IntroductionWith a population of 900,000 Helsinki is not the largest of Europe’s capitals, yet bringing with it a friendly, almost intimate air, this can hardly be classed as a disadvantage. Located on Finland’s southern coast, Helsinki is at the heart of the county’s transport infrastructure, government and industry.
Interestingly Helsinki only became Finland’s capital in 1812 after it was felt by the country’s Russian rulers that the existing capital Turku lying just the Gulf of Bothnia and thereby Stockholm, was too close for comfort from the Swedish capital. Rivalry between the two neighbors was strong at the time though this has now been transformed into a great, cooperative partnership between the Scandinavians. Turku is now a fascinating city in its own right and is also worth a visit.