Helsinki (/ˈhɛlsɪŋki, hɛlˈsɪŋki/; Finnish: [ˈhelsiŋki] (listen); Swedish: Helsingfors [hɛlsɪŋˈfɔʂː] (listen)) is the capital city and most populous municipality of Finland. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it is the seat of the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland, and has a population of 648,650. The city's urban area has a population of 1,268,296, making it by far the most populous urban area in Finland as well as the country's most important center for politics, education, finance, culture, and research. Helsinki is located 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 km (250 mi) east of Stockholm, Sweden, and 390 km (240 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It has close historical ties with these three cities.
Together with the cities of Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen, and surrounding commuter towns, Helsinki forms the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which has a population of nearly 1.5 million. Often considered to be Finland's only metropolis, it is the world's northernmost metro area with over one million people as well as the northernmost capital of an EU member state. After Stockholm and Oslo, Helsinki is the third largest city in the Nordic countries. The city is served by the international Helsinki Airport, located in the neighboring city of Vantaa, with frequent service to many destinations in Europe and Asia.
Helsinki has one of the highest urban standards of living in the world. In 2011, the British magazine Monocle ranked Helsinki the world's most liveable city in its liveable cities index. In the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2016 liveability survey, Helsinki was ranked ninth among 140 cities.
City of Helsinki
Location within Finland
Location within Europe
|• Mayor||Jan Vapaavuori|
|• Capital city||715.48 km2 (276.25 sq mi)|
|• Land||213.75 km2 (82.53 sq mi)|
|• Water||501.74 km2 (193.72 sq mi)|
|• Urban||672.08 km2 (259.49 sq mi)|
|• Metro||3,697.52 km2 (1,427.62 sq mi)|
|Area rank||258th largest in Finland|
|• Capital city||648,650|
|• Rank||Largest in Finland|
|• Density||3,034.62/km2 (7,859.6/sq mi)|
|• Urban density||1,800/km2 (4,700/sq mi)|
|• Metro density||402.5/km2 (1,042/sq mi)|
|Population by native language|
|• Finnish||84.3% (official)|
|• Swedish||6.1% (official)|
|Population by age|
|• 0 to 14||13.7%|
|• 15 to 64||72%|
|• 65 or older||14.3%|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|Municipal tax rate||18.5%|
According to a theory presented in the 1630s, settlers from Hälsingland in central Sweden had arrived to what is now known as the Vantaa River and called it Helsingå ("Helsinge River"), which gave rise to the names of Helsinge village and church in the 1300s. This theory is questionable, because dialect research suggests that the settlers arrived from Uppland and nearby areas. Others have proposed the name as having been derived from the Swedish word helsing, an archaic form of the word hals (neck), referring to the narrowest part of a river, the rapids. Other Scandinavian cities at similar geographic locations were given similar names at the time, e.g. Helsingør in Denmark and Helsingborg in Sweden.
When a town was founded in Forsby village in 1548, it was named Helsinge fors, "Helsinge rapids". The name refers to the Vanhankaupunginkoski rapids at the mouth of the river. The town was commonly known as Helsinge or Helsing, from which the contemporary Finnish name arose.
Official Finnish Government documents and Finnish language newspapers have used the name Helsinki since 1819, when the Senate of Finland moved itself into the city from Turku. The decrees issued in Helsinki were dated with Helsinki as the place of issue. This is how the form Helsinki came to be used in written Finnish. As part of the Grand Duchy of Finland in the Russian Empire, Helsinki was known as Gelsingfors in Russian.
In Helsinki slang, the city is called Stadi (from the Swedish word stad, meaning "city"). Hesa (short for Helsinki), is not used by natives of the city. Helsset is the Northern Sami name of Helsinki.
In the Iron Age the area occupied by present day Helsinki was inhabited by Tavastians. They used the area for fishing and hunting, but due to a lack of archeological finds it is difficult to say how extensive their settlements were. Pollen analysis has shown that there were cultivating settlements in the area in the 10th century and surviving historical records from the 14th century describe Tavastian settlements in the area.
Helsinki was established as a trading town by King Gustav I of Sweden in 1550 as the town of Helsingfors, which he intended to be a rival to the Hanseatic city of Reval (today known as Tallinn). Little came of the plans as Helsinki remained a tiny town plagued by poverty, wars, and diseases. The plague of 1710 killed the greater part of the inhabitants of Helsinki. The construction of the naval fortress Sveaborg (in Finnish Viapori, today also Suomenlinna) in the 18th century helped improve Helsinki's status, but it was not until Russia defeated Sweden in the Finnish War and annexed Finland as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland in 1809 that the town began to develop into a substantial city. Russians besieged the Sveaborg fortress during the war, and about one quarter of the town was destroyed in an 1808 fire.
Russian Emperor Alexander I of Russia moved the Finnish capital from Turku to Helsinki in 1812 to reduce Swedish influence in Finland, and to bring the capital closer to Saint Petersburg. Following the Great Fire of Turku in 1827, the Royal Academy of Turku, which at the time was the country's only university, was also relocated to Helsinki and eventually became the modern University of Helsinki. The move consolidated the city's new role and helped set it on a path of continuous growth. This transformation is highly apparent in the downtown core, which was rebuilt in the neoclassical style to resemble Saint Petersburg, mostly to a plan by the German-born architect C. L. Engel. As elsewhere, technological advancements such as railroads and industrialization were key factors behind the city's growth.
Despite the tumultuous nature of Finnish history during the first half of the 20th century (including the Finnish Civil War and the Winter War which both left marks on the city), Helsinki continued its steady development. A landmark event was the 1952 Olympic Games, held in Helsinki. Finland's rapid urbanization in the 1970s, occurring late relative to the rest of Europe, tripled the population in the metropolitan area, and the Helsinki Metro subway system was built. The relatively sparse population density of Helsinki and its peculiar structure have often been attributed to the lateness of its growth.
