There are many fun things to do in Finland, and among them is shopping. The best stores, or at least the most stores in Finland are found in the capital and largest city of Helsinki, so you can certainly start you shopping escapades there. Other larger Finnish cities, like Turku and Tampere also boast some great shops, and you’ll find stores in Finland in the less-populated northern reaches as well. Textiles, ceramics, and glass products are among the best buys in Finland, so you might focus on these kinds of items to start with. Leather goods are of high quality in Finland as well, as are shoes, toys, and jewelry, but you aren’t limited to any specific items, so browse to your heart’s content. Eventually, you’ll find something that you want to take home, whether it be a souvenir to remind you of a Finnish museum or attraction, or a handmade piece of furniture that you will have send home.
Before you can shop in Finland, you will have to familiarize yourself with the local currency. The Euro is the official currency of Finland, and it replaced the Finnish Mark in 2002. Every Finnish market, shop, restaurant, and hotel accepts the Euro, and it’s a good idea to arm yourself with some Euro’s before you leave on your Finland vacation. You can always change money at the airport in Helsinki when arriving on a flight if you don’t already have some, but you might find that after a long flight, it’s no fun to stand in line. There are numerous ATMs in Finland, especially in the main urban areas, and you will get a good exchange rate when obtaining the currency of Finland that way. Credit cards, which are widely accepted at hotels, restaurants, and travel agencies, also get good exchange rates, so you might pull out that Visa, MasterCard, or American Express card whenever possible. One place that will surely take credit cards is a Stockmann department store. When it comes to department stores in Finland, Stcokmann is king, and not only is there one in Helsinki, but also in Espoo and Tampere. From fashion items to handmade crafts, Stockmann has just about anything you could want.
Since textiles and fashion-related products are among the best things to buy when shopping in Finland, many tourists look for good shops to purchase them in. The Design District in Helsinki, which is an easy walk from the city’s main train station, has some of the best fashion stores in Finland, and you can find top-name designers there. Other cities like Turku and Rovaniemi have their own clothing boutiques to peruse as well, and suffice it to say that clothing stores are in good number across the land. The glass and ceramic stores in Finland are also plentiful, and as one might imagine, Helsinki is again a good place to find some of the best. The most renowned ceramics producer in Finland is Arabia, and when it comes to glass, you know you are getting a good piece if it is made by Riihimaki, Littala, or Nuutajarvi. Head to the Esplanade in Helsinki, and you’ll find shops featuring these quality names. As mentioned, jewelry is also something that you might look for when you shop in Finland. Kalevala jewelry is of particular interest, as the Kalevala pieces are modeled after traditional Finnish ornaments. They are quite unique and attractive.
The stores in Finland, which sell a range of products, aren’t the only places to shop in Finland. You can always hit a local Finnish market if there is one in the city or town that you are visiting. When you do so, you can peruse a bunch of different goods. Visitors to the city of Kuopio will find a fine Finnish market in town where they can buy things like freshly-baked goodies, cheese, vegetables, meats, fish, flowers, textiles, spices, and more. The Kuopio Market Hall, which has been in operation since 1902, is a Kuopio landmark. Another great Finnish market is located in the city of Oulu, which also boasts shops that are housed in old warehouses. After getting some things at the Oulu Market Hall, you might browse for handicrafts and souvenirs at the warehouse shops. Also, the lively central Marketplace in Oulu is a good place to shop in Finland. You can also try some Kalakukko when shopping at the Oulu Marketplace. It is a local Finnish food favorite, and consists of a rye bread shell that is stuffed with pork, fish, and bacon before being baked.