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  • Finland's thriving waterfront capital, Helsinki,

  • is situated at the northeastern edge of the Baltic Sea.

  • Nestled snugly between Sweden and Russia,

  • the city overlooks more than 300 islands in the waters of the archipelago.

  • Known as The White City of the North for its traditional use of light granite,

  • the city is a seamless blend of traditional and modern design.

  • There is no better way to start delving into the culture of this city,

  • than by starting at a landmark which epitomizes the style and sophistication of Finnish design.

  • Kamppi Chapel, or The Chapel of Silence,

  • is a multi-faith sanctuary in one of the busiest parts of town.

  • Settle into one of the ash-wood pews and meditate before you explore the rest of this delightful city.

  • In Helsinki, creative minds and innovators are revered.

  • Their statues, monuments and sculptures stand alongside architectural masterpieces, old and new.

  • Start voyaging through history by taking the ferry from Market Square

  • to the city's guardian, Suomenlinna Fortress.

  • These battlements were built upon six islands in the archipelago

  • and have protected the Gulf of Finland for almost 300 years.

  • The fortress and Helsinki itself endured a long and bloody tug of war

  • between neighbouring Sweden and Russia, until the nation won its independence in 1917.

  • Today, sunbathers have replaced the soldiers of old,

  • indulging in naps on the warm rocks while listening to the lapping waters of the Baltic Sea.

  • Back on the mainland, visit St. John's Church in the Ullanlinna district.

  • In the past, Helsinki's citizens would make bonfires here on midsummer's eve,

  • otherwise known as Saint John's day.

  • Helsinki has a passion for creative invention and isn't shy about showcasing it.

  • There is an abundance of museums and galleries across the city,

  • including the unmissable Helsinki Design Museum.

  • Explore the permanent exhibition devoted to the great moments

  • of Finnish design from 1870 to the present.

  • Knowledge is the DNA of creativity,

  • and Helsinki's unmatched education system has nurtured

  • some of the finest creative minds in the world.

  • The renowned University of Helsinki runs the Natural History Museum,

  • which is dedicated to the study and celebration of the greatest designer of all;

  • Mother Nature.

  • Continue your design journey to a sublime marriage 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 glass skylights

  • 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 dedicated to 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 the city's landscape

  • and is another fantastic display of Helsinki's phenomenal design stature.

  • Across the street from the towering pillars of the Parliament building,

  • and looking very much like a magnificent glass house is the Helsinki Music Centre.

  • This is the home of the Sibelius Music Academy,

  • which celebrates Finland's most beloved composer, Jean Sibelius.

  • During the long march for independence,

  • his epic orchestral works provided a rousing chorus 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 consider Sibelius' thoughtful frown.

  • Discover art of a more modern nature at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art,

  • a unique gallery, designed to illuminate the treasures 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 Emperor Alexander the second.

  • Climb the stairs to the foot of Helsinki Cathedral,

  • a breathtaking whitewashed structure which towers 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's ethereal light flood in.

  • In stark contrast to Helsinki Cathedral,

  • is its brooding younger brother, Uspenski Cathedral.

  • Built with dark bricks, the cathedral is powerfully conspicuous

  • as it rises from the surrounding white granite of the Katajanokka district.

  • Roam through the area's streets and along the shore,

  • and watch the church light up with a golden Helsinki sunset.

  • Celebrations of education and creativity mean Helsinki is a city,

  • designed for life.

  • Its long-held reputation as one of the world's happiest places

  • lures people from all over the world.

  • And now, it is calling to you.

Finland's thriving waterfront capital, Helsinki,

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Helsinki Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

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    Eric Wang posted on 2020/05/03
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