrow Kuninkaanmiekka strait is the major shipway and the ferries to Stockholm and Tallinn are navigating daily through it. Whether you are on the ship or on the island – seeing a massive vessel cross this strait is exciting to watch.

Number one island excursion for visitors and locals

Being the only Unesco word heritage site in Helsinki, it is also the most visited sight. One million visitors roam the island(s) all year round. It’s not only for tourists but also locals love spending the sunny summer days and having picnics and relaxing on the island. The small beach in a cove can offer you a respite during the hottest summer days.

The ferry from Market Square of Helsinki takes you to Suomenlinna in 20 minutes

The main gate of Suomenlinna is actually and old barracks building from the Russian times. “Rantakasarmi” was built in 1870.

You can find scenic fortress walls all around Suomenlinna islands.

Mysterious corridors, staircases and tunnels make the classic scenery in Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna excursion with Green Cap Tours - YouTube
Living islands of Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna consists of 8 islands most of which are connected by bridges.  The islands have permanent residents and therefore ferry traffic to the mainland is frequent and part of the public transportation of Helsinki. The residents have all the basic services including a grocery shop, kindergarten and a primary school, library and plenty of restaurants and cafes. The church of the island is one of the most popular churches for summer weddings. It also doubles as a lighthouse.

Beautiful sea views from the yard of Cafe Piper

The second cafe from the harbor greets you.

The church tower works also as a lighthouse

Arts and Culture in Suomenlinna

The islands have plenty of workspaces for artists and a recording studio because it is an inspiring place and very quiet since there are no cars. Only the wind, sun and the sea whisper to you. Can you hear what is that they are saying? You can find a lot of handcrafted goods and art and design objects on the boutiques on the island. You can also see plays in a very popular theater which runs plays during summer months.

Suomenlinna library on the left

In 2018, the summer theater of Suomenlinna was performing “One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest”.

Suomenlinna Brewery

Probably the oldest business on the islands is brewing. The islands don’t have a natural source of fresh water. For centuries the water was brought from neighbouring Vallisaari island and brewed into beer for longer shelf life as the quality of the water wasn’t always quaranteed. By drinking beer, the soldiers got also some of the needed calories for the construction work of the fort.

Swedish built fortress from the 1700s

Forms of the defensive bastillions from the air.

The Suomenlinna fortress was started in preparation for future hostilities with the Russian Empire during 1700s. Back then Finland was part of Swedish Empire and the Swedes were getting nervous about the rise of their eastern rival and Suomenlinna island, or rather the group of islands, was chosen for as the place for the major sea fort on the Finnish Bay of Baltic sea. The original Swedish name of the fort is Sveaborg which means literally the castle of Sweden.

Creator of the Suomenlinna fortress

Augustin Ehrensvärd painted by Olof Arenius

Swedish Count Augustin Ehrensvärd (1710 – 1772) was quite the renaissance man. He was a highly trained military officer, artist, military architect of the fortress and the first commander of the Swedish archipelago fleet. He was known to be both a well seasoned military commander as well as a gifted painter with great sensitivity and style.

On the island you can find a bronze monument dedicated for August Ehrensvärld. It is situated in the middle of the main island next to the museum bearing his name too. As a classical military symbol from ancient Greek, his monument portrays the helmet of Achilles, the legend of all warriors.

On the monument you can see a small angel, which is considered to bring good luck. Rub it slightly and make a wish. If you believe in it, your wish may come true.

The monument with Achille’s helmet

The Angel

What makes Suomenlinna so special?

There are very few places in the world with such unique combination of features as Suomenlinna.

  1. It is beautiful – The ever-present nature and vegetation mixed with historical architecture will give you plenty of great photo opportunities
  2. Fascinating history Especially on a guided tour or visiting the museum, you will get a sense of how many prominent events related to the history of Finland have happened on these islands.
  3. Finnish cuisine – The islands have plenty of restaurants and cafes, hence you don’t need to roam around hungry or thirsty. Even locally brewed beer is available.
  4. Meet the locals – You can strike up a conversation with a local when coming out of the library or just by going to the grocery shop. Suomenlinna is also a popular place among Finns living on the mainland. We all love Suomenlinna.
  5. The views – Both from the ferry and the islands the refreshing seabreeze will fill you with a calm energy while you are enjoying the views.
  6. It’s easy. Ferries leave from the Market Square and they go often until 2 AM. Ferry traffic is part of the public transportation system so with a daily transit pass it will cost you no extra.
  7. It is Unesco World Heritage site – The only one in Helsinki region.
  8. You can go into WWII submarine – Yes, Finnish submarine Vesikko is open for visitors.

