Host City to Arctic Open Vantaa might be known primary being the site of the Helsinki Airport, but the airport city is for sure much more than the airport. Finland's fourth-largest city, Vantaa is known for its green areas, long history, and modern easy-going lifestyle. “What can be found in the world, can also be found in Vantaa as the city offers something for every taste: children, nature lovers, history buffs, culture lovers and foodies.
For nature lovers, a visit in Kuusijärvi is a must. Kuusijärvi is a popular all-season outdoor recreational center. In summertime a large sandy beach and in wintertime a beautiful cross-country skiing landscape with an invigorating ice swimming possibility are the foundations for Kuusijärvi's popularity. Kuusijärvi offers the only traditional smoke saunas in Helsinki Metropolitan area open to public on regular basis. Restaurant Cafe Kuusijärvi is open throughout the year.
And for true hikers, Kuusijärvi is a gate into Sipoonkorpi National Park. Sipoonkorpi's peaceful settings are a welcome green haven for local townies. Whether you want to head into deep forest to have it just for yourself or enjoy strolling a marked nature trail, Sipoonkorpi sure is the place for a nature lover to explore parks rich and varied woodland scenery and heritage landscapes. And please do not forget that in late summer and autumn nature own treasure is open for everyone. Anyone can come to Sipoonkorpi to gather plentiful wild mushrooms and delicious berries, just like the locals do.
Tikkurila, todays largest nerve center in Vantaa, has always been a hustling and bustling hub. Earliest settlements, from Stone Age, have been found on both sides of the Keravanjoki river in Jokiniemi. During 19th and early 20th century Tikkurila was a hot spot of industry. Dive into history of Vantaa in the Vantaa City Museum, located in the old railway station building or stroll along river Keravanjoki and old factory building Vernissa. On the other side of river is located The Science Center Heureka, that offers plenty of fun for all ages and lures one to the world of science and technology in an engaging and interactive way.
If you wish to know where the whole capital region has begun, you will find an answer from Helsingin pitäjän kirkonkylä, which was first mentioned in historical sources in 1351. It is one of the most significant cultural historical environments in the entire Helsinki region and a place where you can see buildings from six different centuries. In the middle of the village, at the junction of the Old King's Road stands St. Lawrence Church, built in the mid-15th century. Next to it you can find one of the best cafés in Vantaa, traditional Kahvitupa Laurentius with their mouthwatering homemade pastries and refreshing coffee.
If you are looking for the most Finnish taste, you will find it too from Vantaa. Deeply loved Fazer, producer of iconic Fazer’s Blue chocolate is located in Vaarala, Vantaa. Or as the locals call it, Fazerila, as the Fazer Factories spread over several hectares and even host their own kindergarten. Beside chocolate Fazer produces several other products from bread to sweets and from cookies to cereals. Fazer Experience Visitor Centre welcomes everyone to experience Fazer in a new way – using all your senses. In Fazer Experience Visitor Centre interesting themes are tied together with the unique architecture.
And before heading back home, make sure to take some time and visit The Finnish Aviation Museum near Helsinki airport in Aviapolis. There you will find two great exhibition halls full fabulous aircrafts from different eras, including military, commercial and private aircrafts. In addition to approximately 70 aircraft, there are other items such as plane parts, scaled models and much more. Please note that the main exhibition halls are unheated, so warm clothing is recommended during the cold weather. In the simulators you can experience the joy of flying yourself, but please note that advance booking is required. The Museum Shop is the best spot to buy aviation themed souvenirs to take back home.