Helsinki has done a great job of making many of its islands more accessible to the public. The latest to have opened up is Katajanokanluoto, a tiny island that’s less than a 10-minute boat ride away from the central Kauppatori square. It hosts a restaurant called Cafe Kobben that has a summer terrace, so you can enjoy a drink or a quick bite while escaping the bustle of the city. If you time your visit right you’ll also get a fine view of the ferries to Stockholm passing by. Katajanokanluoto is only accessible in the summer months – not that you’d hope to enjoy the brisk sea winds in freezing winter temperatures.

Ferries leave every 30 minutes from Kauppatori square

Minibar, Kamppi

This tiny bar opened in 2019 next to Orion, one of the city’s most beloved cinemas. Connections to the film world don’t end there: the bar’s founders worked in the movie industry before setting up shop. This might help to explain the attention to lighting, interior design and music that goes into creating the space’s welcoming atmosphere.

Eerikinkatu 17

Cella, Kallio

At the ripe old age of 50-plus, Cella is one of Helsinki’s restaurant institutions. But you’ll miss it unless you’re “in the know”. Don’t be turned off by the rough-around-the-edges bar area at the front – make for the restaurant at the back where bohemians gather for deep discussions and some of the best Finnish cuisine in the city.

Fleminginkatu 15  +358 50 477 1057

cover Image: Juho Kuva

Go back: Helsinki


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  • The Atlantic Shift