Helsinki, based in 1550, is Finland’s largest metropolis and the capital, with over a million of the nation’s 5.5 million folks dwelling right here.

To mark the event appropriately, Helsinki has a full year of events for the centenary.

Listed below are 10 suggestions to assist really feel extra like an area in Finland this yr.

Pack appropriately

It is much less a matter of consolation than survival.

In July, Helsinki temperatures common a nice 17 C (62 F). In February, it is – 6 C (22 F).

Planning on heading north? Then the appropriate garments are essential.

For these delivering Christmas letters to Santa in particular person, Lapland temperatures can plummet to – 50 C (- 58 F).

Arriving in Finland unprepared? Hunt down considered one of Helsinki’s 10 UFF secondhand shops, which assist assist tasks in Africa and India — decidedly pricier choices are additionally obtainable, like Marimekko.

Hunt down a sauna

Hot in Helsinki: Saunas.Hot in Helsinki: Saunas.

Finns love saunas.

The nation claims to have about three.5 million of them — roughly one for each 1.6 folks.

They arrive in numerous types, together with smoke saunas, electrical saunas and cell saunas.

Celebrated Helsinki choices embody Kotiharjun Sauna, which was in-built 1928, and Löyly, which is positioned on the waterfront and provides a extra trendy really feel. (For tips on handling a sauna Helsinki-style, click here.)

Kotiharjun Sauna, Harjutorinkatu 1, Helsinki 00500 Finland; +358 (9) 753 1535

Löyly, Hernesaarenranta four, Helsinki 00150 Finland; +358 (9) 6128 6550

To outsiders, Finnish conversations will be cryptic

Finns don’t wish to interrupt: a typical chat contains healthy stretches of silence, guaranteeing nobody’s minimize off prematurely.

On the similar time, the Finnish language lacks the phrases for “please” or “excuse me.”

The result’s that what could seem to outsiders a clumsy, borderline impolite trade is solely on a regular basis conversing for Finnish people.

A easy method to get extra up-to-speed culturally is to move to Helsinki’s great Academic Bookstore, with its excellent choice of books in quite a lot of languages.

Academic Bookstore, Keskuskatu 1 / Pohjoisesplanadi 39, Helsinki

MORE: Defrosted Finland: How a land of ‘sorrow’ got happy

Plunk down on the pub

Winter temperatures make Helsinki a spot the place an evening out can simply flip into hypothermia, so bars are typically conducive to hanging out — witness the stacks of board video games typically discovered proper subsequent to the napkins.

So it is really useful to go for a lonkero (or lengthy drink, normally consisting of gin and grapefruit soda) and a night soaking within the ambiance, ideally having conversations with the locals that really feel brusque and stilted, which is an indication they are going swimmingly.

There’s a lot to be mentioned for simply choosing the primary choice that appears inviting, however Teerenpeli provides beer from its personal brewery and for an ideal cocktail, there’s Liberty or Death.

Teerenpeli, Olavinkatu 2, 00100 Helsinki; +358 424 925 260

Liberty or Death, Erottajankatu 5, 00130 Helsinki; +358 50 5424870

Devour native delicacies

Just avoid thinking of Rudolph while you eat.Just avoid thinking of Rudolph while you eat.

Three standouts which should not be missed in Finland embody salmon stew, lingonberry pie and reindeer.

Lappi Restaurant is a nice place to attempt reindeer in numerous types, from grilled fillets to carpaccio. (Solely do that after sending Santa’s letter.)

An alternative choice is Savoy, which has been celebrated for many years each for its meals and its design (see beneath) .

Lappi Restaurant, Annankatu 22, 00100 Helsinki; +358 9 645550

Savoy, Eteläesplanadi 14, 00130 Helsinki +358 9 6128 5300

Take in the structure, notably by Alvar Aalto

Probably as a result of it has a powerful affect from each Sweden and Russia, Finnish structure usually has a particular look.

The Land of a Thousand Lakes was dominated for hundreds of years by Sweden, earlier than being managed by Russia.

These days, the nation’s most revered architect and designer is Alvar Aalto, whose “human modernism” has introduced him international recognition.

Tours are available for some of his most famous works in Helsinki, comparable to Finlandia Hall or the interiors he designed for the aforementioned Savoy.

Need to convey some Aalto dwelling? His furnishings will be bought at Artek.

READ: How to save money and avoid crowds while traveling

Finlandia Hall, Mannerheimintie 13e, 00100 Helsinki

Artek, Keskuskatu 1B, 00100 Helsinki; +358 (zero)10 617 3480

See the Sibelius Monument

After experiencing the nation’s most famous architect, why not salute Finland’s most celebrated composer too?

Positioned in Sibelius Park, this welded metal sculpture by Eila Hiltunen resembles a large organ with greater than 600 organ pipes.

It additionally features a bust of Jean Sibelius himself, whose compositions embody the beautiful-yet-spooky “Finlandia.”

Soak up artwork on the Ateneum

In addition to the interesting contemporary art works inside, Kiasma's exterior is also a beauty. In addition to the interesting contemporary art works inside, Kiasma's exterior is also a beauty.

The Ateneum is the place crucial artists of Finland will be found, together with Hugo Simberg.

Not recognized for being upbeat, Simberg’s masterpieces embody “The Wounded Angel” and “The Backyard of Loss of life.”

For these demanding one thing a bit extra modern, try the gathering at Kiasma.

Ateneum, Kaivokatu 2, FI-00100 Helsinki; +358 (zero)294 500 401

Kiasma, Mannerheiminaukio 2, FIN-00100 Helsinki; +358 (zero)294 500 501


Particularly, tango.

The staple of Buenos Aires by some means related deeply with the Finns.

Helsinki has the Tango Frostbite Festival however head just a few hours north in Finland to expertise tango’s nationwide zenith, the Tangomarkkinat festival every July in Seinäjoki.

Rock out

Apocalyptica: Cello interpretations of Metallica hits. Apocalyptica: Cello interpretations of Metallica hits.

Former president Barack Obama has saluted the Finnish heavy metal scene and Finland does certainly boast the “most metal bands per inhabitant.”

Notable teams embody Apocalyptica (who got here to prominence through all-cello covers of Metallica — sure, they’ve actually performed with James Hetfield) and HIM (brief for His Infernal Majesty — having managed three high 20 albums within the US, they’ve simply introduced their final tour).

You’ll be able to probably hear the subsequent band to cross the Atlantic at Helsinki’s Tuska Open Air Metal Festival, which runs from June 30 to July 2.

Going down on the outdated energy plant web site at Suvilahti, it payments itself because the “greatest metallic music pageant within the Nordic international locations.”

Different Helsinki venues embody Nosturi, with a capability of 900 and a knack for internet hosting artists with quite a lot of musical types from all around the planet.

READ: 11 best places to see the Northern Lights

Hit the ice

Finland’s had an outsized affect on the hockey world, profitable a medal at six of the final eight Olympics. (Infuriatingly, they’ve but to gather a gold whereas the Swedes have two.)

Native Helsinki stars embody Jari Kurri, who grew to become an NHL Corridor of Famer whereas profitable 5 Stanley Cups with Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier, and “The Finnish Flash” Teemu Ilmari Selänne, thought of a lock to hitch Kurri within the Corridor this yr.

Both soak up a hockey recreation, or head to considered one of Helsinki’s seven synthetic skating rinks, such because the Icepark within the coronary heart of Helsinki, to not point out pure rinks as effectively.

Icepark, Rautatientori, 00100 Helsinki

If these 10 suggestions have not piqued sufficient curiosity, this is a listing of different Helsinki events in the course of the centenary celebration.