Shop till you drop PART II

College finals… Oh, I wish they would go by super fast,  so I wouldn’t have to do all of this studying which is almost making me go crazy.. I had THREE exams this week!! Only two more are left and then I can start thinking about my one day trip to Berlin!

Like I promised in my other post, this post will be about shopping in HELSINKI! I did a little research and all you have to do is read to find out where to shop and what to buy in Helsinki.

Textiles, ceramics and glass products are one of the best things to buy while in Finland. Leather goods are also of high quality. If you are interested in ceramics, one of the most renowned ceramics producers in Finland is Arabia. The Esplanade in Helsinki has shops selling these quality brands.  But if you’re poor, don’t even think about going there because you are sure to find something great but in the end you’ll realize that your while can’t make your dream come true… 😦 I guess I’m skipping this street or I’ll be having bad dreams about some beautiful vase…

We all now women love jewelry so if any of you guys are planning on going to Finland soon, be on the look out for Kalevala jewelry!! Your lady will fall in love all over again with the man of her dreams 🙂

One of the best places to go shopping is the at the Design District (in Helsinki) which is not far from the city’s main train station. It has some of the best fashion stores and you can find many top-name designers there.

It would actually be a good idea to buy sauna stuff in Finland, because Finland is home to the very well known Finnish sauna.

According to most Finns, “Kampi” is “THE shopping place in Helsinki”. You can find anything you need here! (http://www.kamppi.fi/)

The most important thing to know, is that F’inland, like all other Scandinavian countries, is very  expensive to be in. So shopping might not be a good idea..

Some interesting information: citizens of non-EU countries are eligible for tax-free returns. Purchases must be made in shops displaying the tax free sign. The minimum total sum of purchased goods must be 40 euros. Upon leaving EU territory, travelers can claim VAT that varies according to product but does not exceed 16%.

Shop till you drop.

Have you ever seen the movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic”? I have a little tendency to shop too much… But whatever I end up buying, I actually really need. Whenever I visit a different country for a vacation, I end up buying something. When I was in Rome last summer, I bought a sweater that says “I ❤ Rome” (<3- the heart on the sweater is red and big!!).
Many people collect objects of some sort- stickers, rocks, knives…. My family and I have a tradition to collect magnets from any country we visit to put on the refrigerator. So far I have a magnet from: Brussels, Rome, Chicago, Ryga, Kaunas, Vilnius, Trakai, Punsk.. We haven’t been collecting for such a long time yet. Even though we have been to Moscow, Tallinn and other US cities, we don’t have magnets from them..yet.. I do have a magnet from London that my friend bought me as a gift. Now I feel like I need to visit the city soon because of the magnet 🙂 .


Since I’m such a shopaholic when I’m on vacation, I did some research on what to buy in both Tallinn and Helsinki.


TALLINN

1.Chocolate!! (I’m addicted to chocolate, so Tallinn is my heaven). Kalev chocolate is Estonia’s famous chocolate company. The Maiasmok cafe actually has a marzipan museum room. And the visit is free!
2. Ceramics. Especially those with replicas of old city buildings are very popular.
3. Jewelry. Estonian jewelry has a hint of the Nordic. Hand mad has a great touch of Estonia.
4. Knitted wear. Since it tends to get very cold in the winter, Estonians are great at knitting! 

Kalev chocolate!

The Estonian Handicraft House is  a place to visit if you must want something authentic from Estonia. You can get a wide selection of wooden, metal or ceramic items.
If you’re interested in hand crafts, the old city is the best place for that. I’m not really interested in them, especially buying from a different country, because Lithuania has this really great fair each year where a lot of hand crafts are sold. But if anyone is really interested, Katariina Passage is said to be one of the best places for this.
There’s also an interesting shop called “Baraka”. It has really funky gifts. From the pictures I saw on their website, this store has interesting totes, pants and other handmade things.

Foorum

I’m a fashion freak and I will probably be running around Tallinn searching for a mall. And guess what? There’s a small shopping gallery in the heart of central Tallinn!! This must be my lucky search day!! But I have an excuse for a visit to this shopping gallery “Foorum” (Narva Mnt. 5). It’s great to visit this place due to its architecture. Art, culture and shopping in one place!
There’s another shopping center in the heart of the city!! It’s called “Kristiine” (Endla 45). It’s one of the biggest shopping centers in Estonia in terms of the number of shops!
And another shopping center! “Viru Keskus” (Viru valjak 4). It’s considered a fashion mecca!

Of course, you must visit an open market in any city you visit. “Keskturg” is best for a cultural experience. It’s a popular destination for fresh food, clothes and has other “treasures”.  Since Estonian has some Russian influence, there is also a Russian market “Balti Jaama Turg”. I’ll definitely visit!


My next post will be about shopping in HELSINKI!!
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