Helsinki is the capital and largest city of Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. Helsinki has a population of 629,512 and a metropolitan population of over 1.4 million, making it the most populous municipality and urban area in Finland. Helsinki is located some 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 km (250 mi) east of Stockholm, Sweden, and 390 km (240 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Helsinki has close historical connections with these three cities.
Helsinki is the world's northernmost metro area of over one million people, and the city is the northernmost capital of an EU member state. The Helsinki metropolitan area is the third largest metropolitan area in the Nordic countries after Stockholm and Copenhagen, and the City of Helsinki being the third largest after Stockholm and Oslo. The nearby municipality of Vantaa is the location of Helsinki Airport, with frequent service to various destinations in Europe and Asia.
In 2011, the Monocle magazine ranked Helsinki the most liveable city in the world in its "Liveable Cities Index 2011". In the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2016 Liveability survey, assessing the best and worst cities to live in globally, Helsinki placed in ninth place among 140 cities.
The Finnish landscape is covered with thick pine forests and rolling hills, and complemented with a labyrinth of lakes and inlets. Much of Finland is pristine and virgin as it contains 40 national parks from the Southern shores of the Gulf of Finland to the high fells of Lapland.