Kivinokka is a popular public recreational area in the Vanhankaupunginlahti bay area of Helsinki. Thousands of city dwellers spend their free time close to nature in this maritime environment. Kivinokka boasts beaches, a nature trail, ancient woodlands, a summer café, a mansion house, summer huts and an allotment garden.
Kivinokka is an area of diverse historical and natural value where you can come for instance for a trip outdoors, for a jog or a swim, to enjoy a coffee, to watch birds or just to have a walk around and relax. You can pay a quick visit to Kivinokka, but even a whole day can be spent pleasantly here. The Kivinokka residents wish you welcome!
1. Allotment garden
The Herttoniemi allotment garden is one of the oldest in Helsinki. It was founded as early as in 1934. The site that covers over 7 hectares has nearly 200 allotment plots with a cottage. The club house on the site is the old tobacco barn of Kulosaari Mansion and may date from the 1750s. The allotment garden has been listed as an important recreational area of culturohistorical, architectural and cultural landscape value.
2. Kulosaari Mansion
The history of Kulosaari Mansion dates back to the 16th century. All of Kivinokka was part of the mansion’s lands for a very long time. The current main building dates from the beginning of the 1800s. In addition to the main building, there are several smaller buildings on the estate, such as the estate manager’s house, a bakery and a swim hut. Some of the outbuildings are presumed to be even older than the main building. The empire style mansion was designed by Carl Ludwig Engel, the architect known for designing the monumental centre of Helsinki. The mansion is a popular venue for celebrations.
3. Kartanon Venekerho Boat Club
The boat club Kartanon Venekerho is located on the shore of the Naurissalmi strait and was founded as early as in 1962. The marina accommodates around 150 boats. It is possible to visit the marina to admire boats of different sizes and types.
4. Summer theatre
Kivinokka also has a small summer theatre. Performances are organized by Teatteri Beowulf. Over the summers, great classics have been seen on stage at the Kivinokka summer theatre.
5. Kivinokka summer huts
Around 600 small summer huts exist in Kivinokka. The difference between the summer hut site and the allotment garden is that the summer huts are smaller (approximately 12m²) than the cottages, most of them have no electricity, they stand in the woodland and have no private plot around them. The land around the summer huts is public recreational area. Small forest paths, along which anyone is allowed to walk, run between the huts. It is worth turning off the main roads into the woods – that is where you can really experience the beauty of Kivinokka.
Summer huts have existed in Kivinokka since the beginning of the 20th century when it became a popular recreational area with the working people. The oldest huts date from the 1940s and 50s. The original plans for the huts were designed city architect Hilding Ekelund. The summer hut culture has remained largely the same over the decades – people drink coffee, play, sunbathe, have parties, enjoy the summer to the most in their hut gardens.
Kivinokka has three summer hut sites. The smallest of one belongs to Ponnistus Sports Club, the next to the trade union JHL and the largest site to the Kivinokka residents’ association Kivinokkalaiset ry. There are huts for sale regularly so if you desire to become a resident in Kivinokka the best place to keep an eye on is the notice board in Kivinokka or websites such as Oikotie and Tori.fi.
Kivinokka has two allotment sites where hut owners grow potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and other summer delicacies for their own consumption.
Kivinokka has two beaches. The larger one is an official public beach and very popular and child-friendly. The old dance pavilion next to the beach is a venue for events. The beach is the centre of all events in Kivinokka. A variety of events are arranged frequently and they have free entry. The Midsummer celebration with bonfires and live dance music has been very popular. The most recent of the events is the film festival KinoKivinokka where the audience watches films on a big cinema screen on the beach.
The other beach, ‘the sunset beach’, is in the very tip of the Kivinokka peninsula. It is more quiet but not equally suitable for children. Next to this beach there is a dedicated dog beach.
The history of the Kivinokka summer café goes back a long way. The café building is a former Elanto shop and has stood in Kivinokka since the 1930s. You can buy coffee and delicious doughnuts in the café and enjoy them on the beach or at the end of a pier.
Occasionally, the café owner has kept sheep, goats and chicken in a pen in summer. There has been a changing art exhibition every summer. If you happen to pick the right day, you may find a jazz concert on the beach. The Kivinokka café is full of surprises.
The café is only open in summer. There are no official open hours but coffee is usually available from morning to evening.
9. The Dallapé stone
The legendary Dallapé, one of the most loved entertainment orchestras in the history of Finnish popular music, was founded in Kivinokka in the 1920s. Over the time, several musicians, among them Vili Vesterinen, Kauko Käyhkö and Georg Malmsten, have made a contribution to the orchestra.
Dallapé Orchestra now has its own memorial stone in Kivinokka.
10. Nature trail and bird tower
The Kivinokka peninsula is a valuable nature area whose northern shore borders with the Natura conservation area in Vanhankaupunginlahti bay. Kivinokka is also an important bat habitat and due to that bat watching trips are often organized in summer.
In the northeastern part of Kivinokka there is a valuable ancient woodland area and an alder grove. A signposted nature trail that introduces the wonders of the local nature also runs in this part of Kivinokka. The nature trail is wheelchair accessible and only a few hundred meters long. It ends at a bird tower with a splendid view towards the nature conservation area of Vanhankaupunginlahti bay.
It is also worthwhile leaving the nature trail to wander in the woods. Among other things, a Giant’s kettle can be found in the woods. The woodland is large enough for people to feel and experience nature’s tranquillity and quietness, but nevertheless small enough not to get lost there.
How to get there:
By underground: Kiviniokka is within 10-15mins walking distance from both Kulosaari and Herttoniemi undergroung stations.
By car: From Kipparlahden silmukka street drive approximately 500m along the little country lane until you arrive at the Kivinokka car park.
By bike: Many come to Kivinokka by bike. It takes a good half an hour to ride your bike from Helsinki city centre to Kivinokka.
By boat: It is possible to moor with rowing boats or small outboard boat, but not with larger boats as there are no proper piers.