Market Square, also called Kauppatori, hosts Helsinki’s most famous open-air market with great opportunities for shopping in a hassle-free atmosphere. The stalls sell everything from traditional dishes and snacks to crafts and souvenirs. It’s located right by the sea and is a place where locals often come to find a fresh and cheap lunch, including freshly caught salmon, local mushrooms and reindeer meat. Souvenir hunters can find the typical Russian fur hats, lots of carved kitchenware, knitted sweaters, gloves and hats, as well as delicious reindeer salami.
In summer, it’s nice to sit in one of the outdoor cafés and enjoy the sun, but even in the midst of winter, the many hot drinks that are offered everywhere and the heated café tent make Market Square a fun place to visit. In the middle of the square you can find an obelisk marking a visit by Alexandra Feodorovna, the last Tsaritsa of Russia and if you plan on taking a ferry to Sweden, the adjoining south harbor is the place to go. Thanks to the central location, Market Square is also the location of many festivals, such as the Helsinki Herring Festival and Vappu, the Finnish Walpurgis Night.
Market Square is located in the center of Helsinki on the eastern end of Esplanadi and can be visited any time of day. However, the famous market takes place Monday to Friday from 6:30am to 6pm and on Saturdays from 6:30am to 4pm. Between the end of Mai and September, there’s also a market on Sundays between 10am and 5pm.