Images via Pinterest
A bit of day dreaming before the trip.
A city of the sea, Helsinki was built along a series of odd-shape peninsulas and islands jutting into the Baltic coast along the Gulf of Finland. Streets curve around bays, bridges reach to nearby islands, and ferries play among offshore islands. Having grown dramatically since World War II, Helsinki now absorbs over one-tenth of the Finnish population, and the metropolitan area covers a total of 764 square km (474 square mi) and 315 islands. Most sights, hotels, and restaurants cluster on one peninsula, forming a compact central hub. The greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which includes Espoo and Vantaa, has a total population of more than a million people. Helsinki is a meeting point of eastern and western Europe, which is reflected in its cosmopolitan image, the influx of Russians and Estonians, and a generally multilingual population. Outdoor summer bars (terrassit as the locals call them) and cafés in the city center are perfect for people-watching on a summer afternoon.