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Our Guru’s recommendations for the best places to stay in Helsinki are clustered around the centre of town and by the harbour. They’ve plumped for some seriously hip, designer options, which also happen to be extremely comfortable. For a capital, Helsinki is a pretty affordable destination and there are plenty of reasonably priced options on our Guru’s list of the best places to stay in Helsinki.
Helsinki has often been called ‘the Daughter of the Baltic’, a fitting moniker for a city built around such a crenelated section of coastline. It was the Russians who built much of this version of the city, modelled on St. Petersburg but with more Art Nouveau detailing. The high concept design taste of the Finns makes Helsinki look very much its own town.
Probably don’t mention this, but Helsinki was actually founded by the Swedes - as a trading post and fantastic maritime fortress - before being annexed by Russia. So it’s definitely worth looking into its history.
What You'll Find
Helsinki has some amazing churches, but the highlights are probably the vast, square Lutheran Cathedral in central Senate Square, the classic onion domes of the Uspenski Cathedral and the amazingly minimalist ‘Church in the Rock’, which has been dug out of solid rock, with a roof of copper strips added over the top - which really looks a lot like a UFO.
Then there are the many art and design museums. And the parks, which may be no good to you in the winter, but are amazing places to meet the locals during the warmer months.
Helsinki is one of the world’s northern most capitals and the winter is long, dark and freezing, but not necessarily snowy. The short summers are probably a more enjoyable time to visit - when you’ve all those extra daylight hours to explore the city.
Then there’s the shopping and the food. Helsinki’s designer chic boutiques and galleries are well known and the foodie scene is incredibly vibrant with plenty of locally sourced options, local craft beers and spirits from local micro-distilleries and locally prepared coffees. Helsinki really knows about coffee, with each inhabitant consuming around 12kgs of coffee each per year!
As Finland's capital, it's obviously a busy city year round, so if you want to guarantee yourself a room in one of the best places to stay in Helsinki, don't leave it till the last minute to book.
What Not To Miss
- Maybe start at Suomenlinna, the Swedish-built maritime fortress, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to several museums as well as Finland’s only remaining WWII submarine.
- On an island just out of the city is Seurasaaren Ulkomuseo, an outdoor museum with historic buildings transferred from other parts of Finland. There are also costumed re-enactments and folk music, dancing and crafts.
- Culture vultures should check out the Mannerheim Museum, which was the home of Gustav Mannerheim, former president, commander in chief and civil war hero. There are also the Ratikkamuseo and Helsingin Kaupunginmuseo, a group of small museums that sort of make up a city museum.
For a City Break
- Hotel Haven overlooks Helsinki harbour and offers 77 five-star rooms and a very good Finnish restaurant. The rooms have large beds and elegant furniture. The harbour is actually a pretty central location.
- Right in the centre of town, by Market Square, the Hotel Fabian is a trendy, cosmopolitan hotel with 58 luxurious rooms: think parquet floors, monochrome details and super modern bathrooms. There’s also a chic bar.
For great value
- Klaus K is a 137 room design hotel - supposedly Helsinki’s first - in the centre of town with rather opulent fabrics and splendid bathrooms. There’s also a gym and spa, an Italian restaurant and a nightclub.
- Hotel Kamp is an opulent 5 star offering in the centre of the city. Come here for sumptuous accommodation, spa and smart Finnish restaurant.
For a chic stay
- If you're looking for a hip spot, book into the Hotel Lilla Roberts located in Helsinki's Design District. The interiors are Art-Deco inspired and there's a fabulous restaurant specialising in Nordic cuisine.
For An Apartment Or Holiday Home
If you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner Booking.com.
- Helsinki is nicest weather-wise in the summer with the average daily temperature reaching 17°C in July.
- This however is peak tourist season, so for a quieter and potentially cheaper alternative consider coming in May or September.
- Visitors can fly into Helsinki Airport, located 18km north of the city, before taking the train to the centre.
