Exploring Berlin on foot: 5 unmissable sites

Shaped by the likes of Marx, Einstein, Hitler and Bowie, the capital of Germany is incredibly rich in culture and history, yet simultaneously one of the most effortlessly cool and edgy places I’ve visited.

The city has some beautiful landmark buildings and gardens, although it’s not what I’d call a “pretty city”. For me the allure came from wondering around on foot and discovering the cafes, vintage stores, murals, graffiti and generally chilled vibe of Mitte and the Barn district. I’d recommend staying centrally so you can easily wander on foot- saving money and the environment.

Here are 10 sites you can walk to from central Berlin and explore for free!

1. Walk up the dome of the Reichstag

Germany’s parliament building expertly combines old and new architecture, with the 19th century main building contrasting elegantly with the new dome. Constructed in the 1990s during the building’s restoration, the glass dome was designed by Norman Foster and features a mirror-lined central column which allows natural light to filter down to the parliament below. While entry is free you need to book ahead and bring your passport for security purposes. Make sure you click through on the multiple email confirmations to secure your spot. The view from the top is well worth the small hassle and the audio guide explains the buildings you see in the 360-degree vista with just the right amount of information.

Afterwards wander the nearby Tiergarten and visit the famous Brandenburg Gate.

2. Get lost in Mitte- especially the Barn Quarter

Scheunenviertel, also known as the Barn Quarter is the historic Jewish neighborhood, and home to the beautiful Neue Synagoge, a belle epoque ballroom– turned into a restaurant and dance school, and a bunch of edgy galleries and eating spots. Some of delicious bakeries and restaurants include; Five Elephant, Zeit für Brot and Tinman.

As with many places I travel to, I loved wandering around aimlessly and taking in the pretty vintage stores amid graffiti coloured walls and locals cycling to work. I listed my favorite 10 eco-friendly and vintage stores that I stumbled on here. Another of the more popular sites is Hackescher Markt and Hackesche Hofe– a complex of eight interlinked courtyards with shops, restaurants and theaters.

3. Wander Gendarmenmarkt

The most elegant square in Berlin, Gendarmenmarkt is boarded on two sides by twin French and German churches and a third side by the Konzertaus (Concert Hall). The beautiful square is also home to an enchanting Christmas Market in December.

4. Visit Museum Island

With over 6,000 years of history, the five museums on this small UNESCO World Heritage listed island contain no modern art! If you’re interested in art and architecture it would be worth purchasing a 3-day Museum Pass for 29€. While some museums in Berlin offer free entry one a week or month, this does not include any on museum island. However, if you’re on a tight budget or time frame the buildings are stunning to observe from the outside, by wandering along the river banks or the island itself.

5. Take a step back in history at the Berlin Wall

There are several sites to view the Berlin Wall and learn about the history of the era, including Checkpoint Charlie– the main gateway for foreigners and diplomats between 1961- 1990, the Gedenkstatte Berliner Mauer (the Berlin Wall Memorial) and my favorite- the East Side Gallery, a 1.4km stretch of the wall with murals and street art. I walked here from Mitte but it’s also close the Schöneberg metro stop.

Berlin Christmas Markets

While cities like Nuremberg are more famous for their Christmas markets, two markets I visited in Berlin were also spectacular. Each has a slightly different vibe, with the market at the Berlin Town Hall, near Alexander Platz, a more kid friendly market, with a huge ferris wheel, ice-skating rink, carousel and illuminated moving Santa on a sleigh. On the other hand the beautiful market at Gendarmenmarkt is much more geared for adults, with a plethora of Glühwein stalls, delicious food options, gorgeous handicrafts, live music and a general exuberant atmosphere. Here are some photos from each of them- I hope they help to get you in the festive spirit!

