59 hotels in this place
Inner East comprises the parts of Helsinki east of the railway, north of Pitkäsilta, south of freeways 4 and 45 and west of Kulosaari.
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Points of Interest
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Points of Interest in Helsinki
In this part of the city you can see both districts of old wooden houses and postmodern concrete districts built as the "city districts of the future" in the 1970's. The former consists of the wooden parts of Käpylä (take tram 1 or 1A to its northern terminus) and Vallila (in the area between Sturenkatu, Teollisuuskatu, Hämeenkatu and Päijänteentie). The latter consist of Itä-Pasila (east of Pasila railway station) and Merihaka (east of Hakaniemi).
- Alppipuisto. Located on the west side of the Linnanmäki amusement park, this beautiful park is a hidden gem during the summer due to the many free concerts and other events that are held there throughout the summer months.
- Bear park (Karhupuisto). A cozy small park on the hill next to Kallio church and one of Kallio's symbols. The park got its name from the bear statue in the middle of it.
- Church of Kallio (Kallion kirkko). Tu-F 12AM-6PM, Sa-Su 10AM-6PM.. On top of the hill at the end of Siltasaarenkatu. The church is built of grey granite (1912) and its massive looks dominate the view from Hakaniemi. It was designed by Finnish architect Lars Sonck. The church has both baroque and French romantic organs and concerts are organized frequently. Free..
- Church of St.Paul (Paavalinkirkko) (tram 6, 8). A church from the 1930's built of red tiles, one of the first landmarks one will see when driving into Helsinki from Lahti.
- Technology museum (Tekniikan museo), Viikintie 1 (Vanhakaupunki). A small museum dedicated to technology, machines and industry. admission 6€.
- Tropicario, Sturenkatu 27 (tram 1, 6, 7B). 10AM-7PM. Watch some of those tropical animals you wouldn't want to bite or sting you in the indoor terrarium Tropicario.
- Vanhakaupunki and Vanhakaupunki rapids. The place where Vantaa river flows into the sea was the place where Helsinki was founded in 1550. Despite its name "Old town", don't expect to find any medieval buildings there, as the area was devastated by a fire and a plague outbreak and subsequently the city was moved south to its current location. The rapids are worth seeing though.
Helsinki was founded in A.D. 1550 by King Gustav Vasa of Sweden as a trading post to compete with Tallinn to the south in Estonia, which was Danish at that time. The growth of the city was slow until the establishment of Sveaborg (nowadays Suomenlinna in Finnish) Maritime Fortress in the front of Helsinki in the middle of 18th century. In 1809, Finland was annexed by Russia during a war of that period and the capital of Finland moved from Turku to Helsinki in 1812. The Czar felt the Grand Duchy of Finland needed a capital of grand proportions. The architects Johan Albrecht Ehrenström, a native Finn, and Carl Ludwig Engel, from Germany, were given the task of rebuilding the city in the Empire style. This can be seen today around the Lutheran Cathedral, which was completed in 1852. The same style, and even architects, is also a part of Saint Petersburg's history. Though thoroughly a Nordic capital, Helsinki today reflects the influences gained from the Western and Eastern cultures.
Helsinki is among the world's northernmost capitals and the lengthy winter, from October all the way up to April, is dark and freezing. Winter temperatures average -5°C, but the wind chill makes it feel even colder and the mercury can plunge below -20°C on a particularly cold day. Snow falls only intermittently and often melts into gray slush.
The summer is often pleasant. Temperatures are usually around 20°C and sometimes climb above 25°C. Parks burst into green and sunbathers dot the city's beaches.
- Helsinki Fair Grounds (Helsingin Messukeskus), Messuaukio 1 (in Pasila, east of the railway). For many business travelers the reason to visit Helsinki, but there are also some events around the year that aren't exclusively geared towards professionals like the American car show in April, the Book fair in October, Ski expo in November and of course the Travel expo in January!
