Listen

We invite you to live and breathe Helsinki lifestyle, our everyday life, in a local way at the #HelsinkiSecret Residence.

Apply Now

STORIES BY RESIDENTS

Story time!

Freshest hand-picked stories from the #HelsinkiSecret residents.

#HelsinkiSecret Residence: Aileen & Jonas

Aileen Adalid

Belgium

In the end of February, the #HelsinkiSecret Residence welcomed Filipino / Belgian Aileen & Jonas. This blog post showcases their favorite memories of Helsinki.

Read the story on Visit Helsinki Blog

#HelsinkiSecret Residence: Judith & Robert

Judith de Graaff

France

In mid-February, the #HelsinkiSecret Residence welcomed Dutch/French Judith & Robert.

Read the story on Visit Helsinki Blog

#HelsinkiSecret Residence: Andrea & Sara

Bergareche Andrea

Spain

On the second week of January, the #HelsinkiSecret Residence welcomed Spanish & Mexican Andrea & Sara.

Read the story on Visit Helsinki Blog

January: Winter Helsinki

Experience light in the dark - the unique, cozy and urban wintertime in Helsinki when the city radiates life

Highlights:
Snow, sauna, winter activities (skiing, ice skating, ice swimming, motorbike safaris, snow shoe walking), LUX Helsinki light festival, winter circus, DocPoint - Documentary Film Festival, MATKA Travel Fair

Food specialties:
blinis, fish roe, burbot

February: Winter Helsinki

Fall in love with winter activities in February when locals dedicate their time to winter sports, delicious treats and pop up events.

Highlights:
Dance Festival Side Step, Restaurant Day, Runeberg Day, Student party “penkkarit”

Food specialties:
Runeberg tart, pea soup, Shrove buns

March: Food Helsinki

Join the Nordic food movement and try the boldest street food - in early spring!

Highlights:


street food festival Streat Helsinki, Easter

Food specialties:
lamb, Easter pudding mämmi, Easter dessert paskha, Fazer’s Mignon chocolate eggs


April: Spring Carnival!

Put on your (student) cap and celebrate spring like the Finnish students do!

Highlights:
Local & Organic Food Fair, Helsinki Coffee Festival, first of May

Food specialties:
May Day fritters, mead

May: Summer Season Kick-Start

The first rays of light are here - sunnies, outdoor saunas, flowers, fashion & pop up restaurants -HEL YEAH!

Highlights:
Restaurant Day, Lovely Helsinki city festival, Pre Helsinki fashion festival, first of May, Cirko Circus Festival, MoA, Marimekko’s fashion show + the biggest ever public sauna, the new Löyly, has its opening party in May

Food specialties:
white fish, mead, nettles, perch, pikeperch, May Day fritters

June: White Night Special

Magical white nights and night-time picnics are at their best in June.

Highlights:
Helsinki Day, Taste of Helsinki Culinary Festival, Midsummer, Helsinki Pride, Tuska Open Air Metal Festival, Eurogames

Food specialties:
new potatoes, salmon, sausages, Atlantic herring, strawberries, blueberries, sea buckthorn

July: Urban Nature

The only capital where you can hear even your own heartbeats in total silence.

Highlights:
Helsinki Cup, Big Beers – small breweries, Jazz Espa, Urb 16 – Urban Art Festival

Food specialties:
new potatoes, salmon, sausages, Atlantic herring, strawberries, blueberries, sea buckthorn

August: Super August

Eat your way through the tingling and pulsating summer festival city!

Highlights:
Flow Festival, Helsinki Festival, Dinner under Helsinki Sky, Restaurant Day, Art goes Kapakka, Dinner in the sky, Helsinki City Marathon, Delicacies of Finland, Beer festival Syystober, Night of the Arts, Theater festival Stage, Weekend Festival

Food specialties:
root vegetables, crayfish, wild duck, chanterelles, apples

September: Design, Thought & Science

In Helsinki, design & education is part of everyday life!

Highlights:
Helsinki Design Week, Habitare, Film Festival Love & Anarchy, Tour de Helsinki, Thinkfest

Food specialties:
Baltic herring, hare, lingonberries, vendace


October: Cozy up in Helsinki!

Mysterious and darkening evenings ask for atmospheric pampering, good books and light events!

Highlights:
Baltic Herring Market, I love me Fair, Helsinki Book Fair, Carnival of Light, Nordic Business Forum

Food specialties:
lamb, cabbage, moose, reindeer, goose

November: Helsinki Business Hub

Find out why Helsinki is one of the leading start-up hubs with talent and innovations!

