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10 Essential Places to Visit in Helsinki From a Local Designer

Often the best way to get to know a city is by foot. A stroll around downtown Helsinki will have you gazing at beautiful architecture, stumbling across inspirational design shops, and discovering Finland’s love of coffee. Who better to guide us through this forward-thinking capital than prominent Finnish shoe designer Terhi Pölkki. “In response to the growing urban existence, Terhi Pölkki emphasizes craftsmanship, timelessness and environmental consciousness in her work. For Terhi, shoes are objects with a story.” Here, we celebrate her favorite Helsinki stops.

Reporter: Marianna Jamadi
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Amos Rex Museum

Helsinki, Finland
Just opened this fall, Amos Rex is Helsinki’s latest cultural hub built underneath famed Lasipalatsi Square. A museum described as the meeting point of past, present, and future, their opening exhibition ‘Massless’ by Tokyo-based digital art collective teamLab will run until January 6, 2019 and is not to be missed. Enjoy the contemporary public space above ground and head underground to enjoy the large-scale exhibits below.

Address: Mannerheimintie 22-24
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Allas Sea Pool

Helsinki, Finland
Where city meets sea, Allas Sea Pool hangs on the lip of the Helsinki coast. Take a dip in one of their three pools, or if you are like Terhi, meet your best friend here and catch up in the sauna. Located right next to Helsinki’s market square, Allas provides great city views.

Address: Katajanokanlaituri 2a
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Löyly

Helsinki, Finland
With sauna culture central to Finnish identity, Löyly provides a space that is strikingly beautiful and equally relaxing with two saunas to choose from. Sauna reservations are made in two-hour increments allowing enough time to exhale. Dare a dip in the sea for the full treatment and finish off with a meal at their adjacent restaurant.

Address: Hernesaarenranta 4
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Artek 2nd Cycle

Helsinki, Finland
Promoting conscious consumption while exhibiting the longevity of Artek furniture, Artek 2nd Cycle offers salvaged furniture for sale giving them a second life. In 2006, Artek began collecting used Aalto furniture knowing that since 1935 more than one and half million Aalto stools have been sold.

Address: Pieni Roobertinkatu 4
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Holiday Bar

Helsinki, Finland
Head to Holiday Bar right next to the sea to have a drink and gather with friends. Join in on the fun on the weekends for karaoke on sing-a-long Saturdays or bring your appetite on Wednesday’s & Thursday’s for Oyster Happy Hour 5-6pm.

Address: Kanavaranta 7
Photo: Terhi Pölkki
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Terhi Pölkki Flagship Store

Helsinki, Finland
Opening November 15, 2018, Terhi’s first flagship store will open at Finland at Garden, Kämp Galleria. Since launching her company in 2011, she has been awarded the coveted Best Accessory Designer award from ELLE Finland. Her style has been described as “minimalist luxury with a tough edge.”

Address: Garden, Kämp Galleria, Pohjoisesplanadi 33
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Samuji Studio

Helsinki, Finland
Studio and workspace neighbors and soon to be brick-and-mortar neighbors at Kämp Galleria, Samu-Jussi Koski, designer of Samuji Studio and Terhi are friends who both make sustainable products that you will want to fill your closet with. Previously the creative director of Marimekko, Samu-Jussi started his own design house as his style evolved to a more minimalistic and pragmatic approach.

Address: Mikonkatu 3
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Beam

Helsinki, Finland
This centralized shop in Helsinki is where to head for the best in international design curation. From brands like Helmut Lang, Maison Margiela, and Isabel Marant, Beam has a wide selection of elevated cuts for both men and women.

Address:  Erottajankatu 15-17
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Johanna Gullichsen Store

Helsinki, Finland
Gullichsen’s flagship store in Helsinki is filled with beautiful woven textiles. She believes that “Craft is a living design tool for me, always included in the narrative of my textiles.” In collaboration with Terhi, the two designers created two models of Johanna’s Doris pattern on Terhi’s Gus Sneaker and Fiona Babouche.

Address: Erottajankatu 1
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Hakaniemi Market

Helsinki, Finland
A favorite weekend stop for Terhi to grab breakfast and groceries, Hakaniemi Market is filled with various vendors for all your shopping needs. Whether you are on the hunt for fresh pastries, handicrafts, or decor for your home, you will find authentic Finnish goods at this bustling market. Local vendors can be viewed on their website and are open Monday-Saturday so cater to your weekly shopping lists.

Address: Hämeentie 1A

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