I Want to Move to Helsinki, or: A Day in Helsinki

I’m very excited to announce that this’ll be the very last post about my trip to Europe. I’m sick of torturing myself and I’m sick of torturing you. We’re all just tired. I came very close to doing a recipe post this week to keep things more balanced. In fact, I made and photographed a new recipe on Saturday. But after a very dumb and un-fun thing monopolized my weekend, I decided I’d rather write about Helsinki – a place that brought me a ton of joy this summer.

In this post, I’ll attempt to explain to you why I want to move to Helsinki. I’ll mostly do this with pictures, because people hate reading. Also it just makes sense for this post. Please use it to plan your own trip there so we can talk about it.

Helsinki has my new favorite restaurant

I honestly think I’d move to Helsinki for this restaurant alone. It’s called Yes Yes Yes, and it’s spectacular. They’ve got some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. It’s innovative, delicious, beautiful, and vegetarian.

Look at this beautiful pea, avocado and pistachio dip.One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubAnd these gorgeous halloumi fries.One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubEven this bread is stunning.One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubIs this not the most picturesque cabbage you’ve ever seen in your life? It’s got strawberry and yuzu and peanuts, and even edible flowers! A literal dream.One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubThis salad was slightly less cute, but with truffle, roasted broccoli and hearts of palm, it was one of the best I’ve ever had.One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubThey’ve also got a real knack for design. My god, was this restaurant cute. Ben rolled in looking like he’d planned his outfit specifically around eating here, which I appreciate.One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubEvery angle of this place was different and delightful. They clearly put a lot of thought and care into the design.One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubAnd this wall looks like it was made just for Instagram, which is always fun.One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubFor bonus points, I asked the server if they had a cookbook, and while they didn’t, she told me that if I’d like to speak to the head chef, he’d be more than happy to tell me how to make anything I’d like. I didn’t take her up on it, BUT HOW NICE IS THAT?!

Helsinki has a healthy appreciation for Mamma Mia

If you’ve ever listened to (or read) a word I’ve said, you know that I do, too. I did a Donna Sheridan cosplay post, for chrissake. One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan Club

Helsinki is full of great design

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Nordic design. I love how comfortable, cute and functional it is. It hugely inspired the interior design of my house, and every time I visit another Nordic country I find more to fawn over.

In addition to Yes Yes Yes, we stopped at a coffee shop called Levain that was quite lovely. Sadly, it was not a branch of the NY based cookie shop, but it was still excellent, and it made me want to paint my entire house and all of my furniture dark teal. One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubOne Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubIn addition to every store and restaurant being meticulously designed, Helsinki has a super cool design museum. The Helsinki Design Museum features an array of exhibits ranging from blown glass pieces to lighting displays to an exhibit on Finnish made items and companies. Here are a few of my favorites.One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubOne Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubOne Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubOne Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan Club

Helsinki has the Bad, Bad Boy

Guys. I love the Bad, Bad Boy. Like, so much.

He’s an 8.5 meter statue of a creepy little kid peeing, created by artist Tommi Toija.

We took many, many photos of and with the Bad, Bad Boy. Here he is in all his glory.One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubOne Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubOne Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan Club

Helsinki is just generally delightful

In true Nordic fashion, Helsinki is not an early riser. We got off the ship early in order to make the most of our pathetically short time there, only to find that almost everything was closed. I honestly don’t mind that, though. Exploring a city that’s still asleep has its perks. You can take photos without hoards of people getting in your way, and you can get a feel for what you want to do later without getting distracted by a thousand cute boutiques and restaurants.

Here are some highlights.

This viking robot dude greeted us shortly after we disembarked.One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubThere’s lots of public greenery, which I always enjoy.One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubOne Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubWe hit Kauppatori pretty early on. It’s an outdoor market on the water that features fruits and veggies, snacks, and (maybe) handcrafted goods. Sort of like a chill farmer’s market. We grabbed some cloudberries, and though I wasn’t a huge fan of them, I do appreciate their vibrancy.One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubOne Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubOne of Helsinki’s biggest tourist attractions is the Temppeliaukio Church. I’m not super into churches, BUT THIS ONE IS INSIDE A GIANT ROCK, which I am extremely about.One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubAnd of course, there were these umbrellas. I instagrammed them pretty relentlessly, but I love them. We stormed in to take pictures, only to find locals reading and relaxing beneath these colorful beauties. I thought that was sweet. One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan ClubThat about sums up my feelings on Helsinki. It’s an inconspicuous gem full of charm and joy. My feelings might change were I to visit during one of their notoriously brutal winters, but for now, I love it.

Unlike home, it feels very carefree. Like life is easier there. And from what I’ve read, living in Finland is far less anxiety inducing than living in the United States. Each place has its perks, and Finland certainly isn’t perfect, but I think we could definitely learn a few things from them.

And now, in true Floridian fashion, I’m going to leave you with an unfunny but very cute see you later, alligator joke.One Day in Helsinki - Leisure Fan Club