The so-called "metropolitan area" in Finland combines Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo (Espoo), and Kauniainen. Espoo is one of the centers of location of numerous regional and international representational conventions, trade shows, seminars and conferences. Here you will find leading research centers in the field of geology, high technology and latest developments. Green City was designed in the middle of last century by the leading architects of the country (Tapiola). Built on the principles of conservation and restoration of nature, now it’s a part of Espoo and a favorite place of rest for residents of Espoo as well as newcomers.
Espoo has much to offer visitors who enjoy the sea – there is 58 kilometres of shoreline in the municipality, and some 165 islands in the archipelago to explore surrounded by waters that are perfect for fishing and boating, whether in a kayak or canoe or a larger craft.
Espoo, often overlooked by the majority of visitors to the capital, has a wealth of natural attractions worth exploring. In the north of Espoo lies Nuuksion National Park, a region of untouched wilderness of forests and lakes, while to the south Espoo’s long coastline and an idyllic archipelago.
The famous King’s Road that leads from Stockholm to Viipuri, dating back to the 13th century, passes through Espoo. The oldest preserved building in the city is Espoo Cathedral, dating back to the 1480s. Today, Espoo is a thriving city, unlike any other in Finland because instead of having a traditional city centre it has five separate local centres, the best known of which is Tapiola Garden City.
BEST TIME TO GO TO ESPOO
The best time to visit Espoo in Finland is from june until september, when you will have a soft or pleasant temperature and limited rainfall. The highest average temperature in Espoo is 20°C in july and the lowest is -3°C in january. The water temperature is between 1°C and 22°C. The weather and climate of Espoo is suitable for a winter sports.
Spring (March through May)
Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel moderately cold. Highs range from 63.6°F (17.6°C) and 34°F (1.1°C) with far warmer temperatures in the later months. Rain is somewhat common with 5 to 6 days of significant precipitation per month. Spring is the second busiest for tourism, which makes it a good time for those looking for things to do.
Summer (June through August)
The middle-year months have comfortably cool weather with high temperatures that are comfortable. These months see moderate precipitation with 6 to 9 days of precipitation per month. June – August is the busiest season for tourism in Espoo, so lodging and other accommodations may cost more than usual.
Fall (September through November)
Fall daily highs range from 63.5°F (17.5°C) and 37.5°F (3.1°C), which will feel chilly given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a significant amount: 8 to 10 days per month. Tourism is the slowest during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be affordably priced.
Winter (December through February)
Weather is far too cold this time of year in Espoo to be enjoyable for warm weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 37.1°F (2.8°C) and 26.7°F (-2.9°C). On average, it rains or snows a great amount: 7 to 12 times per month. These times of year are fairly slow with tourists.
GETTING TO ESPOO
Espoo is just 20 km from Helsinki Airport, which has direct 130 flights to different corners of the world. Each day 350 aircraft take off from the airport. Bus stops for buses to Espoo, the centre of Helsinki and other places in the Helsinki region and for long-haul coaches can be found outside both terminals.
Rail - Long-distance trains stop at Leppävaara station. Commuter trains stop at all stations in Espoo. For train timetables, visit vr.fi
Sea - Espoo is just a 15−30-minute drive from international ports in Helsinki, which have direct ferries to Stockholm, St Petersburg, Travemünde and Tallinn, with 17 departures daily to Tallinn during the peak summer season. For more information about international ferry departures and ports, visit portofhelsinki.fi
Air - Espoo is just 20 km from Helsinki Airport, which has direct 130 flights to different corners of the world. Each day 350 aircraft take off from the airport.
From airport to city
Bus stops for buses to Espoo, the centre of Helsinki and other places in the Helsinki region and for long-haul coaches can be found outside both terminals.
Bus - Long-haul coaches terminate at Kamppi bus station in Helsinki, from where there are good local connections to various parts of Espoo. Long-haul coaches from the west of Finland also stop in Espoo.
GETTING AROUND ESPOO
Public transport (HSL) - Getting around in the Helsinki region is easy since Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen, Vantaa, Kerava and Kirkkonummi have a regional ticket system in use for public transport, with different tickets for different needs. Public transport services are operated by Helsinki Region Transport (HSL). Taxi and Car hire is also available in town.
Cycling - Espoo has a total of almost 600 km of cycle lanes, which pass many interesting museums and cultural sites, not to mention beaches and other places. Most hotels in Espoo have bicycles available to guests, just enquire at reception.
Cruise - Cruises depart from and return to the Otaranta dock in Otaniemi. The Midsummer cruise departs from and returns to Mellsteninranta in Haukilahti.
