What do countries like Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden have in common? A booming music business. And what is the difference compared to Finland? In the three other countries, the most popular language in music is English, as per Spotify top lists. In Finland half of the songs in the Spotify top 20 list were from Finnish artists, and most importantly, sung in in Finnish.
The popularity of Finnish music within the country stems from musical traditions, such as iskelmä, that is quite close to the German Schlager tunes. However, the Finnish language is fundamentally different from the majority of other languages in the Europe. The different rhythm and flow are something that the people in Finland are familiar with, and the language has such a flexibility that the tricks and turns of speech are hard to translate to other languages.
The time has come to expand the horizons and go international. Talouselämä wrote recently about the Finnish music industry, and mentioned the rising popstar Alma, who is aiming for the overseas markets. Alma, who was noticed by the world when collaborating with the German DJ producer Felix Jaehn in the song Bonfire, is now working on her own music – together with world class songwriters and producers. The same that have worked with Adele, Sia, and Amy Winehouse (Helsingin Sanomat).
Alma is trying to make a breakthrough in the UK and USA as the first Finnish pop artist. She is well on her way to this goal: the girl cited as “a cybergoth reimagining of a young Adele and sounds like Beth Ditto” by The Guardian, has already performed on BBC’s Future Festival and been interviewed by the British Vogue. Who would not take interest in the bold and charming singer with the glow-in-the-dark hair?
Going international has some implications for her fans in Finland, though. The local fan base had to wait for half a year for the song Chasing Highs, as Alma’s label PME Records wanted to release the song simultaneously in the Nordic countries, Germany, France, UK, and USA, tells Talouselämä.
Like Alma, other young Finnish artists such as Isac Elliot and Venior, sing in English and focus on the international markets. According to Music Finland, the net export of Finnish music was 47 million euros, and the forecast for this year is 50 million. Although still small, the music business in Finland is growing fast. The talent is real, and just needs to get out there.
Check out our post about the best Finnish festivals here. Alma is performing in the Flow Festival, go show her some love!
Finnish people consume more coffee per person than does any other nation in the world. Coffee culture in Finland is a very important part of the daily life and in Helsinki, for example, it is practically impossible to turn a corner without passing by a café or three. Here are some of the coziest spots in the Finnish capital, where you can experience the true Finnish culture and enjoy a cup of delicious coffee.
Kolmas Linja 17, 00530 Helsinki
Their slogan is ‘avoid bad life’ and fittingly, as this cozy coffee bar is dedicated to make every cup great along with pastries from some of the best local bakeries. Try their special “Päivän suodatenkahvi” (filter coffee of the day), as displayed on the clipboard next to the record player. As the barista said, “filter coffee is kind of our thing.”
Pursimiehenkatu 29A, 00150 Helsinki
In the heart of the Helsinki Design District you’ll find the Kaffa Roastery. Kaffa doesn’t have tables, just bars, and it is located in the back corner of a larger building that sells vintage and designer housewares. Great variety of coffee, good design and hospitality – Kaffa has everything a perfect coffee place needs to.
Aleksis Kiven katu 12, 00500 Helsinki
This cute little café with a friendly and inviting atmosphere is a true gem. A family run business, this café is only open in the daytime, and yet still has managed to be a popular place among the city’s coffee connoisseurs, who savour the excellent brews.
Siltavuorenranta 16, 00170 Helsinki
Hunaja Café is a great place in Helsinki, selling vegetarian and vegan food, organically grown coffee, and fresh smoothies. The café also has an incredibly relaxed, homey feel, requiring visitors to leave their shoes at the entryway, and with the interior more closely resembling a living room.
Kanavaranta 7C, 00160 Helsinki
This big Swedish specialty coffee roaster Johan & Nyström has opened its first shop in Finland and is located right on the water next to the Uspenski cathedral, near the presidential palace, and other tourist attractions like the Kauppatori market square and Helsinki cathedral. Outside, views of Kruununhaka, with many sailing ships and modern yachts and power-boats sharing harbour space. Not only the spectacular views, but also they offer a range of coffees and treats in a cozy, warm atmosphere with friendly staff.
Summer has arrived. It is the time again to spend some time on the beaches with friends and family. We have listed some of the popular beaches in Finland for you to visit!
Yyteri is Finland’s longest beach, which stretches to four miles on the western Baltic shore. The beach itself is clean, white sand, and known for its beautiful sand dunes. There are many events and gatherings hosted on the beach throughout the summer and other attractions such as spa and golf courses. It is one of the country’s most popular leisure destinations in the summertime. Part of Yyteri beach is one of the nude beaches in Finland.
Nallikari beach is an one kilometre long beach in Oulu. During summer time, the beach is crowded by roller skaters, athletes, cyclists, beach volleyball and football players. There are three volleyball courts, beach football field, playground for children, and gym equipment. All of these are free for visitors. More information on what to see in Oulu can be found here.
