Finland’s first city is a relatively young capital: it’s only held the title since 1812 and with a population of just over 1 million is also one of Europe’s smallest capitals. Nevertheless, the Fins have filled Helsinki with art, music (heavy metal being a particular local favourite), food and culture. Helsinki is surprisingly multi-cultural with residents from as far afield as Senegal and Vietnam, and visitors will see evidence of former Russian influence in some of its architecture and monuments. Politics is a hot topic on many lips. Don’t be deceived however, for Fins in Helsinki also know how to relax and enjoy themselves – from the traditional sauna to the backstreet rock venues. Summer is short here and in Helsinki they fill it with festivals, concerts and outdoor events in one of the most beautiful locations in northern Europe.
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