I have heard that there is a large open-air flea market in downtown Helsinki on Saturdays. Wife and I will be in Helsinki for 2 or 3 days, and was wondering if anyone here has any knowledge of this open-air flea market. As it stands now, our days in Helsinki will be in the middle of the week, but if we change our planned departure date from Wednesday to Saturday, that would put us in Helsinki over the weekend. The only problem is that our airfare cost will increase by about $100 to leave on a Saturday, and wondering if it is worth the extra money.
If you're talking about the one by the harbor, I think it's open on most days during the summer. They prepare some interesting food, but the merchandise is no different from the stuff sold at any souvenir shop. Although it's nice to see, I wouldn't change my flight for it, if necessary.
There is a regular open market along the harbor most days. They have a mix of fresh foods and veggies as well as some very nice gift items (I bought several things there). Perhaps you are asking about a special flea-market, which seems reasonable that it would be held on a weekend. Don't know anything about that and not sure why you'd want to spend extra money to go to a flea-market.
We were there on a weekend in May, and it was nothing special. Lots of t-shirts and fresh flowers. If you have time to extend your stay, go to Tallinn for a couple of days. Not only is it charming and completely different than the urban, westernized Helsinki the souvenirs are all made in Estonia. They are many vendors both in the street and in small shops selling handmade goods. Some specialities are knitted items, socks, dishware etc. There are small lanes in the old town where you can watch the craftsman do things like blown glass art. To me Tallinn would be worth an airfare upcharge.
I second the suggestion of Tallinn, wonderful unique and hand-made items to be found aplenty. But as a knitter I found one stall at the Kauppatori market on the harbour in Helsinki to be wonderful, hand-dyed yarn from a local, gorgeous colors and kits for knitting plus some finished items if you aren't a knitter yourself. I was there on a Wednesday, seems to be open every day. The antique shops in Tallinn feature quite a lot of Soviet-era relics--I'm still kicking myself for leaving behind a 1940s Stalin alarm clock.
Like many of those who have responded, I am only aware of the market by the harbor. It is a pleasant experience as you can shop and enjoy an outdoor meal at the same time. There are a couple of vendors in tents that serve great food at a reasonable price. The Silja and Viking Line ships frame the harbor nicely. Cafe Kopelli, mentioned in Ricks' guidebook is a short walk from the harbor and definitely worth the effort. Have a great trip.
We walked by the Helsinki Market Square harbor open air market this afternoon. As expected with wet snow over night, only two tents today. One a cafe and the other selling fish.
Our last Helsinki visit was closer to Easter and the market had more vendors participating including a Russian selling furs,
Market Square is next to the Souminlinna ferry dock.