Helsinki, formerly known as Helsingfors in Russian until 1926, is the capital and largest city of Finland, and the administrative center of the province of Uusimaa, also known as Nyland.
Located in the southern part of the country along the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea, the city has a population of 656,611 people (as of 01/01/2021). Foreign citizens make up about 10% of the total population.
Combined with the adjoining cities of Vantaa, Espoo and Kauniainen, Helsinki forms a metropolitan area with over million people.
The Greater Helsinki Region, which includes 12 communes, has over 1.3 million people. The city plays an important role in business, education, culture and science in Finland. There are 8 universities and 6 technology parks here. About 70% of foreign companies operating in Finland are located in the capital region.
Due to population migration from surrounding provinces, Helsinki is becoming one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in Europe. The most important international aviation hub is Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, which is located 20 kilometers from the city center and provides direct flights worldwide.
Travel time from Helsinki to Tallinn is 2 hours by sea and 18 minutes by helicopter (distance 80 km). Other major cities such as Tampere and Turku can be reached in 1.5-2 hours by train and 1.5-2.5 hours by car. Until March 2022, it was possible to get to St. Petersburg on the Allegro high-speed train in 3.5 hours (distance 390 km).
- In 2014, the British magazine Monocle ranked Helsinki as one of the top five cities in the world, placing it fifth (behind Copenhagen).
- In 2011, Mercer ranked Helsinki among the world’s safest cities, tied for 2nd-4th with Zurich and Bern (Luxembourg ranked first).
- In early 2012, The New York Times listed Helsinki as one of the best places to visit this year, ranking it second (Panama first, Myanmar third).
- According to public opinion polls in 2012, Helsinki is the fifth most attractive place to live among Finnish citizens.
- In 2013, the consulting agency ECA International included Helsinki in the list of the most expensive cities in the world, taking 20th place (Oslo took first place). The international business newspaper Financial Times highly rated a number of areas of the capital of Finland as promising for real estate investment.
The city celebrates City Day every year on June 12.