With 450,000 titles in stock, the Academic Bookstore (Akateeminen Kirjakauppa) is the largest bookshop in town and one of the largest in Nordic countries. You will find everything here: books, newspapers and magazines and stationery. You can even order newspapers or magazines here. The shop has a good selection of literature in English and other foreign languages, as well as numerous books about Finns and Finland. At Micronia, on the lower ground floor, you can buy computing equipment, including software, hardware and accessories. Within the shop is also café Aalto, where you can enjoy refreshments in an environment designed by Alvar Aalto himself. Its own bakery produces an excellent variety of pastries and pies, and the café serves tasty lunches.
Stockmann department store was established in 1862 and offers nearly everything from clothing to furniture and modern electronics. Stockmann is not the cheapest department store; however, it has become a popular shopping place for the average consumer who appreciates high-quality goods. The Stockmann Herkku supermarket will satisfy the tastes of demanding chefs and cooks with its wide variety of Finnish and exotic raw ingredients. The Academic Bookstore right next to Stockmann is connected to it by a tunnel and contains the store's book department.
This antiquarian bookshop is the best place in town if you are searching for Nordic literature, but it is not cheap. The interior is very interesting even for window-shoppers, decorated with skulls. The Hagelstam family also hold antiques auctions. This shop will serve you in Swedish or English as well.
Itäkeskus is a large shopping centre popular among the residents of the eastern side of Helsinki. Itäkeskus is like a city in itself, with its Boulevards and Tallinn Square. Here you can find branches of all the biggest chains like Hennes&Mauritz, Stockmann, Anttila, Body Shop, Vero Moda and Jack & Jones. There is also an excellent selection of restaurants, a big supermarket, a cinema, hairdressers and beauty parlours, even a little amusement park for children. Various events and markets are arranged here. The best way to get to Itäkeskus from the Helsinki city centre is to take an eastbound metro from the Central Railway Station; the shopping centre has its own stop.
Specializing in a variety of custom-made boots, the Boot Factory boasts an extensive collection of cowboy boots, cobra boots, sendra boots and more. Besides boots, the Boot Factory also features a collection of other aspects of cowboy attire, including leather vests, shoe belts, and hats. One of the most popular makers of such boots and attire in the city, Boot Factory ensures its products are of high quality, with boots that are of leather inside and out, and have been produced locally, not in a sweatshop overseas. Boot Factory also is the venue for some popular events, like the Helsinki Barbecue Festival, and is thus a much visited venue. See the website to know more.
Next to Kauppatori market square, behind the ports and the Kolera-allas part of the port stands the Old Market Hall, a red and yellow-brick building built in 1888. The recently renovated, polished-pine hall is a great place to do some shopping for Finnish delicacies, especially in the winter. Here you will find fishmongers, butchers, bakers, cheese, fruit and vegetable shops, and souvenirs. If you are not interested in shopping it is always worth walking here just to have some lunch in one of the little restaurants and cafés. Kultasuklaa is a paradise for chocolate-lovers, and Robert Paulig has an excellent coffee and tea selection. One of the few sushi bars in Helsinki is situated here, too.
Forum shopping centre is right in the heart of the city, next to the Kamppi bus station on Mannerheimintie. Here you will find all the major clothing and shoe shops, such as Seppälä, Vero Moda, Andiamo, Vaatehuone, Kapp Ahl, H&M and Pierre Cavallo. The lower ground floor contains several burger and other restaurants, cafés, a wine bar, a sweet shop and a supermarket. One of the places worth mentioning is the Fazer café, an excellent place to arrange a meeting or to have lunch and watch the passers-by. A tunnel connects Forum to the Stockmann and Sokos department stores and the central railway stationthis is handy especially during the winter.
This boutique is located on the corner of Mannerheimintie and the Bulevardi, and here you can pick up very costly but also stylish clothes and shoes by Kenzo, suitable for special occasions and everyday use. Ankle boots, suits, blazers, leather jackets, ties, dresses, scarves, skirts, colourful blouses, tops, sandals, pumps and high heels are all part of this shop's trendy selection.
Sokos, the chain of Finnish department stores is located in most major cities of the country. Their Helsinki outlet is located on Mannerheimintie, at the City Center. The spacious and beautiful store features the best of latest designs and trends for men, women and children of all ages. Apart from apparel and accessories, Sokos also offers a great range of home accessories, cosmetics and lots more. Open all week, from 9a, Sokos makes for a great shopping destination.
A good choice of wines, beers and spirits tempts wine-lovers and pleasure-seekers into the shop.
Salakauppasecret shopis a tiny, 12-square-meter, all-glass kiosk in the Helsinki city center. But instead of newspapers, candy and cigarettes, this little cubicle sells the quirky and stylish products of Finnish-Korean designer couple Aamu Song and Johan Olin. Most of the products sold in Salakauppa are stylish clothes and accessories, but there are also some delightfully peculiar items, such as the woolen Beardwear,Head Friend cushion or Handy Bags, which are half gloves and half bags. Finnish practicality and reduced aesthetics meet the ethereal yet playful Korean minimalism in these items that are definitely not mass produced. - Kati Hurme