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Helsinki, Finland

You know what I remember about Helsinki?! There’s an old tv ad back home in the Philippines when the father asked his daughter what is the capital of Finland and his cute daughter doubtedly answered Helsinki. Heck, I can’t even remember what was the product in that tv ad but that was my first introduction of the city.

Fast forward, I have never imagined that one day that I will travel to Helsinki. Did you know that Helsinki is the only European capital with no medieval history? The city was founded and ruled by the Swedes to be a Baltic port but it grew and prospered to be the leading city of Finland. Despite its Swedish roots, Helsinki feels like Russia. Maybe because when the Russians took over Finland they made Helsinki modeled after their capital St. Petersburg. Stone buildings and neoclassical columns are apparent throughout the city.

Most travelers arrive by cruise ship from Stockholm and head directly to the harbor square. The market in the square sells mostly souvenirs, fruits and vegetables. Also, if you’re into casual quick and cheap meal, the harbor is the place to be. From salmon grills to meat, make sure to stop by and try some local flavors. Although my visit was short, I got a great feel for this city. Anyway, here are  some highlights of my trip that I want to share with you.

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