Called the "Daughter of the Baltic", Helsinki is on the tip of a peninsula and on 315 islands. The inner city is located on a southern peninsula, Helsinginniemi (”Helsinki’s peninsula”), which is rarely referred to by its actual name, Vironniemi (”Estonia’s peninsula”). Population density in certain parts of Helsinki's inner city area is comparatively higher, reaching 16,494 inhabitants per square kilometre (42,720/sq mi) in the district of Kallio, but as a whole Helsinki's population density of 3,050 per square kilometre (7,900/sq mi) ranks the city as rather sparsely populated in comparison to other European capital cities. Outside of the inner city, much of Helsinki consists of postwar suburbs separated by patches of forest. A narrow, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) long Helsinki Central Park, stretching from the inner city to Helsinki's northern border, is an important recreational area for residents. The City of Helsinki has about 11,000 boat berths and possesses over 14,000 hectares of marine fishing waters adjacent to the Capital Region. Some 60 fish species are found in this area and recreational fishing is popular.
Major islands in Helsinki include Seurasaari, Vallisaari, Lauttasaari, and Korkeasaari – the lattermost being the site of Finland’s largest zoo. Other noteworthy islands are the fortress island of Suomenlinna (Sveaborg), the military island of Santahamina, and Isosaari. Pihlajasaari island is a favorite summer spot for gay men and naturists, comparable to Fire Island in New York City.
The Helsinki metropolitan area, also known as the Capital Region (Finnish: Pääkaupunkiseutu, Swedish: Huvudstadsregionen) comprises four municipalities: Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen. The Helsinki urban area is considered to be the only metropolis in Finland. It has a population of over 1,1 million, and is the most densely populated area of Finland. The Capital Region spreads over a land area of 770 square kilometres (300 sq mi) and has a population density of 1,418 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,670/sq mi). With over 20 percent of the country's population in just 0.2 percent of its surface area, the area's housing density is high by Finnish standards.
The Helsinki Metropolitan Area (Greater Helsinki) consists of the cities of Helsinki Capital Region and ten surrounding municipalities. The Metropolitan Area covers 3,697 square kilometres (1,427 sq mi) and has a population of over 1.4 million, or about a fourth of the total population of Finland. The metropolitan area has a high concentration of employment: approximately 750,000 jobs. Despite the intensity of land use, the region also has large recreational areas and green spaces. The Greater Helsinki area is the world's northernmost urban area with a population of over one million people, and the northernmost EU capital city.
The Helsinki urban area is an officially recognized urban area in Finland, defined by its population density. The area stretches throughout 11 municipalities, and is the largest such area in Finland, with a land area of 66,931 square kilometres (25,842 sq mi) and approximately 1,2 million inhabitants.
Helsinki has a humid continental climate (Dfb). Owing to the mitigating influence of the Baltic Sea and North Atlantic Current (see also Extratropical cyclone), temperatures during the winter are higher than the northern location might suggest, with the average in January and February around −5 °C (23 °F).
Winters in Helsinki are notably warmer than in the north of Finland, and the snow season is much shorter in the capital, due to it being in extreme Southern Finland and the urban heat island effect. Temperatures below −20 °C (−4 °F) occur a few times a year at most. However, because of the latitude, days last 5 hours and 48 minutes around the winter solstice with very low sun (at noon, the sun is a little bit over 6 degrees in the sky), and the cloudy weather at this time of year exacerbates darkness. Conversely, Helsinki enjoys long daylight during the summer; during the summer solstice, days last 18 hours and 57 minutes.
The average maximum temperature from June to August is around 19 to 22 °C (66 to 72 °F). Due to the marine effect, especially during hot summer days, daily temperatures are a little cooler and night temperatures higher than further inland. The highest temperature ever recorded in the city centre was 31.6 °C (88.9 °F), on 18 July 1945, and the lowest was −34.4 °C (−30 °F), on 10 January 1987. Unofficial low of -35 was recorded in December 1876. Helsinki Airport (in Vantaa, 17 kilometres (11 mi) north of the Helsinki city centre) recorded a temperature of 33.7 °C (92.7 °F), on 29 July 2010, and a low of −35.9 °C (−33 °F), on 9 January 1987. Precipitation is received from frontal passages and thunderstorms. Thunderstorms are most common in the summer.
|Climate data for Central Helsinki (Kaisaniemi) 1981-2010 normals, records 1900- present|
|Record high °C (°F)||8.5
|Average high °C (°F)||−1.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−3.9
|Average low °C (°F)||−6.5
|Record low °C (°F)||−34.4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||52
|Average rainy days||19||17||15||11||11||14||12||15||14||16||18||20||182|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||38||70||138||194||284||297||291||238||150||93||36||29||1,858|
|Source: Climatological statistics for the normal period 1981–2010 (except the Records rows, which are 'all-time' records) |
|Climate data for Helsinki Airport (Vantaa) 1981-2010 normals, records 1952- present.|
|Record high °C (°F)||8.2
|Average high °C (°F)||−2.4
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−5
|Average low °C (°F)||−8.1
|Record low °C (°F)||−35.9
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||54
|Average rainy days||23||20||17||12||12||14||13||15||16||18||21||24||205|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||38||74||131||196||275||266||291||219||143||84||37||26||1,780|
|Percent possible sunshine||17||28||38||43||54||52||52||48||39||30||17||15||36|
|Source #1: FMI climatological normals for Finland 1981-2010|
|Source #2: record highs and lows|
Carl Ludvig Engel, appointed to plan a new city centre on his own, designed several neoclassical buildings in Helsinki. The focal point of Engel's city plan was the Senate Square. It is surrounded by the Government Palace (to the east), the main building of Helsinki University (to the west), and (to the north) the large Helsinki Cathedral, which was finished in 1852, twelve years after Engel's death. Helsinki's epithet, "The White City of the North", derives from this construction era.
Helsinki is also home to numerous Art Nouveau-influenced (Jugend in Finnish) buildings belonging to the romantic nationalism trend, designed in the early 20th century and strongly influenced by Kalevala, which was a common theme of the era. Helsinki's Art Nouveau style is also featured in central residential districts, such as Katajanokka and Ullanlinna. An important architect of the Finnish Art Nouveau style was Eliel Saarinen, whose architectural masterpiece was the Helsinki Central Station.
Helsinki also features several buildings by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, recognized as one of the pioneers of architectural functionalism. However, some of his works, such as the headquarters of the paper company Stora Enso and the concert venue Finlandia Hall, have been subject to divided opinions from the citizens.
