Rucksack Magazine


Rucksack presents a short guide to the City of Helsinki. Helsinki, in Finland is a beautiful Nordic icon, and a personal favourite of the Editor of Rucksack Magazine. 




The capital of Finland is a beautiful, elegant nordic city situated on the edge of the Baltic Sea. Helsinki is often described as the design capital of the world boasting an incredible selection of architectural masterpieces such as the Finlandia Hall and the Helsinki Cathedral. The city perfectly entwines the new with the old creating a cultural haven like no other. Helsinki is the perfect weekend destination due to its compact size, making it easily explored on foot. Design, architecture, culture and shopping are all great exploration angles and large park areas, forests, lakes, and the coastline with numerous islands sprinkled off it make certain there’s no shortage of natural presence.

Helsinki Apartment Block.jpg


Helsinki Academic Bookshop
Pohjoisesplanadi 39, 00101 Helsinki, Finland

Designed in competition in 1962, though not built until 1966-1969, Alvar Aalto's Academic Bookshop boasts an exceptional white marbled interior. The beautiful, bright, interior is an unexpected contrast to the exterior, which has a dark, copper office facade.

Finlandia Hall
Mannerheimintie 13e, 00100 Helsinki, Finland

The Finlandia Hall is a congress and event venue in the centre of Helsinki on the Töölönlahti Bay. The building was designed by architect Alvar Aalto and completed in 1971. The hall is one of the most iconic buildings designed by world-renowned Finnish architect. 

Finlandia 4.jpg

Enso-Gutzeit Building
Katajanokanlaituri 1, 00160 Helsinki, Finland


The building is the administrative headquarters of one of the largest paper companies in Finland. It is one of the many architectural marvels built by Alvar Aalto. A magnificent sight and a must-see for architecture lovers. The perfect place to gaze at this early 1960’s office block is from the Russian Orthodox Uspenski Cathedral which towers above the Helsinki skyline.



Kiasma - Museum of Contemporary Art
Mannerheiminaukio 2, 00100 Helsinki, Finland


Kiasma is a contemporary art museum located on Mannerheimintie in Helsinki, Finland. The building itself is a major architectural landmark situated right in the heart of Helsinki. Kiasma was designed by American architect Steven Holl. Its primary role is to educate the public on contemporary art and to strengthen the status of art in Finland.


Coffee Shop

Johan & Nyström
Kanavaranta 7 C, 00160 Helsinki, Finland


Johan & Nyström was founded by a group of coffee-loving friends with the vision of a better coffee world. The original cafe was opened in Stockholm in 2004, however has since expanded to Helsinki. Situated in Helsinki city centre, just a few steps away from the presidential palace and near the harbor Katajanokka. Johan & Nystöm roast their beans according to an artisanal process called “slow roast” where the coffee develops all the flavours and aromas inherent to the carefully selected beans. The coffee is carefully selected in close collaboration with coffee growers who share their passion for quality and cultivates it with full respect of the environment.



Kanavaranta 7, 00170 Helsinki, Finland


Holiday Bar and Restaurant is situated next door to Ravintola Sipuli in a beautiful red-brick harbour store house. This trendy restaurant and bar founded by Richard McCormick & Ville Relander is a great evening venue. With a relaxed vacation feel, this bar is the perfect place to enjoy a cold Lapin Kulta beer on a warm summers evening. The outside terrace area is also a great place to take in the sights and sounds of the nearby harbour and market. 


Finnish food

A selection of delicious Finnish cuisine.



Keskuskatu 1, 00130 Helsinki, Finland

Artek was founded in 1935 by four young idealists: Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl. The business strategy of the company was “to sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of living by exhibitions and other educational means”. Today Artek is renowned as being one of the most innovative contributors to modern design, creating new paths at the intersection of design, architecture and art. The Artek store has a beautiful selection of  furniture, lighting and accessories by the Finnish design master Alvar Aalto.

Aleksanterinkatu 52, 00100 Helsinki, Finland

The Stockmann department store is located in the centre of Helsinki, Finland. It is one of many department stores owned by the Stockmann corporation. The Helsinki store is also the largest department store in the Nordic countries. The store is well known for carrying all the internationally recognised luxury brands, and enjoys a reputation as the primary high-end department store in Finland. The food hall also boats a delicious selection of Finnish cuisine and delicacies. 

Artek Store Helsinki.jpg
Stockmann 2.jpg

Pohjoisesplanadi 23, 00100 Helsinki, Finland


Iittala is a Finnish design brand specialising in design objects, tableware and cookware. Iittala started as a glass factory in the small town of Iittala, Finland. Today it celebrates generations of essential objects that are designed to enrich people’s everyday lives. The flagship store in Helsinki is situated opposite the beautiful Esplanadi park which stretches all the way from Stockmann to the main harbour front. The flagship store has recently been refurbished and feels more like a design and glassware gallery than a retail store. 


A photo Essay

A selection of beautiful photography by Rucksack Magazine.