Where to Stay in Helsinki 🇫🇮: 8 Best Areas in Finland Capital

Planning a trip to Helsinki and not sure where to stay? Don’t miss this guide to help you plan your perfect trip.

I have written a full guide to the best areas to stay in Helsinki and where to stay in Helsinki to help you choose the perfect spot to suit your travels.

My Favorite Helsinki Hotels

Helsinki is known as a city with a unique combination of northern charm and European chic. Situated on the shores of the Baltic Sea, it lures tourists with architectural sights, museums and restaurants. But Helsinki is interesting not only for its center – each of its districts has its own distinctive features.

In this article we will talk about different parts of Helsinki: the historical center with Art Nouveau monuments, business and shopping districts, and picturesque suburbs. We will tell you about the main attractions of each district, look at the colorful buildings. This will help you to get to know the Finnish capital better and choose interesting objects to visit.

Remember: Helsinki is a very touristy city and accommodation prices can be high, especially in season. My advice is to always book accommodation in advance to have more options to choose from and, most importantly, to find the best deals.

8 Best Areas: Quick Helsinki Neighborhood Guide

🎊 The most colorful Kallio
🍸 Best for nightlife & shopping Kamppi
👀 Best for first-time visitors Kluuvi
👩🏻‍🎨 Best for art & design lovers Punavuori
👪 Best for families Kaartinkaupunki
🌲 Out of the Hustle and Bustle Etu-Töölö
💸 Where to stay on a budget Katajanokka
🌼 Best quiet & hidden area Ruoholahti

1. Kallio – The Most Colorful Neighborhood in Helsinki

✨ Finland’s colorful culture: Located just north of Helsinki’s city center, the colorful neighborhood of Kallio is a must-visit for those looking to experience the vibrant local culture of Finland’s capital city. Known for its hipster vibe, street art, and alternative nightlife, Kallio has a gritty yet charming personality all its own.


💖 Heart of the neighborhood: Kallio is centered around the main square, Hakaniemi Tori, where a bustling outdoor market takes place during the day. The market offers an excellent opportunity to sample delicious local produce, artisanal goods, and prepared foods. Nearby, the Hakaniemi metro station provides quick access to attractions elsewhere in Helsinki.

🥞 Cuisine to suit all tastes: Interspersed between independent boutiques are cozy cafes and hip eateries serving everything from Finnish comfort food to Asian fusion. Bars range from divey to trendy, with craft beer and unique cocktails being local specialties.

🖌 Street art: The streets are abound with colorful murals and graffiti tags covering many surfaces. Abandoned spaces have been transformed into hubs for the arts, like Suvilahti – a former power station now used for concerts and festivals.

💃🏻 Creativity and self-expression: You’re as likely to see punks and hipsters as young families. With Finnish design shops, saunas, and old-school pubs sitting alongside ethnic grocery stores and pop-up galleries, Kallio encapsulates the diversity of modern Helsinki.

Its gritty-yet-inviting atmosphere makes it a favorite area to explore for tourists and locals alike.

All hotels in Kallio →

Where to stay in Kallio?

Luxury hotels:

Medium price range:

  • Scandic Paasi – modern hotel in the center of Kallio, offers comfortable rooms and good service at a reasonable price.
  • Scandic Kallio – a conveniently located mid-range hotel with clean rooms and friendly staff.

Inexpensive hotels:

  • Scandic Hakaniemi – a simple and inexpensive hotel near the Hakaniemi market, suitable for budget travelers.
  • SweetDream Guesthouse – a small cozy guesthouse with a homely atmosphere and affordable prices.

2. Kamppi – Best Neighborhood to Stay in Helsinki for Nightlife & Shopping

✅ Easily accessible: The vibrant Kamppi district is centrally located in Helsinki, making it easy to access from all parts of the city. It sits northwest of the city’s main railway station, adjacent to the popular Esplanadi central shopping district.

