Have to admit I didn’t really appreciate Finland that much until I came back from England. I spent 9 months in Winchester and London in 2013 and that time made me realize that things are so well here in Finland and how beautiful and great place it is to live in. Sometimes you need some distance to appreciate what you got, don’t you think? 🙂 And this is true in all areas of life.
And because I really love Helsinki, I decided to list 10 reasons why it is such a great place to live in.
I love colorful old buildings and pretty doors. Helsinki combines elements of Neoclassicism, Art Nouveau, Alvar Aalto and contemporary architecture. Almost every Sunday I go for a walk and explore some of my favorite areas like Ullanlinna, Eira, Kruununhaka and Katajanokka.
2. Cafes and Restaurants
There is plenty of cute cafes and trendy restaurants to choose from. There is classic cafes with the best cinnamon buns and trendy places with smoothie bowls and avocado toasts. There is a new generation of chefs, a renewed appreciation for local ingredients and youthful tastemakers.
3. Compact Size + Good Public Transportation
Helsinki is very compact in size and you can basically walk everywhere in downtown – which I love. Though I have to admit that after moving here I take the public transport way more often then I did in Turku, cause it is just so convenient 😀 But if I am not in a hurry, I do prefer to walk.
Helsinki is a really safe and honest place. In the Reader’s Digest “Lost Wallet” Test 11 out of 12 wallets were returned. I never feel scared when walking the centre even if it’s late.
5. Four Seasons
I could never live in a place where it is summer all the time. I love all the seasons (yeah winter could be shorter, but…) and each of them has their own charm. I love those late spring evenings when the days are getting longer and you can almost smell summer. And when the leaves change the color in autumn. Magical 😉
One of the things I was really worried about when moving to Helsinki was the locals. I was afraid they would be real snobs (I think this is a common belief among people from the North) and rude and arrogant. But I was so wrong. People are open, friendly, creative – I’ve made such close friends at work. There’s all kinds of people living here and I believe anyone can find their own place and their own circles.
7. Design & Shopping
In Helsinki, desing is all around. In the restaurants, in the cafes and in the streets. Located in the centre of Helsinki, the Design District is an area full of design and antique shops, fashion stores, museums, art galleries, restaurants and showrooms. The district covers Punavuori, Kaartinkaupunki, Kamppi and Ullanlinna.
8. Urban Nature & Sea
Other thing that I was worried about was the nature – or the lack of it. I though I would have trouble finding nice places, paths and forests to run in. But again I was so wrong. The summer when I moved to Helsinki I lived in Sörnäinen for couple months and I would go for a run through Arabia to Vanhakaupunki and Viikki. And talk about Töölönlahti and Tokoinranta, and they are both right in the centre. And the sea and all the islands, like Suomenlinna, Lonna, Pihlajasaari and Seurasaari… nature is never far away 🙂
9. Good Connections
As much as I love living in Helsinki, I also love traveling abroad. And it is extremely easy to travel anywhere you want from here. Making a spontaneous weekend trip to Sweden, Estonia or Russia is so simple. There’s great and fast connections to basically everywhere in Europe and Asia.
10. Culture and Festivals
There is always something going on in Helsinki. Flow festival, Restaurant Day, Lux Helsinki, all the gigs and art exhibitions… over 3000 events are held each year in Helsinki. This kind of environment makes me feel creative and inspired 🙂