Helsinki's stunning architecture, tree-lined streets, colorful market square and harbor ensure its place among Europe's most vibrant and welcoming cities. Founded in 1550 and the capital of Finland since 1812, Helsinki is located on a peninsula at the southern tip of the country, almost equidistant from Stockholm, Sweden and St. Petersburg, Russia.
This genteel and cosmopolitan city effortlessly blends past and present, nature and metropolis, East and West. It is a stylish, clean and sophisticated city, whose history, traditions and people invite your discovery.
There are 70 museums and galleries in Helsinki, offering a range of local and international arts, lifestyle and historical exhibits. Visit the Helsinki City Museum, the Ateneum (Helsinki's most famous art museum), and the new Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma. To experience the rich history and the unique styles of Finnish architecture, don't miss the National Museum of Finland and the Museum of Finnish Architecture.
The Lasipalatsi (Glass Palace) Film and Media Center is home to the Finnish information society with exhibition galleries, television studios, free Internet connections, as well as trendy cafés. The Tennispalatsi (Tennis Palace) was originally built in 1952 for the Helsinki Olympics and is now a cultural and leisure center. There you can find the Helsinki City Art Museum, the Museum of Cultures and a complex of 14 cinemas. The Winter Garden of the City, displaying its exquisite, fragrant flowers and its beautifully adorned greenhouse, is also an aesthetic treat.
Helsinki's cultural heritage also beckons travelers to Finlandia Hall and the Helsinki Philharmonics, and to the spectacular Opera House, dubbed "the classiest new aria house in the west," also home to the National Ballet.
Dining and dancing is a favorite form of entertainment here, and many restaurants are open late for those who want to dance until dawn. This is a popular option because, after all, how can your night end if the sun is still shining? Wanhan Tanssikellari is a hot night spot with ballroom dancing for all types of dancers, and it's a great place to Tango--a Finnish passion! Nightlife pulses throughout Helsinki, at the hottest and trendiest clubs in town: the Helsinki Club, The Club, Teatteri Night Club, the Arctic Icebar in the UNIQ nightclub and hot jazz at Storyville.