The capital of Finland is a compact city easily explored on foot. Design, architecture, culture and shopping are all great exploration angles and large park areas, forests, lakes, and the coastline with numerous islands sprinkled off it make certain there’s no shortage of natural presence. Needless to say, there’s something going on in Helsinki every day of the year.
Population-wise, Espoo is the second largest city in Finland. However, the city is so spread out it is more like a cluster of several smaller cities. Located next to Helsinki, Espoo’s modern art museum Emma and the city theatre serve culture buffs, the beautiful national park in Nuuksio caters for outdoor enthusiasts and two large shopping centres along with a score of smaller boutiques make sure shoppers have their hands full.
Like Espoo, Vantaa lies next to Helsinki and is a large city with no real centre. Home to the Helsinki-Vantaa international airport, Vantaa is more than just a travel hub: Finnish Science Centre Heureka is fascinating for people of all ages, and after some brain food, a visit to Jumbo shopping centre and the adjacent Flamingo spa world might be in order. Cultural experiences and sights are offered in the form of concerts, museums and churches as well as the old Helsinge parish village.
Porvoo is most famous for its charming Old Town that dates back to the Middle Ages and is filled with adorable cafés, restaurants and handicraft boutiques. Beautiful manors, museums, churches and chapels characterise Porvoo. Nearby Loviisa is similarly beautiful with the Old Town, the Strömfors Iron Works and the Svartholma Sea Fortress being key sights.
Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is situated by the Baltic Sea with a 100-kilometre-long shoreline and around 300 islands. The compact, vibrant city is both highly cultural and incredibly relaxing, with great possibilities for many outdoor activities.
Porvoo, located about 50 kilometres east of Helsinki, is the second oldest city in Finland. Its long history can still be felt on the charming cobblestone streets, past the iconic red wooden shore houses. Porvoo is full of small shops, lovely museums, galleries and cafés.
As the snow falls, the charming summery Helsinki turns into something completely different – a city where great action can take place! Skiing, ice-skating, sledging, snow-sculpting, ice-swimming – the possibilities are endless.
Take a look at the geographical shape of Finland and you’ll see why people call her “The Finnish Maiden”. At the tip of her thumb is the only part of the country where peaks rise 1,000 metres above sea level. Nestled in those peaks you will find a tiny village called Kilpisjärvi, home to roughly a hundred year-round residents. One of them is 25-year-old snowmobile guide Jussi Rauhala.
The Sámi area of Northern Lapland offers year round unlimited outdoor and indoor activities, and most of all close contact with the unique culture of the Sámi – the only indigenous people of the European Union.