Picture: Juho Kuva / Visit Finland
The Market Square (Kauppatori in Finnish) occupies a great site in the South Harbour at the eastern end of the two Esplanades.
The market sells Finnish delicacies like crisp tiny muikku or vendace (from the salmon family), loi-mulohi or “blazed” salmon cooked over an open fire, and berries in season, like Arctic cloudberries, and of course strawberries galore.
There are also plenty of stalls selling handicrafts and souvenirs.
On a fine day, it is worth dropping in for coffee at one of the market’s tented cafés.
Many of the locals will be doing likewise, and tucking in to sticky jam doughnuts or a hot meat pie.
A few steps from the open-air market is the Old Market Hall (Wanha Kauppahalli), which is a big draw for gourmet shoppers.
The market has undergone renovation recently. There is now a restaurant by Michelin-level chefs and pastry chefs.
Browse the hall for Finnish delicacies such as rye bread or cold-smoked salmon or go for international flavours.
This is a good place to fill your picnic basket for a daytrip to Suomenlinna.
You can also try the open-air market and the market hall at Hakaniemi (metrostation Hakaniemi or trams 1, 3, 6, 7 and 9 from the city centre) that have food to please all palates, from truffle salami and fresh fish to vegetarian specialities and ecological food.
The ground floor of the market hall is a gourmand’s paradise while the first floor gives home to several crafts, paperware and souvenir shops.
They also run a popular flea market on summer Sundays.
Organic food is very trendy in Finland at the moment.
One of the best places to shop is Ruohonjuuri (Keskuskatu 6 / City-käytävä or Salomonkatu 5, next to the Kamppi shopping centre), an ecoshop with a large selection of organic products.
Located a 10-minute walk away from the city centre, Anton&Anton (Museokatu 19) is well worth the walk.
The stylish shop sells organic food by local producers and some of the coolest international eco brands.
For those in a hurry, Stockmann (Aleksanterinkatu 52) is always a safe bet.