Tips for your time at Aalto Ventures Program

What should you bring? What can you do in Helsinki? We've put together some ideas!
It’s time to start getting ready for this summer’s Creating Multidimensional Experiences course at Aalto Ventures Program, Aalto University, Finland! To help you get ready for your three weeks in Finland, we’ve put together a few tips and pointers: what to bring, how to get around, what to do in the city, and so forth. We hope that you’ll find it useful! 

We’ll be sending a more detailed welcome package to participants closer to the beginning of the course. Until then, if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch. 

What to bring

  • Summers are quite warm here, most days are t-shirt and shorts weather
  • Raincoat, clothes for all weather conditions. Finnish summers are notoriously unpredictable. 
  • Clothes that you feel comfortable moving around in. Proper walking shoes.
  • One set of slightly more formal clothes, business casual is fine. There is no dress code for this course, things will be quite casual.
  • Laptop, whatever else you need for collaborative creative group work 

How to get around

Getting around Helsinki is easy and convenient. 

Traveling from the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport to the city center 

Once you arrive in Finland, you can easily make your way to the city center by train. There is a station at the airport, with tickets sold at the entrance. The train takes you directly to the Central Railway Station, located in the heart of Helsinki. 

Read more about the Airport train: https://www.finavia.fi/en/airports/helsinki-airport/access/trains 

Traveling from the Helsinki-Vantaa airport to the campus

To get from the airport to the Aalto University campus, you will be taking a train to the city center and a metro to the campus. The train takes you to the Central Railway Station, which is connected to a metro stop by the same name. From there, you can take the metro to the Aalto Yliopisto / Aalto University stop. The metro is a single line, which makes navigation easy; they are either heading towards the campus or away from it, so finding the right line won’t be a problem.

Traveling around Helsinki and Espoo 

You can get around Helsinki and Espoo using public transportation: metros, trams, buses, and trains. Tickets can be bought from the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL), with ticket-purchasing machines available at metro and train stations. Tickets can also be bought using HSL’s official mobile application.  

We will send more details on how you can get set up with a travel card for your time here in the information package. For now, you can read more about public transportation on the HSL pages: https://www.hsl.fi/en

You can plan your journey using HSL’s website (https://reittiopas.hsl.fi). Google Maps is also available. 

Helsinki also has a network of rentable bicycles and electric scooters, a fun way to get around the city during the summer. 

Helsinki city bikeshttps://kaupunkipyorat.hsl.fi/en/stations

Voi electric scootershttps://www.voiscooters.com

Tier electric scootershttps://www.tier.app

In addition you can use the taxi or taxi applications like Uber. Taxis in Finland are reliable and always run by meter. A taxi from the city center to the Aalto University campus is around 30 euros. You can order a taxi e.g. from the Taksi Helsinki app or by calling +358 100 0700. The same trip with a Uber is around 20 euros, depending on the time of traveling and the traffic. 

What to do in Helsinki

Helsinki has a lot of fun options for spending your free time. We’ve compiled descriptions and links from around the web for you to check out! 

PLACES TO GO

Allas sea pool (https://www.allasseapool.fi/en/)

Allas Sea Pool is a marine spa and an oasis of urban culture right at the heart of the city. It offers new ways of enjoying the Baltic Sea, just a stone’s throw away from the Market Square and other main attractions. Allas is open all year round, providing unique experiences and recreational activities for townies and travelers. 

Other saunas

Löyly is a new, modern and high-class sauna in Hernesaari suitable for sauna, swimming in the sea and having a drink and dinner. Read more here http://www.loylyhelsinki.fi/en/front-page/.

Traditional communal block saunas are the authentic option for a sauna night and for something really low key. You can visit for example following: Arla (https://www.arlansauna.net/), Kotiharju (http://www.kotiharjunsauna.fi/) and Hermanni (https://www.saunahermanni.fi/).

Other swimming places 

You can swim at many spots in Helsinki. Many islands like Lonna provide swimming spots. In addition the Hietaniemi beach close to city centre and the Swimming Stadium are great places for warm days.

Kaisaniemi Botanic garden (https://www.luomus.fi/en/kaisaniemi-botanic-garden)

The Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden is one of Helsinki’s most popular visitor attractions. The garden is situated very close to the city centre, and its glasshouses and surrounding grounds offer nature lovers a unique experience all year round. 

