Helsinki - the city and surroundings
Helsinki is surrounded by sea on three sides, and the maritime environment gives the city life a special character.The population of the Helsinki region is 1.2 million. Besides Helsinki, this region includes the cities of Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen and 13 other municipalities.
Finnish is the dominant language, while 7 % speak Swedish, the second official language of Finland, as their first language. Most people speak good English, while other European languages including German and French are also spoken.
Helsinki’s good quality of life is based on the closeness to nature, the clean environment, the technical infrastructure and the respect given to traditional cultural values. Basic necessities such as standard grocery foods are not expensive and property is alsoaveragely priced compared with the rest of Europe.
Its location between the East and the West has made Helsinki into a distinctive European capital. The past splendour of the Imperial age and the persistent identity of this small nation have blended into a serene society of the future.
International studies published at the beginning of the 21st century speak out Helsinki among the most attractive cities of the world because of its quality of life and living conditions. Helsinki is just the right size; its services are second to none, and the latest high technology and the closeness to nature meet one another.
Helsinki lies within the Northern Hemisphere’s temperate climatic zone. Thanks to the warm Gulf Stream, the climate is warmer than at comparable latitudes in North America, for example. In summer Helsinki’s average temperature is 16 – 17° C, but on hot days the mercury can reach 30° C and even higher. The average temperature in the winter months is between -3 and -5° C, and the weather varies from a few degrees above zero to biting frost.
The geologic and climatic conditions are stable. The ground does not shake, since Helsinki stands solidly atop ancient bedrock in the middle of a continental plate. Major floods, circular storms and other natural catastrophes do not occur.
Snow accumulations don’t cause problems in Helsinki either. The accumulation is greatest at the end of March, when it averages 32 cm.
The strong seasonal changes give their own spice to the climate. The face of the landscape changes from season to season. In summer there is plenty of light: in the middle of the night the sky gets only slightly dark. The longest days last almost 19 hours. In autumn the climate continues to be pleasant, and the autumn splendour of the foliage enhances the city’s beauty. In the heart of winter, there are about six hours of daylight from sunrise to sunset.
Her history, climate, and location have shaped Helsinki into an easygoing city. You can laugh with amusement or sympathy at everything you come across in the city – that is what the people of Helsinki do. City of Helsinki Welcomes You.
Finland has been a member of the European Union since 1995. Finland is easy to get to. Most European cities are less than a three-hour flight away.
Helsinki Region is the most rapidly growing area in Finland. Greater Helsinki has 1.2 million inhabitants and 700,00 jobs. By 2025, Greater Helsinki is forecast to have 1.5 million inhabitants and 800,000 jobs, which means that movement to the region will continue to be strong. International companies (e.g., ICL, IBM, Siemens, Hewlett Packard, Ericsson and Lotus) have set up research units in Finland.