Helsinki - Post Report Question and Answers

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

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


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