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We’re Here To Help You Figure Out Where to Stay in Helsinki!

Oh, Helsinki! The capital city of Finland is… one of the coolest, small European capitals around with lots of things to do. We think it’s worth checking out! The city is often used as a base for seeing the northern lights in Finland – which are among the best viewing in the world. So whether you are in Helsinki for the city or heading north, you’ll find a great place to stay in Helsinki.

We actually really need to get back to visit Helsinki. Eric has been to the city – but only for a short time. Lisa has never been! So, we had a nice chat with our “Helsinki expert” Nick – who helped us with our perfect day itinerary for Helsinki. Having looked at the city, these were the best areas that Nick suggested to start looking for accommodations! 

That said, naming the best hotels in Helsinki and the best area to stay in Helsinki isn’t easy since Helsinki is full of little city pockets with different vibes (even though it’s not a huge city overall). So whether you are looking for where to stay in Helsinki for nightlife, families, tourism, or nature, you will find it below!

If you are heading to Helsinki (or Europe) for the first time, we’ve got more than a few helpful posts about that!

Where To Stay in Helsinki – Accommodation Types

Like most cities, Helsinki has a wide variety of accommodations by type. Even though it’s one of the smaller and more compact European capitals, you will still find some great places that suit your style and budget. 

Hotels in Helsinki

tall hotel on harbourfront with boat in water where to stay in helsinki
The towering Clarion Hotel overlooks the city centre with stunning views!

Hotels are a very good idea in Helsinki. This is because there are plenty to choose from all over the city. You can even find popular design hotels as well as boutique or budget hotels to suit your style. While many hotels are very centrally located (the city isn’t huge) there are some very popular hotels that are NOT in the borders of the neighbourhoods we list below. For example:

  • Clarion Hotel Helsinki is located in West Harbour – very close to where you catch the Ferry to Tallinn, Estonia. People stay for the incredible views of the city and the fact that you can still walk to the city centre.
  • Another popular hotel is the Scandic Grand Marina which is located in Katajanokka – a beautiful area close to the centre (near the Uspenski Cathedral) on the water.

We will dive into the neighbourhoods and top hotels further down. In the meantime, if you want to get started, check here if you are looking for a hotel in Helsinki.

Hostels in Helsinki

If you are on a budget, finding a hostel in Helsinki is a good way to save a few dollars. You might even make friends with fellow backpackers and/or like-minded travellers. Since there are just a handful of hostels in the city, you will have no problem finding hostels in Helsinki here.

Specifically, check out Hostel Diana Park for one of the most popular hostels in Helsinki and The Yard for a cool, design hostel experience in Helsinki.

Apartments, Aparthotels, and Airbnbs in Helsinki

cathedral with green domes over city buildings below where to stay in helsinki
There are loads of apartments scattered among the city buildings.

Another accommodation style that dominates Helsinki are apartments and aparthotels. The city is very residential – in the sense that it’s not too touristy so it’s still a place where families/normal people live and work. As such, you can stay like a local in an apartment that is centrally located or in more of a residential neighbourhood close by.

Apartments (or Airbnbs, for that matter) are a great idea if you are a family, larger group, staying longer than a few days, and/or want to save money on food by cooking a few of your own meals! You can check here for apartments and aparthotels in Helsinki!

Bed and Breakfasts in Helsinki

If you are looking for a traditional bed and breakfast in Helsinki, unfortunately, you will be out of luck. B&Bs are not popular in the city centre – and you’ll have to travel to a city like Vantaa (north of Helsinki) to find good ones. That said, you can check out Villa Jokivarsi Bed & Breakfast if you are heading north to see the northern lights!

Where To Stay in Helsinki – Featured Areas & Accommodations

Now that we have discussed the Helsinki accommodation options, let’s dive into the best areas to stay in this featured neighbourhood section! Helsinki is full of smaller areas – and while many are very close to the city centre already, there are a few you should definitely check out.

Below,  you’ll find a breakdown of the neighbourhoods, the vibe, public transit, and a few accommodation choices by budget/style for you to check out in each of them!

Helsinki Accommodation Top Picks 

If you just want to get started looking, here is a brief breakdown of the featured Helsinki neighbourhoods in this post and a top pick accommodation for each one!

City Centre (Kluuvi)

people walking on shopping street with tram on tracks city centre where to stay helsinki
Looking down Aleksanterinkatu – the central shopping street! // Photo: Unsplash

Known For: Tourism, Shopping, and Attractions.

