Markets & Market Halls
photo © Discover Finland
Almost every town in Finland features a market square or kauppatori in the town centre, which will usually have its own market hall, or kauppahalli. These markets are both busy shopping areas and centres for socialising, where locals buy the best local produce availble before sitting back and enjoying a coffee and pastry. Of course, the market squares are open only from late Spring to early Autumn, while the halls are open all year round.
Finland’s market halls are the best places for shopping for the areas fresh produce and their customers are among the most quality conscious in the country. In the kauppahalli you’ll find vegetables, fruit and berries, meats, bread and pastries, and local delicacies. There is alsways at least one café, and usually there are stalls for local arts and crafts. The market squares are lively affairs, and stallholders sell traditional hot and cold food, fresh produce (especially peas and berries), handicrafts and souvenirs, and clothing.
The most famous market square is the Helsinki Fish Market, as it’s known, which is also the site each year in October for the Herring Market, the oldest traditional event in Helsinki. The nearby Vanha Kauppahalli is a beautiful building and a tourist attraction, as is the Hietalahti Market Hall on the other side of the city. Indeed, many of the kauppahallis in Finland are highly distinctive buildings with their own long histories, like the Kuopio Market Hall which has been in operation for over 100 years. Other notable Kauppahallis well worth a visit are those in Hakaniemi, Vaasa, Oulu, Pori, Tampere and Turku.