Welcome to Helsinki – The City of World Design
Helsinki, the capital and the largest city in Finland, is characterized as a modern metropolis. Helsinki will definitely not leave you indifferent by its unique features and contrasts.Founded in 1550 by the Swedish King Gustav, Helsinki offers over 450 years of history and has “something for everyone”.The modern cosmopolitan city of Helsinki is the World Design Capital for 2012. The beauty of the surrounding nature blends seamlessly with high-tech creations and contemporary trends. Walking tours of the city centre show layers of history, while modern architecture and cutting-edge design stake the city’s claim to the future.Surrounded by an archipelago and composed with numerous parks, Helsinki “the Daughter of the Baltic” is the perfect destination either during its endless summer days or during the crisp, snowy winter nights.
Trams are one of the best ways to travel around the city. All tram routes start from south and head to different directions. Each route offers lots of interesting things to see and do along the way. For instance, architecture, design, art, culinary arts and culture are some of those interests.
The sea is a major part of Helsinki and a variety of guided boat trips are available to discover the waters and the islands nearby. There are ferries to Suomenlinna Maritime Fortress and Helsinki Zoo on Korkeasaari Island. Apart from the sea, there are many activities in nature such as the forests of the Central Park (Keskupuisto), the Vantaanjoki River for fishing, and the unique natural protected area in Viikki which is really popular among birdwatchers.
There are many bars and clubs within walking distance from each other in Helsinki. The entrance is free in most of the bars, but at clubs, a fee is often charged. Except on special events, bars remain open until 2 a.m. and clubs until 4 a.m.
From sweaty rock shows to classy cocktail lounges, there is enough choice in night-time activities to please everyone.
Another place that can be mentioned is the international Casino, Helsinki’s number one gaming spot; it is open almost every day of the year.
The design district situated in the heart of Helsinki offers a wide variety of creative businesses full of fascinating attractions for design fans; hosting 25 streets and 200 places to see including jewellery shops, design and antique shops, fashion stores, museums, art galleries, restaurants, hotels and showrooms.
Do not miss the Hakaniemi Market Square, a really cool place to try some traditional Finnish food and treats, and to buy handicrafts and souvenirs.
Eastern European Time Zone (UTC+02:00)
Helsinki’s climate is typical of its northerly location. Its intermediate climate combines characteristics of both maritime and continental climates. The summer in Helsinki is bright. The days are at their longest in the second half of June. The evenings grow cooler towards the end of September, and the days grow noticeably shorter as winter approaches. The winter begins between November and December depending on the year. The coldest time of the year is usually at the end of January while spring arrives in Helsinki usually in April.
You can discover Helsinki with the Helsinki Card. The card is a handy, economical way to make the most of your visit in Helsinki. It is a transport and an entrance ticket all in one and has some great value reductions and bonuses attached. There are also tram routes available and daily tickets at fair prices.