Highlights:
Licorice Festival, Slush, Helsinki Forest Fair, Baltic Circle, Etnosoi, Restaurant Day, Christmas Street opening

Food specialties:
lamb, cabbage, moose, reindeer, goose

December: Christmas City

Discover the Christmas spirit you can't find elsewhere than in Santa's favourite capital

Highlights:
Helsinki Christmas Market, St Lucia, Christmas concerts, Seurasaari Island’s Christmas path, Christmas markets, NYE on Senate Square - bring in the anniversary year 2017 (Finland’s 100th independence jubilee)

Food specialties:
ham, root vegetable casseroles, gingerbread, Christmas pie, mulled wine, beetroot salad

Apply Now

Applicants (850)

Refresh

Aallonkoti

The centrally located Aallonkoti that hosts the #HelsinkiSecret Residence represents your home away from home. In its new apartment with the practicality of home, it offers individual services as it’s equipped to fit the needs of a home. It has a spacious kitchen, a glass-covered terrace with a gorgeous view over the park and city, wireless internet connection and quality household appliances. The central location, first class products and, above all, practicality of a home will make your stay memorable.

Aallonkoti

Visit Finland

Visit Finland promotes Finland as a travel destination for international travellers who are in search for unique experiences that your friends have yet to experience. Visit Finland offers inspiration and travel information about different destinations in Finland and provides flights for selected guests (one per month) of the #HelsinkiSecret Residence to the country of 188 000 lakes.

Visit Finland

Finnair

Finnair is specialized in Europe-Asia traffic, and connects Helsinki with direct flights to 17 Asian destinations and to over 60 European destinations. Finnair wants to offer its customers a unique Nordic experience, and welcomes selected guests (one per month) of the #HelsinkiSecret Residence onboard Finnair.

Finnair

Finlayson

Founded in 1820, Finlayson in one of Finland’s oldest companies. Today it lives on anew and is convinced that the best way to honor its history is by being brave, open-minded and having a continuous craving to create new interesting interior textiles. Finlayson is honored and excited to be a part of introducing Finnish interior design in the #Helsinkisecret Residence.

Finlayson

The University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest institution of academic education in Finland: an international scientific community of 40 000 students and researchers, and it is continuously ranking in the world’s top 100. Through high-quality research it seeks solutions for global challenges and creates new ways of thinking for the best of humanity. The University of Helsinki offers a wide range of studies in English: Master's, Doctoral, Exchange Studies and Summer School Courses. The University of Helsinki provides flights for selected guests (especially interested in study theme) of the #HelsinkiSecret Residence

University

heleats

heleats is your food guide promoting Helsinki as a culinary destination. On a weekly basis heleats provides a local grocery bag for the guests of #HelsinkiSecret Residence to enjoy while in Helsinki. What would be a better way to explore local culture than food? Welcome to taste what Helsinki eats #heleats

heleats

Helsinki Survival Kit

Local experiences

Once the residents arrive to the #HelsinkiSecret Residence, a Helsinki Survival Kit will be waiting for them. It's filled with local & practical tips, hints, suggestions & a selection of hand-picked local design, food & urban nature experiences and items that are essential for city-dwelling during the specific week of the stay in town. No two kits are the same as each kit is personal.

Survival Kit products kindly provided by:

Apply now

1
2
3
4
5

When would you like to visit?

Please select your preferred length of visit and month. Note that we cannot guarantee your selected dates.

Which month do you prefer to visit?
HOW MANY NIGHTS would you like to stay?
6 (Mon-Sun)
3 (Mon-Thu)
3 (Thu-Sun)
Continue

What’s your social media?

Are you a blogger? Do you take photos? Tell us a bit about your main platform.

Your primary media URL (BLOG/TWITTER/INSTAGRAM/FB)
Why should i be chosen? (keep it short)
YOUR ESTIMATED FOLLOWERS / SUBSCRIBERS / FANS
-
+
Continue

How can we contact you?

We will only contact you concerning your application.

First name
Last name
Country
Phone (with country code)
Email
All Done!

With whom would you travel with?

Do you have a friend or a partner you are travelling with?

Full name of your friend / partner
Their primary media URL (BLOG/TWITTER/INSTAGRAM/FB)
Continue

Team up with our partners!

Please describe how relevant our partners are for your audience.

How relevant are our partners to your audience?
Continue

Application completed

Boost your application

Let your audience know and vote for your application.

Social boost
  Connect to facebook

Helsinki

Explore Helsinki lifestyle

Fresh and surprising. Enjoy the slow rhythm of urban Helsinki.

