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A Quick Guide To Helsinki Finland

Updated on November 2, 2019
Oodi Helsinki Central Library
Oodi Helsinki Central Library

Visit The Central Library Oodi

Finland is regularly ranked among the top ten most-educated countries in the world. Moreover, for a population of five and a half million, it boasts an enormous annual number of borrowed library books.

With Oodi (meaning ‘ode’ in English) located right in the center of Helsinki on Kansalaistori Square, the whole concept of the public library gets upgraded to a progressive, multi-use space. The new building resembles a floating wave and boldly reflects Finnish nature and the local spirit.

The lower part of the narrow, elongated three-level structure is covered with wood. Finnish spruce cladding wraps around curved surfaces developed with the help of special parametric software programs.

The distinctive wooden overlay on the exterior of the building continues its journey indoors. Meanwhile, the wavy top layer of the building is made of glass and steel. Here, the serene atmosphere of the library’s largest reading room is marked by an open plan, functional interior design, and natural light flooding in from circular roof lights. Floor-to-ceiling windows ensure breathtaking views across Helsinki.

The library has about 100,000 books in a variety of languages available for borrowing or reading on the spot; more than three million units have been digitized. But the building offers much more than books.

First of all, it’s the perfect spot for co-working, studying, or teaching. It’s also a dream-come-true office for freelancers. Second, one can spend an entire day there exploring the new hobby facilities. Learn 3D printing skills, use the sewing and embroidery machines, or even try the laser cutters. Oodi’s first floor is used for various exhibitions and performances. It also includes a restaurant and cinema hall.

The 2nd floor is full of creative bustle and very far from the silent discipline of old-school libraries. It features a wide range of multimedia facilities, including photo studios and music-recording equipment. The 3rd floor is a reading paradise.

Ivana Helsinki
Ivana Helsinki

Shop At Ivana Helsinki

Ivana Helsinki is more than a fashion brand. Designer Paola Ivana Suhonen is also an artist and a filmmaker, and she treats Ivana Helsinki as her personal art project.

Here you can find dresses, knits, unique handbags, handmade rugs, and – with some luck – even a music show.

LÖYLY Sauna Helsinki
LÖYLY Sauna Helsinki

Take A Sauna In Helsinki

Say Finland, mean ‘sauna’. Hardly any other country in Europe knows more about this art of relaxation. The sauna is a part of Finnish culture, a daily routine, and even a sacred, spiritual ritual.

There’s hardly a better way to purify your mind and body than with a proper dose of hot steam followed by ice-cold water for contrast. The number of private saunas in the country (more than three million) is quite impressive, while at the same time the number of public saunas is decreasing.

Löyly, a new award-winning public sauna complex, aims to put this iconic form of socializing and leisure back on track. Trendy and easy-going, Löyly opened in Hernesaari, a former industrial district on the shores of the Baltic Sea in Helsinki. It soon turned into a new urban gem, a meeting point for locals, and a tourist attraction that hosts nearly 400 sauna lovers a day.

By the way, löyly in Finnish refers to the vapor that appears when a splash of water meets heated rocks.

The low structure is covered in heat-treated pine and resembles a shell or rock. A large outdoor area with sunbathing decks and a specially equipped swimming area provides plenty of space to enjoy the meditative surroundings all year round.

Guests can explore three different saunas: a continuously wood-heated sauna, another sauna that is heated only in the morning, and a classic smoke sauna. For the must-try traditional Finnish sauna ritual – an extreme winter swim – a huge underwater propeller keeps the water around Löyly from freezing into ice.

It’s said that a visit to a sauna burns a proper number of calories, so the complex’s panoramic restaurant serves locally caught fish and organic dishes to conclude this ultimate day of self-care.

Central Library Oodi:
Tölöviksgatan 4, 00101 Helsingfors, Finland

get directions

Ivana Helsinki:
Uudenmaankatu 15, 00120 Helsinki, Finland

get directions

Löyly Sauna:
Hernesaarenranta 4, 00150 Helsingfors, Finland

get directions

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Jeremy East


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