It is said that the first people of Finland, the Sami or Lapp people, inhabited the territory since 9000 BC, just after the Ice Age. Helsinki, the capital was established in 1819, however historians believe the name first appeared around the 1600's. I remained in Helsinki for only one evening, but spent the night wandering the pastel buildings, evoking a strange but wonderful greco-colonial style (at least how I define it). The soft colors celebrate the quiet innovation of a country like Finland. The food is light, airy and complex madness, but before you lose your senses, indulge in a sauna to really feel like a Fin and start circulating properly.
DO. SOME LIKE IT HOT
Löyly Helsinki, Hernesaarenranta 4, 00150 Helsinki, Finland (largest public sauna in Helsinki)
Sauna Hermanni, Hämeentie 63, 00550 Helsinki, Finland (like a 1950's ski lodge, this sauna is authentic and its own time capsule)
Kamppi Chapel, Simonkatu 7, 00100 Helsinki, Finland (in the woodpaneled, contemporary style church, have a moment of silence)
Helsinki Cathedral, Unioninkatu 29, 00170 Helsinki, Finland (neo-classical architecture and a fixture on the map of Helsinki, visit or do running exercises up the Rocky-esque staircase)
JT-Line Water Ferry, Helsinki is a surrounding by an incredible archipelago which makes up a lot of Finland take the Ferry to close islands such as: Vallisaari, Lonna, Soumenlinna or really take a dive into the Åland Islands here.
SHOP. LAPLAND STYLE
Artisaani, Unioninkatu 28, 00100 Helsinki, Finland (shop for Finnish crafts, get your Laap hats, Puuko knives and wooden Kuksa cups, supports local artisaans)
Okra Oy, Aleksanterinkatu 26, 00170 Helsinki, Finland (co-owned by ten local Finnish artists features local and eclectic designs)
Marimekko, Aleksanterinkatu 50, 00100 Helsinki, Finland (you know the designs, you either love or hate them well its Finnish so honor it in its natural state, if you want)
Liopro Finland, Pohjoinen Makasiinikatu 7 | Helsinki's central market square, Helsinki 00130, Finland (handmade souvenirs near central Market)
Pien, Ateneuminkuja, 00100 Helsinki, Finland (gourmet craft food store of organic products made in Finland)
Kauppatori, Kauppatori, Helsinki 00170, Finland (local food and flea market)
Hakaniemi Market, Hameentie 1A, Helsinki 00530, Finland (fresh food market)
Academic Bookstore (Akateeminen Kirjakauppa), Pohjoisesplanadi 39, Helsinki 00100, Finland (famous bookstore, a feast for the eyes)