Image Source: Helsinki Tourism Material Bank / Photographer: Niklas Sjöblom

Helsinki is unique among Northern European cities. The lifestyle in the second-most northern capital city in the world is full of contrasts and activities in the form of hundreds of events and friendly people. Helsinki's identity has been formed by cultural influences from both the East and West.

For more information on the highlights of Helsinki visit

University of the Arts Helsinki

Finnish Academy of Fine Arts + Sibelius Academy + Theatre Academy Helsinki = University of the Arts Helsinki

The Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy and Theatre Academy Helsinki merged at the beginning of 2013 into an arts university, in English called the University of the Arts Helsinki (Taideyliopisto in Finnish).

The University of the Arts Helsinki fosters our art heritage and educates artists whose work provides society with life force and new perspectives and ways of thinking, encouraging people to ask questions. The University of the Arts Helsinki brings the arts to the very core of society.
The University consists of three academies that have equal educational contents and cultural weight. The staff and the students of the existing universities were transferred to the University of the Arts Helsinki. There are a total of approximately 2,100 students and the full-time equivalent of personnel is 600.

History of Helsinki in a Nutshell

Sweden’s King Gustavus Vasa founded Helsinki on the mouth of Vantaanjoki River in 1550 to compete with Tallinn for Baltic Sea trade. The town grew slowly however, and the centre of Helsinki was moved to its current location in the 1600s.

In 1748 Sweden began construction of the Suomenlinna Maritime Fortress off the coast of Helsinki to counter the growing threat from Russia. The massive project brought additional wealth, inhabitants and merchants to the town.

Russia conquered Finland in 1809. The status of Helsinki was raised to capital of the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland three years later. A monumental Empire-style city plan was drawn up to reflect the power of Russia and the Tsar.

Finland became independent in 1917, and Helsinki assumed the demanding new role of capital of the young republic. City planning was characterised by Classicism and Functionalism.
Recovering from the hardships of war, Helsinki hosted the Summer Olympics in 1952. The games created an international reputation for Helsinki as an efficient and friendly host city.
Helsinki is recognised as a city in which many differing views can interact in a constructive atmosphere.

Helsinki was one of nine European Cities of Culture in 2000. Helsinki received additional international cultural visibility when it successfully hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007. Couple of years later Helsinki was chosen as World Design Capital for the year 2012.

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