Tag Archives: helsinki

Gluten Free Helsinki

So, this post is obviously a lot shorter because we really didn’t see or taste much of Helsinki in just one day. I’ll just combine things here instead. We spent most of the first day in museums because the weather was supposed to perk  up on the Sunday and Monday of our long weekend. Maybe it’s karma or coincidence, but as we were heading home early on Sunday, it ended up raining anyway and was really depressing weather to match our moods.

A bit of sun peaking out on Saturday.

Down by the waterfront. On the way to the very interesting the Mannerheim Museum, which I suggested to Kay because it was nearby the design museum and I wanted to see a Finnish household. Little did I know how important Mannerheim was to Finnish history. We had a lovely tour guide.

We passed by this cool little market at the sea in the morning and they had this booth with all gluten free things. I was planning on coming back on Sunday to try them out because they were a bit busy and almost cleaned out by the time we visited again in the afternoon. Maybe next time I’ll finally try them?

After the Mannerheim museum I was really famished, so we made our way back up the coast. There were tons of little stands with food, but nothing mentioned gluten and I didn’t really find anything that looked safe to eat, so we stopped by Cafe Strindberg because it came up in my search for GF restaurants saying it had “lovely gluten free sandwiches.”

We almost left the cafe because after sitting at an open table next to the bar with tons of waiters running around, they ignored us for a long time before giving us menus. We were actually putting our coats back on when they came with the water and menus, but the service was sooo slow.

We also noticed people next to us drinking champagne at 2 in the afternoon and agreed that this was probably not really the place for us. It was pretty expensive even by Finnish standards. We are used to expensive places in Zurich, but they didn’t really have a gluten free menu and the waitress was pretty unhelpful about explaining what I could order. She just said it was possible and then left for a long time before taking our order and when she arrived, it turned out I could only order like two things on the menu, one of which was a salad.

When the sandwiches actually came, they were pretty tiny (that’s a dessert sized plate up there) and didn’t really satisfy either of us. Coffee and a small sandwich for the both of us cost around €28.

After that we went into Stockmann’s, which had way more gluten free options being a grocery. We also found several types of gluten free beer that we brought back to the hotel. Unfortunately we only tried one kind on Saturday night because we were saving the others for Sunday night and we couldn’t bring them in our carry-on home on Sunday. 🙁

Here below is a gluten free treat from Stockmann’s. Very light and airy! 🙂

For dinner we went to Kaarna Baari & Keittiö, which also wasn’t exactly cheap or quick, but it filled us up and was tasty.

Enjoying the long sun rays from our window spot. Our appetizers came fairly quickly. I ordered the wild duck and a hard cider and it was yum!

For the main, we both ordered the reindeer sirloin, but it took almost an hour to come after we ordered. Kay was getting really impatient because he was so hungry. It tasted great, but we did not order any dessert afterward because of the long wait.

I was looking forward to going to a few more places on my GF list, like the Gluto Street Food option in the mall near our hotel, but we just didn’t have the time in the end.

Helsinki seemed nice, but I’m not sure we’ll go back soon with the memories of how the trip turned out. But we still have our other city trips planned this year like Luxembourg and Porto, so soon we will be back to our weekend traveling.

Weekend Trips Continued

Like I mentioned in March, we had several short trips planned this year, which is only growing as the year progresses. I am on fire with the cheap airfare.


(Picture via Flickr Creative Commons)

This year Swiss labor day falls on a Friday, so I really wanted to take a long weekend somewhere. For a long time, I only found flights for 400CHF or more, but finally a few weeks before the weekend, I caught tickets to Athens for a good price. I’m really looking forward to visiting Greece for the first time this weekend! Kay has already been before, it’s where he met my design friend who introduced us, but I’m looking forward to a relaxed weekend exploring this old city!


(Picture via Flickr Creative Commons)

The same day I found tickets to Athens, I found tickets for another long weekend in May to Helsinki. We always get Pentecost Monday off, so we’ll head north that weekend for another long trip. We’ve already been to Sweden, Norway and Denmark, so this rounds out our Scandinavian countries.

Now we’ll just need to visit Iceland and see the northern lights somewhere at some point.


(Picture via Flickr Creative Commons)

Keeping an eye out for weekend trips for our birthday weekends, I decided to go ahead and book tickets to Luxembourg for my birthday weekend. We don’t have any public holidays then, but the flights are early and Luxembourg is small enough that I think we will see enough.

I’m not sure why, but I was always sort of interested to visit Luxembourg because it’s one of those really small European countries nearby. Usually the tickets flying there are 450-500, but I actually found them for around 200, so I figured it was worth going.



(Picture via Flickr Creative Commons)

Porto is another city that Kay has had on his list for ages for whatever reason, but the tickets are usually always almost 500CHF. I’ve been checking since January and finally found a weekend this year where the tickets are 250 and we are both here, so off we go!

Our calendar is starting to fill up and I’ve realised that we haven’t even booked any “real” holidays yet. I need to make sure we have enough money for that too with all this weekend traveling! We are also starting to be pros at weekend travel and have really streamlined our packing.

Now, off to Athens today!