 

Gendarmenmarkt

 

Berlin Town Hall

 

 

 

10 vintage and eco-friendly stores you’ll want to visit in Berlin

I no longer buy new clothes- you can read about why here. Instead, I love finding second-hand bargains or clothes that someone has up-cycled into something unique and beautiful. I also no longer buy touristy souvenirs as a reminder of a country I’ve traveled to, instead I prefer to find a unique item of clothing or jewelry that will remind me of the country whenever I wear it. If you feel the same then you might like these gorgeous stores I found whilst wandering around Mitte in Berlin.

1. Who Killed Bambi?

This store is amazing! Full of up-cycled vintages dresses, blouses, denim jackets and more, I couldn’t get enough. I fell in love with and purchased two blouses, as they had a distinctly Berlin feel to me.

2. 1213bst

Probably the best value and range of all the stores I visited, as there are clothes from different people selling what they no longer want. It’s well curated and doesn’t feel cramped thanks to the open-plan layout. They also have a great range of jeans.

3. Unico

Some of the most stunning hand-made jewelry I’ve seen. They stock more than twenty jewelry collections, with a focus on contemporary Argentinian designers. I wanted everything. And I’ve never been in a shop that smelt better. My favorite store in all of Berlin.

4. Garments Vintage

Elegant and well curated, mainly designer vintage at reasonable prices. I fell for a Burberry trench and a high waisted Dolce and Gabbana skirt… maybe next time!

5. Villa Sorgenfei

Opposite to Garments Vintage this tiny jewelry store has quirky, earthy somewhat fairytale inspired pieces, with imprinted leaves and dandelion wisps in glass balls.

6. Made in Berlin

I found this store to be quite expensive but extensive as f*#k. They have everything and in every colour you might imagine.

7. Picknweight

This chain store has a large range but displayed in a more hap-hazard and tightly packed way than other stores. As the name suggests you pay by the weight of your clothes, so you can get a good deal on lighter items.

8. Ecoalf

I love the idea of this store- they repurpose plastic bottles and fishing nets into clothes. I especially loved their tees and pull overs but it was a bit out of my price range on this trip.

9. Humana second hand & vintage

This chain store is super cheap (many things for 1€) but requires a lot of rummaging to find anything decent.

10. Mauer Park flea market

And finally, Berlin’s largest flea market! It’s open every Sunday from 8am-5pm And I’ve heard it’s best to arrive early for the bargains. Unfortunately I had to catch my bus early Sunday morning so I couldn’t get there this trip.

Malta: how to make the most of a 4 day winter escape to Europe’s sunniest capital

With nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, Malta’s capital Valletta is the sunniest city in Europe and the perfect destination for a mid-winter mini escape. This 4 day itinerary ensures you see the best of Malta’s highlights whilst soaking up the sun by the intensely blue Mediterranean.

For Christmas last year I made the long trek home to Australia for 6 weeks of summer. Without the luxury of an Aussie beach holiday this year, I decided to add on a little sunshine to my winter Germany Christmas trip. As the southernmost and sunniest country in Europe (with nearly 3,000 hours of sun a year!), Malta sounded like the perfect destination for a bit of Mediterranean sun and some incredibly blue water.

Aside from the red sand beaches, rocky cliffs and sea caves dotted around the three islands that make up the area- Malta, Gozo and Comino, there’s a bunch of cultural activities and historical sites to explore. In fact, Malta has been continuously inhabited for over 8,000 years and boasts 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

However, I feel that I should also mention that there is a little disconnect between the reality of the islands and what you will read about in travel guides. Whilst there are some beautiful coloured doors and window shutters, most of the buildings on Malta are made from the same monotonous yellow sandstone, and after awhile, the towns and streets start to look very similar. There’s also very little greenery/trees on the island, instead sprawling towns and farm land make up much of the scenery. Additionally, the public bus network is crazy slow.

Despite this, if you’re looking for a budget sunny weather escape for a few days, with something for city and sea lovers alike, I highly recommend a visit to Malta.

