Heavenly Helsinki – Finland

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a vibrant seaside city of beautiful islands and great green parks. While the city’s rhythm seems laid back, at the same time, meet the Finns in a bar and you’ll discover a whole new dimension to the people.

Sitting on the edge of the Baltic, the modern, cosmopolitan city of Helsinki is the World Design Capital for 2012. The beauty of the surrounding nature blends wonderfully with high-tech achievements and contemporary trends. Walking around the city, you’ll discover layers of history, but modern architecture and cutting-edge style show the city’s statement to the future.

The capital of Finland is a compact city easily explored on foot. Design, architecture, culture and shopping are all great for exploring and large park areas, forests, lakes, and the coastline with numerous islands make it bountiful in its nature. Needless to say, there’s something going on in Helsinki every day of the year.

The archipelago of Helsinki consists of around 330 islands, providing beautiful set-ups for days at the beach or weekend camping trips. Many of the islands, such as Suomenlinna and Pihlajasaari, can be reached by a regular ferry from early morning until late at night.

The fortress of Suomenlinna is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Finland’s most popular sights. Gorgeous Suomenlinna islands are only a 15-minute ferry ride away from Helsinki Market Square. They offer a variety of atmospheres; whether you are looking for a cheerful weekend with friends, a tranquil evening stroll or perhaps a jog – it is all made possible by the diverse routes, locations, restaurants and cafés across the islands.

If you want to escape the city life even further – no matter how laid-back – try the two large national parks of Sipoonkorpi and Nuuksio, both a short bus-journey away from the center of Helsinki.

The eastern end of Helsinki, particularly the densely inhabited Kallio has sparked to life in recent years. Another cool place to look out for is Punavuori in the center of town. Only a few years ago, these areas were for the rough working class, now they are home to the most inspirational array of bars, vintage shops, boutiques, galleries and more.

As for the food scene in Helsinki, it is cutting edge and ever-changing. Various pop-up restaurants and the worldwide spread phenomenon Restaurant Day are both brainchildren of Helsinki-based food enthusiasts and a whole new generation of chefs. While Finnish food itself is all about local, seasonal, wild and fresh- with game, fish, mushrooms and berries at the core of it all – these innovative food events embrace all culinary cultures and tastes of the globe.

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