Anyone who’s been to Helsinki’s Kamppi Metro Station recently would have noticed a radical transformation in the form of ROAR27, an installation by Finnish street artist, Jussi TwoSeven. Produced in collaboration with Make Your Mark Gallery, the piece consists of a painting resembling the head of a bear and a...

There is a widely held belief by locals and travellers alike that Helsinki is – above all else – far from a tourist’s paradise. Just what to do when visiting Finland’s capital is a question that stumps many holidaymakers. Sure, the city is well-connected by ferries to Sweden, Estonia and Russia; and if you plan to...

The northern end of Helsinki’s Tennis Palace will brighten dramatically when Charles Sandison’s installation Language Is Dead fills the expanse of the building’s arched façade. The installation consists of a moving mass of words projected onto the surface of the wall. Produced by HAM Helsinki Art Museum, the temporary...

If travel books and Google are to be believed, the first thing any visitor to Helsinki should do is take a ferry to the historic fortress of Suomenlinna and then check out an underground rock church – and why not munch on blueberries and Carelian pies while doing it. Those sites are iconic for a reason, of course, and...

New Zealander Melanie Dower always planned to move to a different country. She just didn’t expect to find herself on the other side of the world in Helsinki. After 11 years in Sydney, Australia, Melanie’s husband was offered a job in Finland so they packed up and set about creating a new life for themselves. If...

After 18 years in Scandinavia, there is much to love about Life In Finland blogger Carmen Pekkarinen’s new home. The tax system “WHAT?!” you ask … Yes, we pay very high taxes in Finland, but the taxation system itself is completely electronic and provided you give the information the authorities need regarding your income...

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has been busy making her way around Scandinavia, with her trademark polka dots adding even more colour to Helsinki. Two temporary exhibitions, Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees in Esplanadi park and a thousand mirror-surfaced steel spheres, Narcissus Garden in the Winter Garden were...

If you don’t feel like you belong in the mainstream, you will feel right at home in Helsinki – especially when you know where to go. The capital of Finland has always had plenty of room for the underground – be it the punk or student activist movement, minority rights groups, or just people who don’t feel like they...

In the brief few days before the summer tourist season officially begins, the port town of Hanko on Finland’s south coast, three hours by train from Helsinki, is just as quiet as it is in winter. A population of a little over nine thousand goes a long way to ensuring that all is sleepy and still; certainly, it is...

Don’t even try to keep up with the dizzying speed at which Helsinki is transforming itself. Love or hate the seismic shift in identity and appearance, it is undeniable that wherever you go, the Finnish capital is getting a fundamental facelift. Adhering to the old adage that change is always fashionably late, it often...