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Day 1

Fly into Luqa airport and head straight to the capital Valletta, a 15 minute drive away. Here, spend the first day strolling the many stone-cobbled laneways of the compact city. Built in 1565 after the siege of Malta, the capital is elegant, tranquil and full of steps. The lack of buses and most cars in the city lends a peaceful vibe to the captial, rarely found elsewhere in Malta. While the entire city is World Heritage Listed, some key sites include St. John’s Co-Cathedral, the Fort of St. Elmo, the National Museum of Archaeology and the beautiful Barrakka Gardens overlooking the bay.

 

 

Day 2

In the morning walk the short distance to the north-western side of Valletta and take the Sliema Ferry across the bay, where you can hop on a cruise of the two natural harbors surrounding Valletta- Marsamxetto and Grand Habour. In the first harbor you sail past an 18th century fort on Manoel Island, while the second harbor takes in the Three Cities (Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua) on the opposite bank to Valletta. The cruise is advertised at 16€ but in the off season you can usually negotiate a cheaper fare of around 10€.

In the afternoon take the local bus to the nearby Hal Saflieni Hypogeum & Tarxien Temples or further afield to the other side of the island to Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Temples.

 

 

Day 3

Take a day-trip to the islands of Comino and Gozo. Highlights include the incredibly turquoise coloured water of the Blue Lagoon and Dwejra Bay, the red sand at San Blas Bay and the ancient citadel, cathedral and basilica in the capital Victoria. For more photos and information on how to get to the islands from Malta this post.

 

 

Day 4

Take a local bus to the Dingli Cliffs (via Rabat) for some stunning coastal walks. On the way back to Villetta stop at Mdina to explore the enchanting ancient walled city as the sun goes down. Originally founded by the Phoenicians as Maleth in the 8th century BC, stepping through the old gate into the maze-like stone-walled streets feels like you’re stepping through a time-warp.

Rabat

 

 

Dingli Cliffs

 

Mdina

 

 

 

Tips and further Advice

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  • To save money stay in St. Julian’s Bay or Sliema. Not only do they have the cheapest accommodation options on the whole island but they’re well connected by buses and boats to other parts of Malta and there’s a lovely rock-pool lined promenade to stroll along, with many seafood restaurants and cafes.
  • The local bus network is slow but cheap. Single tickets are 1.5€ and valid for 2 hours while a 12 pass is 15€. You can pick up a map with local routes at the airport or hotels.
  • Use Malta Transfers to get to and from the airport. At 5€ each way this is a fraction of the cost of a taxi and you can book in advance online. They even picked me up at 3.30 for my early flight!
  • Food and drink is extremely cheap for European standards, especially if you go to local cafes and restaurants. Expect to pay 1-2€ for coffee, 2-3€ for wine and spirits, 3-5€ for sandwiches and baguettes and 10-20€ for dinner.
  • You can’t drink the tap water so be prepared to buy bottled water throughout your stay.
  • There’s a huge British influence (the legacy of 150 years of rule) with phone booths, post boxes, lamps and a bunch of English and Irish pubs and restaurants. This makes for an interesting contrast to the Maltese buildings and weather but also means most people speak fluent English.
  • The British influence also extends to power sockets. While some are adapted to suit European plugs, many are not. However it’s quite cheap to buy an adapter whilst in Malta, my hostel sold them for 3€.
  • The currency is euro, Malta joined the EU in 2004 as the smallest state.
  • The country is 98% Catholic. If visiting one of the many churches be sure to keep your shoulders and legs covered.

 

Gozo & Comino: island hopping from Malta

Full of fascinating history and the bluest water I’ve ever seen, the islands of Gozo and Comino are a must when visiting Malta.

After what felt like seemingly endless weeks of grey, I couldn’t be more excited to find myself in Europe’s sunniest capital- Valletta, Malta! On my first day I dived straight into the adventures and took a boat to nearby Gozo and Comino islands. Home to some fascinating history and the bluest water I’ve ever seen, the islands are a must for anyone visiting Malta. Here’s some images from the day as well as some practical advice and tips on getting to Gozo and Comino from the main island of Malta.

