Young – by European standards at least – fashionable and beautiful, Helsinki has left its grim wintery reputation behind to become one of Europe’s most interesting city destinations.

While the same kind of Nordic cool prevails through Helsinki as neighbouring Stockholm and Oslo, the Finnish capital has an edgier, perhaps grittier feel. Especially in its alternative nightlife scene and in-vogue neighbourhoods like Kallio with their independent boutiques and cafés.

Helsinki has a reputation for trailblazing design and exploring the Design District is a must: it’s packed full of unique-to-Helsinki fashion stores, antique shops, restaurants, museums and art galleries. Of the city’s lauded Design Hotels, our Scandinavia specialists recommend the grand, neo-classical Hotel Kamp.

But probably the most striking aspect of Helsinki is the location. It sits on the Baltic Coast, surrounded by many impressive bays and peninsulas and some 315 islands. It’s ideal for outdoor pursuits like kayaking and hiking in the summer, or sailing trips to Estonia across the water. The city is dotted with lakes, which during the winter months are frozen over and perfect for ice-skating.

During the summer there’s 19 hours of sunshine a day and plenty of late night entertainment, while in winter a thick blanket of snow covers the city giving it a wintery fairy-tale feel.

Lightfoot Tip: A traditional Finnish sauna followed by a dip in the icy Baltic. Apparently it’s very good for you!

Lightfoot Travel’s specialists handcraft luxury vacations to Helsinki to suit your requirements. Enquire now and find out what we can do for you.

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