2 new yorkers trying to visit Helsinki and avoid some of the glitzy stuff in favor of a more traditional experience - anyone have good rec's for a hotel in a neighborhood that is a little more "authentic"?
With the exception of the area around the port and the shops along the Esplanade, Helsinki doesn't feel that touristy. While I don't have a specific suggestion, try looking outside of that area. I really enjoyed staying just off the Esplanade, but one evening we walked to this pub for dinner (http://www.juttutupa.fi) and there were no tourists in site once we got a couple of blocks from the hotel.
I agree with Laura - "glitzy" and "inauthentic" aren't words I associate with Helsinki. Even the tourist highlights don't feel dominated by tourism the way Times Square does. There's no need to avoid a particular area because it's too touristy.
I think we are maybe not speaking the same language. As new yorkers, I never go to Times Square nor do I expect that in Helsinki. I mean the expensive, modern, clean international style of coctail bars and hotels that now exists everywhere, I don't know if it's imitating New York but it all reminds me of the chic parts of brooklyn etc. I'm just trying to avoid the English-speaking yuppie crowd. Sounds like not a problem. Thanks !
The Nordics are pretty much the birthplace of clean, sleek, and modern :)
We stayed at the Glo Hotel Kluuvi right in the heart of things. Got an excellent rate on a summer weekend. However, it doesn't sound like it is the kind of place you are looking for. It is sleek and modern and pretty much a business class hotel.
Check out the Hotel Arthur in central Helsinki. Not fancy but clean and centrally located. Of course most of central Helsinki is pretty walkable (within walking distance). It's been 7 or 8 years since we stayed at the Hotel Arthur but it looks like it is still a good value and close to the train station.
Our travel agent put us in the Scandic Grand Marina during our last visit (1.5 years ago). Long story made short is we were traveling with a group. Grand Marina is a restored multi-story warehouse next to the port near the Viking Line dock. It's in an authentic maritime environment.
PS You don't have to worry about Helsinki being like New York.
thanks for the tip.
According to what I'm hearing from friends, it's Stockholm I have to worry about. And in NYC every corner has a new "Swedish Style Coffeehouse" popping up, so it works both ways ;)