Being an outdoors person, Helsinki is a playground offering a wide range of activities, ranging from the highly exotic like ice swimming to cross-country skiing, sailing and running. I also like the creative spirit of the city, its design district, northern oddities and the numerous cosy coffee shops around the city.
Internationally renowned for its design and architecture, Helsinki has a rich culture that is fast evolving. Music, food and art are appreciated all year round - from high culture events to local festivals, there is always plenty going on.
To take a break from city life many retreat to their summer cottage during holidays. That's the essence of living in Helsinki; despite having the energetic feel of a capital, nature is never far away.
Finland scores well on surveys that measure the overall quality of life, and Helsinki ranks amongst the most liveable cities across the globe. Good public healthcare and one of the highest levels of education in the world make it a great place to call home.
Helsinki is a lively city surrounded by 100 kilometres of coastline. In the past couple of years several new public saunas, seaside bars and recreation areas have emerged with a short distance to nearby islands perfect for day trips and exploring.
There are lots of museums, free playgrounds and sport centres to choose from, and the public transport network is convenient to use - even with small children. English is widely spoken, making it easy to blend in with the locals.
My favourite place in Helsinki is probably Suomenlinna, an 18th-century sea fortress built on a cluster of islands a 10-minute ferry ride from the main market square, Kauppatori. The fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and has museums and cafés. It’s fun to explore, and you easily forget how close you are to the city centre when you’re there.