Functionalist buildings in Helsinki by other architects include the Olympic Stadium, the Tennis Palace, the Rowing Stadium, the Swimming Stadium, the Velodrome, the Glass Palace, the Töölö Sports Hall, and Helsinki-Malmi Airport. The sports venues were built to serve the 1940 Helsinki Olympic Games; the games were initially cancelled due to the Second World War, but the venues fulfilled their purpose in the 1952 Olympic Games. Many of them are listed by DoCoMoMo as significant examples of modern architecture. The Olympic Stadium and Helsinki-Malmi Airport are also catalogued by the Finnish National Board of Antiquities as cultural-historical environments of national significance.
Helsinki's neoclassical buildings were often used as a backdrop for scenes set to take place in the Soviet Union in many Cold War era Hollywood movies, when filming in the USSR was not possible. Some of them include The Kremlin Letter (1970), Reds (1981), and Gorky Park (1983). Because some streetscapes were reminiscent of Leningrad's and Moscow's old buildings, they too were used in movie productions. At the same time the government secretly instructed Finnish officials not to extend assistance to such film projects.
The start of the 21st century marked the beginning of highrise construction in Helsinki.
In the 21st century Helsinki has decided to allow the construction of skyscrapers. As of April 2017 there are no skyscrapers taller than 100 meters in the Helsinki area, but there are several projects under construction or planning, mainly in Pasila and Kalasatama. An international architecture competition for at least 10 high-rises to be built in Pasila is being held. Construction of the towers will start before 2020. In Kalasatama, the first 35-story (130 m) and 32-story (122 m) residential towers are already under construction. Later they will be joined by a 37-story (140 metres), two 32-story (122 metres, 400 feet), 31-story (120 metres), and 27-story (100 metres) residential buildings. In the Kalasatama area, there will be about 15 high-rises within 10 years.
As is the case with all Finnish municipalities, Helsinki's city council is the main decision-making organ in local politics, dealing with issues such as urban planning, schools, health care, and public transport. The council is chosen in the nationally-held municipal elections, which are held every four years.
Helsinki's city council consists of eighty-five members. Following the most recent municipal elections in 2017, the three largest parties are the National Coalition Party (25), the Green League (21), and the Social Democratic Party (12).
The Mayor of Helsinki is Jan Vapaavuori.
At 53 percent of the population, women form a greater proportion of Helsinki residents than the national average of 51 percent. Helsinki's population density of 2,739.36 people per square kilometre makes Helsinki the most densely-populated city in Finland. The life expectancy for men and women is slightly below the national averages: 75.1 years for men as compared to 75.7 years, 81.7 years for women as compared to 82.5 years.
Helsinki has experienced strong growth since the 1810s, when it replaced Turku as the capital of the Grand Duchy of Finland, which later became the sovereign Republic of Finland. The city continued its growth from that time on, with an exception during the Finnish Civil War. From the end of World War II up until the 1970s there was a massive exodus of people from the countryside to the cities of Finland, in particular Helsinki. Between 1944 and 1969 the population of the city nearly doubled from 275,000 to 525,600.
In the 1960s, the population growth of Helsinki began to decrease, mainly due to a lack of housing. Some residents began to move to the neighbouring cities of Espoo and Vantaa, resulting in increased population growth in both municipalities. Espoo's population increased ninefold in sixty years, from 22,874 people in 1950 to 244,353 in 2009. Vantaa saw an even more dramatic change in the same time span: from 14,976 in 1950 to 197,663 in 2009, a thirteenfold increase. These population changes prompted the municipalities of Greater Helsinki into more intense cooperation in areas such as public transportation – resulting in the foundation of HSL – and waste management. The increasing scarcity of housing and the higher costs of living in the capital region have pushed many daily commuters to find housing in formerly rural areas, and even further, to cities such as Lohja, Hämeenlinna, Lahti, and Porvoo.
|Population by mother tongue|
Finnish and Swedish are the official languages of Helsinki. 79.1% of the citizens speak Finnish as their native language. 5.7% speak Swedish. The remaining 15.3% of the population speaks a native language other than Finnish or Swedish.
Helsinki slang is a regional dialect of the city. It combines influences mainly from Finnish and English, and has traditionally had strong Russian and Swedish influences. Finnish today is the common language of communication between Finnish speakers, Swedish speakers, and speakers of other languages (New Finns) in day-to-day affairs in the public sphere between unknown persons. Swedish is commonly spoken in city or national agencies specifically aimed at Finland-Swedish speakers, such as the Social Services Department on Hämeentie or the Luckan Cultural centre in Kamppi. Knowledge of Finnish is also essential in business and is usually a basic requirement in the employment market.
|People with a foreign background in the Helsinki region|
|County of origin||Population (2017)|
As the crossroads of many international ports and Finland's largest airport, Helsinki is the global gateway to and from Finland. The city has Finland's largest immigrant population in both absolute and relative terms. There are over 140 nationalities represented in Helsinki.
Foreign citizens make up 9.5% of the population, while the total immigrant population makes up 15.5%. In 2017, 98,269 residents spoke a native language other than Finnish, Swedish, or one of the three Sami languages spoken in Finland. The largest groups of residents not of Finnish background come from Russia (14,532), Estonia (9,065), and Somalia (6,845). One third of Finland's immigrant population lives in the city of Helsinki.
The number of people with a foreign mother tongue is expected to be 170,000 in 2030, or 23% of the population.
Greater Helsinki generates approximately one third of Finland's GDP. GDP per capita is roughly 1.3 times the national average. Helsinki profits on serviced-related IT and public sectors. Having moved from heavy industrial works, shipping companies also employ a substantial number of people.
The metropolitan area's gross value added per capita is 200% of the mean of 27 European metropolitan areas, equalling those of Stockholm and Paris. The gross value added annual growth has been around 4%.
83 of the 100 largest Finnish companies have their headquarters in Greater Helsinki. Two-thirds of the 200 highest-paid Finnish executives live in Greater Helsinki and 42% in Helsinki. The average income of the top 50 earners was 1.65 million euro.
The Temppeliaukio Church is a Lutheran church in the Töölö neighborhood of the city. The church was designed by architects and brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and opened in 1969. Built directly into solid rock, it is also known as the Church of the Rock and Rock Church.