WHERE TO STAY IN ESPOO
Located in Espoo by the Baltic Sea, 10 minutes’ drive from Helsinki, this hotel features rooms with flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Guests enjoy a free daily morning sauna and swim. The air-conditioned rooms of Hotel Hanasaari have either garden or sea views. All have modern décor and include a minibar. The maritime-themed Restaurant Johannes offers breakfast, lunch buffets and an à la carte dinner menu. In summer, the outdoor terrace provides a nice setting for afternoon coffee or evening drinks. Guests can borrow bikes and Nordic walking poles at Hanasaari Hotel’s reception. There is also a private beach area, and plenty of walking paths can be found in the surroundings.
Boasting city views, SleepWell Apartments Espoo 1 - 15 min from Helsinki City center offers accommodation with a balcony and a coffee machine, around 3.3 km from Iso Omena Shopping Center. Free WiFi is available in this apartment, set 5 km from Aalto University School of Science and 6 km from Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering. The apartment has 2 bedrooms, a flat-screen TV, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 1 bathroom with a shower. A terrace is available for guests to use at the apartment. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is 6 km from SleepWell Apartments Espoo 1 - 15, while Sello Shopping Centre is 10 km from the property. The nearest airport is Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, 28 km from the accommodation.
Located in Espoo, within 7 km of Iso Omena Shopping Center and 12 km of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Holiday Home Amalia–In the Nature next to Helsinki offers accommodation with free WiFi, air conditioning, a garden and barbecue facilities. Featuring free private parking, the holiday home is in an area where guests can engage in activities such as hiking and cycling. The holiday home features 4 bedrooms, a flat-screen TV, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 2 bathrooms with a hot tub. The holiday home offers a hot tub. Holiday Home Amalia–In the Nature provides a terrace. Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering is 14 km from the accommodation, while Aalto University School of Science is 14 km away. The nearest airport is Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, 31 km from Holiday Home Amalia–In the Nature next to Helsinki.
WeHost Matinpuronkuja is set in Espoo, 1.9 km from Iso Omena Shopping Center, 7 km from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, as well as 7 km from Aalto University School of Science. This property offers access to a terrace. This apartment is fitted with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a TV, a seating area and 1 bathroom fitted with a shower. Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering is 8 km from the apartment, while Sello Shopping Centre is 11 km from the property. The nearest airport is Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, 29 km from WeHost Matinpuronkuja.
Set in Espoo, Kotimaailma Espoon keskus offers accommodation 11 km from Iso Omena Shopping Center and 11 km from Sello Shopping Centre. Free WiFi is featured and private parking is available on site. Each unit is fitted with a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher, a seating area with a sofa, a flat-screen TV, a washing machine, and a private bathroom with shower and a hairdryer. A microwave, a fridge and oven are also available, as well as a kettle and a coffee machine. The apartment offers a sauna. A children's playground is also available at Kotimaailma Espoon keskus, while guests can also relax on the sun terrace. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is 13 km from the accommodation, while Aalto University School of Science is 13 km away. The nearest airport is Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, 26 km from Kotimaailma Espoon keskus.
Located 1.5 km from Ristikko Shopping Centre, these self-catering apartments in Espoo all feature free WiFi, modern furnishings, as well as a balcony or terrace. Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is 17 km away. A well-equipped kitchenette and dining area are offered in all accommodation options at SSA Spot Studio Apartments. Each has a flat-screen TV, as well as a bathroom with a shower, hairdryer and washing machine. The closest train station is 2 km from the apartments. Sello Shopping Centre is an 8-minute drive away, while Iso Omena Shopping Center is 14 km away.
Set in Espoo, Spot Apartments Espoo Center offers accommodation 11 km from Iso Omena Shopping Center and 11 km from Sello Shopping Centre. Complimentary WiFi is provided throughout the property and private parking is available on site. Each unit offers a fully equipped kitchen, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a living room with a sofa, a private bathroom and a washing machine. A fridge, an oven and stovetop are also available, as well as a kettle and a coffee machine. The apartment offers a children's playground. A ski equipment rental service, ski-to-door access and a ski pass sales point are all featured at Spot Apartments Espoo Center, and guests can go skiing in the surroundings. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is 13 km from the accommodation, while Aalto University School of Science is 13 km away. The nearest airport is Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, 26 km from Spot Apartments Espoo Center.
Kirjokansi Tapiola Apartment is a fully furnished apartment located on the rooftop of Ainoa Shopping Centre. Restaurants, supermarkets, the local bus and metro station can be reached by a lift located in the apartment building. Free WiFi is available. An oven and a stovetop can be found in the kitchen as well as microwave, dishwasher, coffee machine, kettle and toaster. Towels and bed linen are available at Kirjokansi Tapiola Apartment. Washing facilities as well as sauna, bike and ski storage are available. The unit is 1.8 km from Aalto University School of Science and Technopolis. Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is 18 km away. Helsinki city centre is a 15-minute metro ride away.
