Helsinki is full of different areas – there’s a neighbourhood for everybody. It’s only natural the city’s modern centre already offers everything you might expect from a metropolitan city. Plenty of other neighbourhoods offer a variety of moods and landscapes, however. To the north are beautiful Töölö and the bustling Pasila, to the east the Bohemian neighbourhood of Kallio and the district of Sörnäinen, known for its many events, to the south the historical Kaartinkaupunki, and to the west, for example, trendy Punavuori and the seaside atmosphere of Länsisatama and Lauttasaari. Even though the distances from the centre may look far on the map, in practice they’re anything but, as the city’s public transport system allows you to reach the city centre easily in half a hour, and the subway even more rapidly. Thus, when looking for a place to stay, you should rather follow your own preferences than just pick something due to its specific location on the map. Below are Helsinki’s ten most popular neighbourhoods – get to know them and find your own personal perfect Helsinki!



    A bohemian oasis of bars and restaurants

    • Nightlife

    Kallio, east of the heart Helsinki, is a bohemian district full of things to do, aimed at young adults. To its west is Töölönlahti Bay, to the north it’s bound by Helsinginkatu Street, to east by Hämeentie Street, and to the south by Pitkäsilta Bridge. Some well-known landmarks include the Hakaniemi Market Square, the Church of Kallio and Tokoinranta Park. Previously, the tiny apartments in Kallio mainly served as workers’ homes. Since then, the district has seen an influx of artists, alternative crowds and students; changing the district’s offerings considerably. There are bars, restaurants and brick-and-mortar stores on every block – and differences are seen as a thing to be celebrated. Most of the buildings are old. Large shopping centres do not blemish this region. Kallio has been a trendy neighbourhood for a long time – which naturally also shows in the price level of the area. On the other hand, there are so many alternatives for relaxing mornings, days or evenings that you just have to ask – where else would you even want to go?



    Home of the Redi Shopping Centre and the Flow and Tuska festivals, east of Kallio

    Sörnäinen, called Sörkkä by locals, is a district bordered by the sea. There you’ll find the shopping centre Redi and the Merihaka housing area. In the summers, this is where the Tuska and Flow music festivals set up their stages. The Kalasatama area, which forms a part of this district, is a target for mushrooming new houses and office buildings, so the population of this area keeps growing at great speed. Compared to Kallio, Kalasatama is more industrial, more commercial and to some degree also more modern. The local attractions are not limited to simply drinking or dining. The shopping centre Redi hosts the largest concentration of services in the area. The best place for outdoor recreation, however, is the area of Mustikkamaa, on the other end of the Isoisänsilta Bridge. In summertime, the Kalasatama area of Sörnäinen also organises the Tuska and Flow festivals – the district’s population can easily multiply in size in a short time. From central Helsinki, the easiest way to Sörnäinen is via subway. Depending on the final exit, you can get off at the Hakaniemi, Sörnäinen or Kalasatama stations.



    An extremely trendy district to the south of Kamppi

    Punavuori, also called Rööperi, had a bad reputation for the longest time. Today, you would hardly believe it. This area, which used to host smugglers, criminals and other lowlifes, is nowadays the lodestone of hipsters and artists -- filled with antique shops, art galleries and trendy places for drinking and dining. The best known landmarks of the area are Sinebrychoff Park, named after a brewery previously located here, and the Mikael Agricola Church at the southern edge of the district. And if you’re near the church, just drop by to try the products of the district’s own roastery or the café in the same building. For more places to get something to eat or drink, you can visit the eastern side of Punavuori, with selections like sushi, Italian food, vegan food, and multiple trendy bars. There are also hotels on Bulevardi Street and Annankatu Street, for example, and if these are booked full, there are plenty more in the neighbouring Kamppi and Kaartinkaupunki districts.



    A diverse, esteemed district to the north of the heart of Helsinki

    Töölö, directly to the north of Kamppi, is a huge district that features, among other things, Hietaniemi Beach, a considerable number of parks and sights, and several sports venues. Generally, Töölö is considered to have two separate parts: Etu-Töölö, extending roughly from Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu to Eteläinen Hesperiakatu, and Taka-Töölö, extending from there to Stenbackinkatu and Nordensköldinkatu. The first one of these includes, among other things, the previously mentioned beach, the Parliament House and Finlandia Hall, while the latter part has Sibelius Park, the Olympic Stadium and Helsinki Ice Hall. Töölö is also known as a verdant area. There are parks both small and large, as well as the Helsinki City Winter Garden on the northern shore of Töölönlahti Bay. Töölö’s hotels can be found in the middle and southern parts of the district, offering accommodation alternatives for all tastes. Due to the central location of this area, we can easily recommend it to everyone going on a vacation in Helsinki.



