Why everyone is wearing sailor hats and other Helsinki facts for this weekend

Kallio FINvitational 2019 is here! We wanted to make a short travel guide to help you get around and not to get confused about, well, a lot of things.

The sailor hats

This is a yearly mystery for Finvi tourists from abroad. The tournament is always on the same weekend as the national high school graduation day. Finnish high school graduates wear graduation hats that look like sailor hats. Now you know what to spot around central Helsinki on Saturday night!

How to fit in

Googling restaurants is easy. How about finding new things to try in the grocery store? This summer, try Vihis, a vegan pastry in a green wrapper that is the ultimate greasy snack and a national favourite. A Finnish speciality Lonkero, a gin-based long drink, can be found in midst of beers and ciders, and is sold under the name “Original”. Something to bring home might be Pulled Oats, an award-winning substitute for pulled pork.

Words you might want to search in products are vegaaninen for vegan and gluteeniton for gluten-free.

We take our alcohol laws seriously

Like, very seriously. That means that spirits are not sold in regular shops. Only Alko sells alcohol stronger than 5,5% and has its own opening times. For instance, all Alkos are closed on Sunday. That means having to plan your drinking a little bit beforehand.

Be prepared to take your ID everywhere. Sometimes even your friends cannot buy alcohol if you are in their company without an ID. You also need to prove your age for getting in to the last competition of the weekend, the afterparty.

Getting around is mobile-friendly

Get the HSL app for buying transport tickets with your mobile. The ticket is shown to the driver or the inspector from your phone screen, and is valid on buses, trams, and trains. The Helsinki area is divided into zones A and B. The very basic ticket is AB and the FINvitational venue Pasila UH (address Radiokatu 22) is on zone A. Not much to worry! You can find more info about getting around on the HSL website.

 We are so excited to have you in FINvitational! See you soon and remember to tag all your photos with #Finvitational2019 and #HarderButNicer.

Photo by Ville Päivätie.