Hotels & Restaurants

I had an amazing opportunity to stay in a state-owned holiday center in Lapland, one of the 10 existing across all Finland, and the northernmost of all. These holiday centers were created to host school children and students who travel to meet their own country. However, that one, named Vasatokka, is so far away on the North that very few school groups go there, so it’s mostly visited by international travellers, particularly exchange students who want to feel the exotic of polar lands.

Vasatokka. A holiday center in Finland.
Vasatokka, Nothern Lapland

Unlike Italy, France or any other Southern European country, Scandinavian countries do not have any famous traditional dishes. However, there are many tasty meals you can try when travelling over there, varying from particular foods such as salmon or reindeer, to creative interpretation of almost everything. Even the student cantinas have amazing food. Even the local “fast food” chains offer some dishes full of vegetables and tasty seeds, making the travel experience easier for healthy food eaters.

Healthy and tasty seeds and the salad
My lunch in Rovaniemi

Lodging and gastronomy are two things that tell us a lot about a country and a culture. By travelling you see the present time and the current trends. It’s quite rare to find any museum that tell you stories how these services used to be in the past times.

Hotels and Restaurant Museum, Helsinki

So, the number 5 of our 6 Amazing Discoveries in Finland is definitely the Hotel and Restaurant Museum in Helsinki. Situated in a cultural center outside the city’s historical center, this is one of several museums that occupy these lively quarters.

Helsinki cultural center

The building is a part of the old industrial district, and it’s somehow similar to the LxFactory complex in Lisbon, Portugal. There are many creatives working here, so that’s a dynamic place, not just a museum center.

While discovering this Hotel and Restaurant Museum, you can do much more than just discovering. You can feel. You can try being a receptionist, which is specially fine if this is your actual job. You can smell the cooking ingredients, sing on a karaoke, see some historical hotel rooms, observe vintage kitchens.

You can notice how rising life standards improve the culture of joy and fulfilment. You can think about the quality of life in Finland. Maybe. Above all, this is another completely fun museum experience.

Hotel and Restaurant Museum, Helsinki
A Restaurant Kitchen from some Other Times…
Recognize how it smells like
This is a museum game – smell each ingredient, and guess what there is in the container.
A vintage hotel room - doll house
This vintage hotel room can be observed inside a “doll house”
shampo set
A set of hygiene and cosmetic products – accommodation standards.
A historical bar in Helsinki
This is a historical bar, but you can take a coffee and sit down here.


  • Oh I was meaning to visit this museum but never got round to it. My son was doing jujitsu just next door (yes that industrial area, i.e. Kaapelitehdas, even has a jujitsu gym!). Now he quit that hobby though 🙁

    • The area looks amazing. And there are much more museums apart from this one, but I had to make decisions what to visit, due to limited time 🙂

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