 

Comino

 

Gozo

 

 

Practicalities:

You can either do this day trip all yourself, which can be quite time consuming and exhausting, or go with an organized tour as we did. In the colder off season there are a lot fewer tours running, so be aware of this when planning.

On your own

  • Take a local bus from your accommodation to the port of Cirkewwa near St. Paul’s Bay, for 1.5€
  • From there the ferry to Gozo is 4.50€ return
  • Once on Gozo you can use the hop on hop off bus for 20€ or use the local bus network (1.5€ per ticket valid for 2 hours). These options can be quite slow, so allow a whole day.
  • If you also want to get to Comino then you need to take the boat to and from Gozo for an extra 3-10€ depending on the company and dates.

As a tour

To make life easier we decided to book a boat cruise and bus tour combination for 30€  pp with Sea Adventure. Initially we visited Comino, where we were able to explore for an hour, then it was onto Gozo where we visited the port of Mgarr, the town of Xlendi and the capital Victoria. As the tour also included hotel pick up and drop off I think it was pretty great value and much less hassle than doing it ourselves.

There’s also the option of a Jeep tour for 42€ pp, however in low season these do not run that frequently.

 

I’d love to hear about your experiences exploring the Maltese Islands!

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Why we love Finland

Reflecting on Finland’s 101 years of independence, I asked 5 Finnish friends what they love about their home country. I then added a list of 15 of my favourite things that I love about living in Finland.

Last week was Finland’s 101st anniversary of independence. The capital celebrated by gifting it’s citizens a brand new state of the art library and I decided to reflect on the things I love about my adopted home. I also asked some of my Finnish friends what they loved about their country. Here are some of their thoughts and some of my favourite things.

Island

I love the nature and the way the seasons change, I think all seasons have their moments: the light in summer, the way the leaves sound when you walk through a pile of them in autumn, the snow in winter and the sound of melting ice and the first flowers in the spring. 

I love that we value honesty and modesty, as well as that when someone asks you how you are doing you are expected and allowed to answer honestly. And sauna in all seasons of course!   ~ Nicole

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yellow

 

I love the vast, untouched and unique nature of Finland with all it’s four varying seasons and seasonal celebrations, thousands of lakes, forests in South and wilderness in Lapland. I love the great transport opportunities to get out there, as well as the whole welfare state taking care of everyone. It feels secure and privileged to live in Finland. 

My favorite place is our summer cottage on a warm evening at sunset, with a pink and blue sky, calm lake, nothing other than bird sounds and the relaxed feeling after sauna.  ~Sara

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I love how much nature there is in Finland, even in cities like Helsinki. And the fact that you can walk, pitch a tent, and pick berries and mushrooms for free due to Everyman’s Rights. And I love snow, the extremely beautiful and light evenings in the summer, and sauna! And of course the free education. 

I absolutely love cross-country skiing and going to a wood burning sauna after that. In the summertime going to a summer cottage by a lake and swimming and rowing there is the best.  ~ Oona


I love the nature, especially the awesome rock climbing at Kustavi in the Archipelago. Warm and light summer nights, and sauna followed by swimming in clear lakes. ~ Suvi

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I love the nature! Forests, lakes, summer cottage and the archipelago. Sailing, camping, cross country skiing and the clean air and water. 

I love that Finnish people are renowned for their honesty, trust, reliability, modesty and sisu- a determination to overcome adversity. Everything in the country works so well, and our social service system looks after us. ~ Jade

 

A few of my favourite things

Tradition: Midsummer bonfires during Juhannus

Food: Karelian pie- traditional pastries made with rice pudding

Drink: Finnish gin (of which there are many delicious varieties) and glögi- Finnish mulled wine

Cafe: Art Cafe Taideterassi overlooking Töölönlahti

Bar: Ateljee Bar- amazing views over the city

Activity: cross country skiing- I tried this for the first time when I visited Lapland and fell in love with it!

Past-time: Sauna! It didn’t take me long to see why Fins are crazy about sauna. It’s such a relaxing activity, that I now try and enjoy one a few times a week.

