Port Profile: Helsinki, Finland

Learn everything you need to know about cruise destinations under Avid Cruiser’s Port Profiles section (you’ll find a tab above on the navigation bar). Each week, we’ll provide one or more port profiles for those are planning trips or for those who need inspiration to do so. Today’s feature, Helsinki, Finland.

When in Helsinki, you'll find lots of Finnish design in a variety of shops citywide. © Ralph Grizzle

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There’s something about the Finns and the design that they bring to the world. In areas ranging from textiles and clothes to glassware and household articles, Finnish design has become world-famous. That’s in no small part due to Alvar Aalto, whose achievements throughout much of the 20th century continue to influence new generations of designers.

In and around Helsinki, the capital city of Finland, you will be able to experience examples of Aalto’s works, in the form of buildings and interiors. Two of the most accessible places to do just that are the Finlandia Hall and the Savoy Restaurant in central Helsinki (see below, under Do Not Miss).

It is, of course, difficult to say if the architecture of this pocket-sized metropolis has anything to do with the quality of life experienced by Helsinki’s inhabitants. They are a fortunate lot, according to Monocle, a London-based magazine that recently announced Helsinki as the winner of its “Liveable Cities Index.”

Among the positive factors: a fundamental boldness in rethinking urban environments, and an ability to move from thinking to implementation. It should come as no surprise, then, that Helsinki has been appointed World Design Capital in 2012.

Read Avid Cruiser’s full Port Profile featuring Helsinki, Finland.

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