Helsinki, Finland
Risto, 41
Service Designer
see his Helsinki city guide

ask Risto about

café viewpoints swimning pool designer clothes movie theaters pizza

What do you do and why do you do it?

Service Design! I enjoy creative problem solving in multi-disciplinary teams. At the job I get to have a deep look at how people behave, and have a chance to create new services which help in the everyday life.

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

Lykke Li: "Never gonna love again" The National: "I Should Live in Salt"

What are the best TV shows of all time?

Twin Peaks, The Wire, Game of Thrones, Bridge, Girls

Name some spots in Helsinki that are good for a Tinder date.

Johan&Nyström (Met my GF through Tinder there, so provenly works). Cafe Engel. Cafe Regatta during the summer.

Who’s your hero and where in Helsinki would you take them out for a serious hang?

My big brother. I would take him to fancy drinks at Liberty or Death, and then have proper pizzas in Via Tribunali. He's an amazing singer, so we should end the night at KGB Karaoke bar.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

My o My Men, Pinkomo

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

I don't judge; all areas have their own thing

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

The foresty central park is so near and wonderful, but for some reason I never get around to going there - shame on me!

What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Helsinki and where did you get it?

Can't say I've gone very extreme on the finnish culinaries in Helsinki, but for the adventurous I recommend Hakaniemen halli (inside food market) for a great variety of northern exotics.

Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Helsinki that you particularly like?

Trillby & Chadwick is a true hidden speakeasy - cocktails to die for.

What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Helsinki? How much did it cost and what did you get there?

Restaurant Ask - Well worth it.

What restaurant in Helsinki looks crap, but the food’s amazing?

Cafe Huvila between Finlandia-talo and Musiikkitalo is a modest but charming tiny cafe, which serves amazing lunch by young, ambitious chefs.

Where can you get the best cocktail in Helsinki? Which one do you like?

Liberty or Death FTW! Seasonal menu never fails to impress.

Where would you take your partner in Helsinki if you wanted to really pamper them?

Restaurant Ask

Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?

Karelian Pie with lotsa butter

What’s the one place you think is overrated in Helsinki?

Sibelius monument. It's a bit far off, and doesn't really do it to me.

What’s the one place you think is underrated in Helsinki?

For anyone who's into authentic sauna, sea and relaxation, Kulttuurisauna. Combining finnish and japanese cues in its minimalistic, considered architecture. Because of its remote location, I believe a lot of people miss it.

What are the Helsinki spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

Depends completely what you're into, there are no general must-sees for anyone. Just walk around - Helsinki is small - and sense the vibe of different neighbourhoods and people. I'd first explore the Design district, Kruununhaka, Kallio, walk around Töölönlahti.

Tomorrow’s your last day in Helsinki. How do you spend it?

Have a breakfast with my friends at La Torrefazione. Enjoy a sauna and a dip in the sea by myself at Kulttuurisauna. Have a cozy dinner at Penny with my girlfriend.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

Berlin for its bohemian charm, beautiful people, cool bars, delicious restaurants, delightful bath houses and nearby lakes with beaches.

photos by

Callum Hale-Thomson