Hello! By now you’ve probably cottoned on that I’m a bit of a (read: HUGE) Moomin fan. One of the many reasons I wanted to visit Helsinki was to visit the home and birthplace of Tove Jansson (the Moomins creator). Throughout our trip we went to a few Moomin and Tove specific places. Today I’ve rounded them up for you in case you want to plan your own trip! Please note that this is by no means an official Moomin or Tove guide – I’m just a fan.
This is kind of the third in a loose Moomin-Helsinki series – you can read my thoughts on Tove here and see my Moomin souvenirs here.
The Helsinki Art Museum has a permanent Tove Jansson gallery just to the left of the entrance. The gallery features some of her larger canvasses, copies of some her murals and a few portraits taken by her brother, Lars. I really enjoyed the timeline of her work, and the opportunity to see some of her Moomin-related creations juxtaposed with her distinctive painting style.
The Moomin Shop is a bit of an obvious entry on this list! Forum is one of the larger malls in Helsinki. This is the Helsinki outpost of the official Moomin stores – if you’ve read my blog for a while you know I frequently visit the Covent Garden shop! Like the London branch, the Forum theming is delightful, although as the shop is in a mall it’s a little bit smaller than I expected. Still, they have a wide range of products and everything is laid out beautifully!
This bustling antique shop in Kallio isn’t a strict Moomin or Tove destination, but they stocked a lot of vintage Moomin memorabilia. I particularly enjoyed the Snorkmaiden clock and collection of vintage Moomin mugs! Great if you want to pick up some unique memorabilia.
This huge shop stocks all sorts of Scandinavian goodies and is a one-stop destination for traditional souvenirs. I was really impressed with their large Moomin corner – aside from the variety of products, the decor is delightful. Talk about aesthetically pleasing! Everything is 10% off for Helsinki card holders as well – win!
Exactly the same products as the other Moomin stores, except this is conveniently located in the actual airport! I have so many good things to say about Helsinki Vantaa airport – the staff, the layout, the cleanliness. The relatively large Moomin shop is just one of the many high points! If you don’t get a chance to visit the Forum store, then I’d wait and check out the airport branch. There’s also a iittala store at the airport who stock all the Moomin crockery and mugs. Both shops had limited edition pieces and seasonal ranges.
The Moomin Museum pop-up at Helsinki airport is designed to show you what the reopening of the official Moomin Museum in Tampere will be like when it reopens next year. As if I wasn’t eager enough to start planning a return trip to Finland! Featured are some original designs for the Moomin museum, some large prints and some small original comic strips.
The Toy Museum in Suomenlinna has a dedicated layout of vintage Moomin toys, including puppets and cut-out illustrations. The Toy Museum was one of our favourite destinations – we stopped by on a whim whilst visiting Suomenlinna, and although it’s tiny, it’s very charming and informative.
I am GUTTED that none of my pictures of the Tove Jansson park came out properly. The park is a little fenced playground in the Katajanokka region of Helsinki (very near the Uspenski cathedral). Around the park you’ll find paintings of the Moomins and a small plaque explaining the name.
Visible from the park is Tove’s childhood home (the large green building). There’s no marker, but wandering the streets is pleasant and free!
This road, located in Ullanlinna (Tove’s neighborhood) is apparently one of the roads which inspired the colourful houses in many of her picture books. It’s not hard to see why – most of the buildings on this street are brightly painted. If you can’t make it down to Ullanlinna – we found most areas of Helsinki to be beautiful colours!
I mentioned this in my previous Tove post, but there is something so magical about being on the street Tove called home for the majority of her life. The building is located at 1 Ullanlinnankatu, on the corner. You’ll notice it from the peachy-orange colour and the small mask of Tove on the front of the building. The apartments of the building are still residential, so be respectful of that – nobody seemed to mind me taking a few photos of Tove’s turret.
Have you been to Helsinki? I’m sure there are many Tove/Moomin spots that I’ve missed – so please let me know below!