Backpack Finland – The Winter Wonderland – Exploring Historic Cities !



Engaging Museums

  • Helsinki Design Museum – The Design Museum is located in the Helsinki Design District, just a short walk from the main street of Espanades and the harbor. There are several exhibits in the design museum.
    • Exhibit 1: Utopia Now – The Story of Finnish Design – In honour of the centenary of Finnish independence in 2017, Design Museum has open its completely renewed collections exhibition. This exhibition presents the integral role of design in the evolution of the Finnish welfare state.

Their philosophy:

“Design is something that is never completed. It will always remain unfinished and in a state of change. Many of the products of the past decade that we now take for granted were once bold ventures: utopias created by designers offering solutions to various kinds of problems. In Finland, the mechanization of industry laid the basis from which a poor nation grew to become one of the best functioning countries in the world. Also at a personal level, design has improved the lives of millions of Finns. Insulated windows,running water, washing machines, ergonomic chairs and scissors are all minor miracles of daily life. And the Finnish maternity package developed in 1922 had everything to do with service design, even though the term had yet to be invented.Today design is needed more than ever in view of economic, political and humanitarian crises. The needs for renewable energy and nutrition. The reorganization of work, housing, health care, education, travel and transportation. World population growth, refugee and immigration issues, increasing inequality and isolation, digitization and climate change are all challenges to which design must find solutions. But in order to prepare for the future we must understand the past. Utopia Now – The Story of Finnish design looks deliberately to the past while outlining the Nordic model of the welfare society which is known world.

There are many definitions of utopia. For us it means a practical way of creating something of significance. Our collection exhibition is divided in six spaces: The Process Room, The Virtual Room, The Timeline Corridor, The Icon Room, The Changing Room and The Warehouse.

The name of designers and materials used are important but even more significant is the impact that these products or services have had on their surroundings. History is never absolute. We hope that Utopia Now will arouse open discussion, because it surely is worth asking: What is, and what will be, the role and responsibility of design for human progress?”

    • Exhibit 2: California – Designing Freedom

Their Philosophy:

“California Design is not a style but an attitude. It assumes that technology should empower the individual, making it easier to make things, to communicate and to build communities. And while that impulse is entrepreneurial, these products are presented as tools of personal liberation.This exhibition charts California’s pursuit of freedom from the counterculture of the 1960s to the tech culture of today. It examines how the values of the politically rebellious period – free speech, self-sufficiency, community – evolved into the tools we use everyday. But do these freedoms live up to their creators’ utopian rhetoric? By turns empowering, addictive and troubling, California Design is shaping the nature of 21st century.The central idea of the California exhibition is that California has always pioneered tools of personal liberation, from LSD to surfboards and iPhones. This ambitious survey brings together political posters, personal computers but also looks beyond hardware to explore how user interface designers in the Bay Area are shaping some of our most common daily experiences and expanding what we think of as design.”California – Designing Freedom is composed of over 200 objects, curated in five thematic sections.

GO WHERE YOU WANT: Tools of movement and escape
So many of the innovations associated with California, from LA’s freeways to Google Maps, revolve around freedom of movement. This section of the exhibition focuses on mobility, from navigation to portability and exploration.

SEE WHAT YOU WANT: Tools of perception and fantasy
California is best known as the land of make-believe, the home of Disney, Hollywood and videogaming. This section explores how California has pioneered new ways of looking at the world, from acid trips to virtual reality.

SAY WHAT YOU WANT: Tools of self-expression and rebellion
California has its own history of enabling freedom of expression, from new graphic languages to social media. This section explores the state’s culture of communication through posters, magazines and online platforms.

MAKE WHAT YOU WANT: Tools of production and self-reliance
Perhaps no place has done more to democratize access to industrial technology than California. This section features tools that have made ‘making’ easier and more accessible, from the Whole Earth Catalog, the counterculture’s bible of self-sufficiency, to the Apple Macintosh and the open-source tools of the ‘maker’ culture.

JOIN WHO YOU WANT: Tools of collaboration and community
Since the founding of California, the freedom to create your own community has been considered essential to success and survival. From hippy communes to Facebook, this section examines tools that enable communities both on the ground and online.


  • Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki: Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki is one of the three museums that form the Finnish National Gallery. The other two museums are Kiasma – Museum of Contemporary Art and Sinebrychoff Art Museum. Since I was interested more in viewing nature paintings and impressionism art, I decided to visit Ateneum Art Museum. It took me good 3 hours to view the entire museum which several exhibits distributed across 3 floors.

The 3 exhibits during the month of December were :

Exhibit 1: Modern Art: It exhibited paintings with following themes – Form and Colour, Permission the Experiment and Taking Stand.

Exhibit 2: Stories of the Finnish Art: This was a huge exhibit having paintings with several in-depth themes – Urban Life, Hope and Misgivings, Echoes of War, Artists, Self-Portrait, Landscapes, Finland in Drawings, People, Kalevala(Collection of ancient Finnish folk poems), Symbolism, New Expressions.

Exhibit 3: THE VON WRIGHT: This was another huge and detailed exhibit. A treat to the eyes who appreciate nature and impressionism art. It shows exhibits by Von Wright Brothers – Ferdinand von Wright, Wilhelm von Wright and Magnus von Wright.

  • Handicraft Museum in Turku: Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum is an open-air museum in Turku, Finland.

Luostarinmäki is the only continuous district of wooden houses that survived the fire of 1827 in Turku. These houses are over 200 years old and still standing in their original building sites. Luostarinmäki used to be on the edge of town, where land was cheap. This meant that craftsmen of lesser means moved to the district and lived in a rural subsistence economy.

After the fire a new town plan for Turku was drawn up highlighting fire safety, and the closely built wooden houses in Luostarinmäki were ordered to be pulled down. As a result the district started to become rundown, and many of the homeowners moved away. The city of Turku eventually bought the houses.

The district was made into an open-air museum in order to preserve the historically valuable buildings. The museum was made to include local handicrafts workshops which had begun to die out as a result of the industrialization. The trades of the craftsmen and women were kept alive by holding work demonstrations. Along with the workshops some of the old workers’ homes were furnished in the style of the 19th century to provide a glimpse into the past life of the district.

The Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum was opened to the public on 29th June 1940. The museum grounds consist of 14 courtyards and their buildings with approximately 80 furnished interiors.

Reference :



  • Arktikum Museum and Science Museum in Rovaniemi: Arktikum is a science centre and museum that gives you an insight on northern nature, culture and history.


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Walking tour in Helsinki

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Soumenlinna Sea Fortress

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Turku Castle

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Rock Church

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View from tower in Tampere


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Published by Sonali

I have been a dreamer since childhood and always fascinated by the creative world of Art, Craft, Design, Photography and Travel. I pursued them as hobbies since early ages. I felt my hobbies have been my companion through think and thin and helped me heal through most difficult phases of life. They have helped me experience sheer bliss and happiness through creative joys.  Through the blogs, I would like to share with the world the beautiful memories I made with myself through my passion of art, craft, design, photography and travel.

One thought on “Backpack Finland – The Winter Wonderland – Exploring Historic Cities !

  1. Wow, I didn’t know that Finland has this interesting historical background. I love that you have shown to us the Finland before by sharing the historical sites. You have simply brought me in the past and now i want to visit Finland. The Turku castle looks really amazing! How I wish to traipse my feet in Finland soon. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    Liked by 1 person

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