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Liisa Jokinen and Sampo Karjalainen: My Helsinki

Hel Looks is Liisa Jokinen and Sampo Karjalainen’s street-style blog, featuring Finns on the cutting edge of fashion. The duo share their top Helsinki haunts with SHOP

City Guide

by Ana Finel Honigman
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Liisa Jokinen and Sampo Karjalainen
Liisa Jokinen and Sampo Karjalainen

Where were you born?
Liisa was born in Seinäjoki, Sampo in Tampere.

Where do you live?
In Helsinki’s Kaartinkaupunki neighbourhood.

What’s best about your neighbourhood?
It’s central and close to everything.

If money were no object, where would you live?
In Viiskulma, 500 metres away from where we live now.

Which neighbourhood in your Helsinki do you like best?
Punavuori.

Which are your favourite Helsinki stores?
Marimekko, for happy colours and prints – new head designer Noora Niinikoski is our favourite clothing and textile designer. Vuokko, for evergreen classics made in Finland. San Francisco Gay Night, a fantastic little thrift store with a surprising selection that’s a true treasure trove.

And your favourite restaurants?
For lunch, Zucchini, which has the best vegetarian food. For dinner, Kuurna and Atelje Finne. These both have great interiors, as well as great food and a relaxed atmosphere.

Do you have a favourite local café?
Our favourite café is in Tampere and it’s called Runo. We’re tea-drinking maniacs, so we like Thehuone which has the best tea and best service.

Which local dishes should visitors try?
Dark rye bread, Karelian rice pasties, blueberry pie, any local fresh vegetables in summer and local forest berries and mushrooms in autumn.

Where do you take out-of-town friends?
To an island – and to have a dip in the ice-cold sea!

Where do you like to celebrate?
We would try something new, for example the pop-up restaurant Hel Yes! before it closes, or the new Chef & Sommelier organic restaurant.

Do you have a favourite walk in Helsinki?
Along the seashore, from the market place all the way to Seurasaari island.

How do you like to travel around Helsinki?
By bike and on foot.

Which is the city’s best landmark, building or attraction?
Kiasma, the museum for contemporary art.

Which do you think is the best museum in Helsinki?
Taidehalli/Kunsthalle Helsinki.

Which person from Helsinki do you most admire?
The fashion designer Heikki Salonen, now living in Italy, working for Diesel and running his own Heikki Salonen label. Also his colleague Vuokko Nurmesniemi, the lady behind the Vuokko brand and store.

Any secret spots you don’t want out-of-towners to know about?
Liuskasaari island in summer. It has smooth rocks for sunbathing, great swimming spots and good pizza at Skiffer restaurant. In winter you can go there on foot, when the sea is frozen – that’s just great.

Where are the best bargains to be found?
At an outdoor flea market, such as Hietalahti. For grocery shopping we recommend Hakaniemi Market Place.

Any advice for visitors?
Rent a bicycle.

Can you recommend any good hotels in Helsinki?
Klaus K serves a great breakfast.

What can’t you live without?
Our home and the internet. Liisa couldn’t live without winter swimming.

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