Helsinki has 190 comprehensive schools, 41 upper secondary schools, and 15 vocational institutes. Half of the 41 upper secondary schools are private or state-owned, the other half municipal. Higher level education is given in eight universities (see the section "Universities" below) and four polytechnics.
The biggest historical museum in Helsinki is the National Museum of Finland, which displays a vast historical collection from prehistoric times to the 21st century. The museum building itself, a national romantic style neomedieval castle, is a tourist attraction. Another major historical museum is the Helsinki City Museum, which introduces visitors to Helsinki's 500-year history. The University of Helsinki also has many significant museums, including the Helsinki University Museum "Arppeanum" and the Finnish Museum of Natural History.
The Finnish National Gallery consists of three museums: Ateneum Art Museum for classical Finnish art, Sinebrychoff Art Museum for classical European art, and Kiasma Art Museum for modern art, in a building by architect Steven Holl. The old Ateneum, a neo-Renaissance palace from the 19th century, is one of the city's major historical buildings. All three museum buildings are state-owned through Senate Properties.
The city of Helsinki hosts its own art collection in the Helsinki Art Museum (HAM), primarily located in its Tennispalatsi gallery. Pieces outside of Tennispalatsi include about 200 public art pieces and all art held in property owned by the city.
The Design Museum is devoted to the exhibition of both Finnish and foreign design, including industrial design, fashion, and graphic design. Other museums in Helsinki include the Military Museum of Finland, Didrichsen Art Museum, Amos Rex Art Museum, and the Tram Museum.
Helsinki has three major theatres: The Finnish National Theatre, the Helsinki City Theatre, and the Swedish Theatre (Svenska Teatern). Other notable theatres in the city include the Alexander Theatre, Q-teatteri, Savoy Theatre, KOM-theatre, and Teatteri Jurkka.
Helsinki is home to two full-size symphony orchestras, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, both of which perform at the Helsinki Music Centre concert hall. Acclaimed contemporary composers Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Einojuhani Rautavaara, among others, were born and raised in Helsinki, and studied at the Sibelius Academy. The Finnish National Opera, the only full-time, professional opera company in Finland, is located in Helsinki. The opera singer Martti Wallén, one of the company's long-time soloists, was born and raised in Helsinki, as was mezzo-soprano Monica Groop.
Many widely renowned and acclaimed bands have originated in Helsinki, including Hanoi Rocks, HIM, Stratovarius, The 69 Eyes, Finntroll, Ensiferum, Wintersun, The Rasmus, Poets of the Fall, and Apocalyptica.
The city's main musical venues are the Finnish National Opera, the Finlandia concert hall, and the Helsinki Music Centre. The Music Centre also houses a part of the Sibelius Academy. Bigger concerts and events are usually held at one of the city's two big ice hockey arenas: the Hartwall Arena or the Helsinki Ice Hall. Helsinki has Finland's largest fairgrounds, the Messukeskus Helsinki.
Vappu is an annual carnival for students and workers.
Helsinki was the 2012 World Design Capital, in recognition of the use of design as an effective tool for social, cultural, and economic development in the city. In choosing Helsinki, the World Design Capital selection jury highlighted Helsinki's use of 'Embedded Design', which has tied design in the city to innovation, "creating global brands, such as Nokia, Kone, and Marimekko, popular events, like the annual Helsinki Design Week, outstanding education and research institutions, such as the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, and exemplary architects and designers such as Eliel Saarinen and Alvar Aalto".
Helsinki hosts many film festivals. Most of them are small venues, while some have generated interest internationally. The most prolific of these is the Love & Anarchy film festival, also known as Helsinki International Film Festival, which features films on a wide spectrum. Night Visions, on the other hand, focuses on genre cinema, screening horror, fantasy, and science fiction films in very popular movie marathons that last the entire night. Another popular film festival is DocPoint, a festival that focuses solely on documentary cinema.
Today, there are around 200 newspapers, 320 popular magazines, 2,100 professional magazines, 67 commercial radio stations, three digital radio channels, and one nationwide and five national public service radio channels.
Sanoma publishes Finland's journal of record, Helsingin Sanomat, the tabloid Ilta-Sanomat, the commerce-oriented Taloussanomat, and the television channel Nelonen. Another Helsinki-based media house, Alma Media, publishes over thirty magazines, including the newspaper Aamulehti, the tabloid Iltalehti, and the commerce-oriented Kauppalehti.
Finland's national public-broadcasting institution Yle operates five television channels and thirteen radio channels in both national languages. Yle is headquartered in the neighbourhood of Pasila. All TV channels are broadcast digitally, both terrestrially and on cable.
Helsinki has a long tradition of sports: the city gained much of its initial international recognition during the 1952 Summer Olympics, and the city has arranged sporting events such as the first World Championships in Athletics 1983 and 2005, and the European Championships in Athletics 1971, 1994, and 2012. Helsinki hosts successful local teams in both of the most popular team sports in Finland: football and ice hockey. Helsinki houses HJK Helsinki, Finland's largest and most successful football club, and IFK Helsingfors, their local rivals with 7 championship titles. The fixtures between the two are commonly known as Stadin derby. Helsinki's track and field club Helsingin Kisa-Veikot is also dominant within Finland. Ice hockey is popular among many Helsinki residents, who usually support either of the local clubs IFK Helsingfors (HIFK) or Jokerit. HIFK, with 14 Finnish championships titles, also plays in the highest bandy division, along with Botnia-69. The Olympic stadium hosted the first ever Bandy World Championship in 1957.
Helsinki was elected host-city of the 1940 Summer Olympics, but due to World War II they were canceled. Instead Helsinki was the host of the 1952 Summer Olympics. The Olympics were a landmark event symbolically and economically for Helsinki and Finland as a whole that was recovering from the winter war and the continuation war fought with the Soviet Union. Helsinki was also in 1983 the first ever city to host the World Championships in Athletics. Helsinki also hosted the event in 2005, thus also becoming the first city to ever host the Championships for a second time. The Helsinki City Marathon has been held in the city every year since 1980, usually in August. A Formula 3000 race through the city streets was held on 25 May 1997. In 2009 Helsinki was host of the European Figure Skating Championships, and in 2017 it hosted World Figure Skating Championships.
