Helsinki - Post Report Question and Answers

What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Housing is all over the city, though we did have a few in our neighborhood of Marjaniemi and those that went in to the office regularly would carpool. Embassy is located in an old corner of the city so you needed a metro and then a tram, plus walking time made it about 45-55 minutes. By car, traffic is extremely light so you could be there in 20-25 minutes but there's no parking at the embassy so you have to get creative. - Dec 2022

Housing is great! Finnish homes tend to be modern with sleek, white kitchens and saunas in nearly every house or apartment. U.S. embassy housing ranges from city-center apartments to townhouses and stand-alone houses in the suburbs. The closer you are to the city-center, the smaller the housing. However, homes and apartments are well-designed and functional, so even small spaces are very livable. Nearly everyone is happy with their assigned housing, because all units have their own perks. Some have charming historic details (though updates to kitchens and bathrooms). Others are large and modern. Other have Baltic Sea access. Note that appliances are European, so ovens and washer/dryers are small. - Oct 2021

Finnish housing is smaller than U.S. housing, but of very high quality. Typical commutes in the Helsinki area can range from 10-15 minutes for apartment-dwellers in the city center, to over an hour for those in stand-alone houses in the suburbs of Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen. Row houses in the Lauttasaari and Kulosaari areas offer a nice in-between option for both size and ease of commute. - Oct 2018

Very dependable transportation. On the outskirts of Helsinki, a commute typically takes 25-30 min. Traffic is practically non-existant. In the city, a car is not needed, and public transportaion is stress-free and will get you anyplace you need to go. - Jul 2012

Great downtown apartments, large houses for families about 1/2 hour away. - Jan 2011

Nice apartments downtown and single-family homes 10-20 minutes out. Commute times aren't too bad compared to other places, but traffic does occur. - May 2010

Apartments are in the downtown area with houses further out. Public transportation is great. - Apr 2009

If you live in Helsinki itself, you'll probably live in an apartment or townhome. In the suburbs like Westend or Espoo, you can get a big house. There is hardly any traffic in Helsinki, so commuting time is usually less than 30 minutes. - Mar 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More