Where to Stay in Helsinki – Ultimate Neighborhood Guide by a Local (+Best Hotels)

View of Helsinki skyline showcasing the Helsinki Cathedral, vibrant market stalls by the harbor, and boats docked along the pier on a sunny day

Are you looking for the best places where to stay in Helsinki during your next trip? Lucky you!

I live in Helsinki, and it’s been my city for more than 2 years, and I know my city inside out. So expect the best insider tips and spots in the city to feel like a local and enjoy the city like a real Helsinkian would!

Helsinki has a bunch of fantastic options to pick from, whether you’re into cozy apartments or chic boutique hotels.

From the buzzing city center to the serene waterfront, each neighborhood in Helsinki offers its own vibe and attractions. It’s like a puzzle, and finding the perfect place to stay is like finding that missing piece and it is my goal to help you with it!

Read this post to learn all about the 7 tourist-friendly areas in the city and hotels for all of them. I hand-picked the hotels to make sure you will only get the ones with stellar reviews and sorted them by price – this way, does not matter your budget, you will be able to book something that is right for you in just a couple of clicks! 

Quick Picks for Your Stay

Here’s a shortlist of all the best accommodations in the City Center (Kluuvi) that will help you decide quickly:

luxury hotel
Minimalist living room featuring a gray sofa with soft pink pillows
mid-range hotel
"Exterior view of the Holiday Inn hotel, showcasing its modern facade with glass windows

Holiday Inn

Best value for money

budget hotel
Traditional twin bedroom with royal blue bedspreads and light blue curtains

KONGRESSIKOTI HOTEL

Best affordable accommodation in the center

Here’s a map of all the areas in Helsinki that I’m going to talk about in this post:

A colorful map highlighting the best areas to stay in Helsinki with numbered locations and labels for easy navigations

1. City Center (Kluuvi) – where to stay for first timers

The neoclassical Helsinki Cathedral, with its large green dome and white exterior, stands majestically against a blue sky with scattered clouds.

If you are visiting Helsinki for the first time, the City Center, also known as Kluuvi, is the best place for you!

What is cool about the City Center is that it is literally in the middle of the city, and since Helsinki is quite a small city it means that areas like Kallio and Ullanlinna are only a 20 minute walk away. Also Helsinki Cathedral (map), one of the most iconic sights in the city, is just a 5 minute walk from Kluuvi!

Eitherway, Kluuvi has a lot of things to offer! 2 of my  museums are in this area, one of them is the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma which is just around the corner from the railway station. 

And yes, you will have all the main attractions just steps away from your accommodation and the Central Railway Station in case you are doing some exploring outside the city. Also there is a metro station and bus station here!

The other cool museum is Art Museum Ateneum and it is great for discovering Finnish art. If you want to go shopping then I recommend you go to Stockmann which has from supermarkets to cool clothing brands!

If you want to go for a tranquil walk, go to Esplanadi (map). It is around 5 blocks long and it is a long green promenade where you can walk. And it is truly beautiful all year round. It is also the perfect place to sit with a coffee and pastry and watch life go by. You can also find fashion boutiques along the Esplanadi.

For food, one of my dearest restaurants in the area is Lulu’s (map), the place is fancy and trendy, and prices are good. I recommend you book a table in advance! 

For coffee and pastries I love Roasberg (map). It is super chill and you can even have lunch if you feel like it. If there is an extra room underground if the main floor is full.

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Helsinki, featuring an inviting lobby with a cozy couch and ornate chairs, a serene bedroom with cityscape views, and a sophisticated dining area with neatly set tables by large windows.

One of the best places to stay in the City center of Helsinki, this hotel offers a breakfast buffet, free Wi-Fi and you have free access to the sauna. I just love how the sunset looks from the rooftop terrace here, it’s such a unique view of the city. Get a cocktail and spend a wonderful night here!

