Jul 20, 2017 | By Karen Chiang
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Helsinki is clean, contemporary and endlessly inspiring, plus, it’s on of WGSN’s city-by-city’s Style Cities of 2016; here’s 5 reasons why you should visit one of Finland’s coolest gems.
1. The Architecture
A stunning juxtaposition of old and new sees towering pastel-washed buildings meet grandiose Cathedrals and scenic harbours, combined with the clean lines of modern Scandi-design.
The Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art is a must see, while a stay at Hotel Katajanokka – a converted 19th-century prison – promises a chic yet quirky experience!
2. The Stores
A wealth of inspiring design stores feature exclusively Finnish design. Must-sees are Artek and Moko Market– both sure to send your Instagram into overdrive. Independent stores are plentiful with stores such as Pino hitting the spot if you’re a stationery nerd like me! If clothing is on the cards, a trip to Helsinki wouldn’t be complete without indulging in the iconic prints of Marimekko
3. The Peace and Quiet
As a Cornish-girl living in London, I seem to instinctively crave the peace and quiet of the countryside. With a population of under 500,000 (compared to London’s 8million) Helsinki’s a haven for serene city living. A short boat trip or drive can take you to secluded islands or lush green forests complete with wood cabins (and bears!). Though a moment of peace in the inner city is never far away; the Kamppi Chapel of silence is as beautiful as it is moving, hand-carved entirely from wood and blocked off from daily hustle of the city centre.
4. The Food & Drink
For a more budget-friendly option, nothing quite beats the fresh fish sold directly off the boats at Kauppatori Market Square. Coffee culture is a big deal too, Johan & Nystrom was a personal favourite with views over the harbour and a menu of liquorice-based raw cakes.
5. Go for the Flow!
Helsinki hosts perhaps one of Europe’s hottest festivals – Flow. Situated in an abandoned gas plant, Flow festival welcomes an eclectic line-up of artists and festival-goers in urban surroundings. This years line up saw Iggy Pop, Morrisey and FKA Twigs headline – though there’s something for everyone with a Jazz stage and art gallery to boot. Food is a key, with over 40 different high profile restaurants, cafes and bars serving the varied audience tastes – from fresh sushi to artisanal Nordic cuisine, it’s worth a trip for the food alone!
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