Can you see the submarine hiding behind the trees?

Run free! The islands are big and spacious.

Green Cap Tours organizes Private tours to Suomenlinna in collaboration the Ehrensvärd association. Click the link for direct booking or send us an inquire by email: sales@greencaptours.com

The post Suomenlinna is mysterious and unique appeared first on Green Cap Tours.

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How to get to Senate Square from Helsinki Port?

International cruise ships make almost 300 visits and bring nearly 500 000 tourists to Helsinki during summertime. Probably you want to get to Senate Square from Helsinki Port? The Senate Square is the centre of historical Helsinki with lots of main sights around it. This is also the starting place for Helsinki’s Free Walking Tours!

You’re not the only one getting confused with the public transportation system and this is the why we wrote this hands-on manual of different ways to get to Senate Square from Helsinki Port.

Finding out where your ship docks in Helsinki

First of all, there are many ports in Helsinki, not only one. Find out your port from here:

https://www.portofhelsinki.fi/en/passengers/international-cruise-ships

https://www.portofhelsinki.fi/en/passengers/arrivals-and-departures

Large ships dock at Hernesaari (1&2) or West Harbour (3).
Smaller ships can dock closer to the city center at Katajanokka (4 & 5) or at South Harbour (6, 7 & 8)

Source: https://www.portofhelsinki.fi/en/passengers/international-cruise-ships/cruise-quays

Getting to the Centre of Helsinki – The Easy way Taxi or Über

The public transportation system may be confusing even with this info and if you want to to take it easy, taxi or Uber is the best an option! Even from the most distant port the cost is something between 15 – 25 Euros one way. Especially for groups we recommend considering this option as it is even a better deal than buying the tickets for everyone.

Shuttle bus from Port to City of Helsinki

This is another quick and easy way to get to Senate Square from the Helsinki Port. Not all, albeit most of the Cruise Ships offer a shuttle buses to the City.  The exact destination where they drop people of in the City of Helsinki is they keep secret until arriving to Port. However, all of the drop-off points are close to Senate Square and everything else in the centre. This is a rather compact Capital.

Summer 2018 the most common drop-off point has been Kasarmitori. The other places that are used are Erottaja and the Old Market Hall. Here you can see the spots on a map:

If interested in using the public transportation system, keep on reading!

How to get to the Senate Square with public transportation

You can always recheck the route from Googlemaps or the website of Helsinki’s public transit:

https://www.reittiopas.fi/

The address to the Senate Square is Hallituskatu 9. The following busses and trams are the most sensible public transit options from each Harbor.

From Hernesaari 1 LHC and 2 LHB

Starting address: Hernematalankatu 6

Take bus 14
Get off at stop Bulevardi, walk to the Senate Square (1km).

From West Harbour 3 LMA

Starting address: Tyynenmerenkatu 8

Take tram 7
Get off at the Senate Square

From Katajanokka 4 ERA & ERB and 5 EKL

Starting address: Katajanokanranta or Katajanokan laituri 2

Take tram 4

Get off at the Senate Square

P.S. You can even walk to the Senate Square!

From South Harbour 6 EPL, 7 EMA and 8 EQ1

Starting address: Eteläranta 7 or Olympiaranta 1 (8 EO1)

Take tram 2 (direction Länsi-Pasila) or 3
Get off at the Senate Square

P.S. You can even walk to the Senate Square!

