Helsinki Market Square
Helsinki Market Square, the most famous market in Finland, it is one of the city’s main tourist destinations and has been a centre of trade for hundreds of years. If you visit Helsinki this place must be on your list and its quite easy to visit. First, it’s in the centre of most tourist spots in Helsinki, located between the South Harbour and Esplanade Park if you are planning to visit Suomenlinna then it’s impossible not to pass this place. Second the whole place is in an open area by the harbour studded with orange gazebos so from afar it is highly visible.
This market square is bustling with activity with vendors selling different things from fresh fruits, vegetables, pastries, seafood, coffee, cooked food and souvenirs. If you are lucky you might be visiting the place where there are special events that is happening. Summer is quite busy and that was the time we were here, but Helsinki busy is not as busy a major tourist spots, trust me you will still enjoy your own personal space in this kind of busy.
Best time to visit this is morning when the fresh goods arrive and in noon time if you are looking for some cheap local food to try and that’s what we did. We tried three different food stalls where they all sell similar things, quality and taste are similar on all so I will leave it up to you to choose. What we tried were the fresh grilled salmon, deep fried smelt, squid rings, deer sausage and meatballs and salmon soup. Most dishes are served with vegetables and potatoes. Price ranges from €8.00 to €14.00 which is quite pricey but still cheap for Finnish prices.
The smelt was quite surprising, I never expected it would be that good. Basically, it’s a whole small fish not filleted, seasoned and lightly coated then deep fried. It was so tender, you won’t even feel the bones and tasty, quite addictive. The salmon soup was good as well, while I expected it to be creamier, it was not but it was really good specially on cold summer days. The deer meat on sausage and meatballs was surprising as well, I was expecting a gamey taste, but it was not, tastier than your normal sausage. What I don’t recommend is the squid rings, I think I mentioned it on my other post that squid here has a funny soft texture and that was the case as well with this squid ring, I was expecting some sort of bite but it was not there, it was softer than a fish balls texture which makes me think it was processed rather than fresh, I might be wrong. After the meal you can enjoy desserts in the form of fresh fruits, the berries here are amazing.
The market has many things to offer, it’s not big so you can basically see everything in 30 minutes, just be careful while walking as the surface is made with cobbled stones which are not level at most times, so when you eat just sit down and relax to avoid spraining yourselves.
Address: Eteläranta, 00170 Helsinki, Finland
Phone: +358 9 31023565