Helsinki, the sustainable capital of Finland, is a vibrant seaside city with beautiful islands and great green urban areas. Helsinki has a lot to offer, such as nice eateries, terraces, design, architecture, public saunas , ( Löyly sauna & here !), museums, Seurasaari open-air museum , Korkeasaari zoo , Suomenlinna (fortress from 1750 off the coast), monuments and many large shopping centers .
Helsinki is Finland’s largest city and the metropolitan area is home to 1.4 million people. If you look on a map, Helsinki is in the northernmost corner of Europe, but it’s an easy-to-reach hub with fast east-west flights. Not flying?
No problem. Helsinki can also be reached from Germany, Estonia and Sweden via the Baltic Sea. In fact, the sea is one of the most distinctive elements of the city. The Helsinki archipelago is made up of more than 300 enchanting islands.
In addition to Helsinki, the metropolitan region is a hub of other interesting cities and sights to visit. These include the neighboring towns of Espoo and Vantaa, the historic town of Porvoo, the Järvenpää-Tuusula area, famous for its artistic heritage. There are 6 national parks less than 2 hours drive from Helsinki and countless other nature reserves to visit. Moreover, there is a lot of greenery in the city itself.
Head out into the woods, enjoy a concert, visit a festival, enjoy a Scandinavian dinner or try one of those iconic public saunas, it’s all here.
Helsinki was founded in 1550 by the Swedish King Gustavus I to serve as a trading competitor for Tallinn, located across the Gulf of Finland. This endeavor was unsuccessful and Helsinki remained an insignificant town until Finland was annexed by Russia in 1809. In 1812 it was decided to move the capital from western Turku to central Helsinki.
From then on, the city grew rapidly. In 1827, the Finnish University of Turku was also moved to Helsinki. After the declaration of independence in 1917, the city became a battleground of the civil war, in which it was initially taken by socialist troops and the “white” government had to evade. During World War II, Helsinki was one of the few capitals not occupied by a foreign power; the city was bombed by Soviet planes. In 1952 the Helsinki Olympics took place and in 1975 the final act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe was signed in Helsinki.
Helsinki has been built (since the town was moved in 1639) on a rocky headland in the Gulf of Finland. The Helsinki Market ( Kauppatori ) on the waterfront forms the center of the city. What is special is that most large ferries dock close by.
Behind the market square is the Senate Square . This part of the city was rebuilt in 1816 in a classicist style by the architect Carl Ludvig Engel after a major fire. It is now considered the main attraction of the city. On the square stands the white Helsinki Cathedral , the symbol of Helsinki that can be seen from afar.