We have a layover in Helsinki from 3:30pm to 2:10pm the following day. Considering getting off the plane, getting passports checked (?), and getting transit into the city, I figure we won't arrive until in the center until 5:30. What are the average store hours in Helsinki? Do they have a "siesta style" period where stores are closed like in Italy? Also, in a semi-related question, my sister would like to purchase a set of babushka (nesting dolls) while there. It would be for decoration and not for play. Does anyone have any ideas as to the average price, and any recommendations as to where we could purchase a set? Thanks!
No siesta. I don't remember the exact time, but stores didn't seem to be open particularly late. Other than the fact that Finland was a part of Russia for about 100 years, I don't think those dolls are particularly associated with the country. If you find them at all, it will be at either the harbor market, or one of the souvenir shops around the cathedral.
Thanks Tom! Since we don't get into the city until 5:30 and would have to leave out hotel around 10 to get to the airport in time, I was trying to think of how much time we would have to shop around a bit.
My sister doesn't want a babushka doll from Finland because there is some kind of connection, but it will be the closest we have ever been to Russia and we thought the close proximity might mean we can find something more authentic. Thanks!
I think Tom's description is right. Stores may be open later during the sunny part of the year. We shopped a little for souvenirs at the open market by the water and don't recall seeing any babushka nesting dolls. Most of the souvenirs I looked at were reindeer related (but I opted not to buy any). There may be a possibility near the Russian Orthodox church (easy walking from the center). The TI downtown is one of the best I've visited, both friendly and informative. Ask them. If there's a place to buy a doll, they can probably point you to it.