Coffee culture has taken off in Finland, and in some parts of Helsinki it is practically impossible to turn a corner without passing by a café or three. These are just some of the best and most unique cafés you can find in the city.
Located in the Russian merchant’s quarter of the Suomenlinna island fortress, this café has an old fashioned European aesthetic, which looks like something from a fairy tale or a Jane Austen novel. It serves coffee and some traditional Finnish cakes, such as sweetbuns, as well as offering custom made cakes for parties. If you are visiting Suomenlinna, it is an ideal place to stop and rest your feet after a walk around the town.
If you want to try Russian food and drink but can’t afford the visa, Blinit is a great alternative, and reportedly serves some of the best Russian food outside of the country. As well as hot and cold Russian drinks, they also serve Russian meals and snacks. The most popular is blini, a type of pancake that comes with traditional sweet toppings or savoury varieties exclusive to Finland, and makes an ideal snack to go along with your afternoon pick-me-up.
This high-class establishment located in the city centre not only includes a café but a restaurant with spectacular views of central Helsinki, and even a library bar. The kitchen serves both international and Nordic foods. Thanks to its location, Strindberg Café is an ideal place to stop and rest, or to buy some of the café’s own coffee blends.
Open since 1852 and still maintaining a classic aesthetic, Ekberg is so popular and famous in the city that it also includes a bakery, pastry shop, and catering service. As one of the more high-class and traditional cafés in Helsinki, it is great for seasonal cakes or deserts for special occasions, a place to try Nordic food, or just dropping in for coffee.
There are many affordable, low-key cafés in the Kallio district, which is known for its youthful population, but Bear Park Café has a particular significance as the best gay bar in Finland. Located next to Bear Park and an iconic bear statue, this café started life as a kiosk, but is now one of the centres of the Kallio gay community, with regular events, live music, and even a yearly Drag Bear Race. The café maintains a laid-back atmosphere with more affordable prices than the cafés in the city centre, but without losing any charm or quality.
If you prefer Italian coffee, Signora Delizia is a specialist deli and coffee shop that has a much more Mediterranean feel to it than the Nordic cafés of Helsinki. Located in a historic building just opposite Tove Jansson Park, the café sells Italian coffee and food, while the shop sells many Mediterranean products.
Finland may be a nation of meat lovers, but that doesn’t mean there are no places to find a light vegetarian lunch. Hunaja Café is one such place in Helsinki, selling vegetarian and vegan food, organically grown coffee, and fresh smoothies. The café also has an incredibly relaxed, homey feel, requiring visitors to leave their shoes at the entryway, and with the interior more closely resembling a living room. If more fancy establishments aren’t to your taste, or are out of your price range, then head to this café instead.
Any fan of the Moomins should definitely stop by this café! It caters mostly to families and children, with books, play areas, and child-sized seating. However, it also has appealing Scandinavian design, a relaxed atmosphere, and some of Tove Jansson’s Moomin artwork for adults to enjoy. The success and unique charm of the café means that there are already a few more locations open throughout Helsinki, with a few more due to open in the next few years, including one near the Jansson family’s former home.
Their slogan is ‘avoid bad life’ and fittingly, as this roastary and coffee bar in Kallio is dedicated to selling high-quality coffee, along with pastries from some of the best local bakeries. All of this effort allows customers to enjoy good food and drink in a laid-back atmosphere, while Good Life even sells its own brands of coffee and merchandise.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.