Espoo

Espoo (Swedish: Esbo) with a population of a quarter of a million is the second largest city in Finland. It's part of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area along with the cities of Helsinki, Vantaa, and the small city of Kauniainen which is completely encircled by Espoo.

68 things to do

All Places Finland



Hotel Hanasaari

Located in the Laajalahti bay between Espoo and Helsinki, Hanasaari island fits exactly the hotel, a short road to it and a stretch of the highway Länsiväylä. Hanasaari hotel hosts a Swedish cultural center and is often used for conferences. It is also within a walking distance (1 km) from the Keilaniemi business district. Very easy to reach by bus via bus stops on the Länsiväylä. Notice that there is an unrelated Hanasaari power plant in Helsinki; ask the taxi driver for the hotel in Espoo! The hotel rooms offer magnificent sea views through their huge windows. The hotel is going through a substantial reconstruction planned until spring 2017. The booking will be possible again from mid-January 2017.


The Gallen-Kallela museum

A small museum of the Finnish painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931) who is best known for his illustrations of the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic. The museum is located in a castle-like house Tarvaspää on a rocky hill facing the sea originally designed and built by Akseli Gallen-Kallela between 1911-13 as a combined home for his family and a studio. The museum presents not only the works of Akseli Gallen-Kallela, but also tells the story of his family and contains a collection of artifacts brought back from their travels to Africa.



Otaniemi Campus

The campus of Aalto University (former Helsinki University of Technology) was designed by Alvar Aalto in organic modernist style, and includes the Dipoli congress center designed by Reima and Raili Pietilä in an eccentric style (lacking in right angles). Most buildings of interest are located either on the main street, Otaniementie, or on Otakaari, a loop road going from Otaniementie via Dipoli to the dorm village (''Teekkarikylä'') and back. The Laajalahti nature protected area, a good birdwatching site, is accessed from Otaniemi.

SEE   —  Otaniementie 8

E.T. Charlie

A spacious, stylish, comfortable restaurant in the quiet residential district of Haukilahti. Serves typical dishes available in restaurants in Finland: pastas, pizzas, steaks, and burgers. No famous speciality, but all dishes are worth trying. The kitchen closes at 9 PM, but the restaurant usually stays open until midnight. Many local people come here often. There is a bus connection to Helsinki (line 111) right in front of the restaurant and it's a short walk away from the Haukilahti beach and marina. Main courses €11-25.

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Länsiväyläjuoksu

Espoo's most famous annual running and walking event. Held on a Sunday in late April. Three event categories: long run, short run and walk. All of them start and end at Otaranta. The long run is over 17km and goes all across the Laajalahti bay, also visiting neighbouring Helsinki. The short run and the walk are 6km and only visit Espoo. A nice opportunity to get some exercise and see the scenery in southern Finland. There is a fee for participation but spectating is free.


Entresse and Espoontori

The two shopping centres, [http://entresse.fi/ Entresse] and [http://www.espoontori.fi/ Espoontori], serve the Central Espoo district near the Espoo train station. Local trains E, S, U and the night train L stop here. Both shopping centres are significantly smaller than the ones previously introduced. Espoontori features a grocery store, Tarjoustalo (a budget general store) and various smaller retailers. Entresse has a grocery store, jewellery shops and clothing stores.

BUY   —  Map


Sello

One of the largest shopping centres in Finland with excellent traffic connections. Local trains A, E, S, U, Y and the night train L all stop at Leppävaara station which is just beside the shopping centre. Also many bus routes serve the area. Selection of retailers is geared Finnish and international clothing and consumer electronics chains. The shopping centre features several cafes, restaurants and fast food outlets as well as two large grocery stores.

BUY   —  Leppävaarankatu 3-9

Funky Burger

As the name suggests, the restaurant focuses on hamburgers. Forget the patties you get at McDonald's, Hesburger or Burger King around here, the meat in Funky Burger's hamburgers is much juicier, meatier and better tasting. Each hamburger includes French fries, and for an extra charge, you can have an extra patty, bacon, or mayonnaise. Several different hamburger varieties available. Also provides other dishes, including vegetarian options.



