Inspire

Explore The Finnish City Of Helsinki Online, Thanks To A Virtual Replica

We’ve all experienced that strong sense of FOMO when one of our friends is on an awesome holiday, forcing us to live vicariously through their pics and Instagram stories. But what if there was a way you could literally explore entire cities, without having to leave your couch or shell out on exxy airfare? Well, if the Finnish city of Helsinki happens to be on your bucket list, now you can.

Leading the way for virtual tourism, the city of Helsinki has partnered with VR-studio ZOAN to create a digital twin of the city through 3D modelling.

“Consumers are increasingly aware of the climate impacts of tourism and are keen to make responsible decisions. Virtual tourism also supports Helsinki’s own goal of being a pioneer in sustainable tourism while reinforcing our reputation as a city that utilises the latest digital innovations,” explains Laura Aalto, CEO of Helsinki Marketing.

It might just give you that taste of the city you need to inspire you to book a flight and go.

In the computer simulation of Helsinki, visitors can move freely around the city and take guided tours of areas like the Senate Square, the home of legendary Finnish architect Alvar Aalto in Munkkiniemi and the recreational island of Lonna. The tour is accompanied by music and changing seasons.

Local businesses will also be able to provide services through the digital city. “For example, visitors can tour Helsinki as it was in the early 20th century or purchase Finnish design products and have them delivered to their homes by post,” explains Miikka Rosendahl, CEO of ZOAN.

VR-Helsinki will be available as of next year, from VR content stores and at various events and venues around the world. The creators hope to attract a million virtual visitors to Helsinki in 2019. VR travel might not be the real thing, but we look at it as a way to see just enough of the world to inspire real travel in the future.

You can join the wait list here.

(All images: ZOAN)