Helsinki is a seaport city in the southern part of Finland, bordered by the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea. In many ways, Helsinki exemplifies all that is best in modern Europe. An environmentally aware city with excellent public transport and a free public bicycle scheme, English is widely spoken and visitors will find it easy to get about. In addition to the ease of transport, Helsinki is a fascinating mixture of functional, neo-classical and art nouveau buildings; a satisfying place to wander though and admire.
In fact, its beautiful buildings have earned it the soubriquet ‘The White City of The North’. Housed within these buildings are some excellent museums: art and architecture are major draws to the city. In addition, anyone wishing to shop for modern design pieces (particularly popular are Marimekko homewares, Iittala glass or Alvar Aalto-designed Artek furniture) will be well served by Helsinki’s boutiques. And if shopping fatigues you, in the best European tradition there are a wide variety of cafes, bars and restaurants in which to sit and watch the world go by.
Helsinki is also known as a hub for the music scene in Northern Europe, with metal rock and punk gigs easy to find.
Helsinki is not just about vibrant urban culture, however. There are plenty of places to escape to: beaches, islands and forests are within easy reach of the centre of town. And of course, no visit to Helsinki would be complete without a relaxing and cleansing traditional Finnish Sauna.