Helsinki is particularly special to me because despite it being a capital city with a unique urban vibe, it is surprisingly close and connected to nature. There are many gorgeous little islands in the archipelago around it, but not many are accessible all year round.
Seurasaari is one of the bigger islands and so close to the mainland that a bridge connects the two – making this place the ideal escape into nature at any time of year. On the Northern half of the island you will find an open air museum, which gives you a glimpse of what life was like in the Finnish countryside in the olden days. During public holidays such as midsummer and easter Seurasaari is a popular place for families to join the festivities; it is also a popular spot in the summer to hang around the small beaches, in the winter it’s a stunningly beautiful winter paradise.
The Southern part of Seurasaari is pure, unspoilt forest. With its little ponds and rocky edges it is the perfect spot for an escape off from civilisation after a hectic week. My favourite place in Helsinki and on my list to show every visitor! Easy to get to in 20 minutes with bus 24 from the city centre.
Extra tip: bring a bag of nuts (and patience) and with a bit of luck you will be met by a bunch of hungry squirrels and birds that will eat from your hand! The most peaceful and soothing thing ever!