From stylish rooms in a converted prison to a towering skyscraper within minutes of the top sights in the city, these are the best hotels in Helsinki, Finland, for travellers on a budget – and they’re bookable on Culture Trip.
The Finnish capital is known for many things: the architecturally arresting cathedral and Temppeliaukio Church; the atmospheric port; and a rich museum scene. And as in other Nordic countries, clever design makes every restaurant and boutique feel cool and inviting. The hotels are no different, even at the wallet-friendly end of the scale. Just because you’re scrimping on cost, doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on style – so here are the best budget hotels in Helsinki.
There’s a sense of playfulness to the rooms at Hotel Helka, with their pink floral-print cushions, statement lighting and splashes of unique art. It’s about as luxurious as a hostel-style stay gets, too: the top room, a loft junior suite, even has a Finnish sauna. Everyone else gets access to shared saunas – great places to catch up with mates or meet fellow travellers. Continue the conversation in the bar, which specialises in Finnish-style cocktails.
In the thick of the city action, a five-minute walk from Helsinki Cathedral, this towering modern hotel is the perfect pick for fast-moving travellers who want to pack in as much as possible during their stay. Culture vulture? The Design Museum and the Mannerheim Museum are both within walking distance. Want to get stuck into the Helsinki dining scene? Cool bars and restaurants are just across the street. There are also larger rooms perfect for groups travelling together.
With great rates on offer, this central hotel is just as kind on the wallet as a hostel, but with bags more style. Rooms – with blow-up shots of the city, metallic gold lamps and rosy-coloured rugs and curtains – feel contemporary and urban, while the bar with occasional live music gives the place a lively vibe. The benefits don’t end there: sauna, room service, concierge and a 24-hour shop give you everything you need to enjoy your stay in Helsinki.
Complete with arcade games, sink-in sofas and cafe tables for co-working, CheapSleep is set up for socialising – just the thing if you’re hoping to meet other travellers in Helsinki. Only 10 minutes from the central station by public transport, it has other benefits for cash-strapped visitors: free wifi, free lockers and a grocery store downstairs for thrifty meals. If you don’t fancy one of the dormitories – which sleep up to 26 people – private rooms sleeping two to four are also available.
Business traveller without a big expense account? Hotel Finn has soundproofed single rooms with desks that can double as office spaces. That’s not to say it’s a drab corporate hotel – funky wallpaper and flashy pillows give it enough personality to suit holidaymakers, too (especially families who want to make use of the triple or quadruple rooms). You’re super-central here, so you can walk to most places in the centre of Helsinki, but there’s parking if you need it.
Only a city as cool as Helsinki would have a Design District. And this fabulous stay – with a lounge-cum-library, animal-print furniture and a lush courtyard flooded with natural light – is, fittingly, right at the edge of it. Ecofriendly bathroom amenities, bathrobes and minibars are all part of the package, whether you’re a style-conscious couple booking into a cosy comfort room or a small family checking into the luxe kitchenette-equipped pad.
Packed with personality and sense of place, this hotel really connects you with your destination. Set on Katajanokka island, in the former Helsinki county prison, it has red-brick walls that might look severe, but don’t let that put you off. Inside, you’ll find rooms with wooden headboards, and carpets that look as if they’ve been designed by Jackson Pollock. Have a peek at the meeting spaces, set atmospherically in vaulted brick chambers.
Tucked in the university quarter, Kruununhaka, this simple and homely pad has been running for nearly three decades, only 100m (328ft) from the headline sight in the city: the towering, whitewashed cathedral. With old black-and-white photographs hanging from the walls, it feels like a snapshot of the city frozen in time. Stay in one of the nine rooms – which are suitable for everyone from solo travellers to families – and you’ll receive free tea, coffee and biscuits.
In the heart of coastal Merihaka, one of the residential quarters of the city, Inn Tourist Hostel gives you an insight into the local side of the city. Just as fitting for families – who can book a private room sleeping four – as it is for solo travellers, or friends happy to crash in a shared four-bed bunk room, it has crisp white rooms that feel clean, bright and welcoming. Amenities go beyond the usual hostel minimalism, with a fully equipped kitchen, toiletries and washing machine included.
This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Jessica Wood.
These recommendations were updated on July 2, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.