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Walking Helskini with Babies

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Detroit, MI
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Walking Helskini with Babies

Hi!

We are meeting some friends in Helsinki at the start of March and we both have one-year olds. We are looking for a hotel to stay in that is in walking distance to some sites to see, places to eat, and/or close to transportation. Our friends are flying in to Helskini airport and we will have a rental car from Turku we will need to park.

Any recommendations?

Thank you!!! :)

Holly

Finland
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1. Re: Walking Helskini with Babies

I'd suggest that you take a hotel in the centre, within say 500 m radius from Stockmann's dpt store, you'll be fine. There are plenty hotels. Eg Scandic Marski is central and it has it's own garage. There's a couple of large public garages so you'll get a place for the car even if your hotel doesn't have a private one.

London, United...
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2. Re: Walking Helskini with Babies

Holiday Inn City centre is a hotel worth checking out. They've got a car park as well, which you have to book in advance. The hotel is close to Esplanadi, a nice shopping area, as well as Stockmann department store and numerous other shops. Plenty of choice for eating out nearby.

The art museum Ateneum is close by, as well as Kiasma, the museum for modern art.

The weather in March can still be cold, so wouldn't recommend too ambitious plans for outdoor activities with the kids, unless you're used to really wintry days out.

Finland
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3. Re: Walking Helskini with Babies

Tuija, hope you don't mix up Holiday Inn City Centre with something else, it's at the Railway Station. I'm certain that it does not have it's own car park, public Eliel car park is practically beneath the hotel. It's also not close to Esplanadi nor Stockmann's. Maybe you meant Glo or Kämp on Kluuvikatu?

My experience is that the slightly cool Finnish spring weather is OK by the kids. It's the parents that don't dress according to weather :)

It's wise to have a warm parka and enough layers beneath. Shoes with a good grip. Strollers with small wheels will be a challenge, since there most likely will be snow and ice on sidewalks. Anyway, the amount of snow we've had is modest compared to the masses in MI.

Edited: 24 February 2011, 17:35
London, United...
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4. Re: Walking Helskini with Babies

polarbearfinn, I do not mix Holiday Inn Helsinki City Centre with another hotel.

Have to agree, having spoken to a Helsinki resident today, that their parking is indeed at the Eliel public car park - which is right below the hotel and from where you can take a direct lift to the hotel. And you do not need to book in advance, either!

To me, this hotel is close to Esplanadi and Stockmann's: I've lived in Helsinki, visit there regularly, and to me the distance is easily walkable. To Esplanadi perhaps 10 minutes and to Stockmann's a bit less. But then again, I doubt Stockmann's department store is all the visitors would like to see in Helsinki.

Kämp certainly is closer to both, but when it comes to price, it is far more expensive.

Finland
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5. Re: Walking Helskini with Babies

Tuija, I'm sure Holiday Inn is an OK hotel. It was just the facts that didn't match your story that made me curious about the hotel you referred to.

Detroit, MI
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6. Re: Walking Helskini with Babies

Thank you for all the great advice! It was really helpful :)

Best,

Holly

Helsinki
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7. Re: Walking Helskini with Babies

Some points that mght be useful while being around...

Places to change nappies:

The Kamppi shopping centre: 3rd floor has a great nursery (nappy station, toddler toilet seats and a microwave), opposite the Claes Ohlsson entrance. The 3rd floor is also specialized in shops for kid & parents.

Stockmann: Take the lift at the Esplanade entrance (immediately to the left of the doors) to the 6th floor and you are at the toy department. There is a nursery with a nappy station, toddler toilet & microwave + a great view. There are several disabled/baby toilets aroud the block. For instance the 8th floor (F8 restaurat area), 7th floor + at the ground floor delikatessen dept (altough there is no baby sign at the disabled toilet door it has a table for changing diapers).

Forum shopping centre has a ok nursery/ baby toilet at the street level.

Sokos probably has one too, but I never go there, because the elevators are not very handy with prams :(

Kämp shopping centre has a wonderful baby toilet on the 2nd floor (just around the corner from the elevators), mut I'm not sure of the situation since the block is having a major renovation. But try it out if in need around the Esplanade. The Valrhona chocolate shop is very handy to reach with kids and their latte is yummy.

Helsinki
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8. Re: Walking Helskini with Babies

Grocery stores:

The Alepa chain has a limited, but adequate range of baby foods and diapers. A wider range is found at the S-markets. Your closest Alepa is right under the Holiday Inn Elielinaukio at the tunnel level. The next ones are in the railway station tunnel level or at Forum down next to the food court.

The S-market at Sokos (-1 floor) is very crowded (well, at least in Finnish terms :D). Another very centrally located store is the Kamppi K-market (street level, with a very wide baby range). The market place area has no real groceries, the closest is the S-market at Kasarmitori (1 block south from the Esplanade, 2 blocks west from the harbour).

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9. Re: Walking Helskini with Babies

And finally some cafes and eateries easily reached:

The Ateneum cafe: just walk aroud the building to the back entrance for a lift. The cafe servers a salad & soup buffet at lunchtime + has a la carte dishes as well.

The Wayne's coffee at Tennispalatsi (Take the lift next to the cashiers to the 2nd floor).

Kamppi: Johto cafe, 5th floor. I prefer the less crowded lifts at the nightclub entrance, from the inside look for Kaakaopuu cafe (also nice).

Fazer cafe at Kluuvikatu is an institution. There's another, but less special at Forum.

The Aikatalo/WTC complex (the block behind Ateneum): The Cafe Giovanni is seen to the street. if you continue through the block you reach an inner yard with tables for several restaurants. It can be a bit drafty if degrees are a lot below zero.

The Wayne's at Sanomatalo is close to Elielinaukio and famous/notorious for the babies, toddlers and lattemums :D

The Picnic chain has high chairs for babies.

Many restaurants have high chairs and a list for kids (french fries, pasta, meat balls, fried salmon, sausages are common). it is not a very common thing for families to eat out even weekly (prices, prices) so kids are not very usual visitors at the pricier restaurants. I'm sure they will be received appropriately anyway.

Enjoy your stay and let me know if you need any other information!

PS. a parent with a kid in a pram ride the buses/trams/metro/Suomenlinna ferry for free ;-)

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10. Re: Walking Helskini with Babies

"PS. a parent with a kid in a pram ride the buses/trams/metro/Suomenlinna ferry for free ;-)"

Absolutely! A money saver. You don't have to be a parent, 1 person per one 0-6 year old child and a pram rides free in Municipal traffic. (Eg if the parent get's a discount and the companion pays full fee, it makes sense that the non-parent rides free :) ) Note that the child don't need to be in the pram either. If you have a 'piggybag' instead of a pram, no free ride applies.