- Linnanmäki (Tram 3, 8, bus 23). The oldest amusement park in Finland, famous for its wooden roller coaster. Entrance to the park is free of charge, all-day passes €35 (adults) and €22 (children). Open only during the summer, however the adjacent Sea Life aquarium at Tivolikuja 1 is open throughout the year.
- Suvilahti, Sörnäisten rantatie 22. A former power plant, nowadays a center for alternative culture that hosts a circus and some exhibitions. The electronic music festival Flow each August are held on the premises.
- Tokoinranta. A park northwest of Hakaniemi, which in August turns into an outdoor scene during the Helsingin Juhlaviikot cultural festival. Check out the City theater, and if you understand Finnish or Swedish, go see a theater performance.
- Kulttuuritalo (Helsinki Hall of Culture), Sturenkatu 4. The Helsinki Hall of Culture is a concert hall designed by Alvar Aalto in the 1950's. Since it's opening many world famous artists and groups such as Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC, Tina Turner, Iron Maiden and Lady Gaga have held concerts there.
- Brahenkenttä (Brahe field). An open sports pitch in northern Kallio where you can play football (soccer) in the summer and ice hockey or bandy in the winter or watch a home game of the Finnish bandy league team HIFK.
- Mäkelänrinteen uimahalli (Mäkelänrinne swimming hall), Mäkelänkatu 49. Indoor swimming pool which has also been used for international competitions. Great if you feel like swimming in the winter but don't care for the traditional Finnish "hole in the ice" swimming.
- Urheilutalo, Helsinginkatu 25. The "Sports house" offers swimming, bowling or exercising.
- Arlan sauna (also known as Sauna Arla), Kaarlenkatu 15. Old public sauna in Kallio. Separate saunas for men and women. Washing service and traditional bloodletting (kuppaus) also available. €9 for adults, students €7.
- Kotiharjun sauna, Harjutorinkatu 1. This is the last wood burning public sauna in Helsinki. Separate saunas for men and women. There's a good chance you'll find a top level chess match in the dressing room. Don't miss cooling off outside, especially in winter. On Saturdays you'll find bachelor partiers (Kotiharju is pretty near to Kallio's nightlife). €12 for adults, students & pensioners €8.5, towel €3 extra..
- Sauna Hermanni, Hämeentie 63. €8 for adults, students €5..
- Pelmenit, Kustaankatu 7 (Close to Sörnäinen metro station), ☎ +358 41 783 9069. M-Th 11:00-17:00, F-Su: 10:00-22:00. Serves pelmeny (Russian dumplings), blini (Russian crepes), soups and salads. The menu depends on the mood of the Russian owner. Around €10 for a dish.
- Blinit, Sturenkatu 9 (opposite Kulttuuritalo), ☎ +358 468106161, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 11:00-21:00, F-Su: 11:00-22:00. Another Russian eatery specialized in blini with different fillings. Also pelmeny and soups (borscht specially recommended) on daily offer. Lunch menu €7.
- Sawat Dee, Alppikatu 5, ☎ +358 9 773 2745. Serves very tasty Thai food in a milieu resembling backwoods gas station bar. Main dishes €10-12, lunch set €7.5.
- Student's restaurant at Arcada, Jan-Magnus Janssonin aukio 1 (from the main entrance, walk up the stairs and turn right). food around lunchtime, coffee, sandwich and cakes all day. Like most other university campuses, the Swedish-language polytechnic Arcada has a lunch restaurant operated by Amica. Even if you aren't a student, the prices for lunch is quite cheap. around 5€ without a student card.
- Cella, Fleminginkatu 15. Established 1969, this is one of the oldest restaurants in the Kallio district, serving classic Finnish food with lots of grease and salt. For a "real" restaurant (not fast food) in Helsinki it's reasonably priced, around € 10-20 for main dishes. The chef himself often serves the food, complete with a sexist joke or an insult, and may even force feed you the leftovers if you don't finish your meal! Also serves as a pub with a decent selection of beers, ciders and single malts.
