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Helsinki, Finland - Modern, Friendly, Fun!
by Roy Witman © 2008

It doesn't make international news. It's doesn't suffer from many of the problems other European cities do. It's typically a quiet town. You might assume that Helsinki, Finland was not a very interesting place to visit. You'd be wrong!

Helsinki actually has several claims to fame. An award-winning city, Helsinki ranks highly among tourists as offering the best winter experience, conference place and family resorts.

Award-Winning Winter Experience

When you think of winter, one of the first images your mind conjures is that of ice skating. You'll find a wonderful rink in city center at the Helsinki railway station. This outdoor rink is open from November to March and offers skate rentals as well as a café. It's loads of fun for the entire family.

Linnanmäki Winter is a season of events that lasts from October until February. To kick things off, the Children's Day Foundation hosts the Carnival of Lights. The entire Linnanmaki amusement park is lit with Christmas lights creating a winter wonderland. There are also exciting shows to watch and craft fairs offering all sorts of Finnish handicrafts. Kids and adults alike will also enjoy Ice Pearl Show, glacier race simulator, ribbon skating and other activities.

The St. Thomas Christmas Market takes place in November and December for those who seek to find unique gift items. But if your interests include more than winter adventures, you can visit Helsinki in the spring or summer.

Convention and Business Meeting Hub

Helsinki is also internationally recognized as being a central point for business meetings and conventions. With two primary convention centers, there's plenty of room for groups of all sizes.

Finlandia Hall is an elegant building with all the modern amenities business travelers would expect. This waterfront center has facilitated political, financial, business and cultural meetings since 1975. An interesting architectural piece, Finlandia Hall is as much a tourist attraction as it is a business center.

The Best of Helsinki website applauds the Marina Congress Center by saying, “Marina Congress Center is a [unique venue for conference and gala events] located right in the heart of Helsinki.” With its ocean view, the scenery can only be outdone by the exceptional cuisine prepared by its in-house restaurant.

However, if you're traveling for pleasure rather than business, you'll be glad to know Helsinki is also praised for being a family resort.

Family Fun

One thing you'll notice immediately is that Helsinki is a clean city! Its residents take great pride in the appearance of their town. That's always appreciated by families traveling with small children. Something else you'll appreciate is the delightful array of activities you'll find here.

Camp grounds, amusements parks, historic sites, children's theater and so much more make Helsinki an excellent place for family fun. Museums at the Cable Factory offers three museums in one building featuring permanent as well as revolving exhibits. And you won't want to miss Suomenlinna.

Suomenlinna is an inhabited sea fortress built on six islands and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Construction began in 1748 with the intent of defending against Russian expansions. Today, Suomenlinna is a popular tourist attraction especially on warm summer days.

If you've never visited the capital of Finland, make a point to find a cruise itinerary that offers stops in Helsinki. You'll find this modern, urban, seafront city offers a great deal for business and personal travelers to enjoy.

Read more about European Cruises.