In Europe, 76 destinations off the beaten path
Looking beyond Rome, Paris or London? Consider Europe's lesser-known destinations, such as Monschau, Germany, a town so quaint you can hardly believe it isn't a theme park or San Marino, one of Europe's oldest and smallest countries (drive through it slowly).
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Helsinki, Finland( Andrew Bender )
Fall and winter, with long nights and chilly temperatures, may not seem like the best seasons to visit Helsinki, but for design fans it's prime time. The action moves indoors to the Modernist spaces that have made this country famous -- shops, hotels, restaurants -- plus a whole design district.
This is your chance to see the home base of familiar Modern designers, such as Alvar Aalto (1898-1976), the architect and furniture designer who was one of the first to make good design affordable. You've seen his work even if you didn't know it was his: three-legged birch stools with legs rounded at the top, Savoy pattern glass vases that cradle flowers in their many crannies, geometric-patterned hanging lamps in lightweight, white-painted aluminum.
-- Andrew Bender
Read more: Helsinki, Finland's Modern approach to design
Pictured: A view of the Helsinki harbor from the city's venerable Market Square.