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The region of Southern Finland lies by the coast of the Gulf of Finland, and it is surrounded by the lakeland on the East and the North and the region of the West Coast on the West. Founded in 1550, Helsinki is the main city of the area, with an international airport that receives more than 21 million passengers each year.
Exploring the Area
The most popular cities of the area for travellers are Helsinki, Hämmeenlinna, Kotka, Lappeenranta, Porvoo, Hanko, and Raasepori. Most of them are located along the coast. History permeates from these cities, as Southern Finland is the most densely populated region of the country, and the richest in cultural heritage. The thriving area mixes history and magnificence with an approachable character. Modern restaurants, design shops, art galleries, museums and boutique hotels continue to appear, along with traditional craft workshops, rental cottages, and street food markets.
The stunning outdoors, adorned with natural beauty, are just a few stops away by public transport. It is also possible to take scenic drives along the coast or the inland. There are a number of excellent National Parks, such as Repovesi and Valkmusa in the Kymenlaakso region, Nuuksio and Sipoonkorpi near Helsinki, and those located in the Baltic Sea.
Fill your senses with fresh air, Baltic Sea breeze and views of beautiful wilderness. The trees, with their mixed beauty, explode into yellows, reds and oranges when autumn arrives. In winter, the snow-covered landscape is a view best admired under a warm blanket with a cup of hot coffee and a “pulla” (sweet bread) in hand. Enjoy it on the front porch or any of the hundreds of cabins throughout the area or after a sauna session when you go for your “avanto” (frozen water swimming).
Eating and Drinking
From the land to the sea, from modern to traditional, the cuisine of Southern Finland is varied, surprising and, overall, delicious. Home-made stews, creams and soups; tasty game meats; fresh fish from the lakes and the sea; berries and mushrooms from the forest; steaming hot cakes and delicate pastries are some of the treats that you can find in the region. Dig into the steaming bowls of soup or platters of fresh fish at any of the famous traditional restaurants or fine your way to the modern nordic cuisine at any of the new fine-dinning hotspots. If you are looking for a more local flavour, try eating in a shared table in one of the many local markets that offer daily menus. Find one of the many micro-breweries and wineries for an experience to remember.