One of our top picks in Espoo.Situated amongst Espoo’s nature and Korpilampi pond, this hotel is 400 m from Serena Water Park. It offers 3 saunas and rooms with a flat-screen TV. Both Wi-Fi and parking are free. Modern décor, a work desk and private bathroom with shower are standard at Hotel Korpilampi. Some rooms feature wooden floors. The on-site à la carte restaurant offers international cuisine and views of the pond. Guests can also relax with a drink or snack in the lobby bar or on the terrace during warm months. Leisure activities at Korpilampi Hotel include 2 indoor swimming pools, a hot tub and a fitness centre. Guests can enjoy free use of walking sticks to explore the hiking path around the pond. Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is 20 minutes’ drive away. A bus that takes guests to central Helsinki in 40 minutes stops in front of the hotel.
Hellsten Espoo offers accommodation with free WiFi, only 800 m from Sello Shopping Centre and a 7-minute walk from Leppävaara Train Station. Helsinki’s city centre is a 12-minute train ride away. All accommodation options at Espoo Hellsten feature a flat-screen TV and wooden floors, French balconies and modern kitchen facilities. Some also have a private sauna. Guests can use the communal sauna for free. Cross-country skiing is possible in the area, and a nearby sports centre offers activities such as yoga, swimming and tennis.
WHERE TO EAT IN ESPOO
Café Otsolahti is located along Espoo's Rantaraitti in green Tapiola. Our terrace offers a magnificent sea view of the harbor area of the Tapiola Boat Club. The café is a warm and relaxed place to enjoy the sea shore while eating or drinking with great company. Café Otsolahti offers changing lunch and baked potato dishes. Café offers a wide range of different coffees, with which you can taste mouth-watering pastries baked in the café’s own oven. In addition, the cafe’s own delicious stuffed croissants & rolls will help with a little hunger, while the salad bar’s delicacies & soups will take even more hunger away.
Café Merenneito is a charming four-season cafe by the sea. The cafe is a cozy beach terrace, partially covered and protected from the wind. Large shadows, blankets & heat lamps ensure comfort, allowing you to enjoy the seascape even in more unstable weather.
Brooklyn Café was born out of a love for coffee, baking and bringing people together. Established first in USA by two sisters in 2011, the business idea was transported into Finland. Nowadays these sisters have few cafeteria around the Helsinki Metropolitain area.
Street Food From Fafa's
Simply put, Fafa's is in a good mood: tasty and reasonably sized portions of fresh ingredients, uncomplicated friendly service at excellent value for money. Originating on a trendy shopping mall of Ainoa and Iso Omena, in Espoo. Fafa’s has been offering its customers tasty, handmade gourmet street food since 2011.
3-0 Sport Bar
3-0 Sport Bar has a nice atmosphere: cosy and relaxed sports bar, in this surrounding you can enjoy good drink and food. All major sports channels and bar related activities available such as billiards, darts board games. The bar also offers tapas like foods, snack and drinking delicacies on the side.
Korea House restaurant offers traditional Korean cuisines and delicacies known in it's food culture. Located in Shopping mall Iso Omena, Espoo has it's own window into the Korean Culture through delicious food.
Smokers serves Yankee meat, fish and vegetarian dishes made with a wood-fired BBQ smoker. The list includes delicious burgers and mouth-watering BBQ ribs. Smokers are for those who love casual dining and long-cooked ingredients whose natural flavors come from the purest way of cooking.
ACTIVITIES TO DO & WHAT TO SEE IN ESPOO
Explore Finnish wilderness on a day trip from Helsinki at Nuuksio National Park. Verdant forests and shimmering blue lakes are easily accessed thanks to the network of well-groomed and marked trails. Apart from hiking, cycling, and kayaking, visitors can enjoy picking berries and mushrooms, swimming and horse riding. During the warmer months, adventurous types can pack their backpacks for a memorable campout. Note that the large campsites within the park boundaries are free and equipped with fire pits where you can cook on an open fire. Amenities include rental huts, dry toilets, and saunas, and some areas are also wheelchair accessible.
Espoo largest cave inside the ring road III is found in Nepperi. There are several cave - like formations in the southern wall of the cliff. The cliff rises near the shore of Lake Pitkajarvi. There is a easy and visible path to the sight. The general attraction of the place is wonderful and worth a day trip, it is worth setting aside time for a day to explore. The place is close to densely populated areas, which makes it worth wondering and easy to find.
Offering activities year-round, Serena Water Park features a waterpark in summer and a snowboard and ski park in winter. You can soak up the water in indoor pools and outdoor slides at the waterpark, which also provides showers and locker facilities. There is also a traditional Finnish sauna open all year for skiers and swimmers. A nearby adventure park in the surrounding hills adds an extra touch of summer fun with ziplines, rappelling, and paintball. In winter, you can rent skis or a snowboard, as well as a helmet, by the hour. The attraction is popular with local visitors, so book lodging ahead of time if you plan to stay overnight. You'll get a discount if you purchase a combined ticket for the snowpark and the waterpark.
The EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art (Finnish: EMMA - Espoon modernin taiteen museo, Swedish: EMMA - Esbo moderna konstmuseum), is a major art museum in Espoo in southern Finland. After the founding of Espoo Art Museum Foundation in September 2002, EMMA opened its doors for visitors in 2006. With its 5000 square metre exhibition space, it is the largest museum in the whole of Finland. The permanent exhibition presents a selection from The Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection and the other half the changing domestic and international exhibitions. It is housed in the WeeGee house, a building complex which contains five museums, a modern art gallery, a media-art centre, a café, a museum shop and an art school. The centre was named after the printing firm Weilin+Göös.
There are more than 200 km maintained ski tracks in Espoo. Around 60 km of them are illuminated. Check the condition of tracks beforehand. In addition come all the tracks that skiers make themselves on lakes, fields and forests. You can start your cross-country skiing from Oittaa Recreation Centre, as they rent equipment and have artificial snow even during mild winters. Other good starting points are Leppävaara and Central Park near Puolarmetsä. Also Nuuksio-Pirttimäki track is worth visiting if you like more rural landscapes.
Nuuksio is a rocky area with high elevation changes, which makes it ideal for climbing. Ice climbing is allowed everywhere in Nuuksio National Park. High cliffs can be found at Romvuori, for example. Outside national park, there is a popular climbing cliff along the road Nuuksiontie, 800 meters before the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia.
Walking in nature is always a little adventure. Explore and enjoy the ever-changing landscape of sea along Espoo Waterfont walk way. If you prefer forest, check one of several marked trails and after a nice walk warm up around a fire in Nuuksio National Park.
Winter is perfect time to try something totally different, and wind surfing is even easier in winter than in summer time. Gliding on ice or snow is both an exciting and calming experience. Try it out – rent equipment and order teaching from TalviSurf at Lake Bodom.
Bicycle is a year-around vehicle. If you’re afraid of slippery roads or it feels too heavy to cycle in snow, try a fatbike! Its oversized tires make cycling more stable, and you can also cycle on soft surfaces. You can rent a fatbike and even have a guide with you from Kuntosyke in Kirkkonummi. If you have a bike of your own, cycle small snowy roads in Northern Espoo or, in case you want more challenge, try the 110 km long Trail 2000 in capital area.
Espoo has more than 90 ice rinks, three artificial ice rinks and several ice halls. Tapiola Ice garden, located in the heart of Tapiola, is the most attractive of them with rental skates available and a café. Check the condition of ice rinks before going.
In wintertime, you can catch fishes through a hole in ice. Finland’s everyman’s rights include ice fishing so you don’t need any permit to do so. Just remember to be careful on ice ‒ find out if the ice is strong enough and always carry icepicks with you! Try out fisherman’s luck either on sea or several lakes in northern Espoo and Nuuksio National Park.
If there’s a lot of snow, the easiest way to wander is snowshoeing. You can rent snow shoes in the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia or in Oitta Recreation Centre. In case you prefer participating in a guided hike, try one of these organizers: Fell the Nature, hawkhill and Honkalintu. If you want to try out something new, wear sliding snow shoes (Altai Ski HOK) of Elamystorppa and enjoy downhills in a new way!
There are eight ice swimming holes in Espoo, most of which in the sea. For a great sauna and winter swimming experience, we recommend Oitta Recreation Centre by the Lake Bodom. The public saunas are warmed up four days a week there. Another extreme type of winter swimming is going into the water in rescue suits: either by having a relaxing evening in Sea & Mountain Adventures’ IceSpa or learning useful skills and having fun with Eventure.
Visit Reindeer Park
You don’t need to travel all the way to north to experience Lapland. Hop on a husky safari for hilarious excitement and speed, or just spend time with these friendly sled dogs that love hugs. In case you want to meet and feed Santa Claus’s reindeer, visit Nuuksio Reindeer Park . It is the southernmost place in Finland where you can see reindeer.
WHERE TO SHOP IN ESPOO
Market Square is located in Espoo city centre, in front of railwaystation and shopping mall.
Sello is one of the biggest shopping- and cultural centres in Scandinavia. Over 170 shops and services as well as the municipal services offered by the city of Espoo (such as the library).
Iso Omena Shopping Centre
Iso Omena is a pleasant family-sized shopping centre in Matinkylä. Iso Omena is full of services. There are more than 115 stores specialising in fashion, home décor, leisure and wellbeing. Full-service supermarkets contain all the necessary daily goods and groceries. After a day of shopping, it’s nice to relax in one of Iso Omena’s many bars and restaurants, at the cinema or working out at the gym.
The first IKEA -home furnishings department store in Finland.