🛒 Shopping paradise: Calling all shopaholics – Kamppi is a retail lover’s paradise featuring several shopping centers interconnected by walkways and plazas. The Kamppi Center houses over 100 stores, while the Fredrikinkatu street is lined with boutiques and small businesses. Trendy independent Finnish fashion designers rub shoulders with international retail giants like H&M and Sephora.

Kamppi, Helsinki
Kamppi, Helsinki
Kamppi, Helsinki

📱 Not only clothes: Beyond apparel, shop for electronics, department store wares, shoes, accessories, home goods and Scandinavian design pieces. Kamppi also hosts a busy outdoor market square several days a week, where you can browse food stalls and purchase local handicrafts.

🧇 Cuisine to suit all tastes: From quick grab-and-go snacks to sit down restaurants, Kamppi has no shortage of dining choices. Stop into the Kamppi Chapel restaurant for Finnish fare in a unique setting. Or sample the city’s best street food at the indoor Kamppi Food Market. Cafes like Arnolds provide the perfect pitstop to refuel with a cup of coffee and freshly baked pastries.

🚇 Well-connected: Central metro and bus station make getting around a breeze. The metro whisks you downtown to sights like Senate Square, Market Square and the harborfront in just minutes. For those venturing further afield, Kamppi is also a hub for regional buses and trains.

So whether you’re hungry to shop, eat or just experience central Helsinki, the Kamppi district welcomes you with open arms.

All hotels in Kamppi →

Where to stay in Kamppi?

Luxury hotels:

  • Lapland Hotels Bulevardi – a luxury Lapland-style boutique hotel with excellent service and a restaurant serving Lapland cuisine.
  • Solo Sokos Hotel Torni – a fashionable hotel with panoramic city views, a gourmet restaurant and spa.

Medium price range:

  • Radisson Blu Royal Hotel – a modern hotel with a convenient location and good value for money.
  • Scandic Helsinki Hub – a comfortable hotel in the city center with excellent facilities for business travelers.
  • Hotel Mestari – a small cozy hotel with friendly staff and a central location.

Inexpensive hotels:

  • Hotel Bastian – simple and inexpensive hotel with basic facilities, suitable for budget accommodation.
  • Apartment Diana Park – reasonably priced apartments with fully equipped kitchens, a good option for families.
  • Seaside Apartment – inexpensive apartments in a quiet area near the sea, an optimal choice in terms of price/quality ratio.

3. Kluuvi – Best Place to Stay in Helsinki for the First Time

👀 Ideal for first-time visitors: Located right in the heart of Helsinki, the Kluuvi neighborhood is an ideal home base for first-time visitors to the Finnish capital. Situated just east of Helsinki’s central train station, Kluuvi puts you within easy walking distance of many of the city’s top attractions.

🕌 There’s a lot to see: The neighborhood’s main thoroughfare, Aleksanterinkatu, is considered Helsinki’s premier shopping street. Lined with boutiques, cafes, and restaurants, Aleksanterinkatu connects Kluuvi to the city’s grand Senate Square and Helsinki Cathedral. From Senate Square, it’s just a few blocks north to Market Square and the harbor, where you can hop on a ferry out to the historic Suomenlinna sea fortress.

🚶🏻‍♀️ One of the most convenient: Getting around Kluuvi and central Helsinki is a breeze on foot, with most sights no more than a 15 minute stroll away. For longer trips, Kluuvi is well connected by public transportation.

💰 Accommodation for every budget: Accommodation options abound in Kluuvi, from 5-star luxury hotels overlooking Esplanadi city park to affordable hostels and Airbnbs. While the neighborhood itself is more business-oriented, with lots of offices and commercial buildings, Kluuvi’s central location puts you steps away from some of Helsinki’s top restaurants, bars and nightlife in districts like Punavuori or Katajanokka.

With its proximity to major attractions and transit hubs, while still retaining its own distinct local flavor, Kluuvi is arguably Helsinki’s most convenient and accessible base for culture lovers, shoppers, and urban explorers.

All hotels in Kluuvi →

Where to stay in Kluuvi?