This beach, also called “Hietsu” by the locals, is probably the most popular beach in Helsinki. It has lots of sand and beach amenities, even if you didn’t pack all the beach gear in your suitcase. Just like the previous beaches mentioned, it is a great place to play beach volleyball. It even hosts a beach volleyball tournament annually. Note: this isn’t a natural beach. In the beginning of the 20th century this area was being used as a landfill and was converted into a sand storage.
Suomenlinna, which means “Castle of Finland” is an island near Helsinki. The fortress is also a UNESCO World Heritage site with an interesting history. It was built in 1748 to protect Sweden against Russia. Suomenlinna has more than this fortress; it also has a tiny beach. To be completely honest, don’t just go here mainly for the beach – because as a beach it is quite small.
Now you know about some of the best beaches in Finland, it is time to truly enjoy your summer. Go with your friends and family and enjoy the sun!
In Finland, you can find so many edible, little things in the nature and they taste delicious. We have listed three natural recipes for you to read!
For instance, there are wonderful berries and mushrooms which you can pick from the bushes. We have, in Finland, this thing called “every man’s rights”. This basically means that anyone could just visit a forest or field and pick some berries or mushrooms.
My personal favorite are blueberries. Blueberries are sweet, but unlike candies, these berries are also healthy for you. You can combine blueberries with so many different food, e.g., ice cream and pies. It is fairly easy; you don’t have to be a master chef in order to create this delicious blueberry pie. Here’s a recipe.
Second favorite what most Finns pick up from the forest is chanterelle. Chanterelle is a mushroom, tasteful and maybe the most known one. There are some preparations you have to do with the chanterelles before cooking it, but it is certainly worth it. Here’s a nice chanterelle risotto recipe for you to make your friends and family happy.
The third recipe is made from nettles. I know picking nettles could be painful if you are not well covered when gathering them, but if you put proper clothes on and parboil them, you’ll be fine. Here’s one nice nettle soup recipe for you for the cold summer evenings.
There are many benefits from eating these natural foods from the forest. For example, it has been studied that blueberries could prevent cancer, they also increase your brain capacity and easy your metabolism system. Chanterelles also have its own benefits, e.g., full of vitamins and irons.
You can have a perfect three-course meal with these recipes listed above. Start with the soup, then have the chanterelle risotto, and finally the blueberry pie as dessert. Have fun preparing this Scandinavian course meal and remember to eat well!
Helsinki, Tampere, Turku are undoubtedly highlights, but visiting the small Finnish villages gives the traveler a more intimate, authentic, and relaxed view of Finland. Dotted around this land of lakes and forests are a number of truly stunning towns. Here are 7 of our favorites:
Porvoo has been loved by some of Finland’s greatest poets and artists. It is the second oldest city in Finland and evidence of its long history can still be seen and felt as you walk its charming streets. The historical old town boasts lots of pretty, colorful traditional wooden houses, which are an amazing sight to see. Porvoo is also famous for its countless interior design shops and always has been a source of inspiration for many local designers.
It may come as a surprise for some people, but Finland has beaches too. Hanko is a summer paradise for anyone who loves sun, sandy beaches and sea combined with the old town’s charming atmosphere, colorful events and enticing restaurants. Hanko is often spoken of as Finland’s Hampton or the Finnish riviera.
Mariehamn is the capital of Åland Island, an autonomous Swedish-speaking territory in Finland. Walking around the small center, you will see streets full of colorful wooden buildings and houses that really bring the town to life, either in summer or in winter. Mariehamn is the perfect antidote to a hectic, big city life style of the Baltic Sea capitals: Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn and St. Petersburg. The town was also once the home for the world’s largest oceanic sailing ships and therefore, there is a large marina to explore and a museum ship anchored in the city’s western harbor.
There are a number of things to see in Raseborg, both man-made and natural. There are historic ironworks of Fiskars and Billnäs, Raseborg castle ruins, the Svartå Manor and Ekenäs with its quaint small wooden houses to cheer you up on a dark day. On the natural side, Raseborg is a good jumping-off point to explore the magnificent archipelago, which contains Ekenäs National Park.
One of the most important Finnish experience is, without any doubt, sauna. Salla is a great place to get an authentic sauna experience by enjoying the relentless sauna heat and afterwards, going swimming in the ice-cold, crystal clear lake. As Salla is in Lapland, there are tons of other great winter activities there, so make sure you stay for a few days to experience them all.
Naantali is the town of a thousand islands. The highlights of sunny Naantali are the idyllic old town and the nearby archipelago. There is a shimmering energy in the heart of the town with its lively cafes, restaurants, terraces and a world of colorful boutiques. The town’s well-known sights are Moominworld, Naantali Spa Hotel and Kultaranta – the summer residence of the President of Finland.
Ever dreamt of sleeping in an igloo? Ever dreamt of sleeping in an igloo with a glass roof, perfectly suited for Aurora Borealis-hunting? Then Saariselkä is your place to go. You can take a sled-dog safari to witness the beauty of what real winter looks like or come in June or July to find out the real meaning of White Nights.
Also, don’t forget to check our Finland’s Bucket List for the best experiences in this magic country.