The next design season is going to be so full of events that a well-deserved tour around amazing cities will be mandatory. Helsinki is our next choice with its huge design vibe and community, always creating and developing the next innovative trends. Maybe the capital of Finland contends the title for best Nordic city with the other major ones – Copenhagen and Stockholm – attracting visitors from all over the world, but we are talking about the most populous city in the country, and that says a lot about the attracting power Helsinki retains and the spectacular spots it offers: the peninsula in the Gulf of Finland, a concentration of Art Nouveau architecture and minimalistic design renowned in every corner of the world, will appear to any traveler as a daydream. Explore the well-known Design District – really close to the city’s center – and immerse yourself in a myriad of design shops, galleries, and studios, located very close to each other, and thus creating an incredible creative hub for any design lover, or Kallio, the student village, to get a glimpse of the art and fashion scene from the younger generations’ point of views. Do you want to discover more? Keep reading our Helsinki Design Guide!
HELSINKI DESIGN GUIDE
WHERE TO STAY
HOTEL ST. GEORGE
Completed in 1890 by architect Onni Tarjanne, its building wasn’t always a simple hotel location but it hosted the Finnish Literature Society, the printing house for the first Finnish newspaper, and the Helsinki Finnish Club. With a history like that, it sure doesn’t lack character: designer Carola Rytsölä curated all the bright 153 rooms, with classically modern handcrafted pieces and ultimate amenities and collaborations with Helsinki Art Museum and the National Galleryallow the Hotel St. George to feature more than 300-piece contemporary art collection.
Don’t miss Ai Weiwei’s bamboo and silk dragon, Tianwu or the six-meter-long brass bird sculpture by Finnish artist Pekka Jylhä. If privacy is what you are looking for the 18th century Winter garden presents four private cabins while restaurant Andrea – directed by Finnish-Turkish chef Mehmet Gürs – is the trait union between Finnish and Turkish cuisines, creating new and extraordinary flavors.
KLAUS K HOTEL
Inspired by Finland’s national epic, the Kalevala, Klaus K Hotel’s 171 rooms and their interior retrace all the major emotional elements of the work, from desire and passion, to mysticism and envy that, in addition to the ultra-designed approach curated by Finnish architects SARC Group, provide a unique approach when it comes to a hotel.
For a simple and authentic Italian cuisine, the restaurant Toscanini provides the best original recipes and wines from the many provinces in Italy, in a relaxed and quiet place.
WHERE TO EAT
Luxury bistro Muro, located at the center of Helsinki, has been opened by owners Samuil Angelov, Henri Alen and Timo Linnamäki in 2010 and two years later it was already chosen as the restaurant of the year in Finland by the Finnish Gastronomic society. Simple dishes made from the best fresh ingredients and one of the top wine lists of the country create all the hype behind this famous venue.
A mix of tastes from France, Italy, and Spain is what contemporary brasserieBranda offers to its guests, aside from the seven-meter-high ceiling and a modern Scandinavian-styled interior. A little Mediterranean oasis in the North.
Typical minimalistic style is what Le Roy cocktail lounge – designed by Laajisto – displays to the visitors.
WHAT TO DO
Start from the flagship store in Galeria Espland to browse products and accessories from internationally famous Finnish lifestyle design house Marimekko: their spirit, based on sustainability and vibrant colors, aims to provide long-lasting pieces that will be passed from generations to generations.
Company’s design duo, made up of Johan Olin and Aamu Song, created Salakauppa, “secret shop”, the outcome of time spent traveling in Finland, Russia, Japan, and the Baltics, picking up stories and creating products.
A recent subterranean contemporary art museum – Amos Rex – presents five concrete domed skylights situated in Lasipalatsi Square that hide, underneath the surface, the museum’s exhibition space and, with their hill-shapes, allow people to walk all over them.
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