 

How to buy tickets for public transportation in Helsinki 1.You need to have a ticket before you enter the bus, tram etc. 2.Buy one from the machines found at the harbor and stops or buy a mobile ticket.

a)
Tickets bought from ticket machines are valid from the moment of purchase. You can pay by cash or debit/credit cards. When paying without pin code, please let your card stay on the machine until the payment is processed completely and the machine allows you to pull out your card. Sometimes people are having problems because they pull out their cards too quickly.

b)
You can order a mobile ticket by sending an SMS “A 1” to 16355. You get the ticket in the form of a reply message. The price of the ticket will be included in your phone bill. The ticket is valid in Helsinki on the Metro, trams, commuter trains and the Suomenlinna ferry but only on certain bus routes.

c)
Advance purchased tickets are loaded on single-cards and you can buy them for example from the ticket office located at the Central Railway Station. Show the card to the card reader at the beginning of your first journey.

d)
If you see any R-Kioski (Bright yellow and blue signs with big letter R), the tickets can be purchased from there as well.

e)
Please kindly note, that at the central city there are machines on some of the regular stops but be aware that you can pay there only with cards. You can find a machine for example at the dock where the Suomenlinna ferry leaves on the Market Square. There you can buy your tickets back to the port with cash as well. The other option is to find any R-Kioski.

How much does it cost?

The price for one-way ticket will be 2,50 – 3,20 depending on where you buy. The cheapest ticket is the tram ticket purchased from the machine, which is valid only on trams (2,50).

You can buy a day ticket (9 Euros) which is valid for 24 hours from the validation. Especially if you would like to go to Suomenlinna sea fortress during your stay, keep this option in your mind as the ferries are included in the public transportation.

How to find Free Walking Tour organised by Green Cap Tours?

When you enter the Senate Square, look for a guide with a green cap! She or he will be standing at the base of Helsinki Cathedral’s stairs. Helsinki Cathedral is the most iconic sight in Helsinki, the huge white church without any visible church bells. You can’t miss that one!

Enjoy your tour with an energetic, academic guide who loves to share his or her Helsinki with you!

We hope that this information on how to get to Senate Square from Helsinki Port was useful to you. Welcome to Helsinki

information was accurate when written (8.8.2018).

The post How to get to Senate Square from Helsinki port? appeared first on Green Cap Tours.

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Brunch in Helsinki

Whether you prefer the traditional selection of various sweet and savory delicacies, plant-based or an ethnic, even exotic feast for all senses, this city will provide an option for your liking. The best time to enjoy a brunch in Helsinki is during weekends, when you have time to slow down and patiently take in all the goodness that is a breakfast and lunch combined. The prices generally vary from 15 to 25 euros, and to ensure a table in this brunch-loving city it should be booked in advance. Here are few of greatest places for brunch in Helsinki!

(c) Jussi Hellsten / Visit Helsinki

Trendy

Kuja Bar and Bistro – variety and waffles
One of the many brunches in the trendy Kallio district! Nearby the lively Hakaniemi market square, at Kuja you’ll get a buffet with grand variety of salads, warm dishes and great choices for special diets. For breakfast treat there’s mouth-watering waffles and variable sides to go with them.

Hakaniemenkatu 7, kujabarbistro.fi/en

Block by Dylan – themed brunches
Just around the Market Square, this restaurant decorated with Scandinavian minimalism offers healthy breakfast on weekdays and a delicious brunch on weekends. Block is known for having themed brunches, and for instance this weekend it is time for Burger & Shake – American-themed feast. You can reserve a table in advance on their website.

Eteläranta 18, dylan.fi/block

Kiila – simple but classy
Central location and cozy environment have made Kiila one of the favorite spots for casual brunch in the city. Wide range of sweet and savory goods will keep the hunger away for hours, and you can follow the buzzing streets behind the big windows simultaneously. There is a breakfast buffet available on weekdays, and occasionally they have special themed brunches.

Kalevankatu 1, ravintolakiila.fi

Veggie heaven

Sandro – colorful experience for all senses
In case you want to see one of the most wanted brunch spots by locals, reserve a table here. Let all your senses relish the laid-back atmosphere and flavors of North Africa and Middle East. The Saturdays’ Veggie & Vegan Garden -brunch is a veggie lover’s day dream and Marrakech Madness on Sundays will take your mind to magical Morocco. Sandro has three locations – in Kallio, Eira and Kamppi shopping centre’s Kortteli on fifth floor.

