What is the best way to haggle in Helsinki?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Violetta Teetor

Ask a Finn if they are willing to haggle about prices and the answer will be a categorical 'no!' Most of us have travelled widely and come across this habit in foreign climes but if the price is stated in black and white, it remains that way and even if it's not, you believe what the vendor says and you cough up.

There are however places where you can get away with it and get a reduction on what you buy but this is limited to the flea markets in and around Helsinki. One such place is at Hietalahden Tori where there's a lot of junk but also a lot of real gems to be found. Arabia crockery is usually in huge supply as is antique silver cutlery and of course designer clothing. Try your hand at bringing the price down especially if you're buying in quantity. You might just get lucky.

Helsinki Ice Hall also has a flea market on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 to 1.30 pm but not in the summer months. The treasure trove includes cheap DVD's, books often in English and the usual selection of antique-looking sherry glasses or champagne bowls and other breakables. Here too you can suggest a lower price but once you see that stubborn look in the seller's eyes, don't try any further, they've made up their mind and there's no budging them.

For a list of markets and second-hand shops see www.kirpputorihaku.com/kirpputori/helsinki. Only in Finnish but you can find them on the map.

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