Helsinki meanders along the water's edge and sits at the cutting-edge of pretty much everything else. Contemporary buildings and designed spaces mingle seamlessly with the existing blend of Russian, Neoclassical and Art Nouveau styles, positioning the city at the front of the pack when it comes to European modern design. Copenhagen and Stockholm are more readily associated with the New Nordic culinary movement, but a passion for only using local, fresh ingredients is just as important in Finland. Whether you're eating at a Michelin-starred restaurant or dining out from a food truck, this guiding principle has helped to establish Helsinki as one of the continent's top foodie destinations.
To spend a couple of sweaty hours in one of the city's saunas has to be at the top of your 'to-do' list in the Finnish capital. Old-fashioned saunas nearly a hundred years old; hipster saunas gazing out over the Gulf of Finland; saunas with their own bars and discos – to sauna is a way of life in Finland. Just make sure you bring your birthday suit with you!