The backbone of Helsinki's motorway network consists of three semicircular beltways, Ring I, Ring II, and Ring III, which connect expressways heading to other parts of Finland, and the western and eastern arteries of Länsiväylä and Itäväylä respectively. While variants of a Keskustatunneli tunnel under the city centre have been repeatedly proposed, as of 2017 the plan remains on the drawing board.
Helsinki has some 390 cars per 1000 inhabitants. This is less than in cities of similar population and construction density, such as Brussels' 483 per 1000, Stockholm's 401, and Oslo's 413.
The Helsinki Central Railway Station is the main terminus of the rail network in Finland. Two rail corridors lead out of Helsinki, the Main Line to the north (to Tampere, Oulu, Rovaniemi), and the Coastal Line to the west (to Turku). The railway connection to the east branches from the Main Line outside of Helsinki at Kerava, and leads via Lahti to eastern parts of Finland and to Russia.
A majority of intercity passenger services in Finland originate or terminate at the Helsinki Central Railway Station. All major cities in Finland are connected to Helsinki by rail service, with departures several times a day. The most frequent service is to Tampere, with more than 25 intercity departures per day as of 2017. There are international services from Helsinki to Saint Petersburg and to Moscow in Russia. The Saint Petersburg to Helsinki route is operated with the Allegro high-speed trains.
A Helsinki to Tallinn Tunnel has been proposed and agreed upon by representatives of the cities. The rail tunnel would connect Helsinki to the Estonian capital Tallinn, further linking Helsinki to the rest of continental Europe by Rail Baltica.
Air traffic is handled primarily from Helsinki Airport, located approximately 17 kilometres (11 mi) north of Helsinki's downtown area, in the neighbouring city of Vantaa. Helsinki's own airport, Helsinki-Malmi Airport, is mainly used for general and private aviation. Charter flights are available from Hernesaari Heliport.
Like many other cities, Helsinki was deliberately founded at a location on the sea in order to take advantage of shipping. The freezing of the sea imposed limitations on sea traffic up to the end of the 19th century. But for the last hundred years, the routes leading to Helsinki have been kept open even in winter with the aid of icebreakers, many of them built in the Helsinki Hietalahti shipyard. The arrival and departure of ships has also been a part of everyday life in Helsinki. Regular route traffic from Helsinki to Stockholm, Tallinn, and Saint Petersburg began as far back as 1837. Over 300 cruise ships and 360,000 cruise passengers visit Helsinki annually. There are international cruise ship docks in South Harbour, Katajanokka, West Harbour, and Hernesaari. Helsinki is the second busiest passenger port in Europe with approximately 11 million passengers in 2013. Ferry connections to Tallinn, Mariehamn, and Stockholm are serviced by various companies. Finnlines passenger-freight ferries to Gdynia, Poland; Travemünde, Germany; and Rostock, Germany are also available. St. Peter Line offers passenger ferry service to Saint Petersburg several times a week.
In the Helsinki metropolitan area, public transportation is managed by the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority, the metropolitan area transportation authority. The diverse public transport system consists of trams, commuter rail, the metro, bus lines, two ferry lines and a public bike system.
Helsinki's tram system has been in operation with electric drive continuously since 1900. 13 routes that cover the inner part of the city are operated. As of 2017, the city is expanding the tram network, with several major tram line construction projects under way. These include the 550 trunk line (Raide-Jokeri), roughly along Ring I around the city center, and a new tramway to the island of Laajasalo.
The Helsinki Metro, opened in 1982, is the only metro system in Finland, albeit the Helsinki commuter rail trains operate at metro-like frequencies. In 2006, the construction of the long debated extension of the metro into Western Helsinki and Espoo was approved. The extension finally opened after delays in November 2017. An eastern extension into the planned new district of Östersundom and neighboring Sipoo has also been seriously debated. Helsinki's metro system currently consists of 25 stations, with 14 of them underground.
The commuter rail system includes purpose-built double track for local services in two rail corridors along intercity railways, and the Ring Rail Line, an urban double-track railway with a station at the Helsinki Airport in Vantaa. Electric operation of commuter trains was first begun in 1969, and the system has been gradually expanded since. 15 different services are operated as of 2017, some extending outside of the Helsinki region. The frequent services run at a 10-minute headway in peak traffic.
Helsinki’s main bilateral city partners are St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Stockholm and Berlin. In addition, Helsinki maintains special long-term partnerships with Beijing and Moscow. Helsinki has no official sister cities. Helsinki primarily works with other capitals.
The 1952 Summer Olympics (Finnish: Kesäolympialaiset 1952; Swedish: Olympiska sommarspelen 1952), officially known as the Games of the XV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Helsinki, Finland from July 19 to August 3, 1952.
Helsinki had been earlier selected to host the 1940 Summer Olympics, which were cancelled due to World War II. It is the northernmost city at which a summer Olympic Games have been held. These were the first games to be held in a non-Indo-European language speaking country. It was also the Olympic Games at which the most number of world records were broken until surpassed by the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Thailand, and Saarland made their Olympic debuts in Helsinki 1952.1983 World Championships in Athletics
The inaugural 1983 World Championships in Athletics were run under the auspices of the International Association of Athletics Federations and were held at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Finland between 7 and 14 August 1983.2005 World Championships in Athletics
The 10th World Championships in Athletics, under the auspices of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), were held in the Olympic Stadium, Helsinki, Finland (6 August 2005 – 14 August 2005), the site of the first IAAF World Championships in 1983. One theme of the 2005 championships was paralympic events, some of which were included as exhibition events. Much of the event was played in extremely heavy rainfall.Espoo
Espoo (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈespoː]; Swedish: Esbo [ˈɛsːbɔ]) is the second largest city and municipality in Finland. It is part of the Finnish Capital Region, and most of its population lives in the inner urban core of the Helsinki metropolitan area, along with the cities of Helsinki, Vantaa, and Kauniainen. Espoo shares its eastern border with Helsinki and Vantaa, while enclosing Kauniainen. The city is located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, in the region of Uusimaa and has a population of 281,886.Other bordering municipalities of Espoo are Nurmijärvi and Vihti in the north, and Kirkkonummi in the west. The national park of Nuuksio is situated in northwestern Espoo.
