Finnish Souvenir Shopping Tour (Self Guided), Helsinki

It would be a pity to leave Helsinki without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, all unique to Finland, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

The souvenirs include Sauna Bucket & Ladle, Finnish traditional music instrument, ryija rug, Finnish vodka made from Arctic-grown berries, and more. If you want to bring something authentic Finnish home, take this self-guided shopping tour.
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Finnish Souvenir Shopping Tour Map

Guide Name: Finnish Souvenir Shopping Tour
Guide Location: Finland » Helsinki (See other walking tours in Helsinki)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Author: Daniel
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Iittala Glassware
  • Kalevala Koru
  • Sauna Market Finland
  • OKRA Arts, Crafts & Design Gallery
  • Kluuvi Shopping Centre
  • Helsinki Forum
  • Alko
  • Kamppi Shopping Centre
1
Iittala Glassware

1) Iittala Glassware

Iittala glassware is famous throughout the world for their distinctive, carefully crafted and eye-catching shapes which add grace and elegance to one's home. A wide range of Iittala glass products are made for their functionality and decorative purposes. They’re also quite sturdy and long-lasting.

Dinnerware, cutlery and serving utensils are available as well as various mugs, casserole dishes, pitchers, bowls, pans, pots, etc. Fun and playful objects, like whimsical glass birds, are a particularly popular. Vases and jewelry boxes are among other uses.

A good place to buy Iittala glass products is at Ittala Glassware located at in Pohjoisesplanadi 25.

What to buy here: Iittala Glass.
2
Kalevala Koru

2) Kalevala Koru

Designs of Kalevala jewelry, renowned for their vivid and bold shapes, are often derived from the Kalevala, the colorful national folk epic. Some models are also replicas of ancient Iron Age jewelry discovered by archeologists.

The jewelry items are all quite striking and likely to attract attention due to their distinctive design. They make excellent gift items, especially for occasions like anniversaries and birthdays.

Among the many items are necklaces, pendants, earrings, brooches, bracelets, charms, etc. Tie pins and cufflinks are also available for men. Bronze, silver and gold are the basic materials used. Hooks in bronze earrings are made of gold-plated silver. The jewelry is free of nickel and other allergenic material. Price are $40-50 and up.

A good place to pick up a Kalevala jewelry is Kalevala Koru located at Pohjoisesplanadi 25 or Strombergintie 4.

What to buy here: Kalevala Jewelry.

Operation hours: Monday - Friday: 10am - 4pm.
3
Sauna Market Finland

3) Sauna Market Finland

Consider that roughly five million Finns own over two million saunas and you get an idea of how popular these units are in Finland. But their popularity is now worldwide. Ancient in use, saunas are virtually sterile environments where one can cleanse their body of impurities but also use the steamy rooms to prepare food and even give birth.

Many visitors to Helsinki try either a wood stove or smoke sauna, experiencing the dry heat, a refreshing shower, and then a repast of sausages with beer.

The wooden buckets and ladles used to throw water over one’s body in the cleansing process are made of birch wood, often with invisible seams, and topped with strips of decorative wood. They are smooth to touch. Some will have form-fitting and removable plastic inserts to hold water.

To find good quality wooden buckts and ladles, try the Sauna Market Finland at Aleksanterinkatu 28.

What to buy here: Sauna Bucket & Ladle.
4
OKRA Arts, Crafts & Design Gallery

4) OKRA Arts, Crafts & Design Gallery

Kanteles are a traditional string instrument native to Finland. Their roots go back to antiquity. They’ve been compared to a zither or lap harp.

Made of wood kantele has a triangular shape with the strings running across the top of the instrument. The older types might have five or six horsehair strings, with the instrument carved from one piece of wood. More modern versions have metal strings and often a body made from several blocks of wood.

The kanteles for personal use usually have 15 or fewer strings, perhaps five to 10. The ones used in concerts tend to have more strings. Listen for a bell-like sound. It is not that difficult to learn to play kantele if you’re so inclined, and instrument is also quite useful as a decoration and a sure-fire conversation starter.

A good selection of kanteles can be found at the OKRA Arts, Crafts & Design Gallery at Unioninkatu 26.

What to buy here: Kantele.

Operation hours: Monday – Friday: 10 am – 6 pm; Saturday: 10 am – 4 pm; Sunday: 12 am - 4 pm
5
Kluuvi Shopping Centre

5) Kluuvi Shopping Centre

Arabia ceramics is a brand name recognized throughout the world. One can choose from among a wide range of well-made and innovative products that feature both functionality and decorative style. They withstand wear well and are likely to last a long time.

Coffee cups and mugs with Moomin (troll) designs are especially popular.

The selection includes tea pots, dishes, cups, ovenware, costume dishes, jugs, tableware/trays, salad bowl, candle holders, hors d’oeuvre dishes etc. Anything you find in most kitchens probably has an Arabia prototype or version. Exquisite pottery and vases, as well as lanterns, are among many other products, all showing the same high degree of artistry.

