Helsinki

In Helsinki, foodies eat at Streat.

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Street food is alive and well in Helsinki. Not only is the city the home of the now global Restaurant Day phenomenon, this week it also hosted the second Streat Helsinki, a celebration of street food and its role in the city.

Over the weekend, the event culminated in 64 food trucks and street kitchens setting up shop by the Senate Square and harbour, bringing everything from oysters to moose to the city’s foodies. After a mouth-watering tour around the festival area (in an unfortunately cold wind), I opted for a pike and crayfish slider with a Laitilan blood orange soda courtesy of Liesikiesi . Definitely a good choice. But with another 63 options, I may have to go back tomorrow… You should too!

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Tram museum joys.

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Stumbled upon the Tram Museum in Helsinki today whilst doing my Christmas shopping. Located in the city’s oldest tram depot in Töölö, which today also houses the Korjaamo Culture Factory, the museum tells visitors about the history of trams in Helsinki (and trams are very Helsinki) while also showcasing several trams from mainly from the 20th century.

Introduced in 1891, trams in the city were initially horse-drawn. By 1900, however, electric-powered trams were already in operation. During the war in the 1940s use of trams by city residents sky-rocketed, and while usage numbers have since gone down, they remain a beloved mode of transportation in the city.

Today, Helsinki has 13 tram lines (though only nine of these are considered actual lines) crossing the city centre on some 85km of track. There are also special trams, such as the much-loved SpåraKOFF, a 1959 tram repurposed into a pub that operates during the summer.

So if you’re a transportation buff and in Helsinki, head to the Tram Museum. The exhibition is short and sweet, and also great for kids who can freely roam around the trams. And best of all, like all museums operated by Helsinki City, entry is always free.

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