A grey summer day did not stop us from touring the World Design Capital 2012, Helsinki. But it would definitely have been easier if it were warmer and sunnier (we so wanted to tour the island and visit Suomenlinna Castle ruins, but you don’t want to be stuck out there if heavy rain and thunderstorms strike…).
Cute little design shops emerging everywhere, some touristy ones too (Finland has never been too big for touristy thingies but it’s good to give the choice of reindeer skins and little mementos). Cafes inside and outside serving great coffee (Finland is the coffee drinking capital of the world also) and fresh buns (do try korvapuusti, a sort of cinnamon roll – especially at Cafe Esplanadi they are just enormous).
The city centre is relatively small, so one can easily walk around and there is a lot to see to. Here’s the mini-tour we did.
The majestic Orthodox Cathedral
Some students get to study in fab-looking buildings
The old part of the city is the prettiest, houses with high ceilings and pretty details
Peeking through the trees…
… is the grand white Lutheran cathedral on the square
Kids like: famous ice breakers (see Youtube videos…) taking a summer break
The Parliament, a bit of bore but he extension next door is of nice modern design
Impressive display of old wooden vessels next to cruise-ship port
No wonder lot of movies used Helsinki when they filmed scenes of Russia, this sort of looks like it with Russian architecture and all
There are several options for travelling along the waterways, and cute little docks here and there
One of the islands to discover
Cafe Ursula by the sea, one of our favourites, but note that it’s a bit on the pricey side
Buns and cakes at Cafe Ursula
We watched this flock of 50+ geese cross the road a few times – every time using the crosswalk. Pretty funny!
Every summer one can bungee jump from this high crane next to Kaivopuisto area – kids loved looking at them jumpers (and non-jumpers who got the jitters and had to be brought down…)
Flowers and sea everywhere…
All sort of cute vessels in the sea
There are several restaurants in little islands in front of the city centre
The city centre has also traditional little wooden houses – red of course
Some of the cruise ship terminals are right in the city center – here’s Viking Line, which we took to Sweden