Helsinki, Finnland

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Helsinki Finnland
Helsinki is situated on a little peninsula on the southern tip of Finland. Approach Helsinki from the sea and you’ll see neoclassical buildings of elegant lines and pastel colours, and a marketplace overflowing with strawberries and salmon. The city has grown with attention to harmony. In summer many residents abandon urban tranquillity for their country cottages, but in winter the capital comes alive with theatre, political institutes and over 20,000 university students. Architecture buffs will love Helsinki. The handsome neoclassical buildings surrounding Senate Square were designed almost singlehandedly by German architect Carl Ludwig Engel in the early 19th century, just after Helsinki replaced Turku as Finland’s capital. The crowning piece is the Lutheran Cathedral, which has recently been refurbished and looks better than ever, with the 12 apostles on the roof once again looking down at the world below. Elsewhere in the city, the bold, simple creations of the city’s great 20th century architects, notably Aalto and Saarinen, blend with the clean neoclassical lines. The stunning Jean Sibelius Monument, dedicated to Finland’s most famous composer, consists of hundreds of steel pipes sculpted by Elia Hiltunen. The monument is in Sibelius Park. The Kansallimuseo, National Museum, has wonderful displays of Finnish culture. The exhibits of the City Museum illustrates the history of the city. The islands surrounding Helsinki make excellent daytrips. The sandy beaches and smooth rocks of Pihlajasaari make it a popular summer spot for tanning Finns. Every summer there are many free outdoor concerts in one of the city’s numerous parks. Afternoons, all kinds of music resound on the leafy Esplanadi. Helsinki is a small city if you compare it to those gigantic cities around the world but the spirit is still quite cosmopolitan. Helsinki is a beautiful city, especially in the summer. The streets are clean and you can always find a peaceful spot, in case you need one. Some say that Helsinki is "the biggest village in the world" and it is a great place for tourism, history, museums, galleries, theatre, music, shopping, restaurants, clubs, etc. all environmentally friendly, free of pollution and traffic congestion.
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Helsinki Vantaa (HEL)