Welcome to my Helsinki vintage and independent guide! Way back when, I shared the souvenirs and treats I picked up whilst in Helsinki last year. I had planned this post to go up around then and ended up chickening out. Talking about buying stuff or shopping on here always throws up a red flag for me! I’m not a huge shopper and generally I’m pretty strict with what I will and won’t spend money on…
That said, buying souvenirs on holiday is one of my favourite things to do, and I love looking round local shops! I’m sure some of you feel the same so I thought I’d share my little guide. I’d advise budgeting in a few pennies to spend if you’re planning a Helsinki trip anytime soon!
Both Ryan and I are big into vintage clothing, so we were eager to check out what Helsinki had to offer! Kallio is the best district for vintage shopping. The area also has a lot of vegan restaurants so we were in our element!
FARGO VINTAGE, Flemingsgatan 20, Kallio
This shop had a lot of great furniture, including a fabulous orange 1960s sofa. I also loved the kitchenware! We didn’t purchase anything here as it would have been difficult to bring the majority of items home, but it was a fun place to look around.
Frida Marina, Karlsgatan 10
Frida Marina sells a mixture of vintage clothes and independent designers, alongside accessories and gifts. There’s a lot to look around, although there’s no male vintage section. I loved it and ended up with two vintage shirts! I think this may have been my favourite vintage store, due to such a range of products and designs.
Hoochie Mama Jane, Agricolankatu 11
This is a small and sweet vintage shop tucked away from the main high street in Kallio, opposite the bear park. From what I could gather that’s the name of the park, anyway! A good selection of womens items, including lots of fab accessories.
Soul Vintage, Helsingegatan 6
A rare good place to find mens vintage. We struggled a bit finding mens vintage in Helsinki – I find it’s harder to find decent mens stockists in general – but this place was great. Lots of 60s-80s stock, and a good selection of shoes (and boots!) as well.
WANHAA KAARLE, Karlsgatan 12, Kallio
This treasure trove wasn’t somewhere I’d read about before going (and I read a lot of guides). It was one of my favourite places! Selling mainly vintage collectibles and antiques, this shop was stuffed to the brim with amazing pieces. Lots of vintage moomin merch, kitchenware, brightly coloured plates, decorative vases and ceramic figurines. An eclectic and colourful mix of items!
Garageland, Fredrikinkatu 19
This shop was so cool – I thought it was two vintage shops next to door to each other, but actually they’re linked! Where normally you’d expect the room behind the counter to be a stock room, it actually links to the next shop, Dickies, so you can walk full circle between the two. The connecting rooms and passage are a combination of further stock and the retro 1950s wedding chapel themed room you see above. Truly a unique place! As well as 40s and 50s surfer/teddy boy clothing, the two stores stock repro and retro designs as well.
We stayed in Ullanlinna, at the bottom of the main design district. The streets in Helsinki are fairly close together, and if you are interested in looking up some local designers then I’d highly recommend spending an afternoon (or longer) simply meandering the design district (the Kamppi – Punavuori area). There are a huge number of shops I wanted to feature! In the interests of brevity I’ve tried to keep the numbers down and the featured stores varied.
Papershop, Fredrikinkatu 18
There were a number of beautiful stationery shops in Finland but this was my favourite. Papershop is a treasure trove! The visual merchandising is beautiful and they have some of my favourite companies and brands, including Rifle Paper Co. I especially liked the mixture of notebooks and wrapping paper alongside homey items like picture frames and vases.
Astialiisa, Runebergsgatan 59
This is another treasure trove! Stocking a range of Finnish glassware and Scandi ceramics. This is another shop in which I could have happily kitted out my future house. They have really wonderful pieces! Astialiisa is on a different side of town and there’s not a huge amount of shopping in the area, but I’m so glad we made the trip out anyway.
Zicco is a gorgeous store selling kids toys and clothes. It was filled with such beautiful things that we wandered in despite having no children in our life. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to know somebody with small children more! Zicco was essentially like an idealised, utopian toy shop that you might find in a movie but never on the high street. Perfect for presents if you don’t have any infants of your own. Or – let’s be honest – just browsing a really wonderful looking shop.
Good Fellows, Fredrikinkatu 38
We didn’t see a huge amount of comic shops in Helsinki, but Good Fellows was a really love store. Mostly comics, with some figurines and posters, I was most enamoured with the animation cels. They also have some beautiful vintage pieces (some display only and some available for sale). Worth a trip for comics fans.
Marimekko, Mikaelsgatan 1
Marimekko are a Finnish design brand, so whilst this doesn’t count as vintage they are independent (if on a much larger scale). Visiting the flagship store was one of the things I was most looking forward to prior to our trip. I’ve been a fan of Marimekko’s colourful designs for a long time! As you might expect, the flagship store is beautifully laid out with a separate homeware and fashion sections.
If you want to see what I bought on the trip, then check out my souvenir post here! Do you like shopping when you go on holiday?