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Places to visit in 2012 – Helsinki, Finland

 

The capital of Finland is a place where Eastern and Western cultures meet and coexist on the banks of the Baltic Sea. The city proper is home to over half a million residents but in conjunction with the neighboring cities of Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa, the greater Helsinki metropolitan area houses more than a million inhabitants.

Lately there’s been a marked surge in the interest with Nordic culture, most likely spurred on by the culinary awakening taking place in Copenhagen and the trend-setting fashion influences of Stockholm, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to consider that Helsinki will follow in the spotlight.

The city celebrated its 450th anniversary in 2000 when it was also the European City of Culture, present-day Helsinki is an interesting mix of contrasts and activities due to the fact that the city’s character and identity has been formed by cultural influences from both the East and the West, which isn’t really something that you can say about a Nordic country that much.

The city is home to many varied architectural styles and layers, the impact of different periods and architectural trends can be seen very clearly here and Finnish design in general has made the city famous all across the world.

The interesting things when considering modern-day Helsinki is how seamlessly its inhabitants have managed to blend their high-tech achievements and contemporary trends with old traditions and nature as a whole. Helsinki features some beautiful parks and close-by forests.

Helsinki has managed to mix the size of a smaller town with the features of a modern metropolis, its rhythm is rather laid back but also active and vibrant when it comes to the quality of restaurants and of the nightlife in general.

The city offers lots of things to see and do, offering great experiences to all types of visitors, regardless of age or interest, there are museums, art galleries, churches, parks and of course many great examples of architecture to be seen all around the place, rest assured that you won’t spend a single minute being bored.

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