With the help of Helsinki Hackers

Uncover Helsinki Happiness Hacks

Find your inner Helsinkian

Credits: Aleksi Poutanen

Meet your Happiness Hackers

Urban life in balance with nature

Nature & Lifestyle

In Helsinki, urban life and nature unite in perfect harmony. In summer, the city comes alive with endless sunlight, inviting everyone to embrace life outdoors. Explore the buzzing seaside streets, admire beautiful architecture, and immerse yourself in the vibrant sauna culture. From island-hopping to wandering around the woods, there's no shortage of ways to connect with nature.

Credits: Julia Kivelä

Lena Salmi

Lena Salmi is not your average 70-year-old. You’ll find her zipping through the streets of Helsinki on her skateboard, rocking a tutu and defying gravity with every twist and turn. Despite her age, the former swimmer and sports journalist still heads for a morning swim at least five times a week throughout the year, either in one of the city’s outdoor swimming pools or directly in the Baltic Sea.

For Lena, happiness is the freedom to be herself, just as she is. She uses the city as her playground, riding the streets without fear of judgement while fellow skateboarders greet her with high-fives. Skating is her passion, and Helsinki provides the perfect setting. Fellow skaters of all ages have warmly welcomed her into the community since she took up skateboarding around the age of 60.

For her, the best thing about skateboarding is that it brings people of different backgrounds together. Occasionally, Lena teaches both young and old how to skateboard, encouraging everyone to have fun and live their lives to the fullest – just like she does.

Lena Salmi
Credits: Maija Astikainen

Tapio Hakanen

Tapio Hakanen, also known as DJ Orkidea, is a true pioneer in the Finnish DJ and club culture. With a career spanning over 30 years and gracing over 2000 stages across six continents, Tapio's journey is nothing short of legendary.

Born and bred in the heart of Helsinki, Tapio's roots run deep in the vibrant urban landscape of the city. From organising underground raves in squat houses to curating unique events like the One Minute Rave and Skidit Disko, Tapio's passion for bringing people together and fostering creative communities knows no bounds.

But it's not just about the big events for Tapio – he finds happiness in the smallest of everyday moments, cherishing the beauty of the present and the shared experiences of creativity with friends and colleagues. For him, urban city culture isn't just a passion – it's a way of life, where cities thrive when people have the opportunity to make them their own.

From the pulsating beats of the dance floor to the quiet moments of reflection, Tapio Hakanen embodies the essence of happiness found in shared experiences and the appreciation of life's simplest joys.

Tapio Hakanen
Credits: Matti Pyykkö

Happiness in every bite

Food & Wellbeing

Inspired by the Baltic Sea and the surrounding nature, Helsinki's vibrant food scene offers inclusive cuisine and high-quality flavours. Chefs can forage mushrooms, wild herbs and berries and cast a line for a fresh catch, all within a stone’s throw away from the city centre. Culinary delights continue from the great variety of restaurants to iconic market halls, immersing one in the city's gastronomic creativity. Sustainability is a top priority for restaurants dedicated to sourcing local, seasonal, and tasty sustainable ingredients while minimising food waste.

Credits: Mariia Kauppi

Luka Balac

Luka Balac is a culinary virtuoso whose passion for food traces back to his childhood days spent mesmerized by his grandmother's cooking. Though self-taught, Luka boasts extensive experience in both casual and fine dining establishments.

Since 2018, Luka has embarked on a remarkable journey with his partners, opening three renowned restaurants in Helsinki: Nolla, Elm, and Nolita. Rooted deeply in sustainability, these establishments are born from Luka's commitment to spreading joy through food.

Luka navigates his culinary ventures and personal life with an unwavering belief in the power of an open mind and a positive attitude. Beyond the kitchen, he treasures moments spent with his family, indulging in dining experiences, casting lines while fishing, pounding the pavement on his runs, and immersing himself in the cultural tapestry of galleries and museums. Luka's dedication to his craft and zest for life make him a truly inspiring figure in Helsinki's culinary scene.