Luxury hotels:

  • Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna – a luxury hotel in the heart of Helsinki, offering exquisite rooms, gourmet restaurants and a spa.
  • Solo Sokos Hotel Helsinki – a fashionable hotel with modern design, located in the heart of the city, within walking distance of the main attractions.
  • Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel – a prestigious premium hotel with panoramic views of the city, characterized by luxurious interiors and first-class service.

Medium price range:

  • Holiday Inn Helsinki City Centre – a modern hotel in the city center, offers comfortable rooms and good service at a reasonable price.
  • Bob W City Centre – a stylish boutique hotel in the heart of Helsinki, attracting with its designer interior and atmospheric restaurant.
  • Go Happy Home Apartments – centrally located apartments with fully equipped kitchens, ideal for longer stays.

Inexpensive hotels:

  • Hotel Arthur – simple and cozy hotel with a homely atmosphere, offers rooms at an affordable price.
  • Scandic Grand Central Helsinki – economical Scandinavian chain hotel in the very center, suitable for budget accommodation.
  • Bob W Kluuvi – a budget design hotel with minimalist interior, good value for money.

4. Punavuori – Best Helsinki Neighborhood for Art & Design Lovers

🕒 Combines the old and the new: Located just south of Helsinki’s downtown core, Punavuori is one of the most hip and happening neighborhoods in Finland’s capital city. This charming area, also known as Design District, perfectly combines the old and the new, with its cobblestone streets and beautiful 19th century architecture alongside trendy boutiques, cutting-edge design stores, cozy cafes and buzzing bars.

🖌 Art & Design: Design lovers will feel right at home browsing the stylish furniture boutiques and showrooms of the little streets winding through Punavuori. Check out Lokal for the latest in Scandinavian and Finnish designed furniture, textiles and home accessories. Those looking for some unique vintage finds can hunt for treasures at Siesta and Ida Second Hand.v

🚇 Well-connected: Punavuori is very centrally located, making it easy to access by public transportation from anywhere in Helsinki. It sits adjacent to the city’s main train station, providing direct access to the airport and other destinations in Finland. The neighborhood is also within walking distance of top attractions like Senate Square, Helsinki Cathedral and Market Square.

🍸 Not just art: In addition to being a design mecca, Punavuori has no shortage of excellent restaurants, bars and cafes. In the daytime, stop into the picturesque Cafe Piritta for pastries and coffee on their garden terrace. For lunch or dinner, Sauvakäytävä is a charming little lane lined with restaurants serving everything from modern Scandinavian cuisine to Asian fusion.

With its central location, abundance of design shops and hangouts, and walkable cobblestone streets, Punavuori is the perfect Helsinki neighborhood to immerse yourself in the city’s hip creative culture.

All hotels in Punavuori →

Where to stay in Punavuori?

Luxury hotels:

Medium price range:

5. Kaartinkaupunki – Best Area to Stay in Helsinki for Families

💎 Creative hub: Kaartinkaupunki is a charming neighborhood with a vibrant history and great architecture. Translating to “Painters’ City”, this creative hub offers visitors a glimpse into Finland’s art scene, with galleries, studios, and street art around every corner.

🏞 Main locations: Meandering along the neighborhood’s cobblestone streets and leafy pathways, you’ll discover the lush Kaartin Park and the bustling Hietalahden kauppahalli food market—perfect for picking up local delicacies. For art lovers, the Ateneum Art Museum and the Design Museum showcase Finland’s creative talent.

🍴 Modern amenities: In addition to historical sites, Kaartinkaupunki also provides modern amenities for visitors. The neighborhood boasts several excellent restaurants featuring both Finnish and international cuisine. Popular brunch and dinner spots include the charming Story and Farang, situated in converted old buildings with chic decor.

