Posted by: debrakolkka | May 30, 2010

Spring in Helsinki

I was very keen to see Helsinki in the spring.  I have been several times in autumn and once in February this year to find the city in deep snow and looking marvellous.  The weather in Italy for our last few weeks was horrid and a little spring sunshine was in order.

Helsinki turned on the best weather I saw in my entire trip.  There was glorious sunshine from very early in the morning until late at night.  The parks were full of people lying about in swimsuits and in various states of undress.  After a long cold winter, everyone wanted to take in as much sunshine as posssible.

taking advantage of the spring sunshine

This city is absolutely beautiful bathed in spring sunshine!!!  The trees had only just turned green, so they had that heavenly bright, clean, new green that I love.  The gardens were full of daffodils, tulips, grape hyacynth and other brightly coloured flowers.

spring colours

the beautiful park in the city centre - Runebergin Esplanadi

I knew that Helsinki is full of Art Nouveau buildings, but I had not really noticed many of them.  Perhaps I had not been looking up on my previous visits.  No doubt I was huddled in a coat.  Art nouveau was born out of a desire to break free from the past and create a better and more beautiful world.  At the beginning  of the 20th century Helsinki was growing at an amazing speed and the old wooden houses had to give way to stone buildings.  This coincided with the brief heyday of Art Nouveau and beautiful buildings sprang up all over the city.  There are decorative facades and freely arranged windows in varying shapes, towers, bay windows, beautiful balconies and elegant gates.   The Nordic nature and legends were a rich source for decorative subjects.   I spent hours just wandering around fascinated by these delightful buildings.

the railway station and its clocktower is one of the symbols of Helsinki - built in 1914

the National Theatre, 1902

 The Finnish National Theatre was one of the first public buildings to display the Jungend style.  The main facade is constructed of domestic granite and soapstone and contains several interesting decorative motifs.

a wise owl on the corner of the Theatre

 There are some very elegant streets in Helsinki, a favourite being Bulevardi, which is filled with great shops, restaurants, parks and beautiful buildings. 

an elegant street - Bulevardi

apartment building in Bulevardi

The Pohjola Building

decoration on the front of the Pohjola Building

motifs from Nordic mythology

apartment building near the city centre

the one next door

art nouveau decoration

Wouldn't you love to live in this?

green - my favourite

typical art nouveau decoration

not so typical

The mermaid by Ville Vallgren, 1908

The beautiful mermaid who forms part of the fountain near the harbour was created by Ville Vallgren.  She caused a sensation when she was unveiled in 1908.

the beautiful cafe/restaurant near the harbour

There are numerous parks dotted around the city and making the most of the long sunny days I walked through several of them.  Obviously spring comes later here than Italy, so I was able to enjoy early spring all over again.

beside the path in one of Helsinki's many parks

near Finlandia Hall

a moose in the park

We stayed at the Glo in the city centre and really enjoyed it.  As well as the great showers I think they have the most comfortable beds in the world.

I have loved Helsinki on every visit, but this was the best yet.  I can’t wait to get back.

Glo Hotel


  1. Lovely.

    You gave so nice picture from my country that I am speechless. Your photos are admirable and I enjoyd every photo. They are so fresh with colors to be admired.

  2. I cannot believe all the traveling you do Deb! you must have a great mileage on your fidelity cards (flying blue …) unless you have a jet on your own 🙂
    Great pictures!
    Never been to Finland, before now through your post 🙂
    The picture of the restaurant reminded me of the Parisian Restaurant “Le Notre” on the Champs Elysees…

    • Hi Mirella,
      I go to Italy twice a year and like to stop over on the way. Finland is a favourite destination, but I also love to stay in Hong Kong, London and Paris. I can recommend Finnair. It is a great airline and the prices are great. Finland is a beautiful country.

      • Hi.

        I know that it is uncivilized to comment other’s comment, but because I was working nearly forty years for Finnair, I can confirm that. I also developed it during years. Thank You.

  3. […] year has been full of wonderful travel.  I started the year with a trip to Italy via Hong Kong, Helsinki, Paris and London. Hong Kong from my friends' […]

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