Helsinki, Finland is a vibrant and future-oriented capital city by the Baltic Sea. The city has absorbed influences from both sides, but is a quite typical Scandinavian city. Geographically, Helsinki is compact, having 1.4 million people living in the metropolitan area. The best running routes, characterized by scenic waterfronts and parks, are located within a few mile radius from the downtown area. Running has the long heritage in Finland as “Flying Finns”, such as Paavo Nurmi, Hannes Kolehmainen and Lasse Viren won dozens of Olympic medals in middle- and long distance running between 1910–1950 and 1970–1980. The fame has slowly faded away, but you can still embrace that golden era in today’s Helsinki by running to the historic Olympic Stadium and hailing the statue of Paavo Nurmi.
Helsinki has an excellent transportation system consisting of trams, trains, and buses. A metro currently goes to the eastern suburbs but is being expanded to the western suburbs.