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Good buys in the city concentrate on Finnish design: fashion, housewares, wooden toys and, if you can manage shipping, furniture. As you browse the shops, you might find that designs you thought were “Scandinavian” actually originated here. The Design District in the Punavuori neighborhood boasts some 170 shops and galleries (pick up a free map at visitors centers or throughout the Design District), while other high profile shopping strips are along Esplanadi and Aleksanderinkatu in the city center. Around the Kauppatori (Market Square) look for more of the souvenir-type items you’d expect of the Nordic countries: knits, woodcrafts, etc. Rustic Finnish hunting knives are known for their quality (though pack those in your check-in baggage).

Shopping in Helsinki


Alvar Aalto, grandfather of Finnish design, founded this company in 1935, and it still sets the standard. One of his earliest works, the classic three-legged wooden stool called 60, still manages to command respect and feel contemporary after over seven decades. The line has expanded to include lots of other furniture items, lighting, and more.

Eteläesplanadi 18, 011-358-9-6132-5277,
Tags: shopping | design | home | eclectic

Hanna Sarén

The trim-fitting clothing by this well-known Finnish designer features adventurous stitching, occasional embroidery of tiny beads, and frayed edges on the hems, lapels, and cuffs. Think Japanese minimalism meets nature.

Frederikinkatu 45 2nd Flr., 011-358-40-555-1595,
Tags: shopping | designer | menswear


The brand that made Finland a force in tableware design now encompasses the legendary Arabia pottery works and Hackman cookware and cutlery. Look for pieces inspired by Alvar Aalto and Finnish designer Kaj Franck at this store across from Esplanade Park.

Pohjoisesplanadi 25, 011-358-204-393-501,
Tags: shopping | design | culinary | home

Ivana Helsinki

The first Finnish designer to exhibit at Paris Fashion Week, Paola Suhonen’s “Fenno-folk” concepts combine traditional Scandinavian and Slavic influences (mostly womenswear).

Uudenmaankatu 15, 011-358-50-347-6131,
Tags: shopping | boutique | designer

Left Foot Company

This clever Finnish shoe manufacturer has innovated a way to custom-make men’s shoes using digital photography and computer-assisted design. Have your measurements taken here, order your shoes online, and they’ll be shipped anywhere in the world.

Eteläesplanadi 8, 011-358-9-278-2916,
Tags: shopping | great value | designer | shoes | menswear


Marimekko’s iconic table linens, towels, and wall hangings, in bold, bright colors, were the rage in the late ’60s and are still timeless and contemporary. Marimekko clothing brings that same aesthetic to fashion. Look for shops throughout town, including this high-profile one at the Kämp Galleria.

Pohjoisesplanadi 31, 011-358-9-686-0240,
Tags: shopping | designer | home | clothing

Moomin Shop

Moomins, a family of round and furry trolls, are universally loved in Finland. Read about their exploits to the kids (books are available in English) and they will want a souvenir.

Kämp Galleria, Pohjoisesplanadi 33, 011-358-9-622-2206,
Tags: family | shopping | souvenirs | books


This giant department store at the crossroads of town was where Soviet citizens with exit visas got their first taste of western commercialism. It remains a focal point for its world-class selection, setting (a bit of a throwback to the Iron Curtain era), and occasional special events and concerts in the central atrium.

Aleksanterinkatu 52B, 011-358-9-1211
Tags: shopping | eclectic | department store

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