Visit Helsinki like a local with #HelsinkiSecret

Who I am
Valery Aloyants

Author and references

Visit Helsinki discovering all the secrets of Helsinki. It was a blogger project I was lucky enough to participate in. The goal was to discover all the smallest secrets of Helsinki.


Simply living there "like a local". My sister and I, who was my travel companion, visited Helsinki for 6 days staying in an apartment equipped with a thousand comforts. In short, we were Helsinki residents for a week.

Visit Helsinki and live there for a week

When I decided to participate in the contest I was fascinated but also bewildered and perplexed by the idea of ​​being in the same place for so long; especially me who usually do full immersions in the cities of two maximum three days (once again the post of the city in two days Helsinki, what to see in the Finnish capital in two days).

Now that I have visited Helsinki and returned fromHelsinki Secret experience, I must say that I am really struck by how you have a different perception of a city and its inhabitants, both in its positive and negative sides.

I don't go too far into the merits of what to see or what not to see because there will be ad hoc posts for that, if anything I want to try to describe the sensations experienced during the week.

We lived in the beautiful apartment Aallankoti  a stone's throw from the station; modern, functional, fully equipped (thanks to Heleats for the supply of typical products) and even equipped with a particular “piece of furniture” if I can call it that.

For the whole week spent visiting Helsinki we were accompanied by an installation of 33 plants whose purpose was to purify the air and make it even 129 times cleaner. Indeed, also thanks to the efficient ventilation system, the air inside the apartment really seemed of a superior quality. The cold and the weather do not allow you to always open the windows, so this solution is really perfect.


Other important aspects of life in Helsinki are objectively the cold and the weather. For the whole week of HelsinkiSecret, temperatures fluctuated between 0 and 7/8 degrees. And I'm talking about the month of April, imagine what temperatures there can be in the middle of winter.

Visiting Helsinki in winter, in fact, must be very fascinating.

The landscape and winter sports certainly make it an attractive destination. Ice skating, snowmobiles, snow to go and maybe the whole city dressed in white, beautiful!

In this week in Helsinki we had the chance to visit and explore the city far and wide and the real “local” moment was the last day. After 6 days of browsing online maps and maps, on Sunday we were ready for the final exam. We left the house and did what I call my favorite sport: wandering around the city and this time I did it as if I knew most of it.

The aim of Helsinki Secret was precisely this: to live and visit Helsinki trying to adapt the city to one's interests.

The city is full of museums and design, good taste is not lacking. The center of Helsinki reflects an extremely elegant city in all its facets, from fashion to design of another kind with an eye also to ethical and social aspects such as the products of Globe Hope.

If there is one thing that struck me it is this diffused elegance that we can also find in restaurants and bars. They are all always very welcoming and furnished with a trendy touch and soft lighting. He finds himself in the kitchen where the "dishes" are always excellent. And it is also found in the people themselves who are always calm and always dress almost all in a refined way.

Of course, the character of the Finns it is certainly not the warm and lively Mediterranean one, they are certainly more reserved but when asked for some information they are extremely courteous and always try to be helpful.

A characteristic of the Finnish people is the dedication to coffee which I discovered while visiting the Helsinki Coffee Festival.

Not that I hadn't noticed how much coffee the Finns drank, after all I'm always with a cup of coffee in my hand, just in case I didn't realize how much they could drink every day. Only after the festival did I realize that if there were any hypothetical coffee olympics, the Finns would win gold almost without even competing. Speaking with some Italian exhibitors at the festival, I discovered that Finland is the first consumer of coffee. There is even talk of 18 kg per year against the average 6 kg per person consumed in Spain.

It's not about espresso, Finns drink a lot of filtered coffee and that's very important to them. Coffee is a pillar of each day. It is used to stay awake but is mainly drunk to spend time together. In short, I'm not like a coffee at the counter with croissants in one hand and a newspaper in the other.

Another very special experience that I will tell you about in the next posts was the public sauna. When they talked to me about a public sauna, I said to myself: “Well… to all intents and purposes our Spas are also public, it will be a Finnish-style Spa…”.

Here, no, not really. I would also add the adjective spartan to a public sauna. In Helsinki there are only 3 public ones left. Most of the buildings have a private sauna which is used by all condominiums. The sauna in Finland is fundamental and not only has the value of a "place of well-being", but is also considered a place to discuss, exchange views and meet people. A bit like at the bar, and in fact we don't miss it.

We had many other beautiful experiences throughout the week, very many. Visiting Helsinki also meansSuomenlinna island, walk in the Nuuksio National Park, and for us there was also theinterview on Radio Helsinki (alas in English).

What can I say, through Helsinkisecret we really enjoyed all the secrets of Helsinki. To understand all the facets of a city it is necessary to live there and I really think that this project has really hit the mark.

A huge thank you to Visit Helsinki and Elisabeth for allowing this fantastic experience.

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