Thursday, July 28, 2011


Aurora Borealis Express – 12A Opastinsilta; 011-358-020-637-373;; Helsinki (Central) Helsinki to Tampere/Tammerfors to Oulu/Uleaborg to Kemi to Kolari.

AKASLOMPOLO & YLLASJARVI (includes Sivulantie)
Hotel Yllas Humina – 27 Tiurajarventie (Akaslompolo); 011-358-020-719-9820;

Humina – 27 Tiurajarventie (Akaslompolo); 011-358-020-719-9820;

Destination Lapland – Yllaksen Alueen Keskusvaraamo, 1 Ahdinkuja (Sivulantie); 011-348-016-510-3300;; manages scores of cabins that sleep 4-16 people.
Scandinavian Adventures – 16 Sivulantie (Akaslompolo); 011-358-016-569-699 or 011-358-040-377-8060;; can arrange visits to husky races, reindeer farms, sledding, etc.

Bars & Nightclubs
Latva – 25 Korkeavuorenkatu; 011-358-9-698-0480;; Finnish tapas bar.
Olo – 44 Kaserngatan; 011-358-9-665-565;
Pacifico – 15 Helsingkatu; 011-358-;; cavernous, hard-to-find bar-club-tavern in former movie theater; deluxe Sunday brunch served with clips from old American movies and local D.J. soundtrack.

Hotel Kamp – 29 Pohjoisesplanadi; 011-358-957-6111;; short walk from harbor; hand-carved wooden doors; historic landmark.
Klaus K Hotel – 2-4 Bulevardi; 011-358-20-770-4700;

Chez Dominique – 4 Rikhardinkatu (near Esplanadi Park); 011-358-9-612-7393;; 1 of only 2 Michelin-starred restaurants in Finland; gourmet citadel reigning as Helsinki’s “restaurant of year” with most critics; offers French-inspired cuisine using fresh Scandinavian products whenever available.
Grotesk – 10 Ludviginkatu; 011-358-010-470-2110; open for lunch; in grand, stone building that formerly housed Sanomat newspaper; cozy patio is pleasant, mossy green space where diners sit under striped canopies; try salmon with kaffir lime sauce.
Juuri – 27 Korkeavuorenkatu; 011-358-9-635-732; seats 24; feels like urban farmhouse; serves sapas (Finnish tapas); try lingon-berry marinated salmon.
Kamp Signe – 29 Pohjoisesplanadi (at Hotel Kamp); 011-358-957-6111;; “new Nordic” menu.
Loft – 18 Yrjonkatu; 011-358-9-4281-2500; expensive.
Nokka – 7F Kanavaranta; 011-358-9-6128-5600; old warehouse with 20-foot ceilings; try clear tomato soup.
Olo – 44 Kaserngatan; 011-358-9-665-565;; modern cuisine using products from northern Europe; seasonal menu, putting on table whatever is best during any given month; hope for chanterelle soup or wild duck terrine (starters), fried pike perch, wild duck, or filet of deer with rosemary sauce (main courses), and/or passion fruit mousse (dessert); Michelin-starred.
Pacifico – 15 Helsingkatu; 011-358-;; cavernous, hard-to-find bar-club-tavern in former movie theater; deluxe Sunday brunch served with clips from old American movies and local D.J. soundtrack.
Ravintola AlppiTori – 15 Kirstinkatu (Kallio); 011-358-50-412-6619;; comfort food bistro; renowned Tori meatballs with brandy sauce and mashed potatoes worth special trip.
Spis – 26 Kasarmikatu; 011-358-45-305-1211;; new-Nordic restaurant that carries locavore concept to extremes; 18 seats in restaurant in which everything, down to cutlery, nordic.
Sundmans Krog – 16 Eteläranta; 011-358-9-6128-5450;; old, low-key, quiet, with delicious food.
Villipuutarha – 13 Kaarlenkatu; 011-358-45-881-3233;; quirkily decorated space; try Ellen Svinhufvud Cake (almond & mocha cream cake), named after 1930s Finnish President’s wife.

Folklore – 8 Viipurinkatu (Kallio); 011-358-45-313-3020;; jewelry by local designer, Tiina Palm.
Fuga – 13a Mannerheimintie (at Helsinki Music Centre); 011-358-20-707-0400;; gift shop.
Lumi Supermarket – 28 Aleksanterinkatu; 011-358-44-571-2622;; leather accessories.

Sights & Sites
Central Railway Station – 1 Kaivokatu (Asema-aukio);; designed by Eliel Saarinen in 1909 and opened in 1919; mostly clad in Finnish granite; distinguishing features are clock tower and 2 pair statues holding spherical lamps, lit at night-time, on either side main entrance; Finland’s most-visited building.
Esplanade Park – Pohjoisesplanadi;; opened in 1812 with special stage for live music performances; avenues of mature trees.
Finlandia Hall – 13 Mannerheimvägen; 011-358-9-402-4400;; marble-clad concert hall with (congress wing) designed by Alvar Aalto; built 1967-1971.
Helsinki Music Centre – 13a Mannerheimintie; 011-358-20-707-0400;
Kallio Church (Kallion Kirkko) – 2 Itäinen Papinkatu (Kallio); 011-358-9-2340-3620;; built 1908-1912; designed by Lars Sonck; represents change from National Romantic style to Art Nouveau.
Kiasma Museum – 2 Mannerheiminaukio; 011-358-9-173-361;; contemporary art.