- Weeruska, Porvoonkatu 18, ☎ +358 20 7424 270. Serves simple, but tasty, home-made style food. The clientele at lunch is primarily blue-collar workers and the portions are sized accordingly. Meals between €8-17..
- Silvoplee, Toinen linja 3, ☎ +358 9 726 0900. Vegetarian restaurant specializing in living and raw foods but also serves warm dishes. Buffet, pay per weight. Closed on Sun.
- Vegemesta, Vaasankatu 6 and Pieni Roobertinkatu 2-4, ☎ +358 44 9385 212. This take out burger place has the best vegetarian burgers you could imagine. Ask for your burger with dark bread. Cash only. You can get to Vaasankatu by taking metro to Sörnäinen. Another branch is located in southern Helsinki.
- Musta Härkä, Mäkelänkatu 52. Su-Tu 9AM-2AM, We-Sa 9AM-4AM. Decent restaurant in Vallila serving both Indian and Western food, although most people just drop in to have a beer or two. Karaoke and sometimes live music. lunch buffet 5.90€, mains mostly 10-15€.
- Restaurant boat Wäiski (Ravintolalaiva Wäiski), Hakaniemenranta 11, ☎ +358 10 420 3600. Wäiski is the only year-round restaurant boat in Helsinki. You cannot travel anywhere with it, as it is firmly docked at Hakaniemi Pier. Both indoor and outdoor seating and fair prices. However the boat is sometimes rented for private parties and conferences and in that case you need to go elsewhere. lunch 9€, most mains 10-15€.
- Taverna Zorbas, Läntinen Brahenkatu 4. Kallio's favorite Greek restaurant next to Brahenkenttä sports field. mains 20-30€.
- Kahvila Sävy, Kinaporinkatu 1. Small, retro style café with excellent coffee from a Finnish roastery. There are only a few seats in the former barbershop, next to the Sörnäinen metro. Also peculiar percolators for sale.
- Kipsari, Hämeentie 135 E. Student cafe at the University of Art and Industrial Design in Arabia. Relaxed atmosphere with live music and DJs at times. Not open during summer when the school's out.
Bars and pubs
Drinking in Helsinki (and in Finland generally) is relatively expensive, wherefore the Kallio district with its lower prices in pubs and bars has established itself as a party district. There are lots of pubs to choose from, just walk along the parallel running Helsinginkatu or Vaasankatu; the latter one was partly changed into a pedestrian zone in summer 2013.
You can reach Kallio from the center by walking, by tram (lines 1, 3, 6 or 7B) or by metro (get off at Hakaniemi and walk uphill, or Sörnäinen, and head west). Nearly all bars in Kallio have to close at the latest at 2AM, whereas in city centre there are many that are open until 4AM, reinforcing Kallio's status as a 'party district'.
- Pub Heinähattu, Vaasankatu 23.
- Roskapankki, Helsinginkatu 20. A Kallio institution at the corner of Helsinginkatu and Kaarlenkatu. Some nights live music.
- Iltakoulu, Vaasankatu 5.
- Lepakkomies, Helsinginkatu 1.
- Bar Molotow, Vaasankatu 29. Small and always cozy indie/alternative/electro/goth rock bar. Nice summer terrace. Located in Kallio/Harju district.
- Juttutupa, Säästöpankinranta 5. In a nice old granite house called Graniittilinna you'll find (probably) Helsinki's oldest still operational pub, Juttutupa. Juttutupa is housed in the "workers house" and has historically been the Bar of the political left. In fact, while Lenin was hiding out in Finland planning the upcoming Russian revolution he was known to frequent Juttutupa, where the table he used to sit at is kept in his memory (the one in the back with a good view of the entrance). On Wednesdays there are often free Jazz concerts. Juttutupa also serves food from the neighboring restaurant's kitchen.
