Helsinki 2012: Arabia art walk, Hakaniemi, and city center

by | Oct 10, 2012 | International Travel, Travel

A few days before our trip I heard about a self-guided walking tour of the Arabia neighborhood. Arabia has long been an industrial section of the city and more recently become residential. As part of the redevelopment ~2% of construction costs are set aside for public art. The #6 tram turns around in this district making it easy to to get to from the city center so, with good weather in the forecast, we made it our first Sunday destination.

Arabia factory chimney
Looking toward the chimney of the Arabia ceramics factory

The Arabia building hosts a library, offices, and several stores including an Arabia factory outlet with firsts and seconds of Moomin tableware and other ceramics and linens. They have a good selection of items but the prices are still quite expensive, and not cheaper than other places in the city or even the airport.

‘Desert Wind’

Heltech building
Heltech Building


steel flowers   Viikki bird
L-R: steel flowers, ‘Viiki birds’

Kotipuu (home tree)  communal wall stencils where the shoreline used to be
L-R: ‘home tree’, stencils on the communal art wall, ‘shoreline now and then’

It was fun to seek out the different art pieces and we had a great time wandering around this part of town.

On our way back to the city center we took advantage of our 2-hour tram pass to make a quick detour through the Hakaniemi Market, still bustling even as some vendors were packing up.

Hakaniemi Market
Leandra sampling ginger cookies (those came home with us)

There were quite a few food stalls/trucks at the market, all of them out of the warm pretzels that I was looking for. From here we took the next tram down to the train station and explored a few of the stores around the area, then made our way to Bruuveri and St. Urho’s Pub as described previously.

an open gate
turns out I took a very similar photo 10 years ago… what can I say, I like gates and doors!

Later that evening we took a final walk around the park and central square enjoying the lights come on as the evening fell.


Kappeli Cafe

Senate Square statue
Senate Square

Tagged with: Art | Helsinki | public art

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