Other accommodation options in City center

mid-range
Modern hotel lounge with bright colorful furniture and wood accents

One of the best hotels that has rooms designed in the Scandinavian-style, with access to a sauna and gym

budget
A simple hotel room with twin beds, blue bedding, and traditional furniture

Stay in Helsinki in a hotel located in the city near the trendy restaurants, that has a lovely outdoor terrace

airbnb
Cozy kitchenette with white cabinetry, a small dining table, and red and white accents

One of the best places to stay in the city center that has a kitchen, private rooms, and free Wi-Fi

Things to do in the City center (Kluuvi)

  • Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art in the city center
  • Take a relaxing walk in Park Esplanadi
  • Admire the art nouveau architecture of the Central Station
  • See how a Finnish library looks like at Oodi 
  • Breath in some fresh air Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden
  • Watch the sunset Kansalaistori Square in the city

2. Punavuori – for upscale trendy shops and eateries

The historic red-brick Johanneksenkirkko church in Helsinki surrounded by lush green trees under a clear blue sky

Punavuori is just next to Kluuvi, (the Helsinki City Centre) and has a fancy and trendy vibe. This area is perfect for walking around, going window shopping, and admiring the stunning architecture. That is what I do, it is gorgeous there!

Let’s say that it is quite a wealthy area and there are a lot of nice shops and restaurants. The Design District is part of Punavuori so there are a lot of local designer shops and art galleries, and the Design Museum is not far, and it is worth a visit!

So, there are 2 main cool streets to check out for clothes and food! One of the streets you need to check out is Bulevardi (map) which is super long and you can find nice coffee shops. 

The other one is Ekberg (map). It is super cute and traditional and the perfect place to try a cinnamon bun. Here, during February you can try Runeberg’s Tortes (almond cake with jam on top) and Laiskiaspulla (a bun with whipped cream and jam).

If you are into vintage shops, my most liked clothing shop in Bulevardi is UFF (map), they have many locations around the city, and if you are from Helsinki, you get your vintage 2nd hand clothes from here!

The other street you need to check out is Iso Roobertinkatu (map), it is named after Robert Henrik Rehbinder – a former Secretary of State for the Grand Duchy of Finland. This street is nice if you want to go out, one of my favorite spots is Jackie Bar (map), they usually have DJs on Friday and Saturday.

Relove Freda (map) on Iso Roobertinkatu as well is a second hand clothing store and also a café, which is super cool!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Helsinki, displaying a plush bedroom with elegant decor, a contemporary bathroom with a standalone tub, and a cozy sitting area with a stylish armchair and round coffee tables.

With a great location, this hotel in Punavuori has the best view of Helsinki city! You can have your coffee on the little balconies in the rooms. I just love that some of them have a sauna as well (how Finnish), so you can relax after a day of shopping and museum visiting! There’s also a bar, so make sure you have a drink there.

Other accommodation options in Punavuori

mid-range
Stylish living room with large windows, a sectional sofa, and mid-century modern furniture

One of the best hotels in Helsinki that has stylish rooms, free Wi-Fi, a restaurant, and a bar

budget
Twin bedroom with minimalist decor, featuring black and white curtains

A nice place to stay in the district that has all amenities, the rooms are really spacious and there’s free Wi-Fi

airbnb
Comfortable living area with a deep red sofa, contrasting throw pillows, and decorative posters

A lovely apartment designed in the Finnish style with all amenities located near the trendy bars and restaurants

Things to do in Punavuori

  • Take a long walk in the Sinebrychoff Park located near the city center
  • Catch a play at the Aleksanterin Theatre in Helsinki
  • See some cool Finnish architecture at the Pelastusarmeijan Museum
  • Admire some beautiful art at Sinne Gallery
  • Explore all the local designer shops in Helsinki

3. Kallio – for a hip vibe on a budget

The imposing Kallio Church in Helsinki with its tall, gray stone tower and copper green dome, set against a patterned cloud sky

This is my neighborhood – I live in Kallio and to me there is no place like Kallio! You have everything you could possibly need nearby! Also is a bit cheaper than the rest of the areas!

Kallio is located East from Central Helsinki, but it is within a walking distance, not more than 20 minutes depending on where exactly you are going to stay.

