Finland – On the Hunt for the Northern Lights
Aurora Borealis, Midnight Sun, Finnish sauna, Clean lakes, Wild nature, Ski resorts & routes, Finnish design and Real Santa Claus…
- One of the most remarkable features of Finland is light. When the endless sunshine of summer gives way to dark winter, the Northern Lights appear like magic and lighten up the sky.
- The white summer nights are perhaps Finland’s most iconic natural phenomena. The nighttime sun is at its strongest during the months of June and July but the further north you go, the longer and higher the sun stays above the horizon.
- Sauna forms a great part of our country’s heritage and culture. Did you know the word “sauna” is Finnish?
- Finland is often called the Land of a Thousand Lakes.
- Finland is a country of vast green forests, beautiful Baltic Sea islands, windswept arctic fells and thousands of blue lakes.
- There are around 75 ski resorts in Finland, most of them small spots near cities and villages – most famous ones in Lapland.
- Finland is a true design nation. Some of the world’s most imitated and admired designers and architects come from Finland.
- Everyone knows that Santa – the one and only – comes from Finland.
Finland’s big year IN 2017
Finland became an independent state on 6 December 1917. Now the Finns are leading their country into a new century with courage and determination.
In a global perspective, Finland was the initiator of women's right to vote in democratic elections (in 1905), as well as the legal rights for the freedom of press (Anders Chydenius 1766). The Scandinavian traditional and unwritten everyman's rights to freely explore in Nature have prevailed through centuries. Finland is the first country in the world where Nature is having the official flagging day on the 28th of August 2017, on the basis of governmental order.
The centenary of Finland’s independence in 2017 will be the most significant commemorative year for this generation of Finns. The centenary emphasizes Finland’s strengths, such as equality and democracy by offering Finns and friends of Finland diverse and international centenary program in Finland and abroad. The centenary year provides opportunities to better understand the past, experience the jubilee together and set the course for Finland’s future success.
Come and join the celebration!
Helsinki - The White City of the North
Cool is the word to describe this fascinating city!
Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a modern city with over half a million residents and is situated on the Baltic Sea. Helsinki is the World Design Capital and celebrated its 200th anniversary as the capital of Finland. In 2014 Helsinki was awarded City of Design status as part of the Creative Cities Network established by UNESCO. Helsinki, is a vibrant seaside city of beautiful islands and great green parks. The city’s rhythm is laid back yet at the same time refreshingly active in terms of both the number and quality of restaurants and nightclubs.
Design, architecture, culture and shopping are all great exploration angles and large park areas, forests, lakes, and the coastline with numerous islands sprinkled off it make certain there’s no shortage of natural presence. Needless to say, there’s something going on in Helsinki every day of the year.
Called the "Daughter of the Baltic", Helsinki is located on the tip of a peninsula and on 315 islands. The inner city area occupies a southern peninsula, which is rarely referred to by its actual name Vironniemi. Population density in certain parts of Helsinki's inner city area is very high, reaching 16,494 inhabitants per square kilometre (42,720/sq mi) in the district of Kallio, but as a whole Helsinki's population density of 3,050 per square kilometre (7,900/sq mi) ranks the city as quite sparsely populated in comparison to other European capital cities. Much of Helsinki outside the inner city area consists of postwar suburbs separated from each other by patches of forest. A narrow, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) long Helsinki Central Park, stretching from the inner city to the northern border of Helsinki, is an important recreational area for residents. The City of Helsinki has about 11,000 boat berths and possesses over 14 000 hectares of marine fishing waters adjacent to the Capital Region. Some 60 fish species are found in this area. Recreational fishing is a popular hobby among kids and adults alike.
Major islands in Helsinki include Seurasaari, Vallisaari, Lauttasaari, and Korkeasaari – the lattermost being the site of the country's biggest zoo. Other noteworthy islands are the fortress island of Suomenlinna (Sveaborg), the military island of Santahamina, and Isosaari. Pihlajasaari island is a favorite summer spot for gay men and naturists, comparable to Fire Island off New York City.
The Helsinki Metropolitan Area contains a total population of approximately 1.4 million, about a fourth of the total population of Finland. Population density in certain parts of Helsinki's inner city area is very high. Finland is a relatively ethnically homogeneous country. The dominant ethnicity is the Finnish people but there are other minorities of people.
Broadly speaking, it can be divided into three chapters: Swedish period prior to 1809, the Russian period from 1809 to 1917, and the independent period from 1917 to the present day.
The town of Helsinki was founded by King Gustavus Vasa of Sweden as a new trading post in southern Finland and a competitor to Tallinn in Estonia, the Hanseatic city on the opposite shore of the Gulf of Finland. Helsinki was proclaimed the Finnish capital in 1812 and Finland's only university. Finland declared its independence in 1917. This was immediately followed by civil war. The independent republic developed briskly during the 1920s. In the post-war years agrarian Finland was rapidly transformed in only a few decades into a modern industrial land. Finland became a member of the European Union in 1995, once again marking the start of a new era for the capital.
ARTS & CULTURE AND MAIN ATTRACTIONS
Helsinki is a city of culture all year round – whether attending urban festivals or the opera of the evening. The City of Helsinki holds exhibitions at cultural centers, Helsinki Art Museum and Helsinki City Museum or Virka Gallery at City Hall. The city is an oasis for city festivals with over 50 annual and several examples.
Finnish Design - “Falling in Love with Finnish Design”
Finnish design is more than just a pretty object. It is a way of living. Design here is woven seamlessly into everyday life and surrounds you wherever you go. Good design is timeless. When you find something that works you keep it. Nothing is too old.
As the famous Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto once said:
– Nothing is ever reborn but neither does it totally disappear. And that which has once been born, will always reappear in a new form.
There are many interesting sights and destinations just outside Helsinki that are perfect for day-trips.
Pearls of Art Nouveau; Helsinki's picturesque Jugend areas such as Katajanokka, Ullanlinna and Eira. Forest and nature were objects of nostalgia during the Art Noveau period.
Old Wooden Town of Porvoo; a town plan from the Middle Ages, the low small houses, picturesque yards and narrow streets form a historically unique wooden town milieu.
Porvoo Old Town Cruise; the cruise departs from the Market Place in Helsinki continuing through one of the most beautiful archipelagos in the world.
The archipelago of Helsinki consists of around 330 islands, providing beautiful set-ups for days at the beach or weekend camping trips. Many of the islands, such as Suomenlinna and Pihlajasaari, can be reached by a regular ferry from early morning until late at night.