Discover the national pride of the Finnish people along with the Swedish and Russian legacy in this beautiful capital. Helsinki is filled with graceful architecture and monuments and surrounded on three sides by sea and tiny islands.
It’s fitting that harbourside Helsinki, capital of a country with such watery geography, melds so graciously into the Baltic. Half the city seems liquid, and the writhings of the complex coastline include any number of bays, inlets and islands.
Though Helsinki can seem a younger sibling to other Scandinavian capitals, it’s the one that went to art school, scorns pop music and works in a cutting-edge studio. The design scene here is legendary, whether you’re browsing showroom brands or taking the backstreet hipster trail. The city’s gourmet side is also flourishing, with new gastro eateries offering locally sourced tasting menus popping up at dizzying speed.
Nevertheless, much of what is lovable in Helsinki is older. Its understated yet glorious art-nouveau buildings, the spacious elegance of its centenarian cafes, dozens of museums carefully preserving Finnish heritage, restaurants that have changed neither menu nor furnishings since the 1930s: all part of the city’s quirky charm.