Helsinki

Home to just over half a million inhabitants, the city was ranked as one of the world’s top 10 most livable cities last year.

Some of the Happiest People in the World

Up here in the far north by the Baltic Sea lives some of the happiest people in the world. Put aside the cold dark winters, there’s something incredibly unique in the Finnish capital of Helsinki. Home to just over half a million inhabitants, the city was ranked as one of the world’s top 10 most livable cities last year.

What is it that makes Helsinki so attractive to more and more travellers

1) Nature is right here, in the heart of the city

Helsinki Töölönlahti - The Bay of Töölö

Helsinki Töölönlahti - The Bay of Töölö

Us Finns are used to having nature right outside the office – just right there, in the heart of the city center. Parks, forest and the sea are everywhere. A quick tram ride away and you can sit alone in silence with nothing but the purest of nature surrounding you.

Take the ferry to Suomenlinna, hike in Nuuksio National Park or just sit by the seaside.

2) Innovative local cuisine

Vanha Kauppahalli - The Old Market Hall

Vanha Kauppahalli - The Old Market Hall

One of the greatest things about living almost anywhere in Finland is the supply of clean local food produce. The trend is coming back to valuing what grows out in our cold nature and more and more new restaurants keep popping up using ingredients in innovative ways. There are many delicious restaurants to choose from when in Helsinki, but we would recommend checking out the new Restaurant Ultima, where they are experimenting with the most innovative food and farming technologies.

3) The locals of Helsinki are friendly

Locals are Friendly in Helsinki

Locals are Friendly in Helsinki

When you travel to Helsinki, you are quite likely to find locals who are excited to share their favourite coffee shops and restaurants with you. Helsinki is a city that many are passionate about, and rather than keeping the hidden gems to themselves, locals want travellers to make the most out of their home city.

Communication with the locals is easy. In general, the Finns speak very good English, even though they may come off as shy at first. Many have great stories to tell, so just go and chat away with locals!

4) Helsinki is full of art and culture

Helsinki Christmas Market

Helsinki Christmas Market

Helsinki is known for its culture, design and style. Being the Finnish capital, Helsinki is home to many notable museums and cultural locations in Finland.  If you love Nordic architecture and design, Helsinki is your city.

Home to many architectural styles, and the fans of the most famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto enjoy Helsinki’s various locations that represent Aalto’s minimalistic work. Helsinki Design District’s various interesting shops, hotels and restaurants are not to be missed, either. Just make sure you have enough space in your luggage to bring your new treasures home.

5) Distances are short

Tramride is THE Nicest way to Travel - HOP ON !

Tramride is THE Nicest way to Travel - HOP ON !

Helsinki is the perfect example of a big and a small city in one. What this means is that you can go around and experience plenty of things during a long weekend, without feeling completely exhausted after your holiday.  

The city is walkable and thanks to its large tram and bus network, you can reach many cool neighbourhoods in a very short time. The most visited neighbourhoods are not too far from each other, and you will not be spending your trip in public transport, traveling between places. Instead, you can discover many cool places and restaurants in a couple of days. Make sure to drop into Punavuori for some design and perhaps to Kallio for a more underground experience.

6) Helsinki is one of the Safest Cities in the World

City safety

Many children walk to school alone at the age of 7, and occasionally you even see babies sleeping outside coffee shops in their buggies while their parents enjoy a cup of coffee inside. This is a very Finnish thing that you rarely see elsewhere in the world, and sometimes causes confusion among foreign visitors. The Finns also believe babies sleep better outside – yes, even in the winter.

7) Our Four Seasons

Skaters on Halkolaituri Seafront Dock

Skaters on Halkolaituri Seafront Dock

Every season makes Helsinki different. Winter can be harsh with strong winds from the sea. Without a doubt it is the best time to introduce yourself to the true Finnishness with a cinnamon bun and a cup of warm coffee in a cozy coffee shop. Autumn is a great time for nature adventures and enjoying the changing colours and endless shades of orange.

Many locals say there is nothing like Helsinki in the summer, and it makes sense as the nights are long and full fo light. Finnish people are a bit like bears really; sometimes it feels like the Finns just sleep and hide in their homes during the darkest months, and when the sun comes out again, the city comes to life.

8) Helsinki is simply different

The New Childrens Hospital Elevator Hall

The New Childrens Hospital Elevator Hall

Helsinki is a combination of modern city life and old Finnish traditions, making it an exotic holiday destination with many stories to tell to your friends and family at home.

A great example of this is our sauna culture. Almost every Finn has a relationship with sauna, and there are many places to enjoy our sauna culture in Helsinki. Finnish people might not be the most chatty people on earth, but when you join them in public saunas, naked – they suddenly open up and have many tales to tell. One of the most interesting sauna experiences in central Helsinki is Löyly, a modern Scandinavian urban sauna in Helsinki’s waterfront!



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