Most shops are open Monday–Saturday from 9 or 10am to 5 or 6pm and Sunday from 12 to 6pm. Grocery stores and department stores stay usually open later, till 9 or 10pm. Small items, sweets, magazines etc. can be bought in kiosks or convenience stores, which stay open late in the evenings. Please note that the cash payments in Euros are rounded off to the nearest 5 cents in cash payments as the 1 and 2 cent coins are not in use in Finland.
In some shops you will have to take a number and wait in a queue until it is your turn to be served. Look for a machine that dispenses pieces of paper with a number. These will typically be pharmacies (for prescriptions only), fresh meat and fish counter in the supermarket, banks, doctor’s office, hospital emergency and some post offices.
There are two main chain supermarkets in Finland. The K-market chain denotes the size of the supermarket with four different classifications: K-Extra, K-Market, K-Supermarket and K-Citymarket (listed from smallest to largest). The S-group has different chain stores such as Prisma, S-market, Alepa and Sale. In addition to these, Lidl, for example, has several shops in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.
Sell, borrow, rent or exchange goods and services online
- Aalto Marketplace
- Teekkari Village Market (Facebook group)
- Students in Helsinki Buy/Sell/Exhange (Facebook group)
Reuse center stores (used furniture and home appliances)
Kontti second hand department store (operated by the Finnish Red Cross - furniture, household items, table ware and a lot more)
Students' recycling center in Otaniemi (furniture and household items)
You may need to buy some household items and furniture when you arrive since most of the student housing is unfurnished. Basic cutlery and dishes, linen, small items such as lamps you can find, for example, from Citymarket (e.g. in Ruoholahti and Itis in Helsinki; Sello and Iso Omena in Espoo) and Prisma. Tokmanni and Clas Ohlson also sell
Inexpensive or even free second hand furniture and household items can be found from e.g. second-hand shops, reuse centres and flea markets. When you leave Finland, please consider bringing you own used furniture and other items to a reuse center instead of throwing them away!
Medicines are sold only at pharmacies (apteekki in Finnish) this includes over-the-counter items such as cold remedies and aspirin or paracetamol. Most pharmacies display a notice giving the address of the nearest pharmacy on night duty.