Helsinki is only a 45 minute flight - or eight hour booze cruise - away from Stockholm. The city offers such great design options and Scandinavian touches - with a heavy dose of Soviet influence (Saint Petersburg is also only about an hour away).
You could spend hours in C. Hagelstam, a wonderful antiquarian book shop that also sells old maps and charts.
Agricola Church in Punavuori
Designers Nora Hellberg and Elsa Vilén opened the charming and beautiful shop - Proloque - in the Helsinki Design District earlier this year and they have it DECKED out spectacularly for Christmas, as you can see here. Their instagram feed is so lovely and they gave us great suggestions for shops around town.
Things to do in Helsinki. In the city centre there are some interesting shops you might want to see like Samuji. The founder Mr. Samu-Jussi Koski is one of the most interesting finnish (fashion) designer at the moment. They also launched a new home line as well. Minna Parikka is Finnish shoe designer, and then there is Marimekko and Artek. And if you are interested of Jugend architecture, Katajanokka is place for a walk. And the Alvar Aalto Museum and Hvitträsk might be places to go to.
About restaurants; Tomi Björck is probably the number one chef here at the moment. He has several restaurants in Helsinki; Bronda, Boulevard Social, Farang, Gaijing. Bronda has also a nice bar if you want to get drinks only. Then there are some legendary, classic "artist" restaurants like Savoy Elite, Kosmos, Strindberg etc
. The old Market Hall is also open again after many years of renovation.
Here's Porter attempting a jump in front of Helsinki Cathedral and achieving what looks like Marcel Marceau attempting a wild, uninhibited Charleston.
The view from our wondrous apartment via Air BNB.
Me, in my new Costo x Johanna Gullichsen hat. We also picked up a pillow case from Johanna Gullichsen's adorable shop in Punavuori.
More scenes from C. Hagelstam here...
Finlandia Caviar has a small, adorable cafe designed by the stellar Joanna Laajisto Creative Studio that serves up champers and...caviar. You can go with Finnish or Russian tasting menus. We went local and it was delish.
The Maiden of Finland in her Rudolph costume, looking very upset.
Sardines pickling at the Old Market Hall.
Our apartment stairwell.