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On Friday 1 March, Klaus K Hotel and Valio Jäätelöfabriikki opened what is, by all accounts, the world's first hotel room with an ice cream theme. This delicious ice cream suite has been christened the Sweet Suite and is available for booking from October until the end of December.
The Valio Jäätelöfabriikki Sweet Suite represents staycationing at its best. When there, you can immerse yourself in entertainment, relax between soft sheets, soak in a foam bath and, best of all, enjoy as much ice cream as you like. The aim of the Sweet Suite is to make guests happy and provide a pleasant surprise.
Interior designers Anna Pirkola and Kirsikka Simberg created the decor and styling. Enchanting details and a freezer stocked with ice cream await guests in the Sweet Suite, which features vintage furniture from the 1930s and Nordic design.
"Our customers appreciate high-quality experiences. A hotel room is must more than just a place to sleep. We believe that both Finnish and international guests will love staying in our theme-based hotel room," says Hanna Kiuru, General Manager of Klaus K.
This magical and modern city has plenty to offer from functional design to gastronomy and architectural appeal. If you want to take some time out of the city, you can also easily hop on their efficient transportation system to green forests that are only a stone’s throw away.
While there are many reasons why you should head over to Helsinki, here are five main reasons why Helsinki should be your next vacation destination.
Helsinki was named the World Design Capital in 2012, and this comes as no surprise as it has produced a number of legendary designers including Timo Sarpaneva, Tapio Wirkkala and Kaj Franck. If you’d like to take a peek at some of their famous creations, you can head over to the Design Forum which houses these Finnish design classics.
After being enamored by the pieces at the Design Forum, you can continue to immerse yourself in Helsinki’s design scene at the Design District Helsinki where over 200 of the city’s best designer, creative agencies and artists are based. As you wander through the district, you’ll be amazed by the range of Finnish talent from internationally renowned Marimekko to Anu Penttinen’s stunning glassware.
Either than the buzzing design scene, you’ll also be in awe of Helsinki’s architecture. As you explore Helsinki, you’ll come to face to face with a range of architecture from old, wooden structures that have been around since the Swedish era, to modern architecture such as Kiasma’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Don’t forget to also pop in the Museum of Finnish Architecture to expand your knowledge of architectural history at Helsinki.
It’s a common misconception that Nordic cuisine is bland with limited innovation. These misconceptions came about due to the lack of spices available in the region and the fact that Helsinki is located so far north that fresh ingredients are limited. In recent years, however, Helsinki has challenged those notions and now has a great gastronomic reputation with artisanal producers and Michelin-starred restaurants.
Dine at restaurants that serve dishes with fresh, locally sourced ingredients such as fish, specialty meats, mushrooms, and berries. If you’re in Helsinki, you can also give reindeer a shot. Consider grabbing a reindeer kebab at the Kauppatori (Market square) food market or swing by Saaga restaurant to try a roasted reindeer fillet or slow-braised bear meat.
Either than restaurants, there are also plenty of cozy cafes for a snowy winter day. Head to Café Ekberg – Finland’s oldest bakery, patisserie, and café that’s located in Helsinki’s center on the atmospheric Boulevard– or Café Strindberg for spectacular views of central Helsinki.
If you happen to be around during Helsinki’s restaurant day, you’ll be in for a treat. During this special day, the Finnish will set up their own pop-up restaurant for a day, and this can be anything from a street stall to a bubbling burger bar.
In Helsinki, you can be assured that safety and cleanliness are at the forefront of this city. According to the 2018 Travel, Risk Map which assesses countries according to medical risks, security and road safety, Finland has the lowest overall threat level. The World Economic Forum had also rated Finland as the number one for safety and security in its biennial Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report.
Violent crime is infrequent in the city, and it’s safe for women that are traveling alone. In fact, the only danger that you might have to be wary of while walking the streets is either running into the occasional bear or slipping on ice. The capital of Finland prides itself in being the second safest city in the world and the most livable city.
Either than being safe, Finland also has incredible green credentials. In 2016, it ranked top on the Environmental Performance Index for producing nearly two-thirds of their electricity from renewable or nuclear power sources. With the abundance of nature, the World Health Organization has also declared Finland’s air quality to be the third best in the world.
Heading to a new city and having to deal with a different language can be a frustrating experience. In Helsinki, that’s something you won’t have to worry about. The majority of Finnish individuals are multilingual as English has been a part of their school curriculum for several decades. Finnish children start learning a foreign language – most typically English – in the third grade. As of the spring term of 2020, Finnish children will now start learning a first foreign language in the first grade.
Either than speaking English, the Finnish are also incredibly hospitable and may even strike up a conversation with you. While they come across as reserved in the beginning, once you get to know them, you’ll find that they’re very warm and friendly individuals.
While traveling, it can be a headache if you’re not able to figure out the transportation system. In Helsinki, the transportation system has been named second best amongst European cities and is incredibly efficient. It consists of buses, trams, the metro, local railway, and ferry services.
By just purchasing a single ticket, you can hop aboard all of the transportation systems including a ferry to Suomenlinna. While you can purchase these tickets from the traditional ticket machines and R-kiosks, you can also purchase them using the HSL mobile application. If you are a Helsinki cardholder, you can also travel free of charge on public transportation within the city.
