Helsinki, Finland
Timo, 53
Travel Blogger & Copywriter
see his Helsinki city guide

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What do you do and why do you do it?

I'm a hotel and travel blogger as well as an advertising copywriter. I've always been interested in creative writing, so work in advertising was a dream come true. When I realized I could also write about traveling, and hotels notably, I discovered blogs. Nowadays Instagram is my social media darling.

What are the best TV shows of all time?

I don't watch TV much nowadays, mainly sports and concerts. One of the fondest tv-memory of mine is Miami Vice. It was well-written TV-series, but also a fashion and lifestyle guide. At the time I lived a tiny town in the countryside, and the time before the internet, influences traveled slowly to the countryside. So everybody in our little town knew what to wear and what kind of sunglasses to purchase.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

I usually buy my clothes from department stores; I like fitting the clothes before I decide whether I buy something or not. I also love to see different options what to wear. I'm a very tall and a broad-shouldered guy, and finding suitable clothes is not always that easy. I'd need a personal shopping assistant!

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?

I've stayed few nights at the Hotel Kämp. It's the poshest luxury hotel in Helsinki, the place where all superstars of all genres remain when they are performing in Helsinki. The prices begin at 250 euros per night; I guess the most expensive suites are thousands of euros per night. Strangely I was a very self-aware of the ordinary life of myself, nothing that happens ever for example in Bangkok luxury hotels. Be aware!

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

I would bravely suggest you try food gardens in the shopping malls. Just a few years ago they used to be overpriced, and the food was very industrial. Only in few years, the idea of mall restaurants has changed almost entirely. Now when the fashion shopping happens more and more on the internet, the cafés and restaurants are reasons to go to the mall. The food is a new fashion, they are saying. There are pleasant food gardens at Kamppi Shopping Center, Forum, Citycenter, and Itäkeskus.

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

I would take my wife to Hotel Haven. It's not the most luxurious or bling style of hotel in Helsinki, but everything there is thought for severe pampering. Rooms are so beautiful, service immaculate, lobby bar worth visiting by itself. If the princess of Sweden believes Hotel Haven is adorable, shouldn't we all?

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

The most famous Finnish snack you can get only in Finland is a blood sausage "Black Sausage - Mustamakkara." Mustamakkara is at its best when bought and eaten fresh at market stalls. Mustamakkara is made by mixing pork, pig blood, crushed rye, and flour. It looks suspicious, but it's really delicious.

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

Suomenlinna island. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, easily accessible by city ferry. The trip takes 15 minutes and is an experience by itself. Suomenlinna is an old sea fortress, ruled by Russians, Swedes, and Finns. The influence of all of those is apparently still visible. I prefer Suomenlinna in the wintertime when there are not so many tourists, but the winter weather is of course pretty harsh when the sea surrounds you.

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

My favorite vacation city in the world is Bangkok. At the same time Bangkok is an easy city to enter, but on the other hand, it's a mystery after many visits. Thai food, hospitality, and weather are perfect for me. Bangkok is one of those rare mega cities where you can stay at five-star hotels without bankruptcy.

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Callum Hale-Thomson