Natural aspect: lakes surrounded by thick wild forests. When it comes to bodies of water I’m normally an ocean person, but there’s something about lakes in Finland that is enchanting.

City aspect: the stunning architecture in Helsinki. I adore the variety of colours, detailed designs and turrets embellishing many city buildings.

Daily life: the public transport network in Helsinki astounds me. It. is. So. Good. And cheap. In winter I use a combination of buses, trams, trains and metro, and in summer the city is smaller enough and flat enough to bike or walk.

Practicality as a tourist: As mentioned above- Helsinki is very walk-able so you can see a lot of the city in a short time. Also, pretty much EVERYONE in Helsinki speaks near perfect English.

Finnish personality trait: Sisu. This video perfectly explains the concept. “Life is hard, but so am I.”

Museum: Amos Rex. Mind-blowingly beautiful.

Time of year: Christmas- the country lights up with festive flair.

Public holiday: Vappu- what’s not to love about donning white caps and bizzare overalls and getting pissing in the park?

 

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Bruges Photo Diary

The capital of West Flanders, Bruges is the smaller, more charming neighbour of Ghent. There’s plenty to see in a small area, so Bruges is best explored by meandering on foot. Of the many museums and galleries to visit, our pick was one showcasing Da Vinci’s inventions. There’s a seemingly never-ending supply of churches and cathedrals to gaze at, and when you’re tired of wandering, there are several bars overlooking the water on the canal banks- perfect for watching the world go by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 of the Best Museums in Helsinki

There are over 50 museums in Finland’s capital! These are 5 of my favourites.

Fins love museums. So much so, that there are over 50 museums in Helsinki alone!

If you are visiting Finland for an extended period of time then is it well worth purchasing a 1 year museum pass for 69€. This will give you entrance to 34 museums in Helsinki and whooping 280 across the country. This is great value when you consider many of the museums charge upwards of 15€ for a single visit. For more information on this pass visit the official site here.

Alternatively, if you’re only visiting for a short stay or can’t afford an annual pass, there are regular free museum days, which I’ve listed below. Additionally, many museums are free on certain days throughout the year. These include International Museum Day (18 May), Helsinki Day (12 June) and Night of the Arts (late August).

A final tip is that many of the museums in Helsinki are closed on Mondays.

Here are my favourite 5 museums in Helsinki

 

 

1. Amos Rex

This is by far my favourite museum in Finland! Colourful, interactive and captivating, the museum is a must for anyone interested in any form of visual art. As it’s so popular, lines can be very long when a new exhibit is showing. As its best experienced without crowds try and pick a quiet time to visit, such as early afternoon on a week day.

Single Visit Cost: 18€

Closed Tuesday

2. The National museum

Close to the center of town by Töölöö Bay, this museum building itself is very grand, and forms a prominent component of Helsinki’s skyline. The collection centers around Finland’s history from medieval times to the 19th century and is both a fascinating insight to the national identity and intriguing window to the past.

Single Visit Cost: 12€

Open 7 days a week; 11am-6pm and Wednesday until 8pm

Free day: Fridays between 4 pm – 6 pm

3. Kiasma: Contemporary Art Museum

Centrally located near the railway station, the collection at this museum is diverse and thought provoking. There are several levels with different temporary exhibitions in each, with the top floor offering stunning views out the city amid different coloured strobe lights.

Single Visit Cost: 14€

Closed Monday

Free day: first Friday of the month

Kiasma Museum

Inside Kiasma Museum

4. HAM: Helsinki Art Museum

You’ll find this museum in Tennispalatsi – an old tennis stadium next to the Kamppi shopping mall. The exhibits are modern and contemporary in style and entirely not my thing. I just didn’t get it. I’m sure others feel differently.

Single Visit Cost: 12€

Closed Monday

Free day: the last Friday of every month

5. Anteneum

This is a ‘classic museum with a twist’. Housing the largest collection of classical art in all of Finland, including the odd Van Gogh, this was more my style of museum. The building itself, just across from the train station is also imposingly elegant.