 

Luka Balac
Credits: Eeva Suutari / Frenn Helsinki

Inner happiness and peace

Health & Balance

Embark on a journey of inner health and balance in Helsinki, where easy access to nature isn't just a backdrop – it's a part of the design. With abundant green spaces seamlessly integrated into urban landscapes, finding tranquillity amidst the bustling streets is effortless. From the cherished allotment gardens to the sprawling forests of Central Park, Helsinkians know how to discover inner peace amidst the city's green havens. Without forgetting the city's unique sauna culture with a distinctive twist as a source of overall wellbeing.

Credits: Julia Kivelä

Adela Pajunen

Adela Pajunen is a true champion of the natural world. As a biologist, writer, and advocate for wellbeing through nature, Adela's journey is a demonstration of the profound impact of our natural surroundings on our health and happiness.

Co-founder of Terveysmetsä (Health Forest), Adela pioneered a unique Finnish nature-prescription model recognized globally for its scientifically proven effects. Through her books about the health benefits of the Finnish forest, she invites readers on a journey to rediscover the transformative power of nature, illuminating the myriad ways in which our natural environment shapes our wellbeing.

Adela's passion for the natural world traces back to her childhood holidays spent amidst the enchanting landscapes of Lapland. Inspired by the arctic flora, she embarked on a lifelong quest to understand and harness nature's healing potential.

Before founding Luonnontie, her nature-focused company, Adela was a schoolteacher and researcher, enriching lives through education and exploration. Today, she resides in the Helsinki region amidst the very forests she cherishes and guides people to discover the healing powers of nature through health-focused forest excursions, courses, lectures, and the creation of health-themed nature trails.

Adela Pajunen
Credits: Okko Oinonen

Design, art and architecture as building blocks of a happy life 

Design & Everyday

In Helsinki, art and design aren't just confined to galleries – they’re woven into the very fabric of everyday life. Discover how design manifests in tableware, sustainable fashion, and architecture, enhancing the city's aesthetic appeal and fostering a sense of happiness among the inhabitants. Explore the capital’s rich architectural history, from exceptional Art Deco houses to charming wooden districts and modern architectural marvels.

Credits: Aleksi Poutanen

Tero Kuitunen

Tero Kuitunen, the Finnish designer extraordinaire, ventures beyond the ordinary, infusing his creations with humour, bold colours, and unexpected forms. From ceramic sausages to vibrant rainbows, his whimsical pieces evoke smiles and laughter, adding a playful touch to everyday life. Not just your typical product designer, Tero's creativity stretches into the realms of concept and space planning, bringing his unique spark of joy to every project.

For Tero, happiness is found in the simple act of creation, whether it's kneading dough for a perfect sourdough loaf, crafting a delicious dinner from leftovers, or moulding clay in a dust covered ceramics studio. He believes that using your hands and creating something tangible is a balm for the soul in our fast-paced modern world, inspiring people to use their sense of touch and consider what feelings they evoke.

Drawing inspiration from the vibrant palette of materials and colours around him, Tero seeks to create designs that not only catch the eye but also stir something deep within. In an age where screens dominate our attention, Tero is on a mission to bring back the lost art of hands-on creation. His designs aren't just objects – they're invitations to engage your sense of touch, to feel the world around you in a way that's all too often forgotten.

Tero Kuitunen
Credits: Sofia Okkonen

Study our timetables and themes

Monday 10.6. Food & Wellbeing

Tuesday 11.6. Health & Balance

Wednesday 12.6. Nature & Lifestyle

Thursday 13.6. Design & Everyday

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Inspiration for your next trip

Still in need of tips for your next trip to Finland? No worries. We've curated a selection of top experiences from various parts of the country. Explore must-see sights, captivating destinations, and delicious dining spots.

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