“ Sightseeing International / Market Square in the centre of Helsinki. „
The market square in Helsinki can be found right next to the sightseeing ferry dock and on the eastern side of the Esplande Park. At only 10-15 minutes walk away from the main train station, the market square is easy to get to and a lot of buses also run past here. All you need to do is head straight south from the train station and you will easily see the park in order to find the market square. I first looked around the market square mainly due to having some time to kill before the ferry to the zoo arrived. I didn't quite have enough time to look around all of the stalls properly so I made a point of going back again so I could have a proper look around.
It looked as though there were about 50-60 small market stalls occupying the square and plenty of people looking at what they had to offer. The stalls sold a whole range of items from pastries, souvenirs, clothes made from real fur, hand made jewellery and wooden craft items as well as a lot more. Although there initially seemed to be a lot of variety, it soon became clear that many of the stalls were replicas and not everything was original. The vendors try their hardest to compete and have the best prices but nothing was that difference from one stall to the next. For being quite a large market, I would have liked for there to be a bit more variety.
There are plenty of food stalls around the market so you can easily get a quick snack or have some proper lunch here. Here, you can buy a range of traditional Finnish foods, especially fish of all kinds as well as sweet treats like Belgian waffles. The smell around the market was very strange because as you walk from stall to stall, the smell changes greatly. One time there was a strong smell of fish but then a second later, all I could smell was the delicious aroma of hot baked goods. This market definitely has some kind of food for everyone and I wish I had gotten to try a few more things while I was there.
One of the best things about this market was the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables that were available to buy. It seemed really strange to me that so many people in Helsinki walked around with massive punnets of strawberries all of the time and this place was no different. After seeing them be so popular and loving strawberries in general, I had to buy myself some. For Euro3 I got a massive punnet and it was lovely to walk around looking at the stalls while stuffing my face with some gorgeous fruit. I would still like to know what the deal was with the strawberries though. Something else quite strange to see around the market was people buying tubs of pea pods and eating them as they walked around as well. I have never seen anything like this before anywhere.
I wouldn't make a special trip to go there again as once you have seen what there is to buy, there is nothing new to see. However, I think that this is a great place for locals to get a good range of fresh fruit and veg and for tourists to pick up some gifts.