Single Visit Cost: 17€

Closed Monday

Free day: seemingly random free days, see their website for details

Anteneum museum

Which is your favourite museum in Helsinki?

 

 

The 10 Best Places For Brunch In Helsinki’s Kallio District

Helsinki’s Kallio district is one of the trendiest areas of Finland’s capital, with a bunch of ridiculously cool cafes, bars and vintage stores. Here’s 10 brunch spots you’ll want to try for yourself.

Saturday brunch or brunssi in Finnish is a tradition I’ve all too happily embraced in my new home. Brunch buffets are very popular in Helsinki, featuring an extensive and decadent array of savoury and sweet treats. While the buffets can be quite expensive (20€-30€), many cafes also serve smaller “breakfast sets” that may interest you if you’re looking to save money or have eaten in the past 24 hours!

Helsinki’s Kallio district is one of the trendiest areas of Finland’s capital, boasting a stack of ridiculously cool cafes, bars, vintage stores and saunas. This makes the district the perfect place to spend a lazy Saturday, indulging in brunch and exploring the neighbourhood. If you’re looking for something to do in Kallio, have a look at this post.

Here are 10 brunch spots in Kallio you’ll want to try for yourself.

 

1. The Way

With hearty slabs of freshly baked bread, thick slices of ham and cheese, hard boiled eggs with cute faces, excellent coffee and a delicious selection of sweet options, this place is a must visit. If you come for a late breakfast it’s pretty tempting to stay for a few hours and trade your coffee for wine as the bakery becomes a wine bar in the afternoon.

Location: Agricolankatu 9

Opening Hours:  Mon-Sat 7.30-midnight, Sun 9am-3pm

Cost: starting at 5€ for soft-boiled eggs with sourdough bread and churned butter, this place is budget friendly

More Info

2. Gastro

One of the few places that serves poached eggs in Helsinki, don’t let the name put you off! This place is cute and cosy with indoor plants hanging from the ceiling and upcycled jar light fittings. The coffee and glogi is also spot on.

Location: Flemingkatu 7

Opening Hours: Mon-Tue 8am-2pm, Wed-Fri 8am-2pm and 5pm-10pm, Sat 10am-3pm, 5pm-11pm, Sun 10am-3pm

Cost: 15€ for the basic eggs

More Info

3. Cafe Cardemumma

Tucked away in a corner just off the main street, Helsinginkatu, this cafe is super cosy and serves one of the best brunches in Kallio. This is particularly a favourite in winter as most of their dishes are hot. There’s also a great dessert table and at 20€ it’s very good value for Helsinki.

Location: Kaarlenkatu 15

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7.30am-5pm, Sat 10am-3pm, Sun closed

Cost: Mid-range, at 20€ for weekend brunch

More Info

4. Sandro

An absolute Helsinki institution. There are now a bunch of these restaurants around the capital but the one in Kallio was the first and in my opinion the best. The food is heavily influence by Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and North African cuisines, particularly Moroccan. There’s a huge array of salads and warm dishes and a whole table dedicated to dessert. There’s also many vegan and vegetarian options and weekend brunch comes with a mimosa!

Tip: on weekdays the brunch is around a third of the price as on weekends and while there is no dessert table the savoury food is nearly identical.

Location: Kolmas Linja 17

Opening Hours: Brunch is served 12-4pm Saturday and Sunday and you often need a reservation. They also do amazing a la carte dinners.

Cost: at 30€ for weekend brunch this is the most expensive brunch I’ve had in Helsinki

More Info

5. Rupla

One of my favourite brunch spots. The mainly vegetarian buffet is delicious and there are always a few meat/fish dishes too. And they have the best dessert table- laden with amazing cakes.

