Helsinki is a lively city of culture and design surrounded by pure nature. The white steeple of Helsinki Cathedral against the blue sky welcomes visitors to the Senate Square, where locals gather to celebrate the New Year, Finnish Independence Day (6 December) and to soak up the sun on the steps of the cathedral. The adjacent Market Square is where boats depart for the city tours, the Suomenlinna island fortress and Korkeasaari Zoo. Here you'll also enjoy tempting aromas of traditional delicacies such as rainbow trout cooked on an open fire and sautéed reindeer sauce.
The Ateneum Art Museum features classics of Finnish art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma is worth seeing simply due to its unique architecture. You'll find great souvenirs in the small boutiques of the Helsinki Design District, the Hietalahti summer flea market and Stockmann's department store. Art Nouveau architecture at its most beautiful can be admired in the Ullanlinna and Katajanokka districts of the city. The trendy Punavuori and Kallio areas, popular among students, are known for their restaurants and nightlife.