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Helsinki
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Welcome to Helsinki

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Helsinki, perched on the Baltic Sea was founded in 1550 and is the capital of Finland. The city is known as the “Daughter of the Baltic” and has been the country’s capital since 1812, when it was rebuilt by the tsars of Russia to resemble a miniature St. Petersburg, which itself was modelled after Venice and Amsterdam. Helsinki is somewhat unique in that it retains a quaint small town feel, while being an international metropolis - ripe with outdoor cafes and bars in the summer, and home to a plethora of world class museums and attractions. Helsinki has its own airport just 10 miles from the city centre in Vantaa and it’s a short drive between the two. You can use Car Rentals Network to compare the best deals for car hire in Helsinki.
 

Helsinki - The Facts

 

  • The population of central Helsinki is just over half a million while the wider region is home to some 1.3 million people

  • Helsinki has a bit of a bunny problem - you’ll see them in the parks and in the street

  • Helsinki is made up of more than 300 islands

  • Helsinki doesn’t receive sunshine for over 50 consecutive days in winter and is one of the coldest cities in the world

  • Hotels are the largest supplier babysitters and maids in the city, and you’ll find that every hotel has a list of English speaking maids, babysitters and butler for your assistance

  • Helsinki is the northernmost European capital

     

Helsinki - A short Guide

 

Helsinki is almost like a little slice of Russia in Europe, its often used by film crews as a substitute for St. Petersburg as it’s architecture is similar and based on that of St.Petersburg. Of course it’s not all like this, in the Mannerheimintie part of town, there are a series of contemporary buildings lending a modern twist to the city. One such building is the Kiasma museum, designed by American architect, Steven Holl. The building is metallic, curvaceous and elegant and is home to an eclectic collection of Finish and International modern art spanning sculpture, cross media and installation. There’s also a an experimental theatre and a glass-sided cafe and terrace which is hugely popular with the locals. The National Museum isn’t too far away, built in the National Romantic style, the building dates back to 1916 and it has the appearance of a Gothic Church, with its tower and stonework. The museum is divided into different rooms covering all periods of Finnish history, with church relics, archaeological finds and changing cultural exhibitions. Amongst the works of art and exhibitions, there are some superb frescoes on the ceiling arches depicting scenes from the Kalevala. To continue your cultural journey through Helsinki, you could head to the Museums and Galleries of Helsingin Kaupunginmuseo which is a group of small museums scattered around the city centre.

 

If you’re visiting in the summer, then you’ll no doubt want to take advantage of the weather and you can do so by heading the beautiful Sibelius Park, where amongst the serenity of the park’s wildlife you’ll find a steel monument to the Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. Sibelius wrote music that glorified the Finnish people and stood in defiance of Russia. Finlandia was his most famous composition and came to represent Finnish patriotism and pride. The sculpture was designed by Elia Hiltunen in 1967 and consists of more than 600 hollow pipes, all welded together in a pattern that resembles a sound wave. If you’re a fan of the water, then you could head to the many waterways and the islands that are in Helsinki. You can even take a boat to Estonia’s capital Tallinn, Stockholm, and limited services to Travemünde & Rostock, Germany and Gdynia in Poland, or you can take a site seeing cruise that will take you through the sites of the city from the perspective of the water, including the Soumenlinna Maritime Fortress, Helsinki Zoo on Korkeasaari Island, the fleet of 9 ice breakers that keep the ports open through winter, Degerö canal and the beautiful shorelines of the Gulf of Finland. If you want the full tourist experience, then you can combine your trip on the river with a hop on and hop off bus tour of the city centre. If your bored of both ground and water, then you could hop on a helicopter ride to Tallinn, which is actually the fastest Capital to Capital city transfer, taking just 18 minutes city to city. The nightlife in Helsinki is typical of northern European countries and includes boisterous all night parties in clubs and bars as well as annual festivals such as the Vappu pagan carnival which starts on the evening of the 30th of April.

 

Getting to Helsinki is nice and easy, you can fly into Helsinki Vantaa International Airport, or if you’re flying with a budget airline, you can fly to Tampere or Tallinn in Estonia, where you can easily take a boat across the Gulf of Finland to Helsinki. If you decide to book your car in Tallinn, then you can take the car ferry to Helsinki, but will have to arrange a different drop off point. If you decide to rent a car in Helsinki, then you can arrange the pick up in and around the city centre or at the airport. You can compare literally hundreds of car hire deals for Helsinki right here on Car Rentals Network, and to ensure that you get the best deals, booking in advance is advised. You’ll find that driving in Helsinki is generally quite easy, and it’s not too difficult to find available parking spots, but like most capital cities, is quite busy in the centre, and if it’s winter, then you’re required by law to use winter tyres.


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