- Norwegian Air, Finnair and British Airways all offer direct flights from Heathrow to Helsinki.
- For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Helsinki
Hotel Kamp 179 rooms from $243Helsinki
Opulent 5* hotel in central Helsinki. Stunning guestrooms have 19th century style furniture and Imprimo Collections prints; many have lounges too. Spa, sauna and elegant lounge. Chic restaurant and brasserie offering Finnish menu. A luxurious step back in time.City Style - Located near best shops, sights and restaurants in the city, the opulent hotel offers a chic and memorable Helsinki experienceSights nearby - The city museum, the presidential palace, and the central rail station are all walking distanceGreat walks - Esplanadi Park is opposite for a strollRomantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - Tablet
Hotel Fabian 58 rooms from $242Helsinki
A trendy contemporary hotel right in the heart of Helsinki. Luxury rooms feature parquet flooring, clean designs, monochrome details and uber modern bathrooms. A chic bar is the ideal spot to unwind with a drink in the evening. An extremely comfortable base for city exploration.City Style - An oh-so chic hotel just steps from Helsinki's Market Square.Local exploring - Walking distance to many of the city's sights.Local markets - Wander through the stalls at the iconic Market Square.Sights nearby - Visit the Temppeliaukio Church, excavated into a rock.Recommended by - Tablet
Klaus K 137 rooms from $189Helsinki
Design hotel in central city. Rooms modelled on themes offer opulent, warm fabrics, splendid bathrooms and sitting areas. Gym and spa treatments available, modern public areas with fireplaces. Nouveau Italian cuisine in restaurant and cool nightclub. Superbly chic at good value.City Style - Hailed as city's first design hotel, it's a hop and a skip to public transport routes, with nightclub and chic restaurant insideLocal markets - Market Square for food, handicrafts and souvenirsSights nearby - Helsinki CathedralDesigner - Uniquely designed interiors.Recommended by - Tablet
Hotel Haven 77 rooms from $241Helsinki
5* hotel overlooking Helsinki harbour. Sumptuous rooms have big beds, plush fabrics and elegant writing desks. Romantic bar lounge with fireplace and good restaurant includes a definitively Finnish menu. Excellent service, central location and good value. A great stay.City Style - Haven is a 10 minute walk from the historic heart of the city, and hotel itself is set inside one of the city's oldest buildingsSights nearby - Take a trip to Suomenlinna, the ‘fortress of Finland' and UNSECO World Heritage SiteLocal markets - Hotel is very close to Kauppatori Market SquareViews - Market Square and harbour of HelsinkiRecommended by - Tablet, Small Luxury Hotels
Hotel Lilla Roberts 130 rooms from $178Helsinki
A sleek Art Deco-inspired hotel in Helsinki's vibrant design district. The cool contemporary rooms and suites are black on black with bold splashes of animal print and luxurious en suites. Downstairs the restaurant serves up fantastic Nordic cuisine in a stylish setting. An achingly hip hotel.Foodies - Krog Roba has gained a reputuation for excellence in pan-Nordic cuisine, and Lilla Robert's cocktails will not disappoint.City Style - A chic and sophisticated hotel with innovative interiors, nestled into Helsinki’s uber cool design district.Great walks - Wander the hip design district and soak up the range of galleries and museums in this vibrant creative city.Romantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - Small Luxury Hotels, Tablet
Hotel F6 66 rooms from $261Helsinki
A chic, family-run, modern property in the heart of the city. Beautifully designed rooms are contemporary and cleanly styled yet still have a distinctly Nordic feel. A central courtyard is a little oasis during the summer months and the breakfasts are organic, plentiful and superb.Local exploring - Ideally located to access many of Helsinki's main attractions.Local markets - Get a sense of the city at the vibrant Market Square offering everything from fresh fish to reindeer horns.Sights nearby - The Senate Square and landmark Lutheran Cathedral are just a short walk from the property.Romantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - Tablet