Tehtaankatu 34 D (Eira), Kolmas Linja 17 (Kallio), Kamppi 5th floor – Urho Kekkosen katu 1 (Kamppi/Kortteli), sandro.fi

Sandro in Eira / sandro.fi

Classic brunch in Helsinki

Fazer Café – cure for sweet cravings

There is multiple Fazer Café’s around Helsinki, but the most popular and central is in Kluuvi. This is one of Helsinki classics, and beautiful décor on every store assures there’s also enjoyment for sight as well as taste. The grand finale of the brunch is a selection of sweet treats made on spot. There is also great, beautifully packaged Finnish chocolate available for purchase so you can bring home sweet souvenirs.

Kluuvikatu 3, fazer.fi/kahvilat-ja-leipomot/fazer-cafe/

Fazer Cafe in Kluuvi / @jitbag, Flickr

Café Ekberg – classic in a picturesque setting
Finland’s oldest patisserie-café offers a traditional brunch with great selection of their own bakery’s products and seasonal Finnish delicacies. Located on the idyllic Boulevard hence the scene brings a new dimension to the experience. Great coffee and food prepared according to traditions will delight every visitor. Again, a table can be reserved on the website.

Bulevardi 9, ekberg.fi/en

The post Green Cap Hints: Brunch in Helsinki appeared first on Green Cap Tours.

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Summer terraces in Helsinki

The following are my favorite summer terraces in Helsinki. However, many if not most bars have terraces of their own
during the summer, so if you’re not that particular, just stroll around, sit down and enjoy. It is also cool to buy
your own beers from the store and hit the park. The best spots to do this are Lonna island, Suomenlinna island,
Sinebrychoff park and Esplanade park.

All the spots on our Hints series can be found an our shared Google map. Click here to view the Map!

Terraces in Helsinki archipelago

Skiffer, Liuskaluoto island. Check out fb or call +358 45 186 8933 for opening hours.

Although this place serves delicious pizzas, feel free to stop by just for a beer. The terrace is
magnificent. There is frequent boat driving to the island from next to Cafe Carusel, South Helsinki. The boat ride is 3 minutes.

Restaurant Lonna, Lonna island. Kitchen open Tue. to Sat. 12-21 (they close the place at around 2300
or when the last customers leave) +358 44 719 9410 Almost as nice of a terrace as Skiffer above. Boats to the island leave from the Market Square. The boat ride takes 15 minutes.

Helsinki’s summer terraces with views to the sea

Hernesaaren ranta  check fb for opening hours, usually from wed-sat 11-02.

This is an entire area built for summer relaxation with all sorts of places to eat and drink and party. Also, there is a public sauna next to the refreshing Baltic sea, which is just amazing. Check fb for events and opening hours, and the webpage above to
get the general idea of the place.

Birgitta, Hernesaarenranta 2. Opening hours 9-22. +358 40 547 4966

One of the most likable places along the Eira shore. Open only for summer season, the building has interesting burned wood facades and closed, semi-open and open areas. Restaurant serves very good food and drinks of all sorts. Terrace is beautiful and has two padel courts next to it in case you want to play a game. This was the hottest summer venue in 2016. However, from 2017 the “Löyly” -sauna/restaurant has been getting the hype thus making it easier to get a seat in Birgitta.

Löyly, Restaurant-Bar-Sauna, Hernesaarenranta 4, Kitchen is open 9-21 +358 9 6128 6550

This 6 million euro building project finished just in time for the summer season 2017. The main attraction is the unique architecture of the place, the public saunas and the big terrace areas. Löyly has a popular restaurant as well. Therefore, you come to eat, be prepared to wait a bit. Sauna’s are very good and worth the visit, but they are very popular so reservation is advised. In case it’s all sold out on dining and sauna, you can always have a drink and relax on one of the several terrace areas.

Mattolaituri, Ehrenströmintie 3 a. Check fb for opening hours.


Drinks are expensive, but the terrace is easily one of the best on the coast. Less casual and comfortable than
Birgitta or even Carusel, this is a little on the snobbish side. The quality in drinks and cuisine is high.

Café Carusel, Merisatamanranta 10. Mon. to Sat. 9-21; Sun 11-20.

This coastal cafe serves beer and good food, with some of the best pizzas in town. A huge terrace that dwells in
the sun the entire day. The port for the lovely island of Pihlajasaari is next door.

