Picture: Elina Sirparanta / Visit Finland
The Finns are the greatest coffee drinkers in the world, with about ten daily cups each.
You can start your introduction to light-roasted Finnish coffee in the middle of Helsinki at Pohjoisesplanadi, which gives home to several cafés.
Try the constantly crowded Café Esplanad (Pohjoisesplanadi 37) for a huge cinnamon roll or a fresh salad.
Café Aalto at Akateeminen Kirjakauppa (Keskuskatu 1) is a stylish and minimalistic café in a sedate bookstore setting. A great place for browsing through your purchases! Karl Fazer Café (Kluuvikatu 3) is a Helsinki classic established in 1891. Try the café-deli for a nice cup of coffee and hand-made chocolates or cakes made by their own bakery.
If you would rather enjoy your coffee break after a good sight-seeing, head slightly off the city centre. While visiting the Sibelius Monument, take a short walk across the Sibelius park to Café Regatta (Merikannontie 10). A genuine, cosy atmosphere, a great place by the sea. And, they even pay you back 5 cents for every coffee refill.
Naturally, the seaside has a huge pull in sunny summer days, and Kaivopuisto park is one of the most popular spots. Enjoy the view over the sea at Café Carusel (Merisatamanranta 10). It has outdoor tables crowded with locals and travellers alike trying to catch a few rays. What better way to spend a summer day doing absolutely nothing!
From there, take a leisurely walk to the more trendy and upmarket Mattolaituri (Ehrenströmintie 3 A) that allures passers-by to enjoy champagne and coffee with a great view. Grab a drink and watch sailboats pass by. Or visit the traditional seaside café and restaurant Café Ursula (Ehrenströmintie 3).
Café Ekberg (Bulevardi 9) is a classic. It is highly recommended for a coffee and a cake, but you can also try their lunch or breakfast. The place often gets quite busy with well-to-do older ladies.