Helsinki is the capital, primate, and most populous city of Finland. Helsinki is located 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 km (250 mi) east of Stockholm, Sweden, and 300 km (190 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It has close historical ties with these three cities.

Helsinki was the World Design Capital for 2012, the venue for the 1952 Summer Olympics, and the host of the 52nd Eurovision Song Contest in 2007.

Helsinki has one of the world's highest standards of urban living. In 2011, the British magazine "Monocle" ranked Helsinki the world's most liveable city in its liveable cities index. In July 2021, the American magazine "Time" ranked Helsinki one of the greatest places in the world in 2021 as a city that "can grow into a sprouting cultural nest in the future," and which has already been known in the world as an environmental pioneer.

When a town was founded in Forsby village in 1548, it was named "Helsinge fors", "Helsinge rapids". The name refers to the Vanhankaupunginkoski rapids at the mouth of the river. The town was commonly known as "Helsinge" or "Helsing", from which the contemporary Finnish name arose.

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