Nordic countries have an unmatchable charm and visual appeal which is unique to them. Finland is one of the Nordic states and a neighbour to the Scandinavian nations of Denmark, Sweden and Norway. This unmatchable charm and the Finnish spirit can be best felt in the capital city of Helsinki.
This metropolitan with a small town feel has its own unique features that make it stand apart and get noticed as a major tourist hub. The city was founded and developed in the mid 16th century. It flourished under the Russians who hired experts like Ludwig to model Helsinki on St Petersburg which was quite successful as Helsinki does bear striking resemblance to the great Russian city. Other Russian imprints can be seen throughout the city in the form of buildings and military barracks.
Sweden also had a considerable amount of influence on the architecture of Helsinki during its growing period. Suomenlinna is a top tourist spot in Helsinki and an eye candy. This fortified UNESCO world Heritage site stands atop a cluster of islands and was built by Swedes in 18th century.
Home to a number of military buildings and museums as well as items of historical importance like the only World War 2 submarine in possession of Finland, the island fortress also had contributions from Russia. The crumbling ruins and the greenery all around offer to be a great picnic spot. Helsinki is famous for its art and sense of modernisation.
Ateneum is the premier art gallery of Finland and Helsinki which offers a detailed glimpse into the nation's art. Another attraction for Museum lovers is the Seurasaaren Ulkomuseo
which is another island set museum offering great picnicking spots and cafes. It is also home to Helsinki's biggest summer bonfires. Kiasma is the heart of city shopping in Helsinki and shows a very modern side of the city.
Local Culture - A tourist's guide to culture in Helsinki are its Museums and art galleries offering a sneak peak into the Scandinavian influenced and Russian meddled history and way of life.
Dining - Food and cuisines in Finland are a seasonal affair. The menu typically changes with advent of a new season and emphasis is laid on fresh ingredients. Some of the eateries offering traditional Finnish preparations are in the Punavuori & Ullanlinna area.
Things To Keep In Mind - Keeping a pair of sturdy footwear if traveling in winters can be a boon as the roads tend to get slippery. Food and Accommodation in Helsinki isn't cheap so book hotels in advance and eat in the eastern inexpensive part of the city if you're on a shoestring budget.