HELYEAH.fi

LOCAL FRIENDS’ NETWORK

Local friends

We believe that interesting content is born out of interactions. That is why the residents of the #HelsinkiSecret Residence have a Local Friends' Network, where local social influencers can share and show off their home city's secrets and favorite spots. At the same time, the locals can network with their international colleagues and share their experiences as well as function as representatives of Helsinki.

Laura Santanen
Description

Listen

Podcasts

Listen to resident interviews by
Radio Helsinki.

#HelsinkiSecret Residence Info

What is it?

#HelsinkiSecret Residence is meant for social influencers that have already travelled around the world and experienced the most known destinations, but feel that they are walking the same paths and in the same footsteps as everybody else. We invite you to live and breathe Helsinki lifestyle, our everyday life, in a local way at the #HelsinkiSecret Residence. The #HelsinkiSecret Residence is located in the city center of Helsinki.

Is it for me?

Is wifi oxygen for you, are you a social native, are you a professional international social influencer, do you have a blog and/or are you working professionally with other social media networks, do you have a passion for social networks and are active on them even though you don’t directly work with them yet, do you dream about the mythical Nordics that are situated on the top of the world, or have you traveled to the Nordic region but haven’t been to the quirkiest and friendliest capital yet? Then yes, you are knocking on the right door! We primarily invite social influencers within the fields of lifestyle, travel, and the startup and study scene. We base our judgement on social influence on relevance (the creation of content that is relevant to us), reach (the ability to reach an audience that is valuable to us), and resonance (the engagement with relevant content by an audience that is valuable to us). However, there is always room for wild cards! Read more about them under the info’s topic “What are the #HelsinkiSecret Residence’s wild cards?”

Why should I apply?

Inspired by you, the social influencers around the world, #HelsinkiSecret Residence is the first ever social influencer residence that allows its guests to step into local boots 365 days a year during the time period of 1.1.-31.12.2016. The #HelsinkiSecret Residence offers you a live like local and slow travel experience! What are you waiting for?

Where has the residence got its name from?

We have been told for years that Helsinki is the best kept secret of the world and a hidden gem. Instead of trying to fight against this image, we have decided to embrace it. In spring 2015, we asked locals of Helsinki to tell us what the secret of the city is. We asked for secrets that defined Helsinki and showcased how the city differs from all the other cities in the world. Now we want to continue the discussion and we are curious to find out what the secret is from an international point of view, hence the #HelsinkiSecret Residence.

What are the benefits of staying at the residence?

#HelsinkiSecret Residence offers a neverseenbefore way to experience Helsinki and gives you a chance to be a part of the local lifestyle and find the best secrets in town.

We offer the guests of the #HelsinkiSecret Residence:

– a cozy Finnish home for you and gladly also your friend for 3-6 nights (Mon-Thu, Thu-Sun or Mon-Sun) in the central Aallonkoti apartment hotel, where the #HelsinkiSecret Residence is located

– a Helsinki Survival Kit with local tips and hand-picked local design, food &urban nature experiences and items that are essential for city-dwelling

– bikes (during summer season) and public transport tickets as they are preferred way for natives to move around the city

– a chance to be noticed by Finnish media and be featured on local radio frequencies as you’ll be interviewed on a Helsinki-based radio station. The radio interview will be a blind meet & greet event on the air as you will be interviewed together with a native social influencer that has the same interests as you do. Later, the podcast will be sharable on your social networks and it will be added to the #HelsinkiSecret Residence’s website.

What is expected of a guest that stays at the residence?

During a one week (6 nights) stay, the following is expected of a blogger (if other type of social influencer, terms will be given during the application process):

– at least one pre-trip social mention about the #HelsinkiSecret Residence on social media networks (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)

– at least three blog posts about Helsinki (e.g. one pre-trip post, one post during the stay and one post-trip post) with a min. of one mention per blog post of the #HelsinkiSecret Residence stay

– at least one/day social mention about the #HelsinkISecret Residence on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) during the stay

– at least one post-trip social mention about the #HelsinkiSecret Residence on social media networks (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)

NB! Social activity is also expected of the friend you bring along, but it can be on his/her blog networks or his/her personal social media networks if he/she doesn’t have a blog.