Kaartinkaupunki, Helsinki
Kaartinkaupunki, Helsinki
Kaartinkaupunki, Helsinki
Kaartinkaupunki, Helsinki
Kaartinkaupunki, Helsinki
Kaartinkaupunki, Helsinki

🚍 Well-connected: Public transportation makes getting around Kaartinkaupunki a breeze. Trams and buses zip down the neighborhood’s main thoroughfares, while the Kaivopuisto metro station provides quick access to destinations across capital of Finland. So whether you want to explore the nearby island fortress of Suomenlinna or head downtown for shopping and nightlife, Kaartinkaupunki offers easy access to it all.

The combination of a peaceful atmosphere, historic landmarks and modern amenities makes this neighborhood a great choice for families.

All hotels in Kaartinkaupunki →

Where to stay in Kaartinkaupunki?

Luxury hotels:

  • Hotel Haven – an elegant boutique hotel in a historic building with luxurious rooms and a high level of service.
  • Hotel Lilla Roberts – a stylish designer hotel in an early 20th century building, offering exquisite rooms, a gourmet restaurant and spa.

Medium price range:

  • Hotel F6 – a modern Scandinavian-style hotel with comfortable rooms and a good location near the center.
  • Hotel U14, Autograph Collection – an elegant boutique hotel with excellent service and facilities.
  • Hotel Fabian – simple and cozy hotel with affordable prices, offers clean rooms and friendly staff.

6. Etu-Töölö – Area Out of the Hustle and Bustle

🍂 Quiet atmosphere: Situated between the city center and the luxurious Töölö Bay, Etu-Tööölö is a charming neighborhood ideal for those who appreciate a quiet atmosphere and comfort. This conveniently located neighborhood is just steps away from major attractions such as the famous Helsinki Cathedral and the lively Market Square, while still allowing you to get a taste of local life.

🏞 Away from crowds: Wandering the peaceful streets lined with Jugendstil architecture, you’ll feel world’s away from the city hustle and bustle. Yet Helsinki’s best museums like the Ateneum Art Museum and Natural History Museum are just around the corner. The convenience of Etu-Töölö makes it easy to immerse yourself in Finnish art and culture.

🚌 Easy access to attractions: Getting around is a breeze thanks to the area’s central location and excellent public transportation options. The metro, trams and buses whisk you effortlessly to landmarks like Senate Square and the Olympic Stadium. Major shopping streets like Esplanadi and Aleksanterinkatu are only a short stroll away.


💎 Own gems: The neighborhood also offers plenty of its own unique gems. Sip coffee on a terrace at the charming Etu-Töölöntori market square or browse the boutiques along Hietalahdenkatu. Stroll through Sibelius Park shaded by birch trees, or rent a kayak and paddle around Töölö Bay.

In this conveniently located neighborhood, you can sample authentic local life while remaining only minutes from the top attractions. It provides the ideal blend of accessibility, charm and culture.

All hotels in Etu-Töölö →

7. Katajanokka – To See Marintime Past of Helsinki on a Budget

Maritime past: Located on a small peninsula just east of Helsinki’s city center, the charming Katajanokka neighborhood offers visitors a glimpse into Helsinki’s maritime past. Visitors arriving by ferry will dock right in Katajanokka, making it one of the first areas of Helsinki many travelers experience.

🚚 Modern meets history: The curved shoreline of Katajanokka is dotted with old brick warehouses and buildings that recall its history as a busy cargo port. While some warehouses now house luxury hotels and restaurants with waterfront views, others have been converted into cultural spaces like the Helsinki Contemporary Art Museum and the National Opera.

🚶🏻‍♂️ Very walkable: Katajanokka is easy to navigate on foot, with popular sights like the Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki Cotton Factory, and Allas Sea Pool all within a 20 minute walk. Trams and buses also frequently connect Katajanokka to Central Station and other points around Helsinki. The nearby Kauppatori market square in the Old Town has ferry connections to Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, one of Helsinki’s top attractions.

With its serene canalside setting and proximity to major attractions, and restaurants serving fresh Baltic seafood, Katajanokka is worth exploring for any visitor interested in seeing beyond the usual city center sights.

All hotels in Katajanokka →

Where to stay in Katajanokka?