Attractions + Notable Things: Aleksanterinkatu (shopping), Helsinki Cathedral + Senate Square, Park Esplanadi, Central Train Station, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, and MUCH more!

red cathedral and public square with fountain where to stay helsinki
From the end of the park overlooking the Market Square and main harbourfront…

If you are visiting Helsinki for the first time (or any time, for that matter), there is likely no better place to stay than right in the heart of the city centre. Often referred to as Kluuvi, this is an area that is very walkable with access to other parts of the city via the metro as well.

city park with benches and statue along the path in helsinki
Esplanadi Park looking all festive at winter time…

Of course, accommodation right in city centre can be among the most expensive, but Helsinki is good because you can actually find a deal and not have to sacrifice quality and/or location! If you want to stay right in the heart of the city, you can check here for great accommodations in the city centre of Helsinki. Below are three top accommodations (as per guest reviews) for you to check out:

Hotel Arthur – Check Now

  • Style: A Simple and Charming Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper Budget
  • Location: Near the Botanical Garden, close to the station and University of Helsinki
  • Featured Amenities: Onsite restaurant, buffet breakfast, sauna you can book out

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Helsinki – Check Now

  • Style: Historic yet Trendy Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: Right beside the central train station
  • Featured Amenities: Onsite bar, restaurant, lounge, and sauna

GLO Hotel Kluuvi – Check Now

  • Style: A Modern and Cozy Design Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper Mid-Range
  • Location: Right off of Aleksanterinkatu close to the Esplanadi Park
  • Featured Amenities: Excellent onsite restaurant, onsite sauna and steam bath

Kamppi

Known For: Being the best area to stay in Helsinki for nightlife.

Attractions + Notable Things: The Alexander Theatre, Helsinki Art Museum, Amos Rex Art Museum, Kamppi Chapel, Old Church Park, and more!

Located very close to the central train station (very much in the heart of the city), you will find Kamppi – one of the liveliest areas in the whole city.

Lined with places to eat, drink, and dance, the area is also home to shopping with malls, a flea market, and a few boutique stores scattered throughout. Eric walked through in the evening and it was certainly alive! If Kamppi is for you, check here for great accommodations in Kamppi. Below are three top accommodations (as per guest reviews) for you to check out:

Omena Hotel (Helsinki Lönnrotinkatu) – Check Now

  • Style: A Simple, Clean, and Functional Hotel
  • Price Range: Budget (but very popular)
  • Location: In a quieter part of Kamppi, close to Old Church Park
  • Featured Amenities: Self-check in, tea/coffee in each room

Scandic Simonkenttä – Check Now

  • Style: A Trendy and Environmentally-Friendly Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range (also popular)
  • Location: Right in the heart of Kamppi close to the centre station and bars
  • Featured Amenities: Terrace, organic breakfast, gym and sauna access

Solo Sokos Hotel Torni – Check Now

  • Style: A Historic and Classy Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper Mid-Range
  • Location: Also right in the heart of Kamppi close to the centre station and bars
  • Featured Amenities: Restaurant with great breakfast, Irish pub, classy rooftop bar

Punavuori

old building with red brick church and lamp post beside where to stay helsinki
Checking out St. John’s Church with great views of the neighbourhood!

Known For: Being artsy and cool.

Attractions + Notable Things: Sinebrychoff Art Museum, St. John’s Church, small galleries, BrewDog (the Scottish Beer establishment)!

If you want to be in the area known to be hip, artsy, and trendy, then Punavuori is for you! Located just south of the city centre touching the lively area of Kamppi, Punavuori also has its share of places to go out for food, drinks, and music. Check out the road Iso Roobertinkatu for that!

As the “Design District”, the area is full of smaller art galleries around what seems like every corner. The accommodations in the area are more trendy with boutique style and awesome characters. Eric walked through in the day and loved the vibe of the neighbourhood!

If Punavuori sounds right for you, you can check here for great accommodations in Punavuori. Below are three top accommodations (as per guest reviews) for you to check out:

Hotel Anna – Check Now

  • Style: Traditional and Charming Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: In a quiet area near St. John’s Church
  • Featured Amenities: Friendly staff, great breakfast

Hotel Indigo Helsinki-Boulevard – Check Now

  • Style: A Trendy Eco-Friendly Boutique Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range (and most popular)
  • Location: Right on Bulevardi – the border between Punavuori and lively Kamppi!
  • Featured Amenities: Great breakfast at onsite bistro, lounge, gym/sauna

Original Sokos Hotel Albert – Check Now

  • Style: A Trendy and Fun Hotel
  • Price Range: Also Mid-Range
  • Location: Near Sinebrychoff Park, close to the waterfront
  • Featured Amenities: Onsite restaurant with buffet breakfast, wine bar, sauna

Töölö

Known For: Green space, residential, museums

Attractions + Notable Things: Parliament House, Temppeliaukio Church, the National Museum of Finland, Finlandia Hall, Hietaranta Beach,  the cafe “Regatta”, and much more!

Packed with green space and things to do yet calm and residential, Töölö is a large region made up of a few smaller ones. Located to the north west of the city centre and train station (but still very much connected to the centre), the area has plenty of “Finnish culture” to offer you – from music to art, history, and more.

You can check here for great accommodations in the Töölö. Below are two top accommodations (as per guest reviews) for you to check out:

Scandic Park Helsinki – Check Now

  • Style: Elegant and Modern Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper Budget (very popular)
  • Location: Overlooking Hesperia Park and Töölö Bay
  • Featured Amenities: Onsite restaurant with organic ingredients, roof terrace, large pool and sauna

Crowne Plaza Helsinki – Hesperia – Check Now

  • Style: Traditional and Classic Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper Budget (also very popular)
  • Location: Also overlooking Hesperia Park and Töölö Bay
  • Featured Amenities: Breakfast at onsite restaurant, lobby bar, pool, gym, sauna at health spa

Kallio 

colourful buildings along waterfront with boats in water where to stay helsinki
From Uspenski Cathedral, you’ll pass through Kruununhaka (shown above) to get to Kallio.