Senate square and Helsinki Cathedral (https://www.myhelsinki.fi/en/see-and-do/sights/senate-square)

The Senate Square and its surroundings form a unique and cohesive example of Neoclassical architecture. The square is dominated by four buildings designed by Carl Ludvig Engel (1778-1840): Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland. 

Sibellius monument (https://www.myhelsinki.fi/en/see-and-do/sights/sibelius-monument)

The world famous composer Jean Sibelius’ (1865-1957) monument by Eila Hiltunen is located at the Sibelius park. It was unveiled 7 September 1967. The Sibelius Monument, resembling organ pipes, is made of welded steel with over 600 pipes and with the bust of the composer on one side. The monument is one of Helsinki’s most popular statues and one of the most well-known tourist attractions. 

Temppeliaukio Church (https://www.myhelsinki.fi/en/see-and-do/sights/temppeliaukio-rock-church)

Excavated directly into solid rock, the Temppeliaukio church is situated in the heart of Helsinki, at the end of Fredrikinkatu. Because of its special architecture, the church, completed in 1969, is one of the main attractions in Helsinki. 

Suomenlinna (https://www.suomenlinna.fi/en/)

World Heritage Site Suomenlinna is a cultural treasure. Its construction began in the mid-18th century, when Finland was still part of Sweden. Today, the fortress and its museums, restaurants and events are a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. Suomenlinna is a popular visitor attraction and also a home of 800 residents. Welcome to Suomenlinna! 

Other Helsinki islands and island hopping (https://www.myhelsinki.fi/en/see-and-do/sights/island-hopping-suomenlinna-vallisaari-and-lonna)

Suomenlinna isn’t the only beautiful island right at the Helsinki coast. Lonna and Vallisaari are both lovely, smaller islands full of beatiful picnic spots and old war-time history. For a 10 euro ferry ticket you can go island hopping for the whole day and visit all three islands and enjoy the summer day in a maritime atmosphere. Tickets can be bought online (recommended) or at the dock.

Supboarding at Töölönlahti (http://www.hakunamatata-sup.fi/en/rent/)

Rent a sup, kayak, canoe or a wooden rowboat and explore the bay area in the heart of Helsinki.

Sokos, Torni and Stockmann rooftop bars (https://www.raflaamo.fi/en/helsinki/ateljee-barhttps://info.stockmann.com/info/stockmann-roof-by-ravintola-teatteri/)

There are several well-known rooftop bars in Helsinki that offer you a fantastic view of the city. Two popular options are Torni hotel and Stockmann. 

Kauppatori (https://www.myhelsinki.fi/en/see-and-do/sights/market-square)

Located at the South Harbour at one end of the Esplanade Park, the Market Square is Helsinki’s most international and famous market. The booths here sell traditional market foods and treats, as well as handicrafts and souvenirs. There are also heated café tents where you can comfortably have a steaming hot coffee even on the coldest days in winter.

The National Museum of Finland (https://www.kansallismuseo.fi/en/kansallismuseo/frontpage, https://www.kansallismuseo.fi/en/exhibitions/inherit-the-dust-nick-brandtin-valokuvia)

The National Museum of Finland hosts several exhibitions telling the story of Finland’s whole history and showcasing Finland’s cultural cornerstones. In addition, the museum currently hosts a temporary exhibition of Nick Brandt’s breathtaking and thoght-provoking photographs.

Kiasma museum and Shoplifter exhibition (https://kiasma.fi/en/exhibitions/shoplifter-nervescape/)

The Here You Are theme year kicks off with a show by internationally renowned New York-based Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, aka Shoplifter, with a show called Nervescape VIII. Mounted in the fifth-floor galleries, the show is a furry installation that envelopes the viewer in its embrace, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the touchable piece. 

Linnanmäki amusement park (https://www.linnanmaki.fi/en/)

Linnanmäki is a popular amusement park in Helsinki full of fun activities for both the daring and more laid back ones.

SEA LIFE Helsinki (https://www.visitsealife.com/helsinki/en/)

Dive into underwater adventure at SEA LIFE Helsinki! Located at Linnanmäki amusement park, the aquarium is a family orientated tourist attraction which includes seahorses, sharks, pirhanas & much more. 

Fazer visitor center (https://www.visitfazer.com/en/info/visitor-centre/)

Fazer is one of the largest corporations in the Finnish food industry. Fazer’s classic Fazer Blue milk chocolate (Fazerin Sininen maitosuklaa) is famous in Finland. In the autumn of 2016, Fazer celebrated its 125th anniversary by opening a visitor centre with a memorable exhibition, a Fazer Café and a store, as well as event and meeting services. The visitor centre, located at Fazerila, is an investment in Finnish design and work. Its design is the handiwork of Finnish architects K2S, and the construction work is being carried out by SRV. The visitor experience at the centre has been designed by Ateljé Sotamaa. 

