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Daughter of the Baltic

Helsinki's LGBT credentials are second to none.

Helsinki is of course the capital of tolerant and progressive Finland, and also the stunningly beautiful “Daughter of the Baltic”. Founded by King Gustav Vasa of Sweden in 1550, much of the present architecture dates from the beginning of the 19th century, when the city was rebuilt by the Tsars of Russia in the same grand style as imperial St. Petersburg. The city became the Finnish capital in 1812.

A true gateway between East and West, Helsinki’s character has been determined by an intriguing mix of influences and cultures, and yet she still retains a very distinct and unique character all of her own.

The history is fascinating of course, but when it comes to being an out and proud LGBT traveller, Helsinki is really interesting as a place that is pulling out the stops to make people like us feel welcome – by providing the resources needed to plan a stress-free and genuinely welcoming visit.

Thanks to the local tourist board – Visit Helsinki – a thriving LGBT business network has been developed – with the sole aim of providing product that really suits the needs of LGBT travellers. Many local businesses have enrolled in the network, including hotels, bars, restaurants and shops, meaning that you can easily find the establishments that not only want your business, but are also investing time and money in training their staff to make sure that they are relaxed and comfortable when you do arrive.

There are also tour operators as part of the network too, which means that if you feel like putting your feet up and letting an expert put your trip together, which might include a few extra days outside of the city, then you can. All this of course safe in the knowledge that one’s sexuality isn’t something that you have to be guarded about when booking or enjoying a trip to the city.

Helsinki is a dream to explore and discover. As well as her vibrant history the distinctive and world-famous Finnish design can be seen in just about every part of life here, and encapsulates the love of modernism, sustainability and nature that permeates the city. Located between the sea and the wide open spaces Finnish cuisine also reflects the city’s proximity to nature, which provides abundant delicacies to excite and entice the taste buds of those lucky enough to visit.

For more information about Helsinki, and what it can offer LGB and T travellers, simply go to Visit Helsinki

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