Helsinki is dominated by chain hotels, particularly Sokos and Scandic, but there are some boutique and designer gems too. Budget accommodation is in short supply.

From mid-May to mid-August bookings are strongly advisable, although July is a quieter time for business and high-end hotels.

Apartment rentals range from one-room studios to multiroom properties that are ideal for families. Often you’ll get use of a sauna, parking area and other facilities.

Best Lists

Sleeping

  • Hotel Katajanokka Fabulously designed, this 19th-century former prison offers fantastic value for money.
  • Hotelli Krapi Charming wooden architecture and amenities, including a smoke sauna.
  • Klaus K Striking independent property in the Design District.

By Budget: €

  • Hostel Suomenlinna Situated at Finland's island-set fortress, Suomenlinna.
  • Hostel Diana Park Lively location and a laid-back vibe.
  • Eurohostel Conveniently situated for the Viking Line ferry and an easy walk to the city centre.
  • Rastila Camping Handy campground with tent pitches and self-catering cottages.

By Budget: €€

By Budget: €€€

  • Klaus K Striking design and sumptuous organic breakfasts.
  • Hotel Kämp Venerable antique-furnished beauty.
  • Hotel F6 One of Helsinki's newest properties, with impeccable environmental credentials.
  • Hotel Haven Magnificent harbour views extend from many rooms.

Design Hotels

  • Klaus K Themed with Finnish national epic Kalevala quotes.
  • Hotel F6 Set around an internal courtyard with a herb garden supplying its bar.
  • Hotelli Helka Alvar Aalto–designed furniture, ice-block bedside lights and backlit prints.
  • Hotel Indigo Murals in Hotel Indigo's rooms were designed and painted by local artists.

Historic Hotels

  • Hotel Kämp Sibelius and Gallen-Kallela once frequented this Helsinki icon.
  • Hotelli Krapi Atmospheric property in a historic timber former cowshed with a resident ghost.
  • Hotel Katajanokka This magnificent red-brick ex-prison was built in 1888 and retains numerous original features.

Apartments

Booking Services

  • Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/helsinki/hotels) Recommendations and bookings.
  • SATO Hotelhome (www.satohotellikoti.fi) Serviced apartments in several locations for stays of one week or longer.
  • City Apartments (www.cityapartments.fi) Offers a variety of central apartments.
  • Visit Helsinki (www.visithelsinki.fi) The tourist board's official website has information and searchable listings.

Price Ranges

The following price ranges refer to a double room in high season.

less than €70

€€ €70–160

€€€ more than €160

Where to Stay

City Centre

For

As central as it gets, with excellent shopping, major museums and parks. Rates on weekends and during summer can drop substantially.

Against

Drinking and dining options are limited in this small area. Can be very quiet on weekends and during holidays, when business activity shuts down. No budget options.

Kamppi & Töölö

For

Adjoining the city centre, Kamppi has plenty of restaurants, bars and nightlife and is home to the main bus station for easy access to further-flung parts of the city. Töölö is leafier and quieter.

Against

Kamppi can be busy and may be noisy. Residential Töölö has very few options.

Kruununhaka & Katajanokka

For

Linked by bridges to the mainland, the island of Katajanokka is handy for the Katajanokan Terminaali ferry terminal, and an easy walk or quick tram ride to the centre. Mainly residential, Kruununhaka has some standout eateries.

Against

Options are limited on Katajanokka and virtually non-existent in Kruununhaka.

Punavuori & Ullanlinna

For

Great cafes, restaurants, bars and shops in Design District hub Punavuori. Peaceful Ullanlinna has parks and open spaces. Emerging venues are opening up around the Hernesaari waterfront.

Against

Parts of Punavuori close to the centre can be busy and/or noisy. Few options in Ullanlinna.

Kallio

For

Gentrifying area with hip, creative businesses, vintage shops and cheap bars. Good metro access.

Against

Some areas can be edgy. There are some standard chain hotels; otherwise travellers can find places to stay via the usual home-sharing services.