Helsinki is a charming mix of styles: Art Nouveau influences as well as quirky modern touches means it never takes itself too seriously, unlike some other Scandinavian cities.
The restaurant and café culture is elegant yet laid back, the shopping covers the full gamut of tastes from flea-markets and trendy boutiques to huge malls and there is culture galore.
This is a foot-friendly city, even in winter and it offers visitors plenty of things to see and do.
The picturesque harbour is a natural draw - in summer, market stalls dot the quayside and in, especially on sunny Sundays, the stretches of frozen sea between the city and Suomenlinna attract processions of walkers, ice fishermen, skiers, skaters and a lot of ducks!
A visit to the Senate Square to see the blue-domed Lutheran Cathedral is recommended at any time of year. There are plenty of green spaces too and for summer visitors, whiling away a few hours ‘ people-watching’ in a park is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon
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