Day 18. Beach life at Munkkiniemi, Helsinki

Another warm, sunny day so a day at the beach was planned.  We took a No.4 tram to its terminus at Munkkiniemi.  It’s a very pleasant suburb of Helsinki with an attractive bay, a peaceful spot with a long seafront walkway alongside tall reed beds and wild roses.  Nearby you will find a ‘Mattolaituri’ meaning carpet washing pier.

Traditional Carpet Washing Pier, Helsinki
Traditional Carpet Washing Pier

This is where Finns bring their carpets and rugs to be washed in the sea.  There is always a scrubbing table and even a mangle to take away the excess water and aid drying.  This lovely sight is a Finnish tradition which I’ve seen in many places in southern Finland.  There’s a community spirit as people come together and chat whilst doing their spring cleaning.  Best of all, the carpets and rugs are safe and no one is worried that they might disappear overnight.

Traditional Carpet Washing in Helsinki
Traditional Carpet Washing Pier

Wandering along we passed an ice cream kiosk doing a steady trade and continued to the sandy beach which is surrounded by trees for those who prefer the shade.  The beach has showers and changing rooms and is a lovely spot to relax and soak up the sun for awhile.

Munkkiniemi beach, Helsinki
Munkkiniemi beach, Helsinki

We enjoyed a dip in the warm sea then settled down to read our books and eat the picnic we’d brought along.  After a blissful couple of hours we strolled back towards the tram, stopping at Cafe Torpanranta for drinks on their attractive terrace which overlooks the bay.

Cafe Torpanranta, Munkkiniemi Helsinki
Cafe Torpanranta, Helsinki


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51 thoughts on “Day 18. Beach life at Munkkiniemi, Helsinki

  1. The carpet washing looks like fun but I’ve actually never tried it. We have a place near our apartment but it’s on dry land and a very boring place to look at. I’d much rather do such a mundane task by the sea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a very eco friendly thing to do as well as being a lovely old tradition. Just think if we had carpet washing piers in the UK and people left them on the props for a few days to dry then the likelihood is that some of them might be stolen, it’s sad to think like that but probably true!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wow I’m so glad you liked my post about Portugal because it meant I stumbled across your amazing blog! I love that you’re on such a unique trip and it’s made me so excited for when I hopefully go inter railing next summer! Can’t wait to read more of your journeys x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Finland enjoys warm, sunny weather during the summer and there are lots of lovely sandy bays around similar to this one. The carpet washing piers are interesting and I believe unique to Northern Europe – at least I haven’t come across them elsewhere. Thank you for reading my post and your interesting observations.


  3. Cafe Torpanranta is in a great spot. I went there during my last visit to Helsinki (over 12 months ago now – time flies) on a Sunday and it was heaving! I didn’t realise what that pier was for, though.
    I went to visit the Aalto House which is nearby afterwards. Have you been there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Yes I’ve also been to the Aalto house but not on this trip. That cafe is really lovely, sometimes we go there in the evenings, too as it’s such a sunny spot and it’s always busy – a combination of good location and good, reasonably priced food! When the Carpet Washing Stations aren’t bring used some people seem to think they are picnic tables without seats ! Thanks for commenting and sharing my love of Finland.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking an interest in my blog and in Finland. I’m English as you’ve probably already realised but I’m of the opinion that Finland is a delightful country in so many ways – beautiful nature, interesting towns and villages and charming people. I do hope you might have an opportunity to visit for yourself sometime. With Kind Regards, M.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good Morning Marion.

    Wow. I am happy that You visited Munkkiniemi. I lived there many years ago and loved the area. Another thing which delights me in Your post is carpet washing. This tradition in Finland is maybe unique in Europe. I have tried many times to present it in my posts thus offered for future visitors to check it. Thank You presented this beautiful area in Helsinki.

    Have a nice day!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good Morning Matti, How lovely that you used to live in Munkkiniemi. Sometimes we have walked all the way round the bay from Otaniemi to there. As for the carpet washing piers, I’ve never seen them elsewhere either but they are a splendid idea and very a very ‘green’ one as another reader, Kirstie suggests. Hoping you have a nice day, M.


  5. Kirstie

    I love the carpet washing pier, I want one in my life. Such a nice community idea, and so simple, so a green option. Is this a once a year thing at a certain time?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Kirstie, Thank you for reading my posts. The carpet washing Piet can be used at any time once the sea is no longer frozen and the temperature will be warm enough to dry the carpets. It really is a good idea and I have seen many of them on my travels in Finland.

      Liked by 1 person

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