Design museum, coffee and cake

Our first full day in Helsinki started with a walk to the Design Museum. Since it was Saturday, I was expecting to see lots of people out and about, shopping, and going to places. However, despite being 10am, the streets were fairly empty.

When we got to the Design Museum, it was shut! Opening time was 11am. Until 2016, opening hours in Finland were restricted. Shops had to apply to open at non-standard times. This is no longer the case but I wonder if this late opening was a leftover from the past. My other theory was that Finns stay up late on Fridays and start late the following day.

The Design Museum was pleasant to enter. There were plenty of free lockers to store bags and coats. The museum itself, however, was surprisingly uninspiring although there were some interesting exhibits. We saw the necklace that Princess Leia wore in Star Wars, which was designed by a Finn.

Our ticket allowed us entry to the nearby Architecture Museum. This turned out to be even more uninspiring. There were some posters giving the history of the city. There was too much reading and not enough to see. I would have liked to learn more about the history of the architecture with explanations of what triggered the changes.

Helsinki has lots of picturesque squares. You always seem to be near one. We walked around to see more of the city. We popped into the massive department store, Stockmann, and came across a famous cafe we’d read about: Ekberg 1852. We stopped for a coffee and cake.

Our next stop was Oodi Library, perhaps the most beautiful building in Finland!

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