greetings from the world design capital 2012 helsinki -finland

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.

Majestic Orthodox cathedral

The majestic Orthodox Cathedral

University building

Some students get to study in fab-looking buildings

Detailed and pretty

The old part of the city is the prettiest, houses with high ceilings and pretty details

Peeking through the trees

Peeking through the trees…

Grand white cathedral

… is the grand white Lutheran cathedral on the square

Ice breakers resting over the summer

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

old sailing boats

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

cute dock

There are several options for travelling along the waterways, and cute little docks here and there

Island destinations

One of the islands to discover

Cafe Ursula

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

Funky geese

We watched this flock of 50+ geese cross the road a few times – every time using the crosswalk. Pretty funny!

bungee jumping

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

Flowers and sea everywhere…

cute boats

All sort of cute vessels in the sea

Island restaurants

There are several restaurants in little islands in front of the city centre

Traditional red wood houses

The city centre has also traditional little wooden houses – red of course

Ready to board...

Some of the cruise ship terminals are right in the city center – here’s Viking Line, which we took to Sweden

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