One can find a great variety of products at Kluuvi Shopping Centre located at Aleksaninkatu 9.

What to buy here: Arabia Ceramics.
6
Helsinki Forum

6) Helsinki Forum

A ryija rug is an art form unique to Finland. While there is some similarity to Persian carpets, the ryija knots are farther apart and much larger and longer. Slices and splashes of vibrant colors are used in dyes which add great color intensity and variation. Yellow, green, red and blue are popular colors employed in different patterns but there are many other colors available, too. Geometric shapes are often used along with figures of humans, animals, and birds.

Ryija rugs can be hung as handsome wall hangings or used as couch or bed spreads. Basically they are a decorative feature so they aren’t used on floors. Wool is the basic material used to make ryija rug, but new fibers have come into play. This is a question one should ask when buying ryija rugs.

Ryija rugs can be found in the Helsinki Forum, located on Mannerheimintie 20, and in other shops. You can shop both by price, size, and color variation, often depending on what the planned use is for. These rugs make excellent gift items. Price starts from $20 and up.

What to buy here: Ryija rugs/wall hangings.

Operation hours: Monday -Friday: 10 am - 9 pm; Saturday: 10 am - 7 pm ; Sunday: 12 pm - 6 pm
7
Alko

7) Alko

Some Finnish vodka is made from Arctic-grown berries. Their taste is distinctive, heavy and often sweet. They are most likely appreciated by those with a sweet tooth or are served with desserts and as an after-dinner drink in small liqueur glasses.

The Finnish vodka made from Arctic-grown berries are rarely found outside of Finland and they are not sold in all the store in Helsinki either, so you need to know where to go to find them.

One store where you can find such Finnish Vodka is Alko at Salmisaarennaukio 1. Please check the label on the bottle to make sure that it is made from Arctic-grown berries.

What to buy here: Finnish Vodka.

Opening Hours: Monday-Friday: 9am - 9pm.
8
Kamppi Shopping Centre

8) Kamppi Shopping Centre

Moomins are the charming characters in a series of books and comic strips that have taken off in Finland. Their images now appear on a wide range of popular products including glasses, coffee cups, handbags, placemats, t-shirts, towels, bed liners, pillow cases, puzzles, bookstands, etc. There’s even a Moomin theme park in Finland, but it’s in Naantali and not in Helsinki.

The trolls, unmistakable in appearance, convey an aura of fun and serenity despite their eccentric and odd shapes. They tend to be white and roundish with distinctively large snouts that give them a hippopotamus-like look. Many pithy sayings emanate from them, and you can buy books for children in English about the assorted adventures of the Moomins.

The placemats, which make a fine gift, are among the most popular items. They’re sold in virtually all the stores, but it’s worth looking around for what catches your eye. Try the Kamppi Shopping Centre at Urho Kekkosenkatu 1. There you can find a wide selection of Moonins trolls and placemats.

What to buy here: Moomin Trolls and Placemats.

Opening Hours: Monday - Friday: 9am - 9pm; Saturday: 9am - 7pm; Sunday: noon - 6pm

Walking Tours in Helsinki, Finland

Create Your Own Walk in Helsinki

Create Your Own Walk in Helsinki

Creating your own self-guided walk in Helsinki is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Helsinki's Historical Churches

Helsinki's Historical Churches

Helsinki features many impressive places of worship where you can enjoy a peaceful moment and admire the beauty of the religious buildings. Helsinki has two main religious denominations: Lutheran and Orthodox, but there are also some beautiful Anglican and German churches. Take this self-guided walking tour to see the most interesting religious buildings in the city.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Helsinki's Architectural Jewels

Helsinki's Architectural Jewels

Typified by Nordic minimalism and refinement, the architecture of Helsinki is shaped primarily by the early Neo-Classical style and a regional form of Art Nouveau, called Jugendstil. Still, it is the later work by modernist architect Alvar Aalto, as well as the thriving contemporary designs deeply rooted in nature and local craft, that give Helsinki, as well Finland in general, their current...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles
Seurasaari Island Walking Tour

Seurasaari Island Walking Tour

Seurasaari is an island in Helsinki and is best known as the home to the popular Seurasaari Open-Air Museum. The museum provides an overview of life in the Finnish countryside by showcasing old, mainly wooden houses built in different eras. Some of these houses – once lived in by famous people in the Finnish history – were transplanted to Seurasaari island to become the part of the museum.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Helsinki Introduction Walking Tour

Helsinki Introduction Walking Tour

Helsinki was created as a trading town by Swedish King Gustav I in 1550, but it is believed that Swedish settlers had arrived here in the 1300s. Sometimes called the “Daughter of the Baltic,” Helsinki is a port town through and through. Its close connection to its Baltic neighbors, Sweden and Russia, has shaped its history for better and worse over the last 400 years. Both Finnish and Swedish...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles

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