Elmun baari, Telakkakatu 8, Mon. to Tue. 10.30-14/18 (depending on the weather); Wed. to Fri. 10.30-
14/02 (depending on the weather); Sat. 14-02 (depending on the weather and the events).

The selection here in terms of drinks is not the best and the quality of the service varies, but the vibe on the
terrace is always excellent and the setting is cool. Hit the near-by flea-market of Hietalahti or the market hall,
which also has some nice spots of its own in the sun.

Summer terraces in the city of Helsinki

Kulttuuritehdas Korjaamo, Töölönkatu 51 a-b. Tue. to Sat. 16-21.30; Sun 16-19.
Cultural athmosphere in this courtyard terrace.

Siltanen, Hämeentie 13 B. Mon. to Thu. 11-02; Fri. to Sat. 11-03. +358 440 660 530.
The coolest summer terrace is also one of the most comfortable ones, with summer lanterns marking the spot
from Hämeentie. This is a “convenient” place for a night out, because they have good music and almost a sure-fire
guarantee of a crowd at least on weekend evenings, with two good clubs downstairs to choose from when the bar
closes at 2. The terrace is big, so there is always space even on the sunniest of days. The only “downside” is
something they cannot do anything about (well, the service isn’t always the politest either): there is no view (like
in most of the above) and there are some rather tall buildings around blocking some of the sun during the day.

Therefore, this is a terrace to be enjoyed especially in the evenings, when the lanterns built up an atmosphere
reminiscent of a house party.

Svenska Teatern, Esplanade park, Mon. to Thu. 11-01; Fri. to Sat. 11-02. http://www.teatteri.fi/en/teatteri-bar/

Excellent salads and a nice terrace at the end of Esplanade park. At night a good, although a little pricey club is
held upstairs. There is also a terrace on the side of Svenska Teatern, in between Eteläesplanadi, which has more
sun throughout the day.

Written by Leo Aarnio

Few additions by Jouko Väärälä (Hernesaaren ranta, Birgitta, Löyly, Mattolaituri)

Updated and revised in 21th July 2018 Jouko Väärälä

Tallenna

The post Green Cap hints: Best Summer Terraces in Helsinki appeared first on Green Cap Tours.

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Summer, Sea and Sand

Beaches in Helsinki have paramount part of seaside lifestyle of locals. The fragmented coastline gives proximity to Baltic all around the Capital region. We have long, long winters and sometimes summer seems like a distant dream. That’s why we embrace every summer day like it’s the last day on earth. When the sun is up all day (and all night) Finns cannot get enough of it. Here are few of the best places to soak up the sun in Helsinki

Beaches in Helsinki

Hietaniemi (usually called “Hietsu”)

Images from Wikipedia Commons

The standard. The biggest and the most popular beach in Helsinki. Located in West Helsinki, behind the Hietaniemi cemetery. Bus number 24 riding North on Mannerheim street in the City Centre will take you there. Arriving with a car is possible too, there are quite a bit parking spaces on the neighbouring streets. There are plenty of beach volley ball fields to join a game. The beach is swallow and get deeper slowly and therefore it’s suitable with families with children.

Pihlajasaari

Image from http://amazingfinland.blogspot.com

A favorite among the locals, Pihlajasaari has big beaches, a beach-volley court and a beach soccer field. With
plenty of nature, one can find good places to hang a hammock here as well. A nice restaurant situated in the
center of the island, so why not make an entire day of it. A naturalist beach on “the otherside” (relative to where
the ferry drops you off). Ferries leave from the dock situated right next to café Carusel (check out NT23): looking
at the sea, from the right-hand side, next to the terrace from 9.30 until 21. For the time table, check out:
http://www.jt-line.fi/eng/pihlajasaari/timetable. The ferry ride takes 10-15 minutes and costs 7.50 for adults.

Uunisaari

Image from luminoucity.net

This is one of the best beaches in Helsinki, situated on an island with an exquisite view of the Kaivopuisto area,
yet easily accessible from the coast with only a 2 minute ferryride costing 6 euros (two-way). Uunisaari also has cafe, restaurant and sauna to keep you entertained and comfy for a long day outdoors.

