Helsinki: a (paradise) city that allows you to be… just you

A weekend in the capital of Finland, Helsinki, is a synonym of experimentation. The wide variety of activities that the city has to offer let you play with the different facets of your personality. And during the summer, one activity stands out: the Flow Festival.

Helsinki sharpens all your senses. The capital of Finland has the capacity to widen your pupils, make your inhalations deeper and your touch more sensible. You want to live it all. And all, here, means so much. The city has a lot to offer: a modern side, a natural one, day and night life. You can be sophisticated and vibrant or wild and spiritual. The best part is that you can be all of this in just one day.

A weekend in Helsinki can be an urban experience or a wild one. The city respects natural spaces so much that it is impossible to separate one from the other.

This is not a common capital city: the traffic and pollution is almost non-existent, it is not overpopulated, people do not seem to be in a rush all the time. It lets you breathe, walk, wonder and enjoy every street, lake and natural park. And during the weekend it is a fascinating place to be at, almost paradise-like.  

So, how is a weekend in Helsinki? What can you do? Basically, the answer depends on how you are feeling that day (or even that hour). You can do it all! Take a trip on a boat to get to Suomenlinna, a lovely sea fortress from the 18th century surrounded by six islands. Visit the Lapinlahden Lähde café, located inside a building that used to be a psychiatric hospital and now is used as a gallery. Take a long walk to enjoy the sunset in the city center or a nearby lake or beach.

Lakes and beaches (both remarkably easy to find) are the perfect spots in Helsinki to watch the sunset.

Nightlife has just as many activities: you can have dinner, drinks or go clubbing. But if you happen to be in the city during August, the Flow Festival is one of the most amazing experiences you can have. 

We need to talk about Flow Festival

Yes, Finns are shy. But there is one exception: they are not shy in a concert; music connects them and they sing, scream, dance and (surprisingly) can even rap.

“The Nordic countries’ coolest festival”, that is how Vogue US described Flow. Numbers prove this statement: this past weekend (from August 10th to 12th, 2018) over 84,000 people gathered in Suvilahti to attend the festival and enjoy over hundred artists and groups.

Flow Festival is an international event that merges art and music. It is unique and diverse; also a leading example in sustainability.

The experience is electrifying, to say the least. 

During the three days the eyes of the attendants fill with light, the illumination (at the scenarios and art installations) is bold and playful. Sounds, on the other hand, change all the time: the line up is as diverse as the country; you can be rapping at Kendrick Lamar (one of the main artists this year) at 10 PM and then, at 12 PM, you can be singing a rock song or moving with an electronic rhythm. 

Helsinki: the city of personal freedom

Finally… It is, by no means, an exaggeration to say that visiting Helsinki means rediscovering yourself: the city has so much to offer that it pushes you to get out of your comfort zone, to do things that usually you would not do.

It makes you, in a way, to feel more alive, playful, adventurous and happy; and at the same time calmer and connected. Yes, Helsinki is a quiet place but it can also be noisy and intense. What makes this city so unique is that it gives you the freedom to choose which facet you want to experience.

Author: Mariana - Mexico

Mariana Limón Rugerio is a Mexico City-based journalist who currently works for the Chilango, covering a wide range of topics in both print and online editions of the magazine. Mariana graduated as journalist in 2016. She has three more years of working experience in media, including print and digital media, as well as audiovisual journalism. Before joining the Chilango magazine, Mariana worked as a content editor for Cyan Media Lab/Código Magenta and as a freelance writer for Life & Style magazine. Mariana’s interests cover various themes from social, political and economic affairs to lifestyle and culture. Instagram: @ijusttype

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