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A city break to Helsinki will find you soaking up the vivacity of a dynamic capital, yet savouring the relaxed quirkiness of a Scandinavian seaport. You won’t have to stray far from your luxury hotel to encounter the sights and smells of the ocean, endless bays, inlets and islands.

Effortlessly chic, this is a city defined by its maritime heart.

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Things to do


The harbour is the hub of Helsinki, where vast ferries glide in and out. Although not strictly an ancient city, you’ll find plenty of beautiful Art Nouveau buildings and atmospheric old restaurants and cafes. Finland’s earlier chapters are revealed in numerous excellent museums too.


Helsinki provides a unique shopping experience with plenty of Finnish design flair and authentic flavours. Brilliant, functional design abounds: look no further than the Finnish Design Forum for proof. Browse bold floral Marimekko fabrics and classic Arabia Porcelain, and at the famous Kauppatori market, fishmongers still sell directly from boats moored at the quay.


Whether in your boutique hotel or out in the city, you will find that Finnish cuisine is based around the freshest seasonal ingredients. Helsinki’s specialities include salmon, strawberries, blueberries and cloudberries in mid-summer, or elk, reindeer and goose in autumn.

If you love the idea of fresh wild food, Helsinki in May is heavenly.

Top tip from SLH

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