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!
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.