City Guide: Helsinki With Alex Mattson

Words by Alex Mattson
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Welcome to our latest installment in our ongoing City Guide series, where your favorite artists give you the inside scoop on their hometowns, making you feel that much more of a local. This week, we travel to a land of reindeer and seemingly endless winter, although you may think differently after reading. Today's destination is Helsinki, Finland and our tour guide Alex Mattson, a young producer making big waves in his home country. 

Alex Mattson

We all like a good drink, so where are the top spots to head to before a night out?

There are many of course but they just opened this new place called Heidi’s Bier Bar in central Helsinki this summer. I think that’s a pretty cool place to go! Also, there’s an amazing place by the sea called Löyly in Helsinki which is a place to go to at summer and winter both to have drinks! You can also experience a traditional Finnish Sauna and ice swimming there.

Where can you find the best clubs / late night venues in town?

There are two venues I really like! Legendary Tavastia and The Circus. Those two clubs usually have the best bands and DJ’s playing when in Finland so totally a place to go to.

Circus Club

Brunches are a weekend staple, which spots stand out for you?

I’d go with a small Asian restaurant called Lie Mi. The food is just amazing and that’s really my go-to place.

Best dirty late-night street food option?

I use to live in Töölö, which is a part of Helsinki close to the center, and there is this small Burger / Hot Dog place. Shoutout to Töölön Grilli.

Where can we shop for records and music memorabilia in Helsinki?

At central Helsinki, there is this place called Levykauppa Äx which is a great record shop to go and explore!

Your Sunday escape plan when you need to get away from it all?

My plan would be to lock myself in the studio and make music! But for visitors in Helsinki, I’d say find a spa or go to movies. Löyly or Allas Sea Pool are two great spas to go to.

Something everyone should do when visiting Helsinki, but probably hasn’t?

Eat this food called mämmi!! That’s traditional ”easter food” in Finland and what I’ve seen, every visitor always hates it. It looks awful, to be honest, but with whipped cream, it’s actually good!

A track that reminds you of your childhood in the city?

I actually grew up in this small town which is like an hour from Helsinki and there is a song named after that town called ”Nummela” by Finnish artist Anssi Kela, so that’s the song!

How do you survive the long Finnish winters?

It’s actually not that cold here, to be honest (sometimes it is but I feel I’m used to it now) I think it’s just something everyone thinks since Finland is in the north. In my opinion, winter in New York is colder than Finland haha. But warm jackets and saunas are how we survive.

A gift you can’t leave Helsinki without taking home for friends?

Traditional Finnish dark bread and Salmiakki! You have to remember those two!

salmiakki

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