Helsinki is the capital and largest city of Finland. Helsinki is the seat of the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. Helsinki has a population of 642,045, the Helsinki urban area has a population of 1,231,595, and the Helsinki metropolitan area has a population of over 1.4 million, making it the most populous municipality and urban area in Finland. Helsinki is located 80 kilometres north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 km east of Stockholm, Sweden, and 390 km west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Helsinki has close historical ties with these three cities.
The Helsinki metropolitan area includes Helsinki's urban core and Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen, and surrounding commuter towns. It is the world's northernmost metro area with over one million people, and the city is the northernmost capital of an EU member state. Helsinki is the third largest city in the Nordic countries, after Stockholm and Oslo. Helsinki is Finland's most important political, educational, financial, cultural, and research center. The neighboring city of Vantaa is the location of the Helsinki Airport, which has frequent service to many destinations in Europe and Asia.