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One of Europe’s most walkable cities is the ideal winter holiday destination | Travel News | Travel

Often cold, grey and dreary in the UK, January is the perfect month to plan a wintery escape. While some Britons choose to visit warmer shores, a cosy winter mini-break in a European city is also a tempting option.

If one of your January resolutions is to up your step count, a walkable destination where there’s no need to rent a car is a must.

According to research from the expert travel team at Booking.com , Helsinki, the cool capital of Finland, is one of Europe’s most walkable cities.

Although Finland can be visited at any time of year, winter is arguably the most captivating season to explore Helsinki.

A Booking.com spokesperson said: “Helsinki often scores highly in global rankings of most livable cities and has been heralded for its dedication to creating walkable neighbourhoods and a car-free population.

“It’s also famed for forward-thinking Scandi design, so feast your eyes as you go on cutting-edge aesthetics, blending seamlessly with Finnish heritage.”

The Baltic city is easy to navigate on foot as the centre is fairly compact. Most of the city’s major tourist attractions are just a short walk from each other.

Many of the city’s streets have raised pavements to protect pedestrians and there’s a huge incentive to stop any would-be racers from speeding in their car.

Speeding fines in Finland are calculated based on the size of a driver’s income. Earlier this year, a multimillionaire was slapped with a 121,000 euro (£105,000) fine for doing 82 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.

Although that fine is definitely at the extreme end of the scale, the system means Finnish drivers rarely speed, creating a safe environment for pedestrians.

Winter in Helsinki is dark and the sun rises late and sets early. However, this means holidaymakers who visit in January or February have a great chance of seeing some incredible sunrises and sunsets.

The Finns know how to make the most of the winter season and tourists will find plenty of seasonal delicacies at Gamla Saluhallen, the city’s traditional food market.

Brave tourists can even go for an ice-cold swim before warming up in one of the city’s famous public saunas. If wild swimming isn’t your style, why not head to one of Helsinki’s cafes to enjoy a runeberg torte, a cylinder shaped rum cake filled with raspberry jam?

Don’t like the cold? Check out another of Europe’s most walkable cities that’s much warmer than the UK.

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