The reason I love living in Kallio so much is because the area is super eclectic and young! If you want to go out or eat good food, this is the place for you! And like I said, places like the Helsinki Cathedral are only a short walk away.

Some of the main attractions in the area are Hakaniemi Market Hall (map), which is located next to the main bus, metro, and tram stations in the Kallio area. Which comes super handy! In Hakaniemi Market Hall you can find stalls selling local produce, cafés, and some crafts.

Another great landmark is Kallio Church (map), which was built in 1912 with granite, and features a romantic style!

Kallio means ¨rock¨ in Finnish – so, Kallio Cathedral literally means a Rock Church!

So if you are looking for the best places to go out at night or have dinner there are 2 main streets for this: Helsinginkatu is one of them and one of my go to restaurants/bars is Tenho Restobar (map). Sometimes they have local artists playing live music!

The historic Vanha Kauppahalli (Old Market Hall) in Helsinki, displaying its red brick facade with ornate details and large windows under a clear blue sky

The other street is Vaasankatu which is parallel to Helsinginkatu and here I recommend Bar Molotow (map) for a beer. If you feel like dancing all night go to Siltanen (map) and dance to funky tunes! If you go during the day you can have lunch and later dinner!

If you want to have a wooden sauna experience, head to Kotiharjun Sauna. And after a relaxing sauna session, you can head to Harju 8 (map) for dinner and drinks, if you visit in the summer they have jazz music on Sundays! 

Linnanmäki is close to Kallio, and if you are looking to have a unique experience in the city, this amusement park is great for seeing a different side of the city, and having an adrenaline rush! The entry is around  €50 per person and is open during the summer.

PRO TIP: If you find any accommodation in Sörnänien, Merihaka, or Kalasatama, you’ll be fine too – it is only a few minutes walk away!

NOTE: You might see some drunk people walking around and sometimes yelling, especially during the summer. Not to worry, it is quite normal for this area, they are harmless and mind their own business. 

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Helsinki, showcasing a spacious bedroom with large windows, an airy living space with comfortable seating and a dining area, and a grand lounge with decorative pendant lights and dark upholstered furniture.

You won’t get a better view of the city than in this luxurious hotel in Kallio, Helsinki. You can enjoy a cocktail at the elegant bar in this waterfront accommodation and then hit the pool and swim until you’re ready for bed! Make sure you grab breakfast here, it’s so delicious!

Other accommodation options in Kallio

mid-range
Chic hotel library lounge with leather armchairs, plush sofas, and walls lined with bookshelfs

One of the best hotels in this price range, I love the style of the rooms here, they offer free Wi-Fi and a nice breakfast

budget
A playful wall mural with a whimsical deer illustration in a modern room with two black chairs

Stay in Helsinki, Kallio in this budget-friendly hotel that has all amenities, free Wi-Fi, and a lovely terrace

airbnb
Elegant bedroom with a large Buddha painting on a red patterned wall

What a cute and simple apartment located in the hear of Kalio! The balcony is perfect for a nice breakfast

Things to do in Kallio

4. Kamppi – for bustling bars and shops

The curved wooden facade of the Kamppi Chapel of Silence in Helsinki stands out amidst a cityscape, juxtaposed with an autumnal tree in the foreground

Kampi is a good, all-round area! I’ll tell you why: it is next to the City Center, and Punavuori, and areas like Kruununhaka and Kalio are around 20 minutes walk away.

But besides the great location, you can find anything you need here, plus there are many attractions here. One of the best museums in Helsinki in my opinion is Amos Rex (an art museum), they always have the coolest exhibitions!

The other museum you can find is HAM, Helsinki Art Museum, this one is quite small and if you visit on the last Friday of the month, it is free. Just less than a 5 minute walk away from it you have Kamppi Mall (map). Here you can go shopping, you can have some food, and under the mall you have a metro station, and the main bus station in case you are taking a city break. Check out my article about the best day trips from Helsinki for some ideas!

