Juhana Vartiainen

Since its foundation in 1550, Helsinki has been a trading city. Its founders had grandiose plans for the location, but the city was devastated by illness and poverty. For a long time Helsinki remained a relatively small center of trade. About 150 years later the black plague killed a large portion of the population, just when the territory was annexed by Russia, the whole country began to develop as the Great Duchy of Finland. In 1812 the capital of Finland was moved from Turku to Helsinki. At that time, the only university in the country was also moved to Helsinki. Factors such as industrialization and infrastructure development were becoming essential for the growth of the city.

The capital of Finland, Helsinki, has a population of 620,512 people and covers an area of ​​214.21 square kilometers. The city is the financial, political, educational and cultural centre of the country. Helsinki is divided into 4 administrative districts.

More than 75% of foreign companies with businesses in Finland have their headquarters in the capital. In 2011, the city took over the first place of best cities to live in in the world. Helsinki is located on the edge of a peninsula and covers 315 islands. The capital produces over 1/3 of the country's gross domestic product. The average GDP per capita in the city is 1.3 times bigger than the country average.



Tourism is a big part of the city's economy. Helsinki is a popular tourist destination, especially among people from neighboring countries. The National Museum in Helsinki is the largest historical museum in Finland. There you will find collections dating all the way back to prehistoric times as well as exhibits from the 21st century. The Helsinki City Museum focuses on the 500-year history of the capital. The Finnish National Gallery, which is one of the main tourist attractions in the city, comprises of three museums - for classical Finnish art, classical European art and modern art. The city has many theaters, year-round cultural and sporting events, as well as many parks.