It’s the host city for one of Europe’s hottest festivals and is packed with stunning architecture. Add Helsinki to your passport stamp collection ASAP.
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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