Just a few steps away from Kamppi Mall, you have Kamppi Chapel (map), a very small chappen made out of wood. It is also known as the silent chapel, so go inside and have a moment of quiet in the middle of Helsinki bustle.

Sinebrychoff Art Museum is in the limits between Kamppi and Punavuori and it is worth a visit. The museum is an old mansion dating from 1842 with an amazing collection of classic paintings and furniture. Just behind it you have Sinebrychoff Park, where you can relax and enjoy the views!

From May to September you can check out Hietalahti Flea Market (map), which has been open since 1906.

PRO TIP: If you find some accommodation in Ruoholahti, I can recommend it too, book it since it is literally next to Kamppi! 

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Helsinki, including a modern bedroom with chic furnishings, a luxurious bathroom with a circular bathtub and glass shower, and a living room with minimalist design and a vibrant red carpet.

A luxurious eco-friendly hotel in central Kamppi that has cool Finnish décor! Spend a relaxing time in the sauna or hit the fitness center if you’re in the mood after exploring the city! The rooms are very modern and spacious and make sure you have their breakfast the – restaurant is amazing!

Other accommodation options in Kamppi

mid-range
A hotel room with a nature-inspired wall mural, large windows, and comfortable bedding

Perfect for those looking for a hotel with a unique and stylish setting for when you visit Helsinki

budget
Balcony seating area with rattan furniture, dark cushions, and a glass table

Offers comfortable rooms, and it is located in a prime location! The best thing is the private sauna!

airbnb
Scandinavian-style living room with high ceilings, abstract art, and a velvet blue couch

This trendy elegant private apartment is located in the center of Kampi is near many restaurants and bars

Things to do in Kamppi

5. Ullanlinna – best area for a quiet and fancy stay

Aerial view of Helsinki at dusk, featuring a tapestry of buildings with the Baltic Sea in the backdrop, highlighting the city's blend of natural and urban landscapes

Ullanlinna is right next to Punavuori and by the waterfront overlooking the Baltic Sea. It is super close to the city center, but far enough so the area is a bit quiet compared to the bustle of the city.

The area is quite fancy, and a lot of wealthy people live there. The architecture is beautiful and it is one of the only areas in the city where you can see old and picturesque buildings. Definitely it is one of my top areas to go for walks, or sit by the waterfront with a coffee and a pastry!

As far as monuments and landmarks you have St. John’s Church (map), a Neo-Gothic church from the 19th century, and closer to the waterfront you have Kaivopuisto (map), a huge park that is quite hilly, so the views are stunning! This is one of my ideal spots in the city to read a book and relax in the summer!

The other must is just walking all around the waterfront. There is a super nice café called Carrousel (map) which is by the water, and next to it you have a ferry station (map), from here you can go to Pihlajasaari Island. (You can get the tickets on the JT-Line Website).

Café Succès (map) is one of the nicest cafés in the area, I love it! It has an old charm, and vintage look. It feels super traditional! Also a great place for coffee and local delicacies such as cinnamon buns!

BTW, keep in mind this area is residential, so all the accommodation will be mostly apartments!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Helsinki, featuring a minimalist dining area with simple wooden furniture, a bright bedroom with natural light, and a picturesque exterior view of colorful buildings with unique architecture.

This stunning apartment is located in the middle of Ullanlinna. All the attractions are steps away! Enjoy the balcony overlooking a beautiful street.

Other accommodation options in Ullanlinna

Mid-range
Modern minimalist living space with a gray L-shaped couch

This studio is ideal for solo travelers! It comes with a sauna and a peaceful courtyard

Budget
Traditional dining area with a classic wooden table and chairs set for four

Enjoy this luxurious apartment and relax during your stay. It can host 2 guests

Airbnb
Comfortable bedroom featuring a classic wooden bed frame and headboard

A perfect place for couples, located on the top floor with amazing views

Things to do in Ullanlinna

  • Go for a relaxing walk by the waterfront
  • Take a relaxing walk in Esplanade park 
  • Enjoy the views at Kaivopuisto
  • Have a coffee at Café Carrousel (map

6. Töölö – best area for nature lovers

Finlandia Hall, a modernist white building in Helsinki, overlooking a tranquil waterside setting with greenery and a floating red sculpture

Töölö is located north from the Helsinki city center and Helsinki Central Station, and it is another quiet area in the city, filled with green spaces, beaches, and also it has quite a lot of attractions!

