Helsinki, Helsingfors in Swedish, is the capital of Finland. The estimated population of Helsinki is about 550,000. Founded in 1550 as a rival to the Hanseatic city of Reval by King Gustav I of Sweden, the town of Helsingfors struggled in its early years. The settlement was plagued by poverty, wars, and diseases. For a long time it stayed as a small low-key coastal town. To help reduce the Swedish impact, Tsar Alexander I of Russia had the capital moved from Turku to Helsingfors. This move strengthened the city's new role and the following decades saw record growth and development for the city, creating the rudiments for the origin of a modern world class capital in the 20th century. Although most of the first half of the 20th century was a violent time for Helsinki, it continued to gradually develop. Modern postwar urbanization of the 1970s, which occurred late in the European context, tripled the population in the metropolitan area, making the Helsinki metropolitan area one of the fastest growing urban centers in Europe in the 1990s.
In Helsinki you must visit the Iso Vasikkasaari. It is an island that you will want to spend the day on. This is a magnificent place for picnics and a relaxing time. There are two beachesand you will just love the time you spend enjoying everything on this beautiful island. Right near the beach is the Hietaniemen Hautausmaa. The Hietaniemen Hautausmaa is a cemetery that is quite a sight to see. Spend an interesting afternoon looking at all the different gravestones that are separated into four different religious segments.
Or enjoy the Vuosaaren Urheilutalo. It has a free swimming and sauna. When you get one of the treatments at this fantastic heath center that has a swimming pool and a solarium too you will never want to leave. Take some time to pamper yourself at this exceptional place.