Arctic Light Hotel – 18 Valtakatu; 011-358-20-171-0100;; Finland’s best hotel & good aurora-viewing (mid-September to late March); block from Kemijoki river; contemporary hotel with annex cabin; ultrachic rooms have nature themes, free Wi-Fi & flat-screen tvs, plus minibars, Nespresso machines & rainfall showers; upgraded rooms add sitting areas, while loft includes skylights; 1-bedroom cabin has Christmas theme & living room with dining table; room service.
Arctic TreeHouse Hotel – 3 Tarvantie; 011-358-50-517-6909;; surrounded by pine forest; 3-minute walk from Santa Park; chic suites feature free Wi-Fi & flat-screen TVs, as well as minifridges & espresso machines; all have forest views; 2-bedroom suites have terraces, kitchenettes, bathrooms with saunas, & living rooms with sofabeds & fireplaces; breakfast buffet served in snug, contemporary restaurant/bar.
Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna – 4 Koskikatu; 011-358-20-123-4695;; quirky, contemporary hotel; sleek rooms provide free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs & minibars, as well as tea & coffee-making facilities; some have whimsical themes such as Christmas or Artic Circle; some have fireplaces and/or river views; free breakfast buffet; amenities include sauna, nightclub, lively pub, 2 hip restaurants, 1 of which serves Tex-Mex.
Santa’s Hotel Santa Claus – 29 Korkalonkatu; 011-358-16-321-321;; stay in glass igloo.

Sights & Sites
Arktikum Science Museum – 4 Pohjoisranta; 011-358-16-322-3260;; museum & science centre.
Santa Claus Village – 2 Tähtikuja; 011-358-40-1593811 or 011-358-16-356-2096;; amusement park.

Bars & Nightclubs
Brewery Restaurant Koulu – 18 Eerikinkatu; 011-358-2-274-5757;; Finland’s largest brewery restaurant; house beers and wine cellar; can visit brewery in basement.
Cosmic Café – 4 Kauppiaskatu; 011-358-2-250-4942;; beer and cider from across Europe; also, comic books.
Pub Restaurant Puutorin Vessa – Puutori; 011-358-2-233-8123;; pub housed in former public toilet.

Centro Hotel – 12 Yliopistonkatu; 011-358-2-211-8100;; modern boutique hotel in downtown.
Park Hotel – 1 Rauhankatu; 011-358-2-273-2555;; pleasant boutique in restored early 20th Century villa in city center on Puolalanpuisto Park.
Radisson Blu Marina Palace Hotel – 32 Linnankatu; 011-358-2-0123-4710;; newly renovated; looks over Aura River.
Sokos Hamburger Bors – 6 Kauppiaskatu; 011-358-2-337-381;; busy, sprawling hotel right by Market Square; 2 good restaurants.

Blanko – 1 Aurakatu; 011-358-2-233-3966;; at Aura River Bridge’s foot; among Turku’s most popular and stylish restaurants.
Brewery Restaurant Koulu – 18 Eerikinkatu; 011-358-2-274-5757;; Finland’s largest brewery restaurant; house beers and wine cellar; can visit brewery in basement.
Restaurant Herman – 37 Lantinen Rantakatu; 011-358-2-230-3333;; set in century-old building on Aura River; good food and terrace settings.
Restaurant Mami – 3 Linnankatu; 011-358-2-231-1111;; on waterfront in Turku’s historic district; simple food in unpretentious setting.

Tours – Anu Salminen;

Turku Bookcafé – Vanha Suurtori; 011-358-2-469-1396;; bookstore that sells coffee and vegan food.

Sights & Sites
Aura River Waterway – canal-like river portion that winds through city center.
Life on Leaf –;; whimsical architectural structure open for public tours upon appointment; must be seen to be believed.
Maritime Museum – 72 Linnankatu; 011-358-2-280-9511;; comprehensive maritime history overview.
Market Square – 12 Eerikinkatu (VI District); 011-358-2-519-3330; generally considered city center; lively market on weekdays; several cafes and restaurants.
Puolalanpuisto Park – centrally located urban greenspace.
Orthodox Church – 19 Yliopistonkatu; 011-358-2-277-5443; Turku orthodox parish’s main church; on Market Square’s northeast corner; constrution ordered by Tsar in 1838.
Sibelius Museum – 17 Piispankatu; 011-358- 02 215 4494;; musical instrument museum.
Swedish (Abo Svenska) Theater – 13 Eriksgatan; 011-358-2-277-7383;; Finland’s oldest theater.
Turku Castle – 80 Linnankatu; 011-358-2-262-0300;; both castle and museum; over 700 years old.
Turku Cathedral – Tuomiokirkontori; 011-358-2-261-7100;

Hotel Kakslauttanen & Igloo Village – 011-358-16-667-100;; glass igloos above arctic circle for viewing Northern Lights (late August can be pretty-good); adorable and incredibly romantic.

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