Espoo encompasses 528 square kilometres (204 sq mi), of which 312 km2 (120 sq mi) is land.Espoo does not have a traditional city center, having instead several local regional centers. Espoo is thus divided into seven major areas (Finnish: suuralueet, Swedish: storområden): Vanha-Espoo (with administrative center), Suur-Espoonlahti, Pohjois-Espoo, Suur-Kauklahti, Suur-Leppävaara, Suur-Matinkylä, and Suur-Tapiola.
Aalto University is based in Otaniemi, Espoo, along with a thriving science community that includes numerous startups and organizations such as VTT – the Technical Research Center of Finland. Several major companies are based in Espoo, including Nokia, HMD Global, Tieto, KONE, Neste, Fortum, Orion Corporation, and Outokumpu, as well as video game developers Rovio and Remedy Entertainment.
The city of Espoo is officially bilingual. The majority of the population, 83.6%, speaks Finnish as their mother tongue, while a minority of 8.3% speaks Swedish. 8% of Espoo's population has a first language other than Finnish or Swedish.European Chemicals Agency
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA; EK-ə) is an agency of the European Union which manages the technical, that and administrative aspects of the implementation of the European Union regulation called Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). ECHA is the driving force among regulatory authorities in implementing the EU's chemicals legislation. ECHA helps companies to comply with the legislation, advances the safe use of chemicals, provides information on chemicals and addresses chemicals of concern. It is located in Helsinki, Finland.
The agency, currently headed by Executive Director Bjorn Hansen, started working on 1 June 2007.Finland
Finland (; Finnish: Suomi [suo̯mi] (listen); Swedish: Finland [ˈfɪnland] (listen)), officially the Republic of Finland (Finnish: Suomen tasavalta, Swedish: Republiken Finland (listen to all)) is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, and Russia to the east. Finland is a Nordic country and is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia. The capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Oulu and Turku.
Finland's population is 5.52 million (2018), and the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region. 88.7% of the population is Finnish and speaks Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages; next come the Finland-Swedes (5.3%). Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. The sovereign state is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital city of Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities, and one autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces one third of the country's GDP.
Finland was inhabited when the last ice age ended, approximately 9000 BCE. The first settlers left behind artefacts that present characteristics shared with those found in Estonia, Russia, and Norway. The earliest people were hunter-gatherers, using stone tools. The first pottery appeared in 5200 BCE, when the Comb Ceramic culture was introduced. The arrival of the Corded Ware culture in southern coastal Finland between 3000 and 2500 BCE may have coincided with the start of agriculture. The Bronze Age and Iron Age were characterised by extensive contacts with other cultures in the Fennoscandian and Baltic regions and the sedentary farming inhabitation increased towards the end of Iron Age. At the time Finland had three main cultural areas – Southwest Finland, Tavastia and Karelia – as reflected in contemporary jewellery.From the late 13th century, Finland gradually became an integral part of Sweden through the Northern Crusades and the Swedish part-colonisation of coastal Finland, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status. In 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland. In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant all adult citizens the right to vote, and the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office.Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent. In 1918, the fledgling state was divided by civil war, with the Bolshevik-leaning Red Guard supported by the equally new Soviet Russia, fighting the White Guard, supported by the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the country became a republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union sought repeatedly to occupy Finland, with Finland losing parts of Karelia, Salla, Kuusamo, Petsamo and some islands, but retaining their independence.
Finland joined the United Nations in 1955 and established an official policy of neutrality. The Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948 gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics during the Cold War era. Finland joined the OECD in 1969, the NATO Partnership for Peace in 1994, the European Union in 1995, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997, and finally the Eurozone at its inception, in 1999.
Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialisation, remaining a largely agrarian country until the 1950s. After World War II, the Soviet Union demanded war reparations from Finland not only in money but also in material, such as ships and machinery. This forced Finland to industrialise. It rapidly developed an advanced economy while building an extensive welfare state based on the Nordic model, resulting in widespread prosperity and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, and human development. In 2015, Finland was ranked first in the World Human Capital and the Press Freedom Index and as the most stable country in the world during 2011–2016 in the Fragile States Index, and second in the Global Gender Gap Report. A large majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Finnish Constitution.Finnish Civil War
The Finnish Civil War was a conflict for the leadership and control of Finland during the country's transition from a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire to an independent state. The clashes took place in the context of the national, political, and social turmoil caused by World War I (Eastern Front) in Europe. The civil war was fought between the Reds, led by a section of the Social Democratic Party, and the Whites, conducted by the conservative-based Senate and the German Imperial Army. The paramilitary Red Guards, composed of industrial and agrarian workers, controlled the cities and industrial centres of southern Finland. The paramilitary White Guards, composed of farmers, along with middle-class and upper-class social strata, controlled rural central and northern Finland.
In the years before the conflict, Finnish society had experienced rapid population growth, industrialisation, pre-urbanisation and the rise of a comprehensive labour movement. The country's political and governmental systems were in an unstable phase of democratisation and modernisation. The socio-economic condition and education of the population had gradually improved, as well as national thinking and cultural life had awakened.
World War I led to the collapse of the Russian Empire, causing a power vacuum in Finland, and a subsequent struggle for dominance led to militarisation and an escalating crisis between the left-leaning labour movement and the conservatives. The Reds carried out an unsuccessful general offensive in February 1918, supplied with weapons by Soviet Russia. A counteroffensive by the Whites began in March, reinforced by the German Empire's military detachments in April. The decisive engagements were the Battles of Tampere and Vyborg (Finnish: Viipuri; Swedish: Viborg), won by the Whites, and the Battles of Helsinki and Lahti, won by German troops, leading to overall victory for the Whites and the German forces. Political violence became a part of this warfare. Around 12,500 Red prisoners of war died of malnutrition and disease in camps. About 39,000 people, of whom 36,000 were Finns, perished in the conflict.
