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Started by Shadrack22 on Dec 2, 2020 4:55:57 PM
COPENHAGEN VS HELSINKI

With a vaccine on the horizon, thoughts turn to a city break in September 2021. At last!

Copenhagen or Helsinki - have you been to either? Which did you prefer? What are their respective merits? Which wouldn’t require taking out a second mortgage?

Likes: architecture, art, parks, wandering around taking in the sights, bars/cafes, cities on a walkable scale.

Dislikes: crowds, having to navigate local transport systems.

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hailesaladdie - 02 Dec 2020 17:03:39 (#1 of 40)

Copenhagen is wonderful. Wonderful!

hailesaladdie - 02 Dec 2020 17:07:55 (#2 of 40)

Copenhagen can appear severe at first, particularly in the autumn or winter light. Think of all those Scandi dramas with desaturated colour. It can be like that. And the dark and cold get all-pervasive as winter sets in. But the difference? They embrace it.

Darkness can be comforting. Darkness with tiny, warm lights, roaring heat, generous curtains and a laid-back conviviality, that's rather appealing.

It's easy to be drawn to Stroget and Nyhavn, but the city is about much more than that. It's the slightly battered streets of Norrebro, the achingly trendy Kodbyen, the windswept waterfront and the woods and greenery that creep in even as far as the city centre.

hailesaladdie - 02 Dec 2020 17:09:29 (#3 of 40)

For art, you've got the Glyptotek, some great exhibitions at Arken and , upt the coast, Louisiana, one of my all time favourite galleries. For architecture, you've got everything from the stocky, castle-like station, to the fairytale Tivoli, to the severe-looking tenements.

Will write more later.

Shadrack22 - 02 Dec 2020 17:12:26 (#4 of 40)

Thank you.

This would probably be early September.

My instinct is that Helsinki is the more adventurous choice and will have fewer tourists, but both are on my list.

artant - 02 Dec 2020 17:37:09 (#5 of 40)

I’ve been to Helsinki but only for a few days. I’d really like to go back.

For contemporary art, Kiasma is great: https://kiasma.fi/en/

There’s also a photography museum where I saw a couple of really interesting exhibitions: https://www.valokuvataiteenmuseo.fi/en

I also visited a few galleries, mostly contemporary art but also some design spaces (and maybe a design museum).

Rendered - 02 Dec 2020 17:38:07 (#6 of 40)

I've been to Copenhagen but not Helsinki.

I was rather underwhelmed, to be honest.

Eligelis - 02 Dec 2020 17:45:46 (#7 of 40)

Subscribed, for hopefully useful information.

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ScandieAndy - 02 Dec 2020 18:01:10 (#9 of 40)

Hmmm... I've lived in Helsinki and near Copenhagen (in Lund, southern Sweden). Both are great.

Obviously it depends on how many days you're going to spend, but Helsinki does have one advantage - you're just over two hours by ferry away from Tallinn, with its beautiful Old Town (and it's a bit cheaper there). Price-wise Hki and Kbh are similar - I'd say Copenhagen slightly more expensive, though I'm no expert.

Sabacious - 02 Dec 2020 18:03:47 (#10 of 40)

I used to love in Helsinki. It’s a beautiful city (Gorky Park was filmed there), but also fun to enjoy the other side, the Kaurismaki side, which will appeal to you of course, Shadders.

Some of it is achingly cool. Handsome streets lined with bars to dip in and out of. More working class areas where you can indulge yourself in some beer-fuelled karaoke at 9am.

It can seem impenetrable, the Finns are not a welcoming outgoing bunch and will seem cold in conversation, it’s just their way, but Helsinki is a very literate city, doused in the arts and hi-tech.

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Shadrack22 - 02 Dec 2020 18:10:20 (#12 of 40)

That’s my instinct. Fewer BBC Four Scandinoir fans.

Sabacious - 02 Dec 2020 18:11:42 (#13 of 40)

There are some obvious tourist spots, and cruise liners do visit, but very easy to escape from.

FredDee - 02 Dec 2020 18:13:28 (#14 of 40)

The French think that Finnish food is even worse than British stuff.

hailesaladdie - 02 Dec 2020 18:15:16 (#15 of 40)

Finnish bread is special.

https://external-preview.redd.it/aKBhn1FLWITR1pIyQctXyqKGPq0QHrYPYG
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bac1796b13da08df2dd

Sabacious - 02 Dec 2020 18:17:55 (#16 of 40)

There is great food to be had in Helsinki. Elsewhere in Finland is a different story.

hailesaladdie - 02 Dec 2020 18:23:11 (#17 of 40)

I had some great salmon in Jyväskylä!

And some awful pizza in Jämsa

Sabacious - 02 Dec 2020 18:25:28 (#18 of 40)

Jyvaskyla, along with Tampere and a couple of other cities are small beacons of civilisation. I remember a pizza place further north where the salad bar consisted of chopped cabbage and pickled chillies.

hailesaladdie - 02 Dec 2020 18:28:36 (#19 of 40)

Some Nordic flavours, I can appreciate (salmiak, yum). But the astringency, I have problems with.

hailesaladdie - 02 Dec 2020 18:30:14 (#20 of 40)

I was up there for a shotgun wedding. It was crazy.

And lots of raw fish I was warned off eating if I wasn't drinking.

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