2 Days in Helsinki - Vegan, Design, Slow Fashion Travel Guide

In October, I found $300 flights to Helsinki with Icelandair. Needing an escape from work, we booked a trip for 10 days visiting Helsinki Finland, Berlin Germany and Amsterdam Netherlands. Our travel nowadays is based around where we can eat good vegan food, shop good design and find sustainable fashion. We also LOVE historic European architecture and so on our trip earlier in the year (we went to Bavaria + Austria, Rome, Italy and London in Summer) we visited castles, farmers markets and more. Here’s a little brief of my favorite places, what I wore and where to eat on a quick visit to Helsinki. Check out the follow posts for our other adventures.

Helsinki, Finland
1.5 days

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Where we stayed:

The Original Sokos Hotel: I accidentally booked our Airbnb for the wrong nights, so we scrambled to find a hotel last minute. I’m so so glad we chose this hotel, they had a free breakfast with PLENTY of vegetarian and vegan options and in Finland where the prices are quite high, the free breakfast was sooo valued. Location was also fab.

Places we ate:

Roots Helsinki - Amazing vegan soul food and the best raw cheesecake. They also have a yoga studio in the back and I would’ve gone to a class if we had more time. This is in the “red light” area of Helsinki, although very passive, was significantly more grungy than the rest of the city. We had the pulled oats burger on a buckwheat bun and it was delicious.

Friends and Brgrs - Healthy burgers with amazing vegan options, more of a fast food but perfect for a quick lunch and their sides are also really delicious. It’s in a great central part of town making it even more convenient.

Fat Ramen - The HIETSUN KAUPPAHALLI food hall has a variety of foods and a cosy and fun atmosphere for lunch. We stopped in for some ramen and dumplings and their vegan ramen was SO tasty. It’s in a beautiful neighborhood too, with a variety of amazing stores.

What we did:

Walked around the Design District: My favorite part of Helsinki was the design district. There’s so much to see and the neighborhood is quite quaint and small streets with cobblestone. It really feels nordic. We stopped into some beautiful stores in this area and it was only a short walk from our hotel.

Loyly Sauna: A big thing in Finland is Saunas. We wanted a co-ed clothing compulsory sauna and Loyly is super modern and cosy, but still a traditional Finnish sauna experience. We spent two hours rotating between the smoke sauna and the dry sauna, occasionally dipping in the freezing Baltic Sea as our cold plunge.

Where we shopped:

Artek: One of our favorite stores in Europe, we saw this shop not only in Helsinki but also in Amsterdam. Artek is amazing and showcases a lot of amazing Finnish and Scandinavian made and designed homewares. We bought ourselves a set of Estonian made ceramic plates and almost took home a beautiful handmade rug. They have some amazing furniture and their mix and match stools are really unique!

Lokal: I loved this little place. Its a gallery and a store and although it’s tiny, it has a lot of gorgeous ceramics and jewellery that’s all made in Helsinki. They had a really beautiful art collection up while we were there and they were quite inspiring. It’s in an amazing part of the city too, so walk around the area and check out the other stores close by.

Pure Waste Concept Store: This was such a cool place, that we were a little rushed to visit, but everything they made was from recycled cotton and made in ethical factories. Their focus was on managing clothing waste by repurposing recycled clothing into new cotton for staple clothing pieces and basics. Definitely recommend checking this spot out.

What I wore:

Weather: early 40’s, sunrise 8:30am (approx) and 4:15pm sunset (approx) with quite a bit of rain.

My Stutterheim came in super handy on this trip, we got some wet weather while in Helsinki so I wore this around, and realised how appropriate those raincoats are for the Scandinavian winter. It was also the perfect weather to wear my Everlane Renew lightweight Puffer jacket, as well as my wide leg pants with my Blundstones to support my feet for all the walking. My Nisolo Oxford’s also came in super handy for the evenings when we went to grab dinner and I wanted something a little less bulky.