Helsinki is the capital and the largest city of Finland. Situated on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, by the Baltic Sea, it is the most populated municipality in the country. At the same time, it is also the most thinly populated capital in Europe, after Brussels. The city was founded in 1550, by King Gustav I of Sweden. The original name of the city is ‘Helsingfors’, which is still used as its official name. Helsinki is the country’s hub for business, education, research, culture, and government. Comprising of around 300 islands, interconnected by a maze of bridges, Helsinki stretches along the entire northern shore of the Gulf of Finland and winds around innumerous craggy islets and peninsulas. Such an amazing view is indeed a sight for the sore eyes. This is the reason why the place is often visited by tourists and travelers from all over the globe. The metropolitan area of the city houses eight high-class universities and six technology parks. As it is highly developed, the immigration is the highest here, in the whole Finland. To know some more interesting and fun facts about Helsinki, read on.
Image: By Pöllö (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Established In: 1550
Established By: King Gustav I of Sweden
Population: 602,200 (2012)
Area: 715.49 km2
Time Zone: EET (UTC+2)
Interesting & Fun Facts About Helsinki
- The city spans over an agglomeration of more than 300 islands.
- In Helsinki, the population of women is greater than that of men, with men constituting around 46.6 per cent of the population and women making up around 53.4 percent.
- Helsinki is one of the coldest cities in the world, as it does not receive sunshine for about consecutive 51 days in winters. The city has around 101 average annual days of snow and an amazing 169 average annual number of days below 32°F.
- Helsinki has the highest cellphone-to-resident ratios in the world. The world’s leading manufacturer of cell phones, Nokia, is based in Finland.
- Between June and mid-September, there are special teams of uniformed men deployed all over the city known as the ‘Helsinki Helpers’. These forces are identified by their green uniforms and are meant to dispense advice or information about the city, the city’s maps and everyday life in Helsinki.
- The unemployment rate in Helsinki is 6.6%.
- The city of Helsinki has an average of 121 rainy days.
- Every hotel in Finland has a list of English speaking maids, babysitters or butlers for your assistance and who can help babysit your child while parents are out touring. Hotels are the largest suppliers of babysitters throughout Helsinki.
- Helsinki’s plant symbol is maple. The city’s animal symbol is squirrel.
- The metropolitan area of Helsinki generates around one third of the Finnish GDP.
- Helsinki boasts of the largest technology campus amongst all the Nordic countries.
- The GDP per capita of the city is nearly 1.5 times the national average, thereby making Helsinki one of the wealthiest capitals in Europe.
- The water supply takes place via Päijänne Water Tunnel, which is world's longest continuous rock tunnel.
- The city of Helsinki was founded at the mouth of the river Vantaa, by the decree of the King Gustav Vasa of Sweden, in the year 1550. However, the city was eventually moved from there to the present location, in the year 1643.
- Helsinki has been the capital of Finland since 1812.
- Three years after Finland became an autonomous Grand Duchy of the great Roman Empire, Helsinki was proclaimed the capital city. Even after the country gained independence in the year 1917, the city continued as the capital and urban center of the country.
- Today, Helsinki has become a major urban center, inhabited by around 1.3 million people. The city also ranks as the northernmost European capital.