In the aftermath, the Finns passed from Russian governance to the German sphere of influence with a plan to establish a German-led Finnish monarchy. The scheme was cancelled with the defeat of Germany in World War I and Finland instead emerged as an independent, democratic republic. The Civil War divided the nation for decades. Finnish society was reunited through social compromises based on a long-term culture of moderate politics and religion and the post-war economic recovery.Hartwall Arena
Hartwall Arena (previously known until 19 March 2014 as Hartwall Areena, called Helsinki Areena, Helsingin Areena or Helsingforsarenan ('The Helsinki Arena') by the national broadcaster Yle) is a large multi-functional indoor arena located in Helsinki, Finland. Opened in 1997, the arena gets its name from its largest sponsor, the beverage company Hartwall, also based in Helsinki.Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi
Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi (literally The Football Club of Helsinki), commonly known as HJK Helsinki, or simply as HJK, is a professional football club based in Helsinki, Finland. The club competes in the Finnish Veikkausliiga, of which they are the reigning champions. Founded in 1907, the club has spent most of its history in the top tier of Finnish football. The club's home ground is the 10,770-seat Telia 5G -areena, where they have played since 2000.Generally considered Finland's biggest club, HJK is the most successful Finnish club in terms of championship titles with 29. The club has also won 13 Finnish Cups and 5 Finnish League Cups. Many of Finland's most successful players have played for HJK before moving abroad. The club has also similar success with women's Naisten Liiga.
HJK is the only Finnish club that has participated in the UEFA Champions League group stage. In 1998, they beat Metz in the play-off round to clinch their place in the competition for the following season. HJK has also participated in the UEFA Europa League, in 2014–15, defeating Rapid Wien in the play-off round. The club's highest score in a European competition came during the 2011–12 season, with a 13–0 aggregate victory over Welsh champions Bangor City, which included a 10–0 home win.
HJK's regular kit colours have long been blue and white shirts with blue shorts and socks. The club's crest has been nearly untouched for a century, it has only undergone one minor font change in order to modernize it.Helsinki Accords
The Helsinki Accords, Helsinki Final Act, or Helsinki Declaration (Finnish: Helsingin päätösasiakirja, Swedish: Helsingforskonferensen) was the final act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe held in Finlandia Hall of Helsinki, Finland, during July and August 1, 1975. Thirty-five states, including the US, Canada, and all European states except Albania and Andorra signed the declaration in an attempt to improve relations between the Communists and the West. The Helsinki Accords, however, were not binding as they did not have treaty status.Helsinki Airport
Helsinki Airport (IATA: HEL, ICAO: EFHK; Finnish: Helsinki-Vantaan lentoasema, Swedish: Helsingfors-Vanda flygplats) is the main international airport of the city of Helsinki, its surrounding metropolitan area, and the Uusimaa region. The airport is located in the city of Vantaa, about 5 kilometres (3 mi) west of Tikkurila, the administrative center of Vantaa and 9.2 NM (17.0 km; 10.6 mi) north of Helsinki city center. The airport is operated by state-owned Finavia.The airport is the largest in Finland and the fourth busiest in the Nordic countries in terms of passenger numbers. About 90% of Finland's international air traffic passes through Helsinki Airport. The airport handled close to 21 million passengers in 2018, including 17.9 million international passengers and 3.0 million domestic passengers. On average, the airport handles around 350 departures a day.The airport is the main hub for Finnair, the flag carrier of Finland, and its subsidiary Nordic Regional Airlines. It is also a hub for CityJet (on behalf of SAS), Jet Time, TUI fly Nordic, and an operating base for Norwegian Air Shuttle. The airport is also a focus city for Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia. Helsinki Airport has around 50 regularly-operating airlines. The airport has around 80 scheduled destinations to other parts of Europe and 21 direct long-haul routes to Asia, the Middle East, and North America. There are also 35 charter destinations including numerous long-haul charter destinations. Currently, Helsinki Airport has two terminals with a total of 29 gates with jet bridges and 80 remote aircraft parking stands.
Originally built for the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, the airport today provides jobs for 25,000 people and there are 1,500 companies that operate at this airport.Finavia aims to strengthen the position of Helsinki Airport in transit passenger traffic between Europe and Asia, and to increase the number of direct connections to Europe. Helsinki Airport's minimum transit time of 35 minutes is among the shortest in Europe.According to Finavia's survey, as many as one in every three passengers select their flight route based on the transit airport. Airline passengers have several times chosen Helsinki Airport as one of the best airports in Europe. In March 2018, Skytrax World Airport Ranking elected Helsinki Airport as the best airport in Northern Europe.Helsinki Olympic Stadium
The Helsinki Olympic Stadium (Finnish: Helsingin Olympiastadion; Swedish: Helsingfors Olympiastadion), located in the Töölö district about 2.3 kilometres (1.4 mi) from the centre of the Finnish capital Helsinki, is the largest stadium in the country, nowadays mainly used for hosting sports events and big concerts. The stadium is best known for being the centre of activities in the 1952 Summer Olympics. During those games, it hosted athletics, equestrian show jumping, and the football finals.
The stadium was also the venue for the first Bandy World Championship in 1957, the first World Athletics Championships in 1983 as well as for the 2005 World Championships in Athletics. It hosted the European Athletics Championships in 1971, 1994 and 2012.
It is also the home stadium of the Finland national football team. The stadium is closed temporarily since March 2016 for renovation works and scheduled of reopening in 2019.Jean Sibelius
Jean Sibelius (; Swedish pronunciation ), born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius (8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957), was a Finnish composer and violinist of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. He is widely recognized as his country's greatest composer and, through his music, is often credited with having helped Finland to develop a national identity during its struggle for independence from Russia.
The core of his oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies, which, like his other major works, are regularly performed and recorded in his home country and internationally. His other best-known compositions are Finlandia, the Karelia Suite, Valse triste, the Violin Concerto, the choral symphony Kullervo, and The Swan of Tuonela (from the Lemminkäinen Suite). Other works include pieces inspired by nature, Nordic mythology, and the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, over a hundred songs for voice and piano, incidental music for numerous plays, the opera Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the Tower), chamber music, piano music, Masonic ritual music, and 21 publications of choral music.