Medium price range:

  • Scandic Grand Marina – a hotel with panoramic sea views, located in a historic building on the waterfront.
  • Bob W Koti Katajanokka – an elegant Art Deco boutique hotel with a high level of service. Located in a quiet location close to the harbor.

Inexpensive hotels:

  • Noli Katajanokka – a modern hotel with Scandinavian design and panoramic windows, located within walking distance of major attractions.
  • Eurohostel – hostel in the center of the district with comfortable rooms at an affordable price, ideal for young people.

8. Ruoholahti – To See Finnish Capital from a Different Perspective

🏙 Fast-developing: Located just west of the city center, the seaside neighborhood of Ruoholahti is one of Helsinki’s most dynamic and fast-developing areas. This recently revitalized district perfectly combines historic charm with modern allure.

⛵ Sea ride: A seaside pedestrian promenade lined with outdoor cafes makes an idyllic spot to watch the ships sail in and out of the harbor. You can also take a short ferry ride over to the fortress island of Suomenlinna for a day trip that feels worlds away from the city bustle.

👀 There’s a lot to see: Yet with its own collection of shops, restaurants, and cultural sights, Ruoholahti has plenty to offer visitors who want to experience authentic local life. The heart of the neighborhood centers around the Ruoholahti metro station, where you’ll find the neighborhood’s bustling shopping mall Itis. Art lovers will appreciate the nearby Salmisaari art complex, home to artist studios and small galleries where local works are sold.

🚇 Well-connected: Getting around Ruoholahti is a breeze thanks to the metro system and comprehensive bus network. The neighborhood’s metro station provides speedy access to Helsinki’s city center in just 5-10 minutes. For sights farther afield, an intricate web of bus routes fan out across the city from Ruoholahti’s transportation hub.

With its cosmopolitan vibe and abundance of amenities, Ruoholahti’s got it all covered for visitors seeking an authentic Helsinki experience outside the crowded city center.

All Hotels in Ruoholahti →

Top Area to Stay in Helsinki with Family

Focus on neighborhoods that are family-friendly, safe, and have easy access to parks, playgrounds, and activities. The city center and districts like Punavuori, Ullanlinna, and Kamppi are very walkable with lots of shops, restaurants, and things to do.

Consider an Airbnb or vacation rental with multiple bedrooms and amenities like a kitchen and washing machine so you have flexibility and space. Proximity to public transportation is also useful with kids.

Stay near the coastline areas if you want easy access to the water. Districts like Lauttasaari, Jätkäsaari, and Hernesaari have beaches, boats, and beautiful seaside paths perfect for families. The Helsinki Zoo is also on Korkeasaari island.

Best Areas in Helsinki on a Map

FAQs about Helsinki, Finland

How many days is enough to see Helsinki?

I’d recommend spending 3-4 days in Helsinki to see the main sights. That will give you enough time to explore neighborhoods like Design District, get out to the Suomenlinna islands, and take day trips to places like Porvoo.

Which part of Helsinki is best to stay?

The best areas to stay in Helsinki are around the city center, including districts like Kamppi and Punavuori. That will put you close to attractions and restaurants. The central hotels also make it easy to walk around.

Is Helsinki a walkable city?

Helsinki is very walkable, especially the inner city. The streets are safe and most main sights are within a few kilometers of each other. I’d recommend exploring on foot as much as possible.

Is it safe to walk around Helsinki at night?

It’s generally safe to walk at night in the city center. Helsinki has low violent crime rates. As in any big city, just use caution in less populated areas at night. Stay on main streets and you should be fine.

Why is Helsinki so popular?

Helsinki is popular for its blend of trendy design culture alongside history and natural beauty. The harborfront location, islands, architecture, food scene, and proximity to other Nordic cities also give Helsinki wide appeal.

What is the best month to visit Helsinki?

May, June, July, and August are the best months to visit Helsinki weather-wise. You’ll get long days with temperatures in the 60s Fahrenheit. There are festivals and outdoor activities all summer long.