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Maritime Helsinki may be one of the youngest Scandinavian capitals, but it is also one of the most beautiful. Built upon the Gulf of Finland and connected by a series of bridges and bays, it is ethereal when dressed in winter snow and lushly green in the height of summer. It is famous for 19th-century architectural gems such as the Helsinki and Uspenski cathedrals; and for the boutiques, restaurants and galleries of the cutting edge Design District. Whether you travel to Helsinki on business - or for a romantic getaway infused with Nordic charm - make sure to stay at one of the city’s best hotels.
Best Overall: Hotel F6
Family-owned four-star Hotel F6 is rated on TripAdvisor as the best hotel in Helsinki. Its city center location puts you within easy walking distance of Esplanadi Park and the beautiful green domes of Helsinki Cathedral. The hotel is a haven of warmth and welcome, with bright contemporary decor and unfailingly attentive staff. Each of the 66 rooms comes with luxe bathrobes and slippers, a wonderfully comfortable bed, a minibar and free Wi-Fi. Ask for one with a French balcony and views of the hotel courtyard.
Breakfast is included. Expect organic Finnish delicacies such as reindeer salami and artisanal bread. The bar, Runar, is named after the hotel’s resident Boston terrier and features cocktails made with herbs grown in the on-site greenhouse. Although there’s no restaurant, you can order food from some of the best dining options in the city through a collaboration with a local delivery service. Use the gym to stay in shape or borrow free bicycles from reception for a tour of Helsinki’s best sights.
Best Budget: Hotel Finn
Hotel Finn stands out for providing city center accommodations at rock-bottom prices. Located a seven-minute walk from Helsinki Central Station, the hotel is ideally placed for exploring attractions such as the Ateneum art gallery on foot - allowing you to save money on public transport. Inside, the decor is contemporary and stylish, while the staff on reception are happy to offer recommendations about what to see and do. There are 36 rooms, which although basic, are also clean and comfortable.
Whether you choose a single, double, triple or quadruple room, you’ll benefit from a private bathroom and soundproof windows. Towels and toiletries are included, while free Wi-Fi and a 32” HD TV keep you connected. Although there’s no restaurant on-site, all guests are entitled to a discounted breakfast at an adjacent restaurant. The buffet is varied and plentiful, and at €8.5 per person, it’s an affordable way to fill up ahead of a busy day spent exploring the city.
Best Boutique: Hotel Katajanokka
Situated near the city center on Katajanokka island, chic boutique Hotel Katajanokka is a few minutes’ walk from iconic Uspenski Cathedral. Uniquely housed within a former 19th-century prison, the hotel still features its original perimeter wall and heritage red-brick façade. However, it is unlikely that the inmates of the past would recognize the building’s interior, which has been transformed into a design-oriented enclave of comfort.
The cell block rooms guarantee a peaceful night’s sleep with meter-thick brick walls, while standard amenities include a flat-screen TV, a minibar and a pillow selection. A generous breakfast buffet is included in your room rate and served at basement restaurant Linnankellari. The restaurant also offers delicious Nordic cuisine for lunch and dinner, and in summer, you can enjoy barbecues and live music on the courtyard terrace. Other facilities include a 24-hour gym and a weekend sauna.
Best for Families: Scandic Paasi
Scandic Paasi offers the best of both worlds with a quiet, family-friendly location near Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden and excellent transport links to the city center. Children receive a welcome gift and will love the hotel’s colorful decor and dedicated play area. Parents will be equally enamoured of the fact that kids under 13 stay for free. There are several different rooms for families, all of which include a TV and free Wi-Fi.
Some have a private sauna, while others allow for self-catering with a kitchenette and dining table. The maximum capacity is four, but larger families can ask for connecting rooms. Whatever you choose, an organic breakfast buffet is included. With over 100 items, there’s something for guests of all ages. There are several restaurants nearby, while on-site facilities include a gym, a library and a bar.
Best for Romance: Hotel Lilla Roberts
Avantgarde Hotel Lilla Roberts is an excellent choice for design-conscious couples. It’s perfectly placed for romantic strolls through the city center and along the Helsinki waterfront, while the building itself is an early 20th-century gem by renowned architect Selim A. Lindqvist. Inside, the Art Deco lobby sets the scene for a special stay with a cozy fireplace and a life-size horse sculpture. There are 130 rooms, all with parquet floors and luxurious beds dressed in Egyptian cotton.
Choose a Lux room with a designer couch and a surround sound 55” TV for romantic evenings in. Restaurant Krog Roba serves breakfast throughout the day, so that you can sleep in late. There’s a terrace for warm weather dinners outside, while Bar Lilla e is the perfect spot for celebratory cocktails.
Best Luxury: Hotel Kämp
When Hotel Kämp opened in 1887, it was the first hotel in Finland to have an elevator. It has been setting standards for luxury ever since. From its five-star location on Esplanadi Park to its top-hatted doormen, this is refinement at its best. All rooms and suites include a marble bathroom, down duvets and pillows and state-of-the-art technology.
The Mannerheim Suite offers the most luxurious stay in Helsinki, with a living room, kitchen, balcony and private sauna spread out over 2,777 square feet of space. Dine on seasonal French cuisine at Hotel Kämp Brasserie, followed by cocktails in the chandelier-lit bar. Kämp Spa tempts with two saunas and a long list of massages, while other perks include valet parking and 24-hour room service.
Best for Nightlife: Klaus K Hotel
Klaus K Hotel’s trendy Design District location puts it within easy reach of Helsinki’s best bars and clubs. It’s also home to Klaus K Bar & Lounge - a popular spot for cocktails, Italian wines and live DJ sessions on Thursdays. If you’re looking for the perfect private party venue, look no further than the hotel’s Sky Terrace - a sophisticated, heated space for rooftop celebrations. All rooms pamper between festivities with free Internet, Malin + Goetz amenities and high quality Unikulma mattresses. For access to the Sky Terrace outside of private events, splurge on a Sky Loft room. Restaurant Toscanini provides a welcoming atmosphere for refueling on tasty Tuscan cuisine, while the 24-hour gym allows you to detox in style.
Best Business: Crowne Plaza Hotel Helsinki
Four-star Crowne Plaza Helsinki offers a convenient location in between the city center and Messukeskus convention center, with excellent transport links to both. On-site, a dedicated conference floor offers event space for up to 1,500 delegates, while other business perks include free Wi-Fi and a 24-hour business center. The hotel’s Sleep Advantage program aids relaxation in between meetings with premium bedding, quiet zone rooms and guaranteed wake-up calls. Choose a room with access to the top-floor Club Lounge for complimentary breakfast and cocktails. Other amenities include a lobby bar, a Mediterranean restaurant and a health club with a gym and spa.
Best Waterfront: Hilton Helsinki Strand
Located across the bridge from the Botanic Garden on the shore of a serene inlet, Hilton Helsinki Strand boasts a restful atmosphere and stunning waterfront views. It is equipped for business with nine different meeting rooms; and for leisure with a top-floor sauna, gym and swimming pool. All rooms include an HD TV, minibar and private bathroom, while many look out over the water. For panoramic sea views from the comfort of your own balcony, choose the Hilton or Presidential suites. BRO Restaurant serves vodka cocktails and seasonal cuisine.