Boulders, birches and the Baltic sea

SkyWheel, Helsinki

I’ve always enjoyed being at Scandinavia. Maybe it is because of the special nature of this region, the large forests and many lakes, the rocks and the quietness of the countryside. Or it is because of the friendly people and special animals living there. Who knows? After several trips to Sweden I had still not yet seen Finland and thought that this is a gap worth to be closed. I just needed the right point in time to pack my bag.

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Café Regatta

Café Regatta, Helsinki

A simple coffee bar at the sea, close to the Sibeliuksen puisto of Helsinki. Located in a small shed which is 120 years old, with many seats outside. Offering coffee and other drinks, small dishes, vegan and gluten-free options. A quite place with a fireplace and no alcohol. Get here to relax at the shore, to fry sausages on open fire or to rent a canoe, a rowing boat or a SUP.

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Oodi, Helsinki

Is the central library Oodi at Helsinki a place you should really visit? Of course! Because it is like a blueprint how libraries should be everywhere in the world. The new building was opened in 2018 and the fantastic architecture acts as a bridge between the analog and the digital world. Oodi combines the classic library offering printed books with a digital library, with 3D printers, a cinema, with a recording studio, with video games… It creates so many good reasons to visit the library.

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Kansallismuseo, Helsinki

Time to learn more about Finnish history? The Finnish national museum (or Suomen kansallismuseo) of Helsinki is a great place to do so. It is not a boring history museum; it is immersive, playful, simply great. The exhibition shows all about Finnish history, from stone age to the 21st century and is presented in an amazing historical building from 1910.

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Kiasma, Helsinki

The Kiasma at Helsinki is a museum for contemporary art. The name refers to the optic chiasma, the point where optic nerves cross in the brain. The architecture is fantastic and the museum conception is a bit crazy and therefore the museum is absolutely fun to visit. It was built in the 1990s after a lot of controversies and after the plans of U.S. architect Steven Holl. He was the first foreigner to design a building in Helsinki after the time of German architect Carl Ludwig Engels.

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King's gate, Suomenlinna, Helsinki

One of the most important places to visit is the former fortress island Suomenlinna located in front of Helsinki. What was once the Fortress of the Finns is now a city quarter of the capital city with 800 permanent residents and one million visitors every year. Here you can explore very well-preserved ancient fortifications spread over five islands. You can easily access Suomenlinna by ferry boat from the Helsinki harbor.

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Flying Dutch

Flying Dutch, Helsinki

I’m an absolute fan of the concept to put bars on boats: sunshine and fresh air combined with good views and drinks. What does one want more for a break during a city trip? If you agree, take a look at the Flying Dutch anchoring between the city center of Helsinki and the hipster quarter Kallio; on the Kaisaniemenlahti lake, next to the Pitkäsilta bridge.

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Designmuseo, Helsinki

You like Scandinavian design but have not yet introduced yourself to specific Finnish design? Then have a look at the designmuseo in the design quarter of Helsinki. It was founded already in 1873 and exhibits all kinds of design, including graphic design, industrial design an fashion. And it is absolute fun to spend some time there!

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Amos Rex, Helsinki

The Amos Rex Art Museum is a fantastic exhibition place for art at Helsinki. It has a special location: very close to the city center, but underground. If you want to visit it you need to go to the Lasipalatsi, a functionalist building close to the main railway station. It combines coffee bars, shops, restaurants and a cinema (the Bio Rex). And underneath the Lasipalatsi (glass palace) you can find museum – fortunately the entrance at the building is clearly visible.

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Seurasaari museum, Helsinki

The island Seurasaari in the north-west of Helsinki gives you the option to travel in time. An open-air museum exhibits 87 buildings from the Finnish countryside that have been built between the 17th and the 20th century and later transported to the island. This includes farm buildings, a church and even a mill. The staff is dressed-up in historic clothes and able to tell you more about the function of the buildings and rural life in the past.

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