Torikorttelit (https://www.torikorttelit.fi/en/)

Experience the new life of historical Helsinki. Torikorttelit consists of three oldest blocks in the heart of Helsinki, right by the sea.

Muumin shop and café, Tove-exhibit at HAM (https://www.moomin.com/en/)

Tove Jansson (1914-2001) was a Swedish speaking Finnish writer and artist, who achieved worldwide fame as the creator of the stories about the Moomins, written and illustrated between 1945 and 1977. Moomin stories were originally written in Swedish although Tove Jansson lived in Helsinki, Finland. 

The HAM has a collection of Tove Jansson’s work on display which you can go visit. https://www.hamhelsinki.fi/en/exhibition/tove-jansson/

Design companies Marimekko and Iittala  (https://www.marimekko.comhttps://www.iittala.com/home

Marimekko is a design house celebrated worldwide for its original prints and colors. Iittala is a Finnish design brand specializing in design objects, tableware and cookware. Timeless yet modern Scandinavian tableware, cookware and home interior design: Aalto vases, Birds by Toikka, Teema, Origo, Kartio and many more. 

Karaoke bar Swengi (http://swengi.fi/in-english/)

For an authentic Finnish karaoke night out, head over to Swengi karaoke bar!

EVENTS

Thu 1.8. Outdoor movie screening of Grease at Lonna island (https://www.facebook.com/events/2494168697260208/)

A classic movie, maybe a glass of wine, beautiful Lonna island and good company! Doors open at 5pm and movie begins at 7.30 pm but remember to arrive early if you fancy a good spot. Previous events have been popular and full of attendees.

29.7.-3.8. Jazz-Espa concert series (http://www.jazzespa.fi/en/information/)

The annual Jazz-Espa concert series and its sister events offer once again more than 20 top-notch jazz concerts this upcoming summer. This year, the beloved free shows on the Espa outdoor stage will be organised on 29 July – 3 August, with two concerts taking place every afternoon and one lunch concert at noon. This year will also see the Jazz-Espa 20-year-anniversary opening festival Suvilahti Jazz take over the restaurant ship Merikerho on 28 July. 

Sat 3.8. Flea market at Konepaja (https://www.facebook.com/events/406945356607126/)

Find some great additions to your wardrobe and spend the day outside! Food trucks are on the venue as well and the bar is open.

Sat 3.8. Kallio Block Party (https://www.myhelsinki.fi/en/see-and-do/events/kallio-block-party-2019https://facebook.com/events/2004613336507885/)

Get ready for Kallio Block Party! Helsinki’s coolest summer event will fill the streets of Kallio with live music, good vibes, great food, and fun activities for all ages 

Sat 3.8. Steam train ride to the city of Porvoo (https://www.facebook.com/events/409323393125746/)

Board a genuine steam train right in the middle of Helsinki and experience historical Porvoo as well as the picturesque countryside in style! Porvoo is the perfect summer getaway city close to Helsinki filled with adorable cafes and old buildings.

Sat 3.8. We Love Helsinki GT summer at Löyly (https://www.facebook.com/events/2294755900845391/)

Celebrate Summer at the lovely Löyly terrace with the world-renowned Finnish Napue Gin & Tonics and dance until the sunrise at the sea!

Sat 3.8. Summer Haze party (https://www.facebook.com/events/2314261928815358/)

While the sun is hanging low, our doors and windows are opening once again as the relaxing summer’s holiday comes to an end. Join the Pastor summer haze with Roman Jack behind the deck from 22 as he spins a groovy cocktail of beats, playing rhythmic Brazilian and African funk spliced with Portuguese disco!

Sat 3.8. Bunker (https://www.facebook.com/events/882353912139163/)

Industrial techno in the heart of Helsinki.

Sat 3.8. Heineken x On The Rocks gigs: Teksti-TV 666, Räjäyttäjät, Kynnet (https://www.facebook.com/events/417898365716996/)

In the heart of Helsinki, the living room of music fans and a cool live club On the Rocks is celebrating its 18th year and in honor of that they are bringing in the freshest Finnish rock bands!

Sun 4.8. Flea market in Pasila (https://www.facebook.com/events/1259928660843190/)

Tour the cute old wooden houses of Pasila and find new, unique accessories, clothes and other things!

