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About 10 percent of Finland’s population of 5.3 million lives in Helsinki. The compact city center is easily walkable; even at a leisurely pace it’s possible to cross from the harbor in the southeast to the Töölö neighborhood in the northwest in about 45 minutes.

Helsinki Neighborhoods

Helsinki Center

Stretching along the Aleksanterinkatu, the city’s main commercial street, to Senate Square, this district is home to the enormous Stockmann department store, the city’s main railway station, and the Ateneum Art Museum.

Esplanade and Eteläsatama

Along the harbor, heading south from Esplanade Park, this district of banks, offices, and upscale shops is perfect for an afternoon stroll.


Excellent shopping and a lively street scene surround the city’s main bus station, the anchor of this district.


One of Helsinki’s oldest neighborhoods is now one of its newest, thanks to a youthful energy permeating the Design District, a showcase for up-and-coming makers of furniture, fashion, and accessories. Bulevardi is the main street through this district. Iso Roobertinkatu is reserved for pedestrians.


This island, about 15 minutes by ferry from the main harbor, was first built as a fortress when Finland was under Swedish control. Walking its ramparts, situated amid great cafés, makes for a fascinating step back through time.


North of the city center, this gracious, largely residential neighborhood sits in the strait between a yacht harbor and Lake Töölö.

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