As I alighted from the tram at the Kallio neighbourhood, mid-rise container buildings fill the compact streets, giving it an industrial, no-frills attitude to it.
The quarter strikes me as idle at first impression, a slightly grungier little brother to Helsinki’s glamorous city centre. It is no wonder since Kallio is a former working-class neighbourhood. Today, it is transformed into a trendy district for artists and students to hang out.
Kallio is the most densely populated urban area in Finland, and its streets are lined with a wide range of cafes, restaurants, bars and street-front boutiques.
I am on a mission to blend in with the locals and spot some of Helsinki’s grungy hipster gems and local hangouts.
Within the terracotta brick walls exists an assuming cafe-gallery. I push through the aged-mustard door and my eyes are instantly drawn towards the bold strokes of artwork that line the walls of Rupla, the communal space sparsely scattered with indoor plants to add to the atmosphere of homeliness.