What makes Helsinki such a great city to live and study in?

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a compact and safe city where cool urban culture, beautiful islands and green parks are all within your easy reach. It is renowned for offering an exceptionally high quality of life, a modern public transport system and great infrastructure. Everything simply works. No wonder that Helsinki is often considered to be one of the most liveable cities in the world.*

*Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU)

Where else in the world can you live in a buzzing city centre, but when yearning for the outdoors just pack your tent and take a bus from just about anywhere to reach untouched nature? Helsinki has the advantages of a big city in a smaller and compact package. In the city centre, you can easily get from A to B by foot or by a rented city bike, but the city is also well served by public transportation with little to no rush hour disturbances.

Did you know that in Helsinki every part of the city has at least one park or green area? A third of Helsinki is covered in green areas and you can easily escape the city. Take a walk on beautiful nature trails, enjoy the silence and cook over open fire. At one of the four campuses of the University of Helsinki, you can actually see cows and horses surrounded by green fields.

As Helsinki is a seaside city, you also have easy access to water. The gorgeous archipelago of Helsinki consists of around 300 islands and many of them can be reached by a regular ferry.

Helsinki also enjoys good air quality and low levels of pollution compared with the metropolises of the rest of Europe. Only a 10th of the European urban population enjoys air as clean.


The Helsinki public transport system has been named the second best in among European cities, with a highly effective public transport system of metro, tram, bus and train lines, enabling the whole metropolitan area to be within reach. As a student, you get a discount on the public transport fares.

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. If you don't have a bike, there's a great bike share system with over 250 bike stations with and more than 2500 bikes.  

Helsinki has frequent flight connections to other European capitals, Asia and other parts of the world, and the Helsinki Airport is considered to be among the best in Europe.

Helsinki is one of the world’s safest cities to live in just like Finland is one of the safest countries in the world. We have a well-functioning democracy, a reasonably stable economy, advanced transportation systems and no risk of natural disasters. This is one of the few countries where lost wallets and mobile phones are regularly returned to their rightful owner.

Read the report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

With several higher education institutions in the area and more than 60 000 university students, Helsinki is a vibrant student city well set up to cater to all your needs. 

The oldest and largest institution of academic education in Finland is the University of Helsinki, established in 1640 and nowadays with 32 000 students and 4 600 researchers. It is internationally renowned for its high-quality teaching, research and innovation, and frequently ranked among the top 100 universities in the world.

If you want to experience the vibrant student life of Helsinki, read more why choosing the University of Helsinki is a good option.



Home of Linux and the 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 startups immediately Go Global targeting large innovation markets at a higher rate than nearly any other ecosystem and offer great opportunities for students and graduates to jump into the working life.

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. Business plans are created by combining real-world problems, academic know-how and entrepreneurial action with an open multidisciplinary community. Check out the idea accelerators and inspiring events!

Are you a foodie or an art lover? Or do you enjoy films or live music? In Helsinki, you can enjoy culture in the cold of winter and under the midnight sun. In the summer, the city is on fire with events from the world-famous music festival Flow to the art and music at the Helsinki Festival. But things also happen in the wintertime, for example, the Christmas markets and the amazing LUX light show festival. The art museums HAM and Kiasma show intense visual art shows by world-famous artists. For foodies, Helsinki is a must with the Taste of Helsinki festival, street food markets and other food-related happenings to satisfy your taste buds.

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. This former World Design Capital has its own design week and many smaller design events that showcase young Finnish designers. Many people know Marimekko, Iittala and Alvar Aalto, but in Helsinki you can be among the first ones to discover the new names and design talents in the many design markets. Even the cityscape in Helsinki offers a journey from neoclassicism and Art Nouveau to contemporary architecture.

At the university, you make friends for life and often with your fellow students who are in the same boat as you. However, it's worth trying to mingle with the locals too. Although the Finns may seem reserved and shy at first, it is a myth that Finnish people are not social. Some of us just warm up to other people a bit slower than others. Once you get to know a Finn, you will have a loyal friend for life. There is also a constantly growing international community in the city of Helsinki. More than 10% of the population speaks as their mother tongue some other language than Finnish or Swedish.

Get to know the Finns with a starter kit for keeping up with the Finnish culture.