The post Beaches in Helsinki appeared first on Green Cap Tours.

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Sometimes you wanna dine casually while preparing for the long night out with a few predrinks, or maybe you’re
travelling with someone who is not that hungry. Sometimes the places that accommodate your aforementioned
needs are also the nicest and the most affordable places to go dine in, in case you want to keep it simple and
easy-going. Since eating and drinking – is what I myself specialise in, here are a few more of these places.

All locations are on our Green Cap Tours – Helsinki hints map. >click here<

Good casual restaurants with a bar in Helsinki

The Cock, Fabianinkatu 17. +358 50 352 3486

Monday 12–11PM
Tuesday 12–11PM
Wednesday 12–11PM
Thursday 12–11PM
Friday 12PM–12AM
Saturday 12PM–12AM
Sunday Closed

A trendy place with a young customer-base, this restaurant is situated on the corner of Kasarmintori and it
serves everything from breakfast to dinner; from coffee to drinks. Check out their excellent webpages for details:
http://thecock.fi/. Also take a look at their menu and I think you’ll find they have exactly what you’re looking for
for a decent prize.

Holiday, Kanavaranta 7. Wed. to Sat. 16-24/02 (check fb or http://www.holiday-bar.fi/)
This place has just opened with great reviews. Supposed to be a holiday atmosphere (so suiting for you, no?).
Also a place by Richard Mccormick (likes the Cock and Sandro). Feel free to go for a few drinks, or dine as well.

Café Bar no. 9. Uudenmaankatu 9 Mon. to Fri. 11-02; Sat. to Sun. 12-02. +358 9 045 186 8933. http://bar9.net/
I don’t know what it is about this place: you either like it or you don’t. A favorite among the locals, yet still with
an easily recognizable international vibe (most of the employees are non-natives), this is an easy-going place for
the young and the young-at-heart, who prefer simple home-made type of food (a little on the heavy side), relax,
have a few drinks and enjoy each other’s’ company. The type of a place for a casual get together among a group
of friends. Most of the food is simple and tasty (the carbonara and the pollo limonello are classics that also
depict the menu in general: although there are salads to be had here as well, the best dishes have either a lot of
cream, cheese or meat), but no gourmet delicacies to be sure. The service is usually not that good: when it comes
to this a little like Tori (whose food is perhaps a little superior), the young people working here often seem
somewhat absent-minded, careless, jaded and hung-over (cool, like they don’t give a —-). So if this is what
you’re looking for and you’re no snoot yourself, you’ll enjoy it. Perhaps the place I dine most often at.

Lungi, Korkeavuorenkatu 2. Check hours from the website http://www.lungi.fi/etusivu/ +358 44 0655 651

Another one of those bistros they call “block restaurants”, which seems to mean something like easy-going, local
and affordable. The atmosphere here is really nice, especially on a weekend, and the food is good.

Kulttuuritehdas Korjaamo, Töölönkatu 51 a-b. Check hours from the website http://www.korjaamo.fi/en/restaurants/bar-kitchen


”Culture factory” as they call it, this is an interesting place for all sorts of things: stand-up, movie and art shows,
two restaurants, an escape room and a nice summer terrace, so check out fb for the latest events. In the evenings
one can find folk either eating or drinking or both here. The food is decent, but nothing special, and the prizes
are a little steep relative to what they have on offer. Thus perhaps not worth it just for eating out: rather for
having a few drinks and ordering something small on the side. Now that they serve tapas (which I haven’t had a
chance to try, so take the above “critique” with a grain of salt) this should work well for those more or less
hungry. During the week they have lunch during lunch hours (11-14) and on the weekend brunch (11-15).

Il Birrificio, Fredrikinkatu 22. Check hours from the website http://ilbirri.fi/ +358 965 1939

This place offers everything: good coffee, locally brewed beer, lunch during the week, brunch on the weekends
and an easy-to-enjoy dinner, “birri” is a place to go if you’re hungry for food and beer at the same time.