So, if you are looking for museums in the area you have the Finnish National Museum which has exhibitions from the Stone Age to the present time all about Finland. And you also have the Finnish Museum of Natural History and exhibits skeletons, and taxidermy animals.

Temppeliaukio Church is in the area and it is completely stunning because it is entirely made out of stone and has a unique copper dome. Sometimes there are concerts happening here!

The coolest thing about this area in my opinion is the nature! Can you believe there is an actual beach in Töölö? During the long summer we come to Töölö’s beach, Hietaranta (map) with my friends after work and just relax there with snacks and beer! Also all around there are tennis and volleyball courts to play! It is a stunning place!

Jean Sibelius was and still is the most important Finnish composer from the late romantic era. One of his most popular pieces is ¨Finlandia¨.

If you keep going North, you can find Sibelius Park (map) which is a lovely place for a quiet walk in nature or the perfect place to go for a run. Also, the Sibelius monument is here! 

I recommend you stop by Café Regatta (map) when you are in the park. When my friends visit me I always make sure we come here for a hot chocolate with whipped cream and a cinnamon bun, especially if it is during the winter! 

Café Regatta is this cute old fashion cabin style cafe by the waterfront, it is truly beautiful! Don’t miss it! Outside there is a firepit, and you can buy hotdogs (vegan options available) and cook it here, amazing in summer and winter!

Something really cool about Töölö is that the Seurasaari Open-Air Museum which is located on the island with the same name is worth a visit. It opened in 1909 and features real homes from the olden times. Super unique!

Last but not least the Olympic stadium is in this area and you can take a guided tour or go on top of the Olympic Stadium tower (72 mt (~240 ft).

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Helsinki, capturing a rooftop lounge with sleek outdoor furniture, a bedroom with modern amenities and city views, and a living area with contemporary art and a clean, white decor.

One of the best places to stay in the area, you’ll love the view of Finlandia Park! The rooms are really spacious and great for families. Maybe hit the sauna at night, and you can spend the nights barbecuing with the whole family and plan your next day of visiting the best attractions! 

Other accommodation options in Töölö

mid-range
A hotel room showcasing a harmonious blend of modern and cozy with a large bed

Stay in Helsinki in this hotel that has a great style, free Wi-Fi, a bar, a delicious breakfast, and private rooms

budget
Indoor swimming pool with blue tiles and a step ladder

Perfect for nature lovers located near greenery. Enjoy of spacious rooms and breakfast

airbnb
A quaint living area with a patterned sofa and a white dining table with chairs

Enjoy your city trip in this cosy and rustic apartment is perfect for a group of 3 guests

Things to do in Töölö

  • Walk around in the Hesperia Park
  • Take a picture of the Sibelius Monument in Helsinki
  • Admire the amazing architecture of Temppeliaukio Church
  • See the incredible art collection at Kirpilä 
  • Take a break from the urban atmosphere and walk in the Hesperia Esplanade Park

7. Kruununhaka – best area for families

Scenic view of Helsinki's bustling South Harbor with boats docked along the Market Square and the iconic white Helsinki Cathedral rising in the background.

Kruununhaka is quite an ideal location, it is located next to the city center and has loads of attractions, and it is quite an upscale area, so you can find nice luxury hotels! 

This area still has a lively atmosphere, that is why families would love this area of the Finnish capital. Where you can enjoy nature and city life! 

Some of the main attractions you cannot miss are the Senate Square, here you can find the Helsinki Cathedral, Located nearby, just a few steps away you can find Helsinki City Museum which has free entry and always has cool exhibitions about Helsinki, or local artists. 

