Helsinki, Finland: Quirky and Full of Character
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Though not one of the most popular tourist cities in Europe, Helsinki wins visitors over with its quirky character and its scenic position on the Baltic. Architectural offerings from forward-thinking designers are found throughout the city, giving visitors plenty of visual delights to absorb. But there are also plenty of neighborhoods to remind travelers that they are still in Europe. My complete, three-day itinerary for Helsinki can be found on my website, thetriparchitect.com.
This island fortress offers spectacular views over the sea and is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic on a warm day.

Suomenlinna // This island fortress offers spectacular views over the sea and is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic on a warm day.

The Eliel Saarinen-designed train station offers travelers a great introduction to the city's design culture.

VR Helsingin päärautatieasema i Helsinki, Etelä-Suomen Lääni

The second oldest town in Finland, Porvoo is located just 60 km from Helsinki, making for an easy day trip. This village is notable for its historic, wooden buildings and charming, cobblestone lanes.

The second oldest town in Finland, Porvoo is located just 60 km from Helsinki, making for an easy day trip. This village is notable for its historic, wooden buildings and charming, cobblestone lanes.

This restaurant in the trendy Kallio district serves delicious Finnish meatballs.

See 101 photos from 1560 visitors about burgers, vegetarian food, and cozy.

This funky-looking church was designed to provide respite in one of the most bustling parts of the city.

This funky-looking church was designed to provide respite in one of the most bustling parts of the city.

If you're lucky enough to be there during a musical performance, you'll be astounded by the natural acoustics created by the granite rock from which the chapel was carved.

If you're lucky enough to be there during a musical performance, you'll be astounded by the natural acoustics created by the granite rock from which the chapel was carved.

The modern design of this music hall is spectacular. But if you're a music lover, look into heading back one evening for a show.

The modern design of this music hall is spectacular. But if you're a music lover, look into heading back one evening for a show.

Putte's, which is notable for its affordable food and lively atmosphere, makes a great lunch spot.

See 279 photos from 5195 visitors about pizza, lively, and casual.

A trip to Helsinki would not be complete without a visit to the famous Marimekko Flagship Store.

A trip to Helsinki would not be complete without a visit to the famous Marimekko Flagship Store.

The once seedy, now hip Kallio District is a great spot for bar hopping. Check out the lively joints along Helsinginkatu and Vaasankatu streets.

The once seedy, now hip Kallio District is a great spot for bar hopping. Check out the lively joints along Helsinginkatu and Vaasankatu streets.

Though pricey, this restaurant dishing up gourmet Scandinavian food is worth the splurge.

Though pricey, this restaurant dishing up gourmet Scandinavian food is worth the splurge.

Karaoke is the entertainment of choice for locals, and Restroom is a town favorite.

"You don't need to love karaoke to love this place.

Tuomiokirkko, or the Helsinki Cathedral, is the city's most recognizable landmark.

Tuomiokirkko, or the Helsinki Cathedral, is the city's most recognizable landmark.

Uspenskin is an ornate cathedral offering a great scenic lookout.

Very beautiful Orthodox Church.

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