Helsinki (Swedish: Helsingfors) is the capital of Finland.
It is located in the southern part of Finland on the shore of the Gulf of Finland.
Helsinki has a total population of almost a million.
Helsinki is located at 60°10'24" North, 24°56'55" East (60.173333, 24.948667)1.
The city has a total area of 686 km² (264.8 mi²). 186 km² (71.8 mi²) of it is land and 500 km² (193 mi²) of the area is covered with water.
The Swedish king Gustav Vasa had a great interest to build up at the rapids of the river Vantaa a community that would transfer all trade, both export and import, to one place in Finland.
In 1550 he ordained that a new town, Helsingfors, should be founded.
Helsinki only became the capital of Finland in 1812 after Finland had been captured from Sweden by Russia.
In the middle of the city is an enormous Cathedral, which was finished in 1852.
Sights and travel
Helsinki spreads around a number of bays and over a number of islands.
The city is small and intimate; lively but not bustling.
Its size makes it easy to walk around and cafés, markets, and the nearby islands are its summer delights.
Suomenlinna is a huge fortress built on one small group of these islands in the mid-eighteenth century.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular tourist attraction.
Another popular sight is the Helsinki zoo located on an island named Korkeasaari.
Air travel to Helsinki is via the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.
Helsinki also has popular ferry links with Stockholm, Sweden and Tallinn, Estonia.
Silja, Viking and Tallink are the biggest ferry operators.
Population: 559 718 (2001/2002)
Average temperature: (2001): +5,9°C.
Warmest month: July, average temperature: +20,2°C.
Coldest month: February, average temperature: -6,8°C.
For a more information about Helsinki see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helsinki) November 2005
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
Sarolta and I visited Finland during our trip around Europe on our Eurail Pass.
We arrived by Ferry from Stockholm.
After a couple of days sightseeing in Helsinki we took a train to the top of Finland in the Arctic Circle, where we crossed over, through Sweden to Norway.
A terrific experience. very enjoyable.
Hui Chin and I arrived to Helsinki in good style and well refreshed on the Silja Line ferry from Stockholm.
The ferry was much like a luxury cruiser with many shops, entertainment and facilities onboard, like saunas, swimming pools, bars, duty free shops, etc.
Our cabin was comfortable with shower and toilet inside and the 10 hour journey was uninterrupted and enjoyable, since neither of us have been on a ferry or cruiser of this class before. Mind you they charged for it, as it was only partly subsidised by our Eurail Pass, if at all, considering how much we had to pay for it.
A great experience though.
As for Helsinki, well Helsinki checked out alright too.
We came back with many memories and souvenirs.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
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