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When in… Helsinki, Finland

This contemporary and very stylish Finnish city is best explored in the European summer. Here’s where to go…
Allas Sea Pool, Helsinki, Finland
Allas Sea Pool

Situated near the Old Church Park in Helsinki’s Design District, Hotel St George boasts 148 individually decorated rooms and five suites in a unique, historical setting. With its luxurious furnishings, incredible art, three on-site restaurants and the exquisitely appointed living room, The Wintergarden, there isn’t a more perfect space from which to explore the city.


Lovers of good design will be in their element at the Design Museum. Housing 125 000 images, 75 000 objects and 45 000 drawings, the museum, which opened in 1873, is internationally recognised as a national specialist museum. After taking in all the incredible works on display, pop in to Juuri Café & Bar for delicious Finnish pastries and coffee, as well as incredible design books and gifts.


Of the 27 Michelin-starred restaurants in Finland, 26 are situated in Helsinki – and Demo is one of them. Having held on to this accolade annually since 2007, it continues to deliver a top dining experience year after year. With a set menu that changes regularly and a laidback-luxe atmosphere, it’s no wonder booking is essential.


Centrally located in West Harbour, the Clarion Hotel Helsinki, with its two window-clad towers linked by a transparent glass footbridge, is truly a unique sight to behold. Its rooftop bar, the Sky Room, is well worth a visit. With panoramic views over the city and harbour, and a cocktail list second to none, it’s the place to mingle with the city’s chic and cosmopolitan crowd.


Stockmann Helsinki Centre may not sound very enticing, but with more than 50 000m2 of retail space spread over 10 floors, it’s a must-visit for serious retail therapy. It is Scandinavia’s largest department store and stocks the best international names in fashion as well as local designer threads and top beauty and wellness brands. It also has a grocery store, a pet shop and various restaurants, so it’s easy to lose a day here.


It would be sacrilege to visit Helsinki and not experience its sauna culture. This is why a visit to Allas Sea Pool is a must. Made up of a floating deck and housing three saunas, as well as two large heated freshwater pools and a seawater pool, it’s a blissful place to spend a day.

By Lynette Botha



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