Helsinki as a student city

When choosing a university, it is important to get the location right too. With more than 70 000 university students, Helsinki is a vibrant student city. It is also safe and compact with both urban culture and nature at your doorstep.

The capital of Finland, Helsinki, does not only offer high-quality education for students but also a vibrant social scene. With many higher education institutions in the area, there are about 70 000 university students in Helsinki representing more than 10% of the city’s population. About 8 000 of these are international students. 

Helsinki is big enough to have everything you may want or need, yet small enough to easily find your way. It's a safe city where rich urban culture, beautiful islands and green parks are all nearby and easily reached with a modern public transport system.

In Helsinki, everything simply works.

If you want to experience the vibrant student life of Helsinki, find out 10 good reasons to choose the University of Helsinki.

Helsinki is a homely, tiny metropolis close to nature.
Highlights of living in Helsinki

A green city with nature always nearby

Did you know that in Helsinki every part of the city has at least one park or green area? One third of Helsinki is covered in green areas, so you can easily escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

The University of Helsinki itself has many green spaces including two botanical gardens. At one of the four campuses, you can find luscious green fields, the home of many cows and horses.

When a proper yearning for the outdoors strikes, just pack your tent, jump on the public transport network, and in an hour you are pitching up in the heart of wild nature. Take a walk along the many beautiful nature trails, enjoy the silence of the forest and cook over an open fire.

The element of water

As Helsinki is a seaside city, you have easy access to water. The gorgeous archipelago of Helsinki consists of around 300 islands, with many accessible by regular ferries. A simple public transport ticket covers a ferry crossing to the island of Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Clean air to breathe

Helsinki enjoys good air quality and low levels of pollution compared with the metropolises of the rest of Europe. Only a tenth of the European urban population enjoys air as clean.

Breathe. Inhale and exhale deeply. Because in Helsinki you can.

It’s amazing how much beautiful nature there is near Helsinki. Just an hour away, you find long peninsulas that stretch out to the sea.

Easy to get from A to B

The Helsinki public transport system has been named the second-best in among European cities, with a highly effective network of metro, tram, bus and train lines covering the whole metropolitan area. As a student, you get a generous discount on season tickets.

The airport is considered to be one of the best in Europe with frequent flight connections to other European capitals, Asia and other parts of the world. It is also common to take cruise ships to Stockholm, St Petersburg and Tallinn, a popular day-trip destination for locals.

Getting around by bike

When the distance is between 5-7 km, biking is the quickest way to get around. Helsinki has 1200 kilometres of cycling routes, 730 km of them paved. About 500 km of them run in recreational areas and 90 km on waterfronts. Also winter cycling is popular.

If you don't have your own bike, there's a great bike share system with over 340 bike stations with and more than 3400 bright yellow bikes.

I've never lived somewhere with this level of developed cycling infrastructure and well-run public transport.

A well-functioning society

Helsinki is the capital of Finland, a country with a well-functioning democracy, a reasonably stable economy, advanced transportation systems and low risk of natural disasters. Finland is one of the few countries where lost wallets and mobile phones are regularly returned to their rightful owner, with one report claiming this is the case 11 out of 12 times.

Buzz­ing star­tup scene

Home of Linux and Angry Birds, Helsinki has a red-hot startup scene and has been called the fourth most innovative city in the world when it comes to startups.

Helsinki Think Company functions as the entrepreneurship society of the University of Helsinki. It puts academic skills into action by matching students and academics with innovators in real business life.

A vari­ety of cultural events

Do you enjoy art, food, films or live music? In Helsinki, you can enjoy culture year around. In summertime, the city is on fire with events from the world-famous music festival Flow to the art and music at the Helsinki Festival. In the wintertime, enjoy the Christmas markets and the amazing LUX light show festival. The art museums HAM, Kiasma and Amos Rex exhibit visual art shows by world-famous artists. Also foodies can find an impressive array of options.

I like to go to the cafés and the museums in the city centre with my friends – my favourite is the art museum Amos Rex.

Nordic style and design

Helsinki is acknowledged as one of the trendiest cities in Europe, and Scandinavian style and design have an intense presence in the city and the campuses. Many people know Marimekko, Iittala and Alvar Aalto, but in Helsinki you can discover new names and design talents in the many design markets.

The Helsinki cityscape offers a journey from neoclassicism and Art Nouveau to contemporary architecture, for example Oodi, Helsinki's central library and the world’s best new public library in 2019. Also the University of Helsinki proudly presents some amazing award-winning spaces, e.g. the Kaisa House Main Library and the public event space Think Corner.

Helsinki will always be in my heart. It is such a beautiful and unique city!