Market halls are an institution in Helsinki. Dating back to the 19th century, they’re often housed beautiful old buildings with a range of delicious, fresh and often organic produce, fish and meat, as well as many traditional cafes and shops selling Finnish homewares, books and souvenirs. In contrast to Farmer’s Markets in Australia, most market halls in Helsinki are open every day of the week except Sunday.
Here are three of the most famous market halls in Helsinki.
The Hakaniemi market hall has recently moved to a newly built “temporary” market hall next to the old building. This market is near the trendy neighborhood of Kallio (see this post for things to do in Kallio, or here for brunch options) and in summer there are many stalls outside selling fresh produce and once a month there’s a flea market. In winter the indoor cafes provide a welcome refuge from the snow.
Vanha Kauppahalli (Old Market hall)
This gorgeous old building dates back to 1888 and was the first indoor market hall in Helsinki. If you only get the chance to visit one market hall, I’d recommend this one. It’s right in the tourist area next to Market Square and has a range of produce and cafes. For further info see this site.
While there are a few cheese shops and stores selling ceramics and other gifts, the Hietalahti hall has no fresh produce. Instead, the two story building contains a plethora of mouth watering eateries. From burgers and kebabs to Filipino, Japanese and Italian cuisine, there’s sure to be something for everyone. My favorite cafes were at either end of the long hall, where a spiral stair led up to a balcony level overlooking the market. White pane windows also look out to the beautiful surrounding buildings and snow filled car park. In summer the car park becomes a flea market once a month and is the perfect spot to bag a bargain.