Pjazza, Yrjönkatu 18. Check hours from the website +358-10-581 2883

How does one put an Italian place on a prize category? Secondi are up to 30 euros, primi 20 and pizze for 15, so
not the cheapest Italian in town. This is a nice place nonetheless with a good bar for drinks next to it: often loud,
this is a typical place to start a Friday or Saturday night out. The name Pjazza comes from Pizza+Jazz, since they
have a live band playing the latter on a regular basis. Especially popular among groups of ladies heading out:
with a little flirt here and there, you might get lucky and be offered a free drink by the mostly Italian waiters one
finds here…

Bar Teos, Runeberginkatu 61. +358 9 454 3591. https://www.barteos.fi/
An easy-going tapas restaurant that is one of my regulars: plenty of atmosphere to be found here. The staff
comprises of young Spanish people, who are in Finland doing all sorts of things, so the service is cordial but not
all that professional from time to time. The food is a bargain here: the prizes are low and the quality is good (not
excellent). It is difficult to put a tapas place on a prize range, but I guess one would need at least 5 tapas (though
I have sometimes eaten 15) get his stomach full, so 15-20 euros then (the tapas menus are 17 (8 tapas) to 23 e (13
tapas)).

Pastor, Erottajankatu 4. Check hours from the website http://www.pastorrestaurant.fi/
+358 400 344 700

So the dishes here are meant to be shared, but they say for two people 4-6 dishes are recommended, which with
the prizes they have easily builds up to 35 euros per person, so a little expensive for such a relaxed eat and dine
type of a place. A critique that visited called it “overly trendy”: the food is a mix of Peruvian and Japanese, they
call the place the “urban living room”, the interior design is modern plain Nordic… Also, they had to wait a long
time for their dishes to arrive: nonetheless, the food has been complimented a lot, and a place that has been
especially designed for social dining and drinking deserves to be mentioned on this category of the list even with
the aforementioned shortcomings. The ceviche is divine!

Edited, Updated and Re-posted on July 6th 2018

Originally written in June 2016 by Leo Aarnio

Updates by Jouko Väärälä

All locations are on our hint-map. >click here<

Tallenna

Tallenna

Tallenna

Tallenna

Tallenna

The post Green Cap hints: Good casual restaurants for eating AND drinking appeared first on Green Cap Tours.

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Where can I get cash?

This is probably the most common question we get on our tours. We want to help with this short guide on how to find an ATM in Finland.

This is what an ATM looks like in Finland

Nowadays when paying with card has become so popular in Finland the ATM’s are getting scanty. There is a good ATM search on the website of Automatia, but unfortunately it’s in Finnish. However, it’s rather simple so with these instructions you’ll do fine.

ATM Search

1. Go to the Automatia website http://otto.fi/missa-otto/

2. Type in your address and the city or use the GPS -locator button

3. On the map you will see your location marked by a human figure. Both the yellow AND yellow/blue marks on the map are ATMs (the difference is that yellow/blue marks also have deposit function). 

4. At the bottom you see the addresses of the closest ATMs. There are also navigation buttons to their locations

Other payment methods in Finland
Finland is moving fast towards cashless buying

All forms of card payment are widely excepted. Especially Mastercard and Visa credit cards readers are found in all the shops. Even on the market square vendors usually have card readers. Mobile Pay (by Danskebank) and Apple Pay are also gaining popularity. In the shops receiving plenty of Asian customers, particularly from China, AliPay will be in use. Here is an article with more details of Alipay in Finland.

The signs are showing that the future of payments will be digital in Finland. Cash is still widely accepted but there are more and more vendors that don’t take cash. We hope that this guide – How to find an ATM in Finland? – will help you since finding one is not getting easier. If you are not comfortable using credit card everywhere and still want to have a smooth experience, we suggest to change euros or withdraw them from ATM at the point of entering the country. The rates of money exchangers in the airports and harbours vary, but the exchange rates of the ATM’s depend on the bank you use instead of the location. ATM in the harbour or airport is just as good as the one in the city.

The Green Cap Tours booking system accepts credit card payments of all major providers: https://greencaptours.com/experience/

Buying the ticket beforehand from the booking system is advisable in order to secure your spot. Tours can sell out fast! However we do accept cash payments on tours along with credit cards and Finnish debit cards.

The post How to find an ATM in Finland? appeared first on Green Cap Tours.

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