Now one of a series of elegant contemporary buildings in this part of town, curvaceous and quirky metallic Kiasma, designed by Steven Holl and finished in 1998, is a symbol of the city’s modernisation. It exhibits an eclectic collection of Finnish and international modern art, along with its striking contemporary exhibitions. Kiasma’s outstanding success is that it’s been embraced by the people of Helsinki. Its sleek, glass-sided cafe and terrace are hugely popular.

Locals sunbathe on the grassy fringes and skateboarders perform aerobatics under the stern gaze of Mannerheim’s statue outside.