Sibelius composed prolifically until the mid-1920s, but after completing his Seventh Symphony (1924), the incidental music for The Tempest (1926) and the tone poem Tapiola (1926), he stopped producing major works in his last thirty years, a stunning and perplexing decline commonly referred to as "The Silence of Järvenpää", the location of his home. Although he is reputed to have stopped composing, he attempted to continue writing, including abortive efforts on an eighth symphony. In later life, he wrote Masonic music and re-edited some earlier works while retaining an active but not always favourable interest in new developments in music.
The Finnish 100 mark note featured his image until 2002, when the euro was adopted. Since 2011, Finland has celebrated a Flag Day on 8 December, the composer's birthday, also known as the "Day of Finnish Music". In 2015, the 150th anniversary of the composer's birth, a number of special concerts and events were held, especially in the city of Helsinki.Jokerit
Helsingin Jokerit (English: Jokers or Jesters) is a professional ice hockey team based in Helsinki, Finland. They are members of the Bobrov Division of the Western Conference of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). The team won six league championships as a member of the Finnish SM-liiga (1973, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, and 2002). Jokerit plays its home games at the Hartwall Arena. They joined the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) as of the 2014–15 KHL season, making Finland the first Nordic country to have a team in the league.Linus Torvalds
Linus Benedict Torvalds (; Finland Swedish: [ˈliːnɵs ˈtuːrvalds] (listen); born December 28, 1969) is a Finnish–American software engineer who is the creator, and historically, the principal developer of the Linux kernel, which became the kernel for many Linux distributions and operating systems such as Android and Chrome OS. He also created the distributed version control system Git and the diving logging and planning software Subsurface. He was honored, along with Shinya Yamanaka, with the 2012 Millennium Technology Prize by the Technology Academy Finland "in recognition of his creation of a new open source operating system for computers leading to the widely used Linux kernel". He is also the recipient of the 2014 IEEE Computer Society Computer Pioneer Award and the 2018 IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award.Stockholm syndrome
Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity. These alliances, resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. The FBI's Hostage Barricade Database System and Law Enforcement Bulletin shows that roughly 8% of victims show evidence of Stockholm syndrome.This term was first used by foreign media in 1973 as eponym when four hostages were taken during a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden. The hostages defended their captors after being released and would not agree to testify in court against them. Stockholm syndrome is ostensibly paradoxical because the sympathetic sentiments captives feel towards their captors are the opposite of the fear and disdain an onlooker may feel towards the captors.
There are four key components that characterize Stockholm syndrome:
A hostage's development of positive feelings towards their captor
No previous hostage-captor relationship
A refusal by hostages to co-operate with police forces and other government authorities
A hostage's belief in the humanity of their captor, for the reason that when a victim holds the same values as the aggressor, they cease to be perceived as a threat.Stockholm syndrome is considered a "contested illness", due to many law enforcement officers' doubt about the legitimacy of the condition. Stockholm syndrome has also come to describe the reactions of some abuse victims beyond the context of kidnappings or hostage-taking. Actions and attitudes similar to those suffering from Stockholm syndrome have also been found in victims of sexual abuse, human trafficking, discrimination, terror, and political and religious oppression.University of Helsinki
The University of Helsinki (Finnish: Helsingin yliopisto, Swedish: Helsingfors universitet, Latin: Universitas Helsingiensis, abbreviated UH) is a university located in Helsinki, Finland since 1829, but was founded in the city of Turku (in Swedish Åbo) in 1640 as the Royal Academy of Åbo, at that time part of the Swedish Empire. It is the oldest and largest university in Finland with the widest range of disciplines available. Around 36,500 students are currently enrolled in the degree programs of the university spread across 11 faculties and 11 research institutes.
As of 1 August 2005, the university complies with the harmonized structure of the Europe-wide Bologna Process and offers Bachelor, Master, Licenciate, and Doctoral degrees. Admission to degree programmes is usually determined by entrance examinations, in the case of bachelor's degrees, and by prior degree results, in the case of master and postgraduate degrees. Entrance is particularly selective (circa 15% of the yearly applicants are admitted). It has been ranked a top 100 university in the world according to the 2016 ARWU, QS and THE rankings.The university is bilingual, with teaching by law provided both in Finnish and Swedish. Since Swedish, albeit an official language of Finland, is a minority language, Finnish is by far the dominating language at the university. Teaching in English is extensive throughout the university at Master, Licentiate, and Doctoral levels, making it a de facto third language of instruction.
Remaining true to its traditionally strong Humboldtian ethos, the University of Helsinki places heavy emphasis on high-quality teaching and research of a top international standard. It is a member of various prominent international university networks, such as Europaeum, UNICA, the Utrecht Network, and is a founding member of the League of European Research Universities.Uusimaa
Uusimaa (Finnish: [ˈuːsimɑː]; Swedish: Nyland [²nyːland]; both lit. "new land") is a region of Finland. It borders the regions of Southwest Finland (Varsinais-Suomi), Tavastia Proper (Kanta-Häme), Päijänne Tavastia (Päijät-Häme), and Kymenlaakso. Finland’s capital and largest city, Helsinki, along with the surrounding Greater Helsinki area, are both contained in the region, which makes Uusimaa Finland's most populous region. The population of Uusimaa is 1,638,469.Vantaa
Vantaa (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈʋɑntɑː]; Swedish: Vanda) is a city and municipality in Finland. It is part of the inner core of the Finnish Capital Region along with Helsinki, Espoo, and Kauniainen. With a population of 226,160 (31 August 2018), Vantaa is the fourth most populated city of Finland.
Vantaa is bordered by Helsinki, the Finnish capital, to the south; Espoo to the southwest; Nurmijärvi to the northwest; Kerava and Tuusula to the north; and Sipoo to the east. The city encompasses 240.35 square kilometres (92.80 sq mi), of which 1.97 km2 (0.76 sq mi) is water.The largest airport in Finland, and the main airport and airline hub of Greater Helsinki, the Helsinki Airport, is located in Vantaa. Companies with headquarters in Vantaa include Finnair, Finavia, R-kioski, Tikkurila Oyj, Veikkaus Oy, and Metsähallitus. The city also hosts a science center, Heureka.
The city of Vantaa is bilingual, both Finnish and Swedish being official languages. 88.6% of the population are Finnish speakers, while 3% speak Swedish as their first language. 8.4% of the population speak a native language other than Finnish or Swedish.