- Musta kissa, Toinen linja 15. A popular bar among young and beautiful expats and their Finnish friends in Kallio. Often nights with alternative DJs, awesome live music, performances and experimental art.
- Siltanen, Hämeentie 13. Open 11AM-2AM daily. A popular hipster haunt from the owners of the next door Kuudes Linja club venue (see below). Part bar, part club and part café (with food served until 10PM) with a big terrace and weird décor and DJs and the occasional live gig in the evenings. Weekend DJ brunch noon-4PM, prepare to wait for a table though.
- Toveri, Castreninkatu 3, ☎ +358 9 753 3862. M-Th 5PM-1AM, F-Sa 5PM-2AM. You'll find various types of beer in this little bar. It's been here in various forms since 1937, and after its most recent transformation it is one of the prettiest bars in Kallio.
- Kuudes linja (entrance from the inner court at Kaikukatu 4), Hämeentie 13. Club open W, F, Sa 10PM-4AM, Th 9PM–4AM.. A live music oriented nightclub for the somewhat artsy crowd. Located in the Kallio district Kuudes linja usually offers more experimental/alternative music than the mainstream downtown clubs and also hosts electronic music parties. Arrive early to avoid queues on popular nights — admittance is not guaranteed once the place gets full. The weatherproof terrace in the courtyard is open during the summer – you can bring your own food to the terrace and cook it on their gas grill.
- Aarikka Factory Shop, Nokiantie 2-4C. Mon-Thu 9AM-5PM, Fri 9AM-4PM. Jewellery, decoration ware and trinket maker Aarikka have their factory shop in Vallila.
- Arabia Factory Shop, Hämeentie 135 (Tram 6 & 8 terminus). Open M-F 10AM-8PM, Sa-Su 10AM-4PM.. Factory outlet for Arabia ceramics and Iittala glassware, best known for selling slightly defective goods at modestly discounted prices.
- Vallilan Akseli, Lemuntie 3-5. Here you can watch and buy "design"-furniture and kitchen utilities.
- Moko market & café, Vilhonvuorenkatu 11. Mo-Fr 9-17, Sa 10-16. Things to furnish and decorate your home of the more expensive kind as well as organic products. They have a café too, serving sandwiches, good hamburgers and and a range of beverages - on Saturdays you can enjoy brunch there. Moko has another branch in Punavuori in the southwest of the city.
- Sokos, Siltasaarenkatu 6-10 (tram 1, 1A, 3, 6, 7B, 9, Metro: Hakaniemi). The only real department store in this area is located in Hakaniemi at the southwestern edge of the square. It's a bit smaller than the Sokos in the city center.
- Kauppakeskus Arabia, Hämeentie 111 (tram 6 and 8). A shopping mall in northwestern Helsinki with two supermarkets and some speciality stores.
- Saiturinpörssi, Porthaninkatu 11. Forgot to take toothpaste, socks or some snacks with you on the trip or have you always wanted to shop in a Finnish rock-bottom prices store?
- Hakaniemi Market Hall and Open-Air Market (Hakaniemen kauppahalli, Hakaniemen tori) (Metro: Hakaniemi. Tram: 1, 1A, 3, 6, 7, 9.). A busy market frequented by locals, this is where you can find specialities at affordable prices. The first floor of the market hall is largely food. Head to the second floor for handicrafts and souvenirs. The open-air market offers fresh vegetables and seasonal products, and a flea market on the first Sunday each month.. Walking up Hämeentie from Hakaniemi market, you'll find most of Helsinki's African, Middle Eastern, Indian and Asian grocery stores.
- Black & White, Toinen Linja 1. Rock. Many genres. Very recommended. €cheap.
- Hippie Shake records, Hämeentie 1. Rare 60/70s rock and hard rock. €reasonable.
- Goofin Records, Hämeentie 46. Rockabilly.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Helsinki/Inner East on Wikivoyage.