    A magnificent historical district to the south of Esplanadi

    • History

    Kaartinkaupunki, between Esplanadi Street and Tähtitorninvuori Hill, is a magnificent urban district – a chance to really see old Helsinki in all of its glory. Even though it’s not a large district, there are still many historic landmarks and buildings: the Esplanadi Park and its buildings, the old fire station at Erottaja, the Old Market Hall, the Market Square, the Smolna building, Kasarmitori Square, and others. If you’re looking for a restaurant, the best selection is on the western side of the district, at the Old Market Hall of Helsinki, and by Esplanadi. There are several hotels in the area, most of them rated four or five stars. What is guaranteed, however, is that this is a place near everything – and, above all, it offers the sort of setting that’s hard to match in Helsinki.



    The home of Hartwall Arena and Mall of Tripla in northern Helsinki

    Pasila is a bustling district north of the heart of Helsinki – and it’s getting renovated fast. Earlier, this region only contained Hartwall Arena, the Messukeskus event centre and the Ilmala bus depot, but there’s much more to see in Pasila now – such as the enormous Mall of Tripla, which has brought, in addition to the shops, many new restaurants and forms of entertainment to the area. As Pasila is smack dab in the middle of Helsinki, you can access all parts of the centre quickly. Trains leaving from Pasila station will get you to the main railway station or the Helsinki-Vantaa airport in no time. Accessing the neighbouring districts such as Linnanmäki, the Olympic Stadium, the gardens of Kumpula and Keskuspuisto, is possible by just walking there. Pasila has many inexpensive hotels – so get to know your options now!



    A modern marine area to the west of the heart of Helsinki

    The large district of Länsisatama includes the entire southwestern part of Helsinginniemi Peninsula. This is an area with great variety. In addition to the similarly named harbour, the area hosts high-rise houses, the Cable Factory event centre, Salmisaari Sports Centre and the famous sauna complex Löyly. This harbour is the busiest in Finland. During one year, well over 5 million people pass through its gates, mostly travelling from or to Estonia. The local hotels are also well-suited for other visitors, too -- the trams and the subways allow fast access to every part of the city centre. You can also just as easily access the neighbouring districts of Töölö, Kamppi, Punavuori and Eira by walking. This area was revamped completely during the 2000s – so if you haven’t visited it in a while, you’ll be sure to find something new here.



    The heart of Helsinki, surrounding the Helsinki Central Station

    It’s hard to be closer to the core of Helsinki than Kluuvi. This district reaches from Töölönlahti and Kaisaniemi parks to Esplanadi and, in the west-east direction, from Mannerheimintie to Unioninkatu. It’s not a large area, but certainly has the vibrancy of one. The landmarks are among the most famous in the city: the Helsinki Central Station, Stockmann and Sokos department stores, Ateneum and Kiasma museums, Kappeli restaurant, and many others. If you’re looking for a real metropolitan feeling in Finland, this is the place to be. And as almost all public transit routes go through Kluuvi, you can also travel rapidly wherever you want. Apart from the very edges, all other parts of the centre are well within walking distance. If you’re looking for accommodation, perhaps the only blemish of the area is its popularity – hotels tend to get booked full in a matter of minutes.



    A vibrant and diverse district in the heart of Helsinki

    • Nightlife

    Kamppi, reaching from Mannerheimintie Street to Hietalahti Bay, is a part of the heart of Helsinki, a place with a vast number of sights, restaurants and forms of entertainment. The eastern side of the district includes, among other sights, the Amos Rex Museum, Kamppi Mall, the Tennispalatsi building, the Narinkkatori Market and the Tavastia Club. The western side, on the other hand, has the Alexander Theatre and the Hietalahti Square, known for its flea market and for its market hall, which nowadays houses many small restaurants. There’s plenty to see and experience in Kamppi every day of the year. In summertime, you can spend the day at the terraces near Kamppi Centre or at the Hietalahti Square, and when the weather is lousy, there are cultural sites, movie theatres, concert locations and the historic Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall. There are plenty of hotels, too, which can be recommended for anyone – particularly those who wish to make their stay in Helsinki as comfortable as possible. The long-distance transport buses get you straight to Kamppi, and trains will take you directly to the Central Railway Station at the western edge – it’s as ideal a location for travellers as can be.



    A seaside district in south-west Helsinki

    Lauttasaari, approximately five kilometres southwest of the heart of Helsinki, is a diverse district. Its sights include a water tower, old housing blocks and several less-known travel destinations, such as the Veijarivuori Park and beach, which are located right at the southern tip of the island – you can even see an old anti-aircraft gun there. Meanwhile, on the shores of Hevosenkengänlahti Bay, at the northern peninsular tip of the island, there’s the popular Lauttasaari pavilion. You can stop by its terrace for a drink or to grab a bite. Right next to the pavilion is Kasinonranta Beach, which is popular among families with children. Lauttasaari is a bit distant from the centre -- but if you take the subway, bus or a city bike, you can get there pretty fast. Bus 21, which goes to the island, travels through the whole area – so if you wish to test the mentioned beaches as easily as possible, it’s the best alternative.

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