Travel: Why you should pay Helsinki a visit...

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Helsinki’s 18th century sea fortress is built upon six islands – Kustaanmiekka, Susisaari, Iso-Mustasaari, Pikku-Mustasaari, Länsi-Mustasaari and Långören

In its heyday the fortress was used as a military base for the Finns (and even the Russians) but now this stunning UNESCO World Heritage site is more populated by the local residents and visiting tourists. Guided tours of the islands and on-site museum are available.

Kauppatori

Warm up with a hot coffee and a traditional Finnish ihapiirakka, at Kauppatori, also known as Market Square by the Baltic Sea waterfront. There’s often no better way to taste the sights and sounds of a city than by visiting its local market, and Kauppatori is no exception.

As a popular tourist attraction, the international market sells everything you’d expect from local delicacies to trinkets and souvenirs – just watch out for the seagulls.

Kiasma

The Finnish National Gallery has become a major landmark in its own right with its spectacular contemporary design by architect Steven Hall. The museum opened in 1998 and hosts five floors of exhibitions and events.

Kiasma currently has around 8,000 works and it’s estimated that there are around 100 new pieces added every year. It’s also a fantastic venue to introduce the kids to contemporary art in a fun and interactive way.

A view of the lodges from the lake

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