The Monocle Travel Guide, Helsinki
Helsinki is a tale of two cities. Arrive mid-winter and you’ll find a frosty wonderland of snow-caked streets, with the residents holed up in cosy cafés. Come in summer, when the sun refuses to set, and you’ll catch locals partying into the early hours and leaping gleefully into the Baltic Sea. We’ve met the artists shaking up the cultural scene and leafed through this literary hub’s many libraries – did someone mention the Moomins? We’ve sized up the visionary structures of design icon Alvar Aalto and selected one or two saunas to kick back and relax in. Whatever the season, Helsinki’s streets, forests and islands are ripe for exploring. So pull on your snow boots – or your sandals – and join us for a tour of this confident and cultured city.