Travel Postcard: 48 hours in wintry Helsinki

Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:25am EST
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HELSINKI (Reuters) - Don't let sub-zero temperatures and darkness put you off visiting Finland's capital city in the winter, when its Art Nouveau and modernist buildings are covered in a layer of snow.

Finns know how to make the best of wintry weather, keeping warm with saunas and strong drinks or enjoying music and art indoors when they are not out cross-country skiing.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help you to get the most out of a two-day stay in Helsinki during the winter.


6 p.m. - Drop off your luggage and head to fashionable Liberty or Death for an inventive cocktail and an introduction to Finns' quirky sense of humor.

The menu, which changes monthly, includes "This isn't the drink you were looking for" -- a drink based on Finlandia vodka mixed with tomato, coriander, beer and chili. The bar describes it as a "cocktail nobody will probably like, ever."

8 p.m. - For more traditional Finnish fare, have dinner at restaurant Sea Horse in Ullanlinna. National favorites such as fried herring and Vorschmack are served in a dining room that looks little changed from the 1930s.


9 a.m. - Head for Senaatintori square and have breakfast at Cafe Engel, located in one of the oldest houses in Helsinki. Window-side seats offer breathtaking views of the Helsinki Cathedral's green dome.   Continued...

A woman walks past Helsinki cathedral March 4, 2011. REUTERS/Yves Herman