During a half week (3 nights) stay, the following is presupposed of blogger (if other type of social influencer, terms will be given during the application process:

– at least one pre-trip social mention about the #HelsinkiSecret Residence on social media networks (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)

– at least one blog post about Helsinki with mention of the #HelsinkiSecret Residence stay

– at least one/day social mention about the #HelsinkISecret Residence on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) during the stay

– at least one post-trip social mention about the #HelsinkiSecret Residence on social media networks (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)

NB! Social activity is also presupposed of the friend you bring along, but it can be on his/her blog networks or his/her personal social media networks if he/she doesn’t have a blog.

Who is organizing the residence?

The residence is organized by Visit Helsinki. Visit Helsinki has been operating since 1963. The company works on an annual basis with about 1 000 PR guests (travel trade, traditional print media representatives, TV groups and bloggers). Visit Helsinki has worked with social influencers since 2011. The most successful social media trips have been the Nordic Bloggers’ Experience in 2014 and 2015, MTV Push Helsinki 2014, and Streat Helsinki 2015.

How does the application process work?

1) Check the one-minute-long #HelsinkiSecret Residence presentation video ON THE FRONT PAGE, learn what the project is all about and picture yourself strolling on the streets of Helsinki!

2) Fill in the straightforward application form to tell us something about yourself – we want to get to know you!

3) Make sure you’ll get the key to the #HelsinkiSecret Residence by boosting your application! Ask your social network to support the application by sharing it. Follow your likes on the #HelsinkiSecret website, as one social influencer per month, a.k.a. Wild Card with the most likes, will bypass the other applicants and secure his/her stay at the #HelsinkiSecret Residence! How coolis that?

4) The application process runs from August 24, 2015 to September 1, 2016. The applicants will be informed of their acceptance at least three months prior to the requested arrival time (e.g. if you want to visit Helsinki in July 2016, you will know the latest if your application has been accepted in April 2016).

How will the guests be chosen?

We base our judgement on social influence on relevance (the creation of content that is relevant to us), reach (the ability to reach an audience that is valuable to us), and resonance (the engagement with relevant content by an audience that is valuable to us).

We will choose the guests based on their social engagement rate and reach. If the applicant will travel alone, we will make the decision based on the applicant’s individual social media network statistics. If the applicant will travel with a friend (can also be partner), we will base our decision on both of the possible guests’ social engagement rate and reach.

However, there is always room for wild cards! Read more about them under the info’s topic “What are the #HelsinkiSecret Residence’s wild cards?”.

What are the seasons?

As #HelsinkiSecret Residence is a 365-day-long project, we have divided the year into seasons to make it easier for you to select the period of time you want to visit Helsinki in. Helsinki is a city that has four different distinct seasons when it comes to the climate and calendar, but as you look through the seasons, you’ll see that there are other features that might determine when to visit Helsinki. As an eventful capital city of the North, Helsinki is a year-round destination as there is always something going on in the city – it just depends on what you like!

What are the residence’s wild cards?

Every month, one lucky applicant (+ friend) will be accepted to stay at the #HelsinkiSecret Residence regardless of his/her social reach. How is this possible, you say? Well, if the applicant has boosted enough his/her application among his/her social media networks and persuaded them to vote for him/her via social media networks, we’ll grant the applicant a stay without determining first his/her reach. You can vote for #HelsinkiSecret Residence wild cards on the menu’s Applicants page. Vote away!

If I don’t have a themed blog, may I participate?

ABSOLUTELY!

When does the registration end?

The application process runs from August 24, 2015 to September 1, 2016. The applicants will be informed of their acceptance at least three months prior to the requested arrival time (e.g. if you want to visit Helsinki in July 2016, you will know the latest if your application has been accepted in March 2016).

What the HEL – what/where is Helsinki?

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a modern city with over half a million residents and is situated on the Baltic Sea. In 2012 Helsinki was the World Design Capital and celebrated its 200th anniversary as the capital of Finland. Helsinki alongside its neighbouring municipalities of Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen form a metropolitan area of more than a million inhabitants.

Helsinki in figures

Helsinki founded in 1550

Capital of Finland since 1812

Population over 600 000, approx 1.3 million in Greater Helsinki

Finnish-speakers 90.4%

Swedish-speakers 5.4%

Evangelical Lutherans 72%

Orthodox 2%

Total area 716 km2

Coastline 123 km

Islands 315

Mobile phones per 100 inhabitants 96

Average temperature yearly +5.0°C

Warmest month, June +21.7°C

Coldest month, January -10.4°C

Independent since 1917

Total area 338,000 km2

Population: 5.4 million

EU member since 1995

Introduced euro in 2002

Partners

Contact information

Visit Helsinki

Social Media Coordinator Elisabeth Heinrichs

Elisabeth.heinrichs@hel.fi