Finland’s thriving waterfront capital, Helsinki, is situated at the northeastern edge of theBaltic Sea.
Nestled snugly between Sweden and Russia, the city overlooks more than 300 islands inthe waters of the archipelago.
Known as The White City of the North for itstraditional use of light granite, the city is a seamless blend of traditionaland modern design.
There is no better way to start delving intothe culture of this city, than by starting at a landmark which epitomizesthe style and sophistication of Finnish design.
Kamppi Chapel, or The Chapel of Silence, is a multi-faith sanctuary in one of the busiestparts of town.
Settle into one of the ash-wood pews and meditatebefore you explore the rest of this delightful city.
In Helsinki, creative minds and innovatorsare revered.
Their statues, monuments and sculptures stand alongside architectural masterpieces, old and new.
Start voyaging through history by taking theferry from Market Square to the city’s guardian, Suomenlinna Fortress.
These battlements were built upon six islandsin the archipelago and have protected the Gulf of Finland foralmost 300 years.
The fortress and Helsinki itself endured along and bloody tug of war between neighbouring Sweden and Russia, untilthe nation won its independence in 1917.
Today, sunbathers have replaced the soldiers of old, indulging in naps on the warm rocks whilelistening to the lapping waters of the Baltic Sea.
Back on the mainland, visit St.
John’s Churchin the Ullanlinna district.
In the past, Helsinki’s citizens would makebonfires here on midsummer’s eve, otherwise known as Saint John’s day.
Helsinki has a passion for creative inventionand isn’t shy about showcasing it.
There is an abundance of museums and galleriesacross the city, including the unmissable Helsinki Design Museum.
Explore the permanent exhibition devoted tothe great moments of Finnish design from 1870 to the present.
Knowledge is the DNA of creativity, and Helsinki’s unmatched education systemhas nurtured some of the finest creative minds in the world.
The renowned University of Helsinki runs theNatural History Museum, which is dedicated to the study and celebrationof the greatest designer of all; Mother Nature.
Continue your design journey to a sublimemarriage between mankind and nature.
Temppeliaukio Church, otherwise known as the Rock Church, is quarried into the city’s natural bedrock.
Its copper dome ceiling is surrounded by glassskylights and appears to float above the subterranean hall.
The cavernous basin has otherworldly acoustics, and is a favourite for touring musicians.
Helsinki is home to many structures dedicatedto theatrical and musical productions.
One of the most iconic, is Finlandia Hall.
Designed by one of Finland’s finest, Alvar Aalto, the building harmonizes wonderfully with thecity’s landscape and is another fantastic display of Helsinki’sphenomenal design stature.
Across the street from the towering pillarsof the Parliament building, and looking very much like a magnificent glasshouse is the Helsinki Music Centre.
This is the home of the Sibelius Music Academy, which celebrates Finland’s most belovedcomposer, Jean Sibelius.
During the long march for independence, his epic orchestral works provided a rousingchorus of national pride.
An enchanting celebration of this esteemed composer is the Sibelius Monument in the Töölö district.
Look up at the bright Finnish sky through the organ-like steel pipes and considerSibelius’ thoughtful frown.
Discover art of a more modern nature at theKiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, a unique gallery, designed to illuminate thetreasures within by Finland’s natural light.
Wander through Esplanadi, often referred to as the living room of the city.
From here, walk north to Senate Square, which fans out from the fatherly gaze of EmperorAlexander the second.
Climb the stairs to the foot of Helsinki Cathedral, a breathtaking whitewashed structure whichtowers above the rest of the city.
Stare up at the twelve apostles, whose ten-foot-tall, zinc statues stand like wise custodians.
Inside, the cathedral is just as bright, with a central dome that lets Finland’sethereal light flood in.
In stark contrast to Helsinki Cathedral, is its brooding younger brother, UspenskiCathedral.
Built with dark bricks, the cathedral is powerfullyconspicuous as it rises from the surrounding white graniteof the Katajanokka district.
Roam through the area’s streets and along the shore, and watch the church light up with a goldenHelsinki sunset.
Celebrations of education and creativity meanHelsinki is a city, designed for life.
Its long-held reputation as one of the world’shappiest places lures people from all over the world.
And now, it is calling to you.