Mon 5.8. HEL Tech (https://www.facebook.com/events/889179848096104/)

Organized by Junction, HEL Tech is the biggest tech meetup in Helsinki, featuring various topics in tech on the first week of each month. It brings together tech and startup enthusiasts, experts from industry, academia and startups and investors to discuss fresh trends in a relaxed setting. This time the theme is Fintech. Check the Facebook page for more info and the free tickets.

Thu 15.8. The night of Arts (Taiteiden Yö) (https://helsinkifestival.fi/taiteidenyo/en/)

The streets of Helsinki have been filling with art, culture and night-time wanderers in August for 30 years already. Organised for the first time in the summer of 1989, this pioneering block party has grown into a colourful city festival featuring hundreds of big and small art events, with venues ranging from clubs and pubs to the parks and streets of the city. The Night of the Arts presents the possibility to take a fresh look at the city and art, without the confines of art institutions or strictly curated programmes. Many museums, churces and other places are open to the public for free during the evening and host a variety of program. 

Some program recommendations to get you started:
Teurastamo Night Market with various program from music to fire show https://teurastamo.com/en/tapahtuma/night-market-2019/
Singa Open Air karaoke https://www.facebook.com/events/2313581515365872/
Laugh yoga at the theatre https://helsinkifestival.fi/taiteidenyo/en/programme/laugh-yoga-at-the-theatre/
Finnish short films (subtitled in English) https://helsinkifestival.fi/taiteidenyo/en/programme/new-finnish-short-films/

And much much more! Check out the full program from the webpage.

Sat 17.8. TASSUfest student festival (https://www.facebook.com/events/1242508969250475/)

The students of Information networks are celebrating their guilds 20th anniversary year and they are inviting everyone in Otaniemi to join the festivities. In August you will see an explosion of festival mood, glamorous performances, and bubbly summer happiness. Join TASSUfest to experience Finnish student culture at its best! Tickets 30 euros. 

The Aalto campus

Below, you’ll find some of the iconic locations on the Aalto campus. During your time here, you will get the opportunity to visit all of them.

Väre  (https://www.aalto.fi/en/locations/vare)

The Väre building is the new home to all departments of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture and School of Business, and has been designed according to user-centric and sustainable principles. 

Otaniementie 14, 02150 Espoo, Finland  

AVP space  (https://avp.aalto.fi/space/)

Aalto Ventures Program has premises called AVP Space, located in Aalto University, Otaniemi Campus at the TUAS building. You’ll find AVP Space when you take the stairs left to the second floor from the lobby. You’re welcome to work, study or just spend time at AVP Space! AVP’s staff is located at the AVP Space and students have free access to the area during working hours. 

TUAS building, Second Floor; Maarintie 8, Espoo, Finland 

Startup Sauna (http://startupsauna.com)

The Startup Sauna co-working space is a focal meeting point in Northern Europe for entrepreneurs and investors alike. It’s a 1500 square meter industry hall open for everyone – no membership or previous ties to Startup Sauna are required. It’s a regular event space for founder talks, pitching competitions, hackathons and BBQs, hosting nearly 100 events a year related to startups and entrepreneurship.  

Betonimiehenkuja 3D, 02150, Espoo 

Design Factory (https://designfactory.aalto.fi/)

The red-brick Design Factory houses a versatile event space and a unique research and learning environment for product development. Several courses are held in the Design Factory, and it is also the base for many research groups and projects as well as startup and sponsor companies. The architecture and activities are designed to support collaboration between students, researchers and companies. 

Betonimiehenkuja 5C, 02150 Espoo 

A Grid (https://agrid.fi/)

A Grid offers startup companies a direct path to Aalto University and Otaniemi networks, services, research infrastructure and expertise. Open events and workshops are organised in A Grid according to business interests. Students can find jobs at startups, and the companies can take part in research and teaching projects. Along with Aalto Start-Up Center, A Grid also houses the European Space Agency and several companies, like Fortum. A Grid has one of the largest concentrations of startups in Europe, and is part of the Aalto University ecosystem, along with Design Factory and Startup Sauna, among others. 

Otakaari 5, 02150 Espoo 

Campus maphttps://www.aalto.fi/sites/g/files/flghsv161/files/2019-02/020419_aalto_campusmap_a4_web.pdf

We’re super excited to have you here this summer! Hopefully these suggestions come in use during your time here. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch (markus.kirjonen@aalto.fi)!