Shopping in Helsinki is easy
The city offers a vast array of uncommon souvenirs from folksy handicraft to functional Finnish design. Jewellery, clothes, high-quality food and confections are favorite items for bring home from Finland.
Helsinki has various kinds of shops; big department stores, shopping centers and small designer shops and boutiques.
Shops and deparment stores in Finland are allowed to be open every day of the week, excluding the public holidays mentioned below.
New Year’s Day (Jan 1), Epiphany (Jan 6), Good Friday, Easter Day, 1st of May, Mothers’ Day (2nd Sun in May), Ascension Day, Whitsuntide, Midsummer Day, All Saints’ Day, Fathers’ Day (2nd Sun in Nov), Independence Day (Dec 6) and Christmas Day (Dec 25).
On Midsummer Eve and Christmas Eve shops are allowed to be open between 7am and 12 noon.
Main shopping streets and centres
Helsinki’s main shopping precincts and streets are downtown – all within easy walking distance. Pohjoisesplanadi particularly is known as the design showcase with boutiques from all the main Finnish design names, such as Iittala, Arabia, Marimekko, Kalevala Koru and Aarikka. Exclusive boutiques of major international brands are housed in the elegant Galleria Esplanad.
Another major shopping street is Aleksanterinkatu with several quality jewelry shops and fashion boutiques selling quality Finnish and international brands. The versatile Stockmann’s department store stands at the corner of Pohjoisesplanadi, Mannerheimintie and Aleksanterinkatu. At the other end of Aleksanterinkatu between the Senate Square and the Market Square you'll find the thoroughly refurbished shopping quarter Torikorttelit consisting of the historical merchant blocks. There are boutiques, cafes and restaurants offering enjoyable atmosphere and fine examples of modern Finnish design and craftsmanship.
Further downtown shopping streets include Eteläesplanadi and Mannerheimintie with Forum Shopping Centre and Sokos department store. Kamppi Shopping Center has shops and services on six floors housing the Helsinki Bus Station in the basement.
>And not to forget the Design District Helsinki that plays a prominent role in boosting Helsinki's reputation as a city of design. It is a cluster of creative businesses and a neighbourhood association offering visitors and residents shopping, dining and design-related experiences. The Design District comprises ca 200 members including design shops, galleries, workshops, museums, restaurants etc.
In the heart of Design District Helsinki there are Design Forum Finland with its Shop, Design Museum and the Museum of Finnish Architecture. A shopping round on neighbouring streets such as Erottajankatu, Korkeavuorenkatu, Fredrikinkatu, Uudenmaankatu and Bulevardi is definitely worth a while; there are charming small boutiques selling Finnish design articles and fashion. While in these parts, visit the Hietalahti Market Hall and outdoor flea market (during the summer months).
Kruununhaka district right next to the historical center, behind the White Church, houses many interesting and small vintage and antique shops as well as artisan grocery shops and antiquaries. In Kallio, you will find good alternative clothing stores for the hip as well as ethnic grocery stores and the popular and local Hakaniemi Market Hall.
Helsinki also boasts the biggest shopping centre in the Nordic Countries – Itis – located in Itäkeskus just within a 15-minute metro ride from the centre.