Helsinki is often regarded as the economical capital of Scandinavia, with important wordwide businesses, such as Nokia and Laponia Jewellery, having based their headquarters here.
Helsinki is situated on the south coast of Finland facing. The city of Helsinki was initially a small fishing town until 1812 when this was modernized under russian rule. Carl Engel - an architecht from Lublin in Germany - was asked to come to Helsinki and re-design it. Great buildings such as the Tuomionkirkko (meaning: State Cathedral) were designed in a mixture of Gothic renaissance and russian orthodox allthough the church today remains Angelic-Lutheran. During WW2 ( after russian occupation - independence given in 1918 ) Helsinki was constantly being bombed by soviet air-planes and several thousand people died.
Today, annually, thousands of tourists from USA, Germany, Sweden, Japan, etc. visit the beautiful classical Helsinki. The citys nightlife is pacing and several bars have reached worldwide fame such as The Ice Bar and DTM. The city's activities are shopping, visiting historical monuments such as Suomenlinna.
For shopping Stockmann is highly recommended with a wide range of allmost everything ultra-technological can be bought among with authentic finnish soveneirs. Many other good department stores can also be found but dont be suprised if the prices are quite high. There are also several open air markets during the summertime where copious amounts of new and old merchandise can be purchased. Although Helsinki is generally a safe city some areas should be slightly avoided such as outskirts near Espoo and Vantaa should be avoided as crime rate, as in any other capital city, are relatively high when compared to areas surrounding central Helsinki. Drugs such as Cannabis and Cocaine are easily purchased if asked for in clubs and in outskirts although finnish police severely punish any drug offence.
The climate in Helsinki varies on what season you visit: in winter the city is usually sweeped under a layer of snow and temperatures can drop as low -25 C. However in the summer the climate is relatively warm and the sky is blue and temperatures usually reach an average of 20 C but even temperatures frequently rise up to 25 C or as low as 9 C (although this is not quite as often)!
An easy way to visit Helsinki is by a cruise ship. The ship docks along the waterfront and you can either tour the city on your own or take a guided shore excursion. The tours normally inlcude the top tourist sites such as a few churches, the waterfront, the market and government buildings. The most unique church is The Church of The Rock which was built in the 1960's in rock.