Finland’s capital, Helsinki, lies on the shore of the Baltic Sea. The city is considered one of the best places to live in the world, with outstanding life quality, education, safety, and opportunities. Helsinki is famous for its closeness to nature and modernity, with its lakes and islands. The city has so much to offer historically and culturally, with a unique gastronomy and beautiful landmarks.
What to expect
- Helsinki is rich in architecture, which will leave you wanting to know more about the city’s incredible history. You can tour the city by bike and have fun adventures through its many surrounding islands (there are around 330 islands). Here are the highlights of what you can expect from living in Helsinki.
- Finland is one of the coldest countries in the world, with temperatures that reach to 7º below zero. However, Helsinki is fully prepared with heating in restaurants, apartments, and cafés to offer the most comfortable and pleasant experience possible. Adapting to the weather can be a challenge for many, but the country has much more to offer, so it is worth giving it a try!
Average Daylight: 18 hours in summer and 6 hours in winter.
Average weather: 20º C in summer and -4º C in winter.
Average rainfall: 191 days
Snow months: October to April
Cost of living
Finding an apartment
- To find an apartment in Helsinki, it is recommended to follow certain steps. First, analyze and define what living conditions you are looking for, if you’d like to share your place or have your own apartment. Second, establish a budget and stick to it. Living in Helsinki can be rather costly, so it is important to set a budget to get an idea of what types of apartments you should search for and where. Even though the prices can be higher than other cities, Helsinki has an outstanding health care system that offers an abundance of medical facilities and services to all citizens. If the cost of living is high, it is most likely that you will be earning a high income as well, and living in a city with countless benefits with its over-the-top life quality. There are plenty of housing services available, ready to help you find your apartment that suits your needs and adapts to your lifestyle!
- Helsinki offers buses, trains, trams and metro for you to get to wherever you need to be, while discovering the sights of the city. You will need just one ticket for all modes of transportation. Thanks to its extensive network of transportation, you can get to the office, move around the city, and back home in short periods of time and feel comfortable!
- The technology side of this traditional city attracts many professionals to join the growing tech scene. Many startups are rising in Helsinki as the opportunities arise. The city is also home to large and long-established companies that fuel up the economy. You will find all kinds of international and creative businesses on the rise.
- Helsinki is home to many international people, thus they hold events for socializing and networking annually. Here you’ll find it easy to meet people with whom to share your experiences with and make lasting connections. People in Finland are highly educated, meaning that they are very polite and will definitely welcome internationals with their arms open.
- Lifestyle in Helsinki is on the streets. When the sun starts to set, people get ready to go out to dance, and head to some of the nicest bars and restaurants!
- The International Airport of Helsinki is located 20 kilometers from the city center. It takes about 30 minutes to get there by public transport. The airport is fully prepared to get you to many countries around the world. You can also travel by land, using the train, for shorter distances to neighboring cities like Vantaa and Espoo.
- If you enjoy good reading, Helsinki has many libraries to offer, and two mobile libraries that go around the city. Almost all libraries are free of charge, and they offer a wide variety of books in English, German, French, and other languages.
- Helsinki is close to nature in all aspects. The best way to get to know the city is by walking around, going on a bike tour, or going to a seashore, parks, forests, or nature reserves. There are islands intended for outdoor recreation, which are accessible by boat. Suomenlinna and the Harakka Island are historical sights, and you can go fishing! On the more cultural side, Helsinki has many theaters and cinemas where you can see some spectacular performances. As well as museums for old and contemporary art exhibitions. The city also offers many activities for children and young people, like the Annantalo Arts Center. This is a place for art education, exhibitions, dance, and theater performance.
- When the sun starts to set, you can opt to have a drink in one of the many bars and clubs the city has to offer. During summer, rooftops are filled with young people who are looking to meet new people. But winter nightlife offers its own magic as well, letting you have a good time all year long.
- If you are a foodie, you will love the Helsinki’s culinary scene because of the revenue, there are great indoor and outdoor markets, so you can enjoy the Finnish delights all year round. You can find five-star restaurants with ambitious chefs and events such as the Restaurant Day which is when locals put up their own restaurant around the city for one day. Indoor markets sell local produce and the outdoor markets keep the streets busy. Fresh vegetables are grown in urban gardens, places that used to be concrete before.
- If you are a sports enthusiast, Helsinki has many sports all around the city. It offers public swimming pools, gyms, sports fields, and running tracks. The city organizes sports and exercise courses for its residents. In the summer, you can join free fitness classes in parks around the city.
- The area surrounding Helsinki has also got a lot to offer in terms of admirable nature, charming towns, historic castles, and more. These can be reached easily through public transport from the city center:
- Tallinn: One of the most popular day trips from Helsinki, one of the best-preserved historic cities in Northern Europe. After the Soviet Union dissolved, Tallinn experienced a construction boom, and has added a little of modern architecture to its cityscape. You can get there by ferry, and as soon as you arrive, it feels like you travel back in time and enter a place with cobblestones, alleys, and colorful medieval buildings. It is a great town to explore in a few hours, making it a fantastic and adventurous day trip!
- Tampere: Finland’s third-largest city. Tampere was at the heart of the industrialization, and according to Finns, it is one of the prettiest cities in Finland. Here you will find all about the history of the industry in the country, with various museums and exhibitions on how the city evolved rapidly. You can get to Tampere by taking a train or bus!
- Nuuksio National Park: One of Europe’s premier hiking destinations! If you enjoy nature and hiking, you definitely need to visit Nuuksio National Park, one of the 40 national parks spread throughout the country. Here you will find a landscape of forests, valleys, and gorges formed during the Ice Age. As well as a diverse flora and fauna, with foxes, deers, and grey wolves living in this beautiful little paradise.
We hope that you have found this guide useful.
Find more details, information, and KPIs about Helsinki in our Expat Guide.
The Fut-Ure Team will likewise be happy to help you to set up in the city if you are looking for a job in the region, or give you more information about the local Talent market (including details and advice in topics like Taxes and legal) if you are planning to open an office in Helsinki.
Take a look at our Job Offers, and contact us!
Let’s build your Fut-Ure together.