Spending the summer in Helsinki, I’m on a mission to find out everything the city has to offer and write about my experiences in a series of blog posts. From top sights to hidden gems, and art & design to the best places to shop and eat… I want to explore it all! As I’ve already visited the main attractions, I’ve chosen to do a Finnish Design Tour next. It leads me on an interesting journey through the centre of Helsinki, during which I learn all about Finnish Design!
Much like the other Nordic countries, Finland is known for its simplistic, modern and functional design brands. While I’ve always admired the products of brands like Marimekko and Aarikka (and even bought my share of them…) I realise that I don’t know much about the stories behind these brands. So naturally, I’m excited to dive into the world of Finnish design for a few hours. I’m hoping to learn a lot – and maybe give a good home to a design item or two!
The Finnish Design Icons Tour takes me on a route through the design shops of the city centre, starting from a lovely handicraft shop near the Esplanadi Park. I spend an afternoon strolling from a store to another, learning more about the history and philosophy behind each brand, and trying hard not to spend all my savings on “clothes, shaped like boxes” as Fox Jr. puts it. My fluffy tour guide is his usual, funny self on this tour. I enjoy listening to his stories, which provide me with little snippets about life in Finland and fun facts about the brands whose stores I’m visiting. I take my time in each shop, trying to spot the iconic products that Fox Jr. is talking about. Knowing the stories behind the brands, I get much more out of visiting the shops than I ever have before!
This tour is perfect for anyone who’s interested in Finnish Design – and anyone who loves shopping! You’ll get to visit the flagship stores of the iconic brands you might already be familiar with, as well as some boutiques that house a variety of products from Finnish designers and artisans. The walking part of the tour itself isn’t very long, so the time that it takes to complete this tour completely depends on how much time you want to spend browsing through each shop. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you can book a tour here.
Letting my bank account recover from all the shopping, my plan is to head on a Mega Top Sights of Helsinki Tour next – with lunch included at a restaurant that I hear is a local favourite! Stay tuned…
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36340 Tohkala, Finland