Helsinki Finland

hlsnkHaving a reputation for being one of the world’s most liveable cities, Helsinki, capital of Finland is a pretty cool place, and not just in terms of its weather.

Situated on the shores of the Baltic Sea, Helsinki is a very modern city which also has a heritage of which its residents are very proud. The city is quite varied, particularly as it is spread over quite a number of bays, peninsulas and islands. It is considered to be a very green city as a number of parks and other recreational areas have been preserved to give the city a relaxed, laid back feel. If you think of Helsinki as some sort of Scandinavian backwater then you would be wrong, as Helsinki has a great reputation for being a great party town, particularly as it has many bars and clubs which open through the night where DJs spin the latest sounds and local bands pump out enough volume to keep patrons dancing and thoroughly entertained for hours.

Helsinki was established in 1550 as a Swedish trading town, but was then lost to Russia during the Finnish War in the 18th Century. It was during this period that the city really began to flourish, especially as much of the city was rebuilt in neoclassical style to represent its, relatively, near neighbour St Petersburg.

The city gained world prominence in 1952 when the Summer Olympics were held there, and today the city is a fascinating mixture of many styles of architecture, although it is still essentially low rise in nature. In 2012 the focus on architecture, fashion and design in general led Helsinki to be named the World Design Capital.

Right in the heart of Helsinki is Esplanade Park which is a popular place for both locals and visitors to gather. The park is used throughout the year for entertainment and is also the venue for the annual Marimekko Fashion Show.

Around the large Senate Square are a number of prominent buildings, including Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, and the National Library. Here also you can visit Sederholm House which is located in the southeast corner of the square and it Helsinki’s oldest stone building.

Even though Helsinki has a reputation as a party town, there is also a lot of culture there. The city boasts 80 museums and a number of art galleries too. Despite it’s far north location, outdoor activities are popular in Helsinki all year where, according to the season, hiking, swimming, bike riding, skating and skiing are all popular.

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