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Featured article from: Issue #3, 2017

HOME ADDRESS: Samuli Valkama

Samuli Valkama is a Helsinki-based film director and scriptwriter who has also written several children’s books. These are his five places in Helsinki.

Samuli Valkama’s latest film, Saattokeikka, had its premiere in early March.

HOME ADDRESS: Samuli Valkama

Rikhardinkatu library

When in upper secondary school I used to frequent this charming place but due to my absent-mindedness when it came to returning the volumes, whilst the fines kept hiking up, I had to stop going there for years. I found the place again with my son and luckily the library has remained the same. A wonderful temple of old books that radiates tranquility. The perfect spot to calm down, ponder and have a sit-down.

Mon–Thu 9–20, Fri 9–20, Sat 10–16, Sun 12–18. Rikhardinkatu

Yrjönkatu swimming hall

The first and most beautiful swimming hall in Finland. A trip in time to the 1920s. I have a swim and a sauna there at least once a week. If you have extra time it’s worth going upstairs to enjoy the steam in the wood-burning sauna, take a rest in a private booth and order mead with gherkins.

Yrjönkatu swimming hall. Yrjönkatu 21b. See website for opening hours.

Brooklyn Café

I do a lot of my writing in cafés and Brooklyn Café in Viiskulma is one of my favourites. The American sisters, Sharron and Brenda Todd opened the place that has become an institution in just five years. Bagels, cupcakes, and lately, they have added a carefully selected collection of books.

Mon–Fri 7:30–19, Sat 9–17:30, Sun 10:30–17:30. Fredrikinkatu 19.

Children’s Town

In a corner of the Senate Square lies the oldest stone building in Helsinki, which houses a museum for children. My son loves the fact that you can touch all the objects on display. And adults get to see what life was like in Helsinki in the olden days.

Mon–Fri 11–19, Sat–Sun 11–17. Aleksanterinkatu 16.


The Finnish Film Archives operate in the old and beautiful Art Deco cinema, where you can watch films that are nowhere else to be seen: classics of the past and contemporary art house films. On top of that, you get to enjoy the flicks in the most comfortable seats in town.

 See website for screenings. Eerikinkatu 15.