Moving towards the waterfront you can find a few government buildings such as the Presidential Palace (map) you cannot go in, but it looks beautiful from outside. Moving even closer to the waterfront you have Kauppatori (map), an outdoor market selling souvenirs, and fresh produce like fruits and fish. 

Allas sea pool is not far away from Kauppatori, this place is an outdoor saltwater pool, and sauna. It is open all year round and sometimes they have events going on (from €18). 

TIP: If you want to visit the Suomenlinna fortress and island. You can take the ferry from Kauppatori HSL ferry station (map). Just download the HSL app and buy the ticket there it is only €3. 😗

BTW, one of my favorite cafés is in the area! Ihana Kahvila Baari (map) sells from pastries to sandwiches, apart from the best coffee! Also the decor is super cute and has vintage furniture!

PRO TIP: If you find any accommodation in Katajanokka is completely fine, it is near Kruununhaka and super calm! Also in Katajanokka you can find Uspenski Cathedral (map), a beautiful orthodox church built in 1868. The views from it are stunning.

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Helsinki, highlighting the historic charm with a plush bedroom featuring a tufted headboard, an opulent meeting hall with a grand chandelier, and the hotel's elegant exterior and grand entrance.

Stay in the most stunning hotel in helsinki. This 5 star hotel has everything you need for a luxurious stay! Relax in the spa and have a fancy drink at the onsite bar.

Other accommodation options in Kruununhaka

Mid-range
Outdoor balcony with black patio furniture and a small coffee table

Located in Katajanokka, these modern studios will make you feel like a local! Steps away from all attractions

Budget
Simply furnished bedroom with a plain white bedspread on a double bed

Stay near Helsinki cathedral and Helsinki City museum! This apartment is all you need for a relaxing stay

Airbnb
Living area with a plush gray couch, armchairs, and a rustic brick fireplace

Stay in Helsinki in one of the best apartments that has a fancy decor, nice rooms, and a kitchen

Things to do in Kruununhaka

  • Visit Allas Sea Pool and relax in the sauna
  • Take photos of the President Palace
  • Walk around the Senate Square
  • Go shopping at Kauppatori
👑 Luxury price:€250
💵 Mid-range hotel:€170
🛏️ Budget:€100
📍 Best area:Kluuvi
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:Hotel Vaakuna
💰Mid-range hotel:Holiday Inn
👛 Best budget hotel:Kongressikoti Hotel

FAQs about where to stay in Helsinki

The Sibelius Monument in Helsinki, a striking steel sculpture resembling organ pipes, set against a backdrop of blue sky and green trees

🚶‍♀️ Is Helsinki walkable?

Yes! Helsinki is a small city so you will have most areas within a 30 minute walk!

🏡 What neighborhood to stay in Helsinki?

If you’re wondering where to stay in Helsinki then I highly recommend the Punavuori neighborhood, it has amazing accommodations like the Lapland Hotels Bulevardi hotel and if you’re coming here for the first time Punavuori will give you a taste of the Finnish culture.

🌃 What is the best place to stay in Helsinki for one night?

Hotel Vaakuna is a great choice for where to stay in Helsinki for one night because of its central location!

🏨 Which is the best hotel in Helsinki?

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel has to be one of the best hotels to stay in Helsinki, this luxury place has the most amazing rooms, a sauna, and one of the best breakfasts.

👪 Where to stay for families in Helsinki?

If you’re wondering where to stay in Helsinki with the whole family then I recommend the Kruununhaka area.

Conclusion

The writer of the post holding a cup stands in a festive Christmas market at Senate Square, with the illuminated Helsinki Cathedral in the background at dusk

That is it, those were the best places and hotels where to stay in Helsinki! I am a local, I live here so I am sure by now you’ve already picked the top area for your taste, your hotel, and also have a list of things to do in the area!

If you need help to choose your hotel, here are 2 of my most liked ones in the city!

I highly suggest you book your hotel room in advance, Helsinki is super popular, and things book fast!

Which one of these areas was your favorite? I hope after your trip you love my city Helsinki as much as I do!

Have a lovely time in Helsinki,

Daniela


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