During the summer months, bikes are also readily accessible within the city. They’re available until October 31st and is a convenient way to explore Helsinki for both locals and visitors. A popular route to take is ‘Baana’ which is located in the center of Helsinki. Baana forms a part of this 1,200km pedestrian and cycling corridor that makes the city easily accessible on two wheels; you can even travel to the islands of the archipelago.
Since Helsinki is a relatively compact city, you can easily travel around on foot. Most of Helsinki’s sights are within walking distance of the city center, and you can grab a recommended walking route at the Tourist Information booth. If you’d like to be immersed in nature, you can also easily take a bus to a secluded spot away from the buzzing city.
As you can tell, Helsinki has a lot to offer. It’s an exciting city that’s both laid back and vibrant. Whether you’re a foodie, a nature enthusiast, or just looking to take in the gorgeous design and architecture, there’s something for everyone. Start planning your trip to Helsinki and discover all that this wonderful city has to offer. For more destination guides and accommodation reviews, check out Trip101.
14.9. - 15.12.2017, Berlin
Klaus K Hotel is sponsoring this exhibition
Do you remember? features four international artists from Berlin. They travelled to Helsinki to work on the Finnish national epic poem Kalevala, which was first published by Elias Lönnrot in 1835. Tatiana Echeverri Fernandez, Oliver Godow, Mathilde ter Heijne and Jorinde Voigt immersed in the world of the Kalevala epic to develop a new aesthetic formula for thoughts and questions concerning myth, remembering, memory and the notion of “us”. New visual artworks deal with the interpretation of and the reaction to Finnish mythology, which has been passed on by word of mouth and which is unique in its verse form and sound. The exhibition is curated by the Berlin-based author Dr. Christine Nippe, who has curated exhibitions all over the world.
With regard to Aleida and Jan Assmann’s approach to cultural memory as well as the uncertainty perceived in times of global change, the reinforcement of national identity and the role of the culture of memory, this exhibition opens a debate of the following questions: Can a reinterpretation of a national narrative define a field of signification for both its own and the foreign cultural memory by visual art, and if so, to what extent? And what is the role of transnational artists in a new interpretation of old myths?
Together we travelled, researched and ventured the experiment. Art meets Kalevala, meets literature, meets the other. And yet it is essential: Whatever evolved within this process is an outcome in the form of individual, biographically influenced visual artworks. What unites all of them are the questions of the identity, the memory and the aesthetic they pose. Entirely in the spirit of: Do you remember …? Dr. Christine Nippe, curator and author | Berlin, June 2017
Under the auspices of Jenni Haukio, First Lady of Finland.
Address: Finnland-Institut in Deutschland, Georgenstr. 24 (1. OG), 10117 Berlin
I am Mathilde ter Heijne, one of the artists in exhibition “Do you remember?”, organized by Kalevalaseura (The Kalevala society) and The Finnish Institute, the show is curated by Christine Nippe. The exhibition features four international artists from Berlin. We travelled to Helsinki to learn about the famous Finnish national epic poem Kalevala, which was first published by Elias Lönnrot in 1835.
I am quite critical about that, and how traditional culture was used for the construction of the Finnish nation state identity, even if I understand the political wish for such a national identity at that time, I find it problematic and destructive in some way.
The Finnish national epic Kalevala, was compiled by Elias Lönnrot in the 19th century, and composed to generate a Finnish identity as part of the contemporary nation building process at the time. The epic however is really Elias Lönnrot’s epic, and it reflects his world view as a devout Christian, keen to depict the Finns as a civilized people with monotheistic beliefs. Lönnrot even took liberties by adding material of his own, reshaping ancient stories, and giving his epic a linear structure similar to the Bible, when in reality the world view of the ancient Finnish and Karelian rune-singers was cyclical and based on shamanic beliefs. Lönnrot only used a purposefully selected fraction of the material in folk poetry archives and admitted himself that he could have used the same sources to compile seven different but equally valid Kalevala versions.
Other folklorists could use such material to compile quite different stories that might reflect ancient beliefs more accurately and write a new, different epic, closer to the world view of the original singers, with no artificial religious or nationalistic elements. What if someone wrote another version, drawing on bear cults and shamanism found in Finnish folklore?
This I found really interesting, and I wanted to look beyond the ‘made up’ Finnish identity. To see what’s actually behind it, or what has maybe been overlooked, left out.
The lament was an oral singing tradition that wasn’t recorded and collected at the time. Lamenting is a kind of singing on the border to crying. I am quite intrigued by how lamenting, as a format, refused to fit into certain fixed expectations of the collectors, like the rune verses did. As a format the lament is not so easy to recognize as it only follows a few rules. The singer normally uses a specific kind of spoken-, and body language and the songs express deep, personal or collective emotions. For my project, I also want to look into the universality of lamenting as this kind of singing can be found all over the world. It’s a very powerful tool to deal with loss and trauma – personal and communal.
So, this has been my interest within the Karelian traditions. Actually, I have been doing research on the lament singing since 2012 when, together with HIAP, I organized a workshop with the lamenter Pirkko Fihlman (Äänellä itkijät Ry, www.itkuvirsi.net). For the occasion of my Do you remember?- project I tried to find other lamenting performers and musicians and I am now working with Emmi Kuittinen, a young Finnish folk singer https://emmikuittinen.com/.
Together we make a translation of some Karelian laments and focus on possible improvisations around certain themes that are important, not only in the Kalevala, but also in many other traditions in other parts of Finland, like for instance the wind, nature, and the sacred brown bear, whose name I should not have used, as a matter of fact.