fredag 28. februar 2014

Pub crawl in Helsinki

The weekend has started and we are going to Helsinki. It's only from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon but we haven't planned much beside, watching the Olympics in the pubs. The weather isn't that great so to be honest it is not that nice to be walking outside. I guess there is a lot to see and do in Helsinki, personally I think it might be a lot nicer to travel there in the summer time when the weather is a better. But again perfect excuse to be sitting inside and enjoying Helsinki from the pub/restaurant. 

As you can see from the picture above we started very nice in the SAS Gold members lounge in Oslo. 

Getting to the city center from the airport is not difficult or expensive. We just got the Finnair bus and it cost  euro 6,50, stops in the middle of the city center. 

Helsinki is not a very large city so it is possible to walk to almost everything if you don't mind walking that is. We like to walk so we decided to walk to our hotel, Radisson Seaside, about 15 minutes walk from the bus stop. That is if you walk the right way, which we didn't do, we walked the totally opposite way so we needed a pit stop to look at the map.

Figured out very quickly that this wasn't right and we had to turn and go the other way. We did find the hotel after about 25 minutes of walking, not too bad if you ask me, and also since we walked the wrong way we found a place where we could go for dinner and drinks that night. Havana restaurant and nightclub!

Had to start with the traditional Mojito before we had Cuban/Mexican dinner.

Ended up sitting there for a while and having several cocktails.

After a few drinks there we thought it would be a great idea to go somewhere different for another drink. Now, this is what we didn't cop on to. The place we were, seemed a bit quiet until right after midnight, now we didn't notice that the place was starting to get crowded as we were seated in the dining area and not the bar/club area. So when we left the place was boiling and it seemed like a very fun place to be. However, we just wanted to go for one beer before we headed back to the hotel. To find a little pub/bar, that was not packed and where we didn't have to pay 12 euro to get in was almost impossible. Only found nightclubs. Wasn't going to pay 12 euro to get in somewhere to have 1 beer then to go home. That would be the most expensive pint in my life than, even more expensive than in Norway. We went back to the hotel instead. We even walked the right way this time.

Next day we were in no rush. The weather was crap, to put it nicely, so we did not feel guilty that when we finally got out of the hotel we took the tram to the center and walked straight into a pub. The tram is very easy in Helsinki and it cost 3 euros for one single trip and 8 euro for a day pass. We tried to buy the daypass but the driver apparently didn't understand that and gave us two single tickets. Well, well, what can you do.

I kind of feel that this weekend was totally okay to spend inside of only pubs, bars and restaurants. It was the ending weekend of the Olympics and there was a few thing we just had to see. We found a sorts bar where we could sit down and watch TV, it was a few people there already, I guess a lot of people in Finland is very into the Olympics just like the Norwegians. 

They had some great beer in this place, a few from Brew Dog and of course some local ones and a lot of other stuff, so we were there for a couple of hours. Had to taste some of their beers! This Sports Academy is very easy to find, you can see it from mils away and it is next to the place called City Center.

No wonder why we had to sit there and watch the women 30 km cross-country skiing, this is how it ended!

This causes for a celebration, lets have the best burger Helsinki has to offer. It was according to TripAdvisor. So we had to see if that was the case. The place is called Stone's and is about 2 minute walk form the Sports Academy. Again, very easy to find. 

This place was very nice and they had a big area downstairs where you could eat. 

It was getting a little late by this time, late for lunch I mean so we figured that just the burger would be enough. If you wanted anything on the side you had to order that from the menu as well, the burger didn't come with any extras. The burger was absolutely wonderful, one of the best burgers I have ever had. After Cheeseburgers in Honolulu of course, that is the best one. Anyway, TripAdvisor was right! I would recommend this place and the burger, but it wasn't that cheep to be honest. 18 euro just for the burger and nothing on the side. The size is okay for a girl, but I don't think a guy would be full after this meal. 

When we walked into this place we asked the girl working there if they would show the Olympics and the biathlon later on, she kind of said yes, but then again I'm not to sure if she understood us. Is it just me or is it a lot of Finnish people who speaks English rather poorly? That was my impression. Well, it turned out that Finland was playing against USA in  the ice hockey so no biathlon, we had to go back to the hotel to watch it. Well, we might as well have our bottle of prosecco at the same time and get ready for dinner.

So any dinner plans? No, we just decided to walk towards the city center from our hotel to see if we found something. That works, but you can't be picky about your food. We were just to lazy to try to make an effort of any reservations. this works too though, we found an Italian restaurant that didn't look to bad.  

It was almost in the middle of the city center, but not right in the middle of the busy tourist place. Food was fine, not the biggest portions but the price wasn't too bad, except the wine that must have been really expensive, house red. Our meal cost 18-20 Euro and all together with 2 meals and one bottle of house wine it was 92 euros, without any tip???? Didn't think about that until the next day.

Oh well, we were just thinking about going to a bar we had been recommended, it was on the very top of a hotel and called Torni. They were suppose to have this viewing area and bar that is worth a visit.

We had to ask in the hotel reception how to get to the lift and up to the bar, because when you walk in you see two other bars before you get any higher than the second floor. So we finally found the lift and got up to the "end station" and all we saw was a strange looking door that looked like it was going to the emergency exit. And you had the view though, like you see in the picture above.

When we finally dared to try the door we found this......

Yes small stairs taking you up to the bar. Brilliant! Felt like it was a secret bar that only few people knew about and we were two of them. That is not the reality but lets pretend. 

Of course we had to sit outside on the balcony to look at the view, I'm sill afraid of heights but what the hell, let sit outside in February on the highest point/bar of Helsinki. Vodka, cranberry for me please! The bar isn't that expensive I think, you would probably assume different.  

I can see from the pictures that next time I'm going to stand up and take the pictures, not be seated against the wall in fear of falling down. That makes really bad pictures. 

Pit stop before we headed on to the next bar after Torni.

Guess where we ended up?

Now, for some reason we couldn't be bothered paying 12,5 euros to get into what seems like a bar/nightclub, so we ended up in a Irish bar, Dubliners. Good bar so I would recommend it for others, that is if you like bars, if you want a disco this is not the place for you, and it seems to be very popular as well as the place was packed.

If you wonder where Dubliners are it is across the road from Zetor, that sign you can see from the main street so no problem finding this place.

So what did our weekend in Helsinki contain? Food and drink, thats it! Let's just blame the Olympics, but if anyone have any tips about what to do the next time, please let me know ;)

One final beer before we left the city, this pub is a bit weird, this must be the local pub for some people, strange people................

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