There’s more to urban Finland than the capital city, so forget Helsinki for a second! Once Finland’s capital and forever Helsinki’s rival, Turku on the Western coast is definitely worth a visit. In 2011 Turku is the European Capital of Culture, but there’s plenty to see outside the official programme, too. According to these six local cultural figures, the city has laid-back bars, quirky shopping, and the best pizzas in the world—believe it!
Culture vultures: spend a relaxed Sunday on artist Sami Lukkarinen’s tour of Helsinki galleries.
“Doing a round of the galleries is perfect for a Sunday: it doesn’t cost you anything, you can see a great variety of new pieces, and you can choose in which of the galleries you want to spend more time to get to know the work better. As a bonus, you get to enjoy a nice walk in downtown Helsinki and you can stop for a refreshing cup of coffee and talk about art,” Lukkarinen says.
The galleries are open on Sundays from noon until 4 p.m., except the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts Gallery, which is open from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Text and images: Sami Lukkarinen and Mari Koistinen.
If you’ve ever used a pair of scissors, there’s a good chance they originated in Fiskars, a once-industrial village now home to a vibrant artist and artisan community, situated 100 km to the west of Helsinki. Go for a hike along the nature paths, stroll through design exhibitions, and take in the peaceful, design-friendly atmosphere.
In the summer, the best time to go is on the first Saturday of the month, because that’s when the Red Cross flea market is open in an old threshing house at the corner of Fiskarsintie and Malcolmintie.
Nopsa’s co-founder Liisa Jokinen reveals the best parts of her hometown Pori, located on the Western coast of Finland and known for its sandy beaches and jazz festivals.
This route works as a weekend trip: on Saturday, you can shop for Pori specialties, while Sunday’s reserved for museum visits and taking in the sights.
Liisa recommends traveling to Pori by train: you’ll get a quiet, easy chance to admire the wide and spacious landscapes, and prepare for your adventures in Pori.
How about a getaway in the countryside? Nopsa reveals the best all-natural travel destinations in Pirkanmaa, a couple of hours away from Helsinki by train.
The route was previously published in travel magazine Mondo.