48 Hours in Helsinki

In Destinations, Europe by LA Travel Magazine

Are you envious of all those adventurous stories of far flung destinations? Fed up of living vicariously through tropic filtered Instagram pictures? If so, Helsinki is a destination you won’t want to miss. No other city boasts an experience of a lifetime such as this intrepid travelers paradise!

Why Now:

This Award winning and invigorating city offers a multifaceted array of opportunities and possibilities, Helsinki is a modern pocket sized European country known for its design and high end technology. 2015 will see Helsinki accelerate into the sporting world as hosts to the 15th Olympic Gymnaestrada, which will present a stadium of 21,000 gymnasts from over more than 50 countries worldwide. This great archipelago gateway consists of roughly 330 islands, averaging 19 hours of daylight in the summer months.

Where to Stay:

Klaus K Hotel in Helsinki is a great choice to rest your head whether for business or personal exploration. This creative and modern hotels history, heritage and design are replicated in the cities DNA. Situated in the centre of Helsinki it provides the ideal location, you are idyllically within walking distance of all the city has to offer from interior design shops and fashion boutiques to galleries and museums. Klaus K has a beautiful boutique day spa, the comprehensive and tailor-made Spa treatments restore vitality to your skin while pampering your body and soul, sit back and enjoy a chilled glass of champagne and start your 48 hour holiday in style. 

Activities:

The Design District Helsinki hosts a variety of events throughout the year including

Design District Week, Design Markets, Late Night shopping and have even created local guides showcasing designed architectural tour walks in the city. The tour which was started in 2012 is still as popular today as it was then. Art and fashion enthusiasts enjoy the infamous shopping district of Helsinki which offers an array of shops, pop up vintage markets, galleries and museums. It would be a travesty not to mention the Moreau Kusunoki museum which proudly won the ‘ Guggenheim Architecture Competition ‘ a landmark of 20th-century modernism, Clad in locally sourced charred timber and glass, the environmentally sensitive building comprises nine low-lying volumes and one lighthouse-like tower, connected to the nearby Helsinki’s South Harbor.

The Social Scene:

Finns might seem a bit quiet and reserved at first, but meet them in a bar and you’ll discover a whole new dimension to the locals. Finns love to party and weekend nights in central Helsinki is where it’s most evident. From stylish hipster rock shows to classy cocktail lounges, there’s enough supply of nightlife in Helsinki to cater to all preferences. Housed within the walls of Hotel Klaus K, Ahjo is a combination of stylish chic and modern cool, the bar lounge area welcomes you with giant neon lights and a uniquely positioned bar. This is definitely the place to be seen. If a pub or bar is more your style for a night out then you must make a visit to Bar Moskova. Together with the adjacent Bar Corona, both owned by eccentric filmmaker brothers Kaurismäki it has an electrical atmosphere that cannot be replicated elsewhere, giving one no choice but to succumb to the feelings of starring in your own ultra cool Russian Spy film.

Dining:

The long daylight hours in Helsinki have inspired some Scandinavian restaurants to open doors later in the evening. These can be found at some of the most affluent areas. SPIS is an 18-seat homey-like Nordic restaurant serving artisan wines, Nordic brews and fresh food from local ingredients, cleverly displayed as art on a plate. The menu illustrates the Nordics love for everything organic and fresh, Chef Antero Aurivuo and Perttu Jokinen have based their culinary concept around a feast designed from sourcing locally grown vegetables. However, they aim to please all appetites and offer at least one fish and meat entrée.

Another critically acclaimed and internationally known foodie’s paradise is Gaijin. This restaurant ranks high among Helsinki’s best Asian eateries, At Gaijin, eating is all about socializing and most of the dishes have been designed to be shared. The chef offers two set menus and by choosing one for your entire table, you can sample such delicacies as foie and unagi (glazed eel, duck liver, apple flavored tapioca pearls) or you can jump on board the train of flavors and try something more traditional.

The main inspiration around Finland’s epic nation is its iconic scripture, ‘The Kalevala ‘. Published in 1835 by Elias Lönnrot, Lönnrots beliefs liberated the Finns who no longer wanted to exist in the shadows of its two powerful neighboring countries Sweden and Russia. The Finns are a proud colony and love nothing more than to welcome you with open arms enlightening you on their journey of self definition and cultural awakening. A visit to the award winning city of Helsinki will leave you wanting to go back for more!