Spotted by Locals

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Spotted by Locals

Tips from locals

Experience Helsinki like locals and find great tips for your visit. City loving local bloggers write about their favorite places and hidden secrets in different districts.

It's like one's best friend from Helsinki guiding you through the multidimensional urban culture

The tips are provided by Spotted by Locals Helsinki

Explore and enjoy!

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  • Janiina Knuutinen

    About me
    I’ve been living in Helsinki since 2007, when I moved here to study musicology in the University of Helsinki. I was born in central Finland and grew up in eastern Finland, but Helsinki has become my real home town.

    Music is my greatest passion, but I love art and culture in general, from movies to exhibitions and comics.

    Why Helsinki?
    In Helsinki I have been living in the districts of Vallila and Kallio and they are my favourite parts of the city. But every once in a while I like to leave my neighborhood and explore more distant parts of Helsinki. That’s why I love Helsinki so much: each district has their own atmosphere and surprises!

  • Markus Veikkolainen

    About me
    I am a tech savvy foodie. During the day I am an online travel professional working closely with hotels and in my free time I run a Helsinki based food media ‘heleats’ with a couple of friends. I love to eat so I am the go-to-guy if you are looking for tips on where to eat or drink. I love both top notch Michelin restaurants as well as street food. I always try to support the locals since there are so many great local ingredients, food products and companies coming from Helsinki.

    I think highly positive of everything and I make things happen. I truly believe there are no obstacles in the way and I am always looking into ways to improve myself and learn more.

    Why Helsinki?
    Helsinki has an amazing entrepreneurial mindset with lot of rising stars in the hospitality industry. I think Helsinki has a potential to become the culinary capital of the Nordics and you can sense that in the city. People are eager to try out new things and work together to achieve something bigger.

  • Antti Lumiainen

    About me
    I’m a 30-something guy from Finland who has spent some years abroad and moved to Helsinki in 2012. Originally I’m a small town boy (who am I kidding, it’s not even a town, but a tiny little village), but learned that I’m more at home in bigger places where there’s always something happening.

    In my “past life” I was a tour leader/holiday guide, guiding the Finnish travelers in countries like Egypt, Bulgaria, Mexico and Turkey. Now I’ve found myself in the world of meetings and events, working for an international association.

    You could say I’m a bit of movie a geek and proud of it. Movies are a great passion of mine and you can find me at the local cinema about 20 times more often than the national average. I’ve also somehow ended up as a food blogger and have been doing that for two years now. Seems that I function better when there’s always something to do.

    I love, love, LOVE traveling and experiencing and exploring new countries and cities. If I were to win in the lottery, I’d be on the road for good most likely. Getting to know a new place usually includes walking around somewhat aimlessly and seeing what comes across.

    Why Helsinki?
    The first time I realized that Helsinki is a really cool place was in 2007 when the Eurovision Song Contest was held in Helsinki. Suddenly I noticed all the wonderful opportunities the city had.

    I’ve only lived in Helsinki a few years now and can’t claim that I know all its secrets yet. But I’m so thrilled to have the chance to learn more every day. Helsinki is one of those places that has a lot happening under the surface. It might seem quiet sometimes and maybe even uneventful, but that’s certainly not the case. You just need to dig a little bit deeper and you’ll find tons of treasures.

    I like Helsinki because it does challenge you to find those gems. It doesn’t just show them to you. You have to work a bit to get to know the city and that’s very rewarding.

  • Aino-Marja Miettinen

    About me
    I’m a 20-something year old arts manager living and working in Helsinki. I was born and raised here and the city is my true love. I grew up in the suburbs and have made a home in the Kallio district now.

    Even though Helsinki is where I belong, I’ve also lived abroad for long periods of time. Exploring new cities by foot is probably my favorite hobby, and I know how valuable tips from locals can be when traveling.

    Why Helsinki?
    Helsinki is big enough to have something happening all the time and to get lost in, but small enough so that when you walk out the door you will surely run into a friend if you want to.

    Like its residents, the mood of Helsinki changes according to the seasons. During the summer, it’s buzzing with life and all the green parks become living rooms for anyone to enjoy. In winter time, it’s a place for warm encounters indoors, at cafés and friends’ homes.

  • Antti Heimo

    About me
    Hello from Helsinki.

    I’m a 30-something advertising copywriter who likes artisan beers, music, basketball, football and (graphic/industrial/city/UI) design. And good books. And swimming outside the official beach.

    I’ve lived in Helsinki since I was born. I spent my childhood in Kruununhaka and then moved to Vallila. Kruununhaka is known for antique stores, old blocks and the Helsinki Cathedral. Vallila, located right next to Kallio boroughs, is more famous for pizza, thai-massages and cheap beer. But that’s not the whole truth.

    Although still a bit rugged, Kallio and Vallila have been developing into more vivid areas lately. I try to spot some hidden gems around the area. To get the best out of it I recommend some pre-plannig. If you visit the nearby Linnanmäki amusement park or take a walk around Töölönlahti bay, it’s easy to try some of the less official tourist attractions here as well.

    Why Helsinki?
    Helsinki is very nice in the summer. Winter is more demanding, even for us locals. It’s not a huge city, so maybe it’s the contrasts of hot and cold, big and small, that makes it feel special. It’s is clean, safe and very suited to walk or bike around. And then there’s the sea and archipelago.

  • Kathrin Deter

    About me
    I’m originally from wonderful little Luxembourg and came to Helsinki for a student exchange in 2010. I fell for the place and stayed for good – so far my choice has proven me right every day.

    Why Helsinki?
    Helsinki has everything within walking distances, without it losing its cosmopolitan and Capital city feeling. I love the proximity to nature – the beautiful harbours and natural sceneries, the islands around the coast are breathtaking every time.

    But you also have the modern city centre with great shopping areas and the different town districts that all have their own unique flair and secrets to discover.