Known For: Staying in Helsinki on a Budget.

Attractions + Notable Things: Hakaniemi Market (food hall), Kallio Church, and many Finnish saunas!

Located to the northeast of the city centre, Kallio is a bohemian-vibe neighbourhood that has earned a reputation as the place to stay in Helsinki on a budget. With a strong foodie scene and access to the waterfront, Kallio shouldn’t be overlooked.

That said, the hotels, hostels, and apartments up here are lovely and just a quick walk to the centre. The metro station Hakaniemen metroasema is also close by making it easy to get around. 

If you want to stay in Helsinki on a budget, you can check here for great accommodations in Kallio. Below are three top accommodations (as per guest reviews) for you to check out:

CheapSleep Hostel/Hotel Helsinki – Check Now

  • Style: A Fun and Simple Budget Hostel/Hotel
  • Price Range: Budget, but very, very popular
  • Location: A bit north of Kallio – still close to shops and food
  • Featured Amenities: Variety of rooms, shared kitchen, lockers, free breakfast

Scandic Paasi – Check Now

  • Style: A Stylish and Boutique Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: Close to the water with lots of green space nearby
  • Featured Amenities: Lobby bar, three restaurants (great breakfast), free bike usage

Hilton Helsinki Strand – Check Now

  • Style: A Trendy Upscale Design Hotel
  • Price Range: Also Mid-Range
  • Location: Overlooking the harbour area, a quick walk to the Kaisaniemi Botanical Garden
  • Featured Amenities: Great sea/city views, good breakfast at onsite restaurant, cocktail bar, sauna

Kaartinkaupunki

hotel buildings along harbourfront with frozen harbour in front helsinki
The beautiful facades of the restaurants and Old Market Hall bottom right!

Known For: Boutique stores, food, best for families.

Attractions + Notable Things: Kauppatori Market Square, Old Market Hall, gorgeous harbourfront areas.

Also very close to the city centre (touching Kluuvi), Kaartinkaupunki is a small but well-known area for families to stay in. It’s upscale, with green space, nice shops, loads of attractions/markets nearby, and the harbour right in front of you! Keep in mind that you likely won’t find a great budget option here (like you would in nearby Punavuori).

You can check here for great accommodations in Kaartinkaupunki. Below are three top accommodations (as per guest reviews) for you to check out:

Hotel Rivoli Jardin – Check Now

  • Style: Stylish and Friendly Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper Mid-Range
  • Location: In the heart of the district, close to the water and Esplanadi Park
  • Featured Amenities: Great breakfast, gym and bookable sauna

Hotel Haven – Check Now

  • Style: An Elegant and Modern 5-Star Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper Mid-Range
  • Location: Basically right at the main harbour, overlooking the Markets
  • Featured Amenities: Spa-style bathrooms, bar, great breakfast

Hotel Lilla Roberts – Check Now

  • Style: An Art-Deco Boutique Luxury Hotel
  • Price Range: High-End
  • Location: Tucked away in the district, close to the “Lightbringer” Statue and Square
  • Featured Amenities: Onsite bistro, great breakfast, free bike usage, summer terrace

Helsinki Airport Hotels

Helsinki Airport (Airport Code: HEL) is pretty far from the city centre so you will need to budget some time to get back and forth via train or taxi. If you are renting a car, this trip takes about 30 minutes (can be more with traffic).

That said, if you are worried about making your flight, you can stay at a hotel near the airport. There are a few to choose from and they aren’t actually THAT expensive given the convenience and peace of mind you are looking for. You can even get in one last Finnish sauna! Here are two popular hotels at or very close to Helsinki Airport!

Hilton Helsinki Airport – Check Now

  • Style: An Upscale and Modern Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range (you pay for convenience)
  • Location: Right in/at the Helsinki Airport terminal (5 min walk)
  • Featured Amenities: Gym and sauna, soundproof rooms, onsite bar/restaurant

Scandic Aviacongress – Check Now

  • Style: A Clean and Modern Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper Budget (still good for the airport location)
  • Location: A bit further away from the terminal but still very much at the airport
  • Featured Amenities: Free airport shuttle, onsite bar/restaurant, live flight information, pool + sauna

And there you have it – our breakdown of where to stay in Helsinki! In the end, the city is so compact and there are so many great areas that it’s hard to make a bad choice (if you stick to this guide). Have a blast exploring the Finnish capital – and let us know where you end up!

As always, Happy Helsinki Waddlin’,
-L&E

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Where to stay in Helsinki

 
Author

Eric is a Canadian & Hungarian content writer with over 45 countries under his belt. From volunteering in Australia to studying his Master's degree abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, his travel experiences have taken him across the globe. Next to writing on Penguin and Pia, he has also contributed to companies in the travel space such as Matador, GoOverseas, and Spot.

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