Location: Helsinginkatu 16

Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 8am-6pm, Sat-Sun 11am-5pm

Cost: 20€ for weekend brunch, 10€ weekdays

More Info

6. IPL Kulmakuppila

This beautiful cafe is described by the owners as a shared living room in the neighbourhood, a cosy place for starting the day or stopping for lunch and it definitely feels that way. Split over two levels, with huge glass windows and a large indoor plant vine extending up the stairwell and draped around the top floor balcony, the cafe feels like the open plan living space of my dreams. It’s famous for its slow cooked porridge, freshly baked bread and delicious coffee. On Saturdays they serve “a hefty brunch” from 11-3pm.

Location: Porthaninkatu 13

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-10pm, Sat 11am-4pm, Sun closed

More Info

7. (Bergga)

Update: this cafe has now closed and Flät no 14 has opened in it’s place.

I’m yet to try this new eatery overlooking Bear Park, but below you can find information about the cafe.

Location: Viides linja 14

Opening Hours: Mon-Tue 8am-6pm,  Wed-Fri 8am-11pm, Sat 9am-11pm, Sun 9am-5pm

More Info

8. Cafelito

This tiny cosy cafe is tucked away beside a little park near the Sörnäinen metro. Their delicious breakfast sets mainly revolve around a large range of toasted sandwiches.

Location: Harjutori 2

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-6pm , Sat 9am-4pm, Sun closed

Cost: 12.90€ for all day breakfast set

More Info

9. Silvoplee

This is such a vegetarian institution in Kallio that my landlord made a point of mentioning it when I moved into district. As well an extensive daily brunch they also have a large range of coffee alternatives, including matcha, chai, turmeric and even spruce lattes!

Brunch is served from 11am daily and unlike most places in Helsinki, you pay by the weight of food on your plate instead of all you can eat.

Location: Toinen Linja 7

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-7pm, Sat 11am-6pm, Sun closed

Cost: 22.80€ per kilo

More Info

10. Roots

The decor in this place is inspiring upcycling at its best! It’s all vegan and there’s a yoga studio attached, lending a relaxed vibe to the cafe.

Location: Vaasankatu 14

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-9pm, Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 10am-7pm

Cost: 14€ for two different types of breakfast sets

More Info

The upcycled decor at Roots Cafe
The upcycled decor at Roots Cafe

 

I’d love to hear which is your favourite brunch spot in Kallio!

5 of the Best Second-hand Stores in Helsinki

Buying second-hand is a great way to help the environment and your finances. As such, three years ago I decided to only buy second-hand clothing. You can read more about why here.

In Finland there is a wonderful mindset of re-using and recycling, so it’s not surprising that there is a flourishing second-hand economy. This includes numerous second-hand shops and chains, vintage stores, active social media marketplace groups and outdoor flea markets.

Here are 5 of the best second-hand stores in Helsinki

 

Second-hand clothes at Relove
Second-hand clothes at Relove

1. The Recycle Centre- Kierrätyskeskus

Located in the Kyläsaari area of the Hermanni district, this huge two story center has amazing bargains. From books to glassware and kitchen utensils, clothing, craft supplies, electronics and furniture, there’s something for everyone. The prices are cheaper than you’ll find elsewhere in Helsinki and the range is extensive. Additionally, there are two large sheds at the front of the building with free items.

More Information: here

 

2. Fida Roba

In the popular street Iso Roobertinkatu of Helsinki’s design district Punavuori you’ll find this enticing store. They stock a range of unique and well priced vintage clothes, shoes, books and glassware.

More Information: here

 

3. Recci

These chain stores are found throughout the city, with a great range of second-hand clothes at good prices. They regularly have 50% off the entire store.

More Information: here

 

4. Uff

Another chain with many stores throughout Helsinki. Similar to Recci, there are regular sales, with slightly different deals each day during sale week. The store with the best range of clothing, especially vintage, is on Fredrikinkatu in Punavuori.

More Information: here

5. Relove

This gorgeous cafe also houses a beautiful second-hand market. In contrast to the chain stores above, booth spaces are rented out in a flea-market type setup. The first store is in Toolo, with a newer shop opening in Punavuori.

More Information: here