Helsinki – a bit Eastern, a bit Western
Helsinki’s rhythm is laid back yet at the same time refreshingly active in terms of both the number and quality of restaurants and nightclubs.
Finland was part of the Russian Empire for about a hundred years, and the architecture of many parts of Helsinki is similar to that of St. Petersburg or Moscow. Before that it was part of Sweden, so Helsinki has influences from both East and West. You can visit the neoclassical Lutheran Cathedral on Senate Square; a short walk away is the Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral.
Helsinki, the World Design Capital 2012, is built on a peninsula and islands in the Baltic. While you’re here, take a boat from the Market Square to the island fortress of Suomenlinna. It’s also a short boat ride to the Zoo on Korkeasaari, “High Island.” The Open Air Museum of Finnish rural architecture is on another island, Seurasaari. It’s a short walk to most places of interest, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art “Kiasma”, the art nouveau railway station and the National Museum.
Helsinki is a modern pocket-sized European city of culture that is known for its design and high technology. Helsinki’s attractive and unique character comes from its proximity to the sea, which offers an endless number of exciting opportunities in summer and winter alike.