Katajanokanluoto – tiny restaurant and excursion island near the center of Helsinki

Katajanokanluoto is most likely one of those islands which makes many Helsinki-Stockholm ferry passengers think, does someone live on that small island? This unique island is now open to the public.

Katajanokanluoto and Viking Line

Published on 8/17/2020. Updated on 8/18/2020. Text and photos by Tero Auralinna.

Helsinki metropolitan area has many charming islands that are open to the public for a day trip. Katajanokanluoto is the latest addition to this island group. Doors were opened in July this summer.

Check out the earlier blog post about Vallisaari, which is an old military island that has been opened to the public lately.

Katajanokanluoto is most likely one of those islands which makes many Helsinki-Stockholm ferry passengers think, does someone live on that small island? It's an attraction very near the center of Helsinki. Ferry-ride from the Market Square (Kauppatori) to the island, takes less than 10 minutes.

Seamark and Cafe Kobben at Katajanokanluoto Seamark and Cafe Kobben at Katajanokanluoto.

It was a foggy day when we visited Katajanokanluoto. Although the fog disappeared quite soon when we have arrived at the island. Take something warm with you since the weather on the island can vary. The fog and wind made the weather a little bit chilly, even on a warm day.

Captured the foggy sea view while waiting for the Katajanokanluoto ferry at Market Square Captured the foggy sea view while waiting for the Katajanokanluoto ferry at Market Square.

Cafe Kobben in a renovated cottage of Maritime pilots

The restaurant of Katajanokanluoto, called Cafe Kobben, serves excellent pizzas. You'll also find hot and cold drinks and sweet and salty snacks from the cafe. In addition to the terrace, it's possible to enjoy drinks and snacks anywhere on the island. Also, there are a couple of tables inside the house.

Cafe Kobben at Katajanokanluoto Cafe Kobben at Katajanokanluoto. It's an old house for a Maritime pilot.

Pizzas are baked in the Italian style oven, and they have special tomato-strawberry sauce. At first, I found the idea of strawberries in pizza sauce a little bit weird, but strawberry adds nice lightness and freshness to the tomato sauce.

Cafe Kobben at Katajanokanluoto serves delicious pizzas made with a tomato-strawberry sauce Cafe Kobben at Katajanokanluoto serves delicious pizzas made with a tomato-strawberry sauce.

Take-away pizza is also an option for boaters. There is no public harbor for boats, so picking up a take-away pizza is only allowed reason for docking.

Attractions of Katajanokanluoto

The island itself is really tiny so the cafe, terrace, and pleasant 360-degree sea views are the main attractions. So grab a pizza and drinks from the Cafe Kobben and go around the island and enjoy sea views from every angle.

Swan and two baby swans also have found Katajanokanluoto a pleasant place. Also, a couple of Canada gooses were hanging around.

There are only two buildings as the Katajanokanluoto There are only two buildings at the Katajanokanluoto.

You can buy ferry tickets from the Katajanokanluoto ticket shop. There is not much to do if the weather is bad, so the ticket price is refundable or transferrable if the ferry traffic is suspended due to weather. Ferry operates once in an hour. At the moment of writing, ferries will run until September.

Thick fog at the ferry dock of the Katajanokanluoto Thick fog at the ferry dock of the Katajanokanluoto. If you take a closer look you can see a swan in the water and two baby swans behind the motorboat.

This tiny island is a great addition to the terrace selection of Helsinki and it's an excellent place for a couple of hours excursion. Also, the pizzas were yummy. Sometimes a food quality in attractions isn't too great but Cafe Kobben was a great exception.

From the Katajanokanluoto, the one will have views to the island of Lonna and Suomenlinna. Also, it's nice to spot different neighborhoods and attractions of Helsinki.

I hope I have time to go back to capture an awesome sunset before the winter break starts.

Check out more from the Katajanokanluoto website or Facebook page. Those, unfortunately, are not in English, but the ticket shop is.

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