Grilli Ribis

A decades-old and famous steak restaurant, located in the Heikintori shopping centre in central Tapiola. Pretty much the entire menu consists of steaks of various forms, particularly pork and beef. The restaurant is rather small and looks like your average diner, but its steaks have gained it fame throughout Espoo and even in neighbouring Helsinki. There are a limited number of tables available but you can also eat your steak at the bar.


Xin Long

A Chinese restaurant near the centre of Tapiola. Famous for its all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, combining Chinese food and sushi. Even though it's not specifically a sushi restaurant, the sushi is among the best in Espoo (even though not the best in the whole country). The main courses include various varieties of beef, pork, chicken and tofu, and all are worth trying.

EAT   —  +358 98550030 —  Itätuulentie 8

Serena Water Amusement Park

This is the largest water park in the Nordic countries with some 2,000 sq.m. of heated pools indoors. The buildings have seen their best days, but kids love the water slides. An extra 1,000 m² of outdoor area is open in the summer. Serena is at its best in winter when you can kick back in a jacuzzi and watch people ski on the other side of the glass windows.


Iso Omena

Large shopping centre serving the Matinkylä district. Bus lines 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 10K, 11, 31, 35, 112, 503, 132, 143, 145, 147, 150, 151, 154, 160 and 165. The selection of shops is fairly similar compared to the slightly larger Sello shopping centre, although there are some speciality shops geared towards a more upscale clientele.

BUY   —  Piispansilta 11

Fida International

Fida International operates goodwill flea markets in four, mostly residential areas: Espoon keskus (Asemakuja 3), Soukka (Yläkartanonkuja 1), Niittykumpu (Merituulentie 30) and Lähderanta (Kolkekannaksentie 15). The selection in the shops mostly consists of used clothes, books and furniture. Prices tend to be a tad steep.

BUY   —  Map

Espoo TV and radio mast

At 326m, the highest structure in the capital region and the third highest in Finland (two other masts are 327m high). It isn't the Eiffel tower - you can't climb it or even get next to it (the immediate surroundings are closed off with a fence) but it's there. There is, however, a walking trail next to the place.


Sokos Hotel Tapiola Garden

A largish, modern hotel located in a pleasant neighborhood of Tapiola. Total 154 (all non-smoking) rooms, sauna, exercise facilities, wireless Internet access, restaurant and bar. Convenient transport to Helsinki center by bus. Rooms in the northern part of the hotel have a scenic view facing a large pool.


Espoo Central Park

Like New York and Helsinki, Espoo also has a central park. A little peace of a few kilometres south of Espoon Keskus. The park consists mostly of dense spruce forest, with some steep hills. Has maintained footpaths, although they might be inaccessible to wheeled vehicles (prams, wheelchairs) with snowfall.

SEE   —  Map

Watch a game

Espoo has a team in many premier Finnish sports leagues. The football (soccer) team FC Honka play their home games in Tapiola sports park, Esport center is the home for Oilers (floorball) and Honka (basket ball), and in the winter many fans head to Barona Arena to see a home game of the local team Blues.

DO   —  Map

Kylä

An upscale, yet not pretentious restaurant right in the centre of Tapiola. The menu is rather small, with only four main courses and a chef's menu costing 45 €. All dishes are worth trying though. Extremely friendly staff with full table service. On weekdays, serves lunch at somewhat affordable prices.

EAT   —  +358 10 231 0430 —  Tapiontori 3

Rantaraitti

The Rantaraitti hiking trail runs along Espoo's entire coastline, from the border to Helsinki at Laajalahti all the way to the border to Kirkkonummi at Kauklahti. The trail is well marked with frequent Rantaraitti icons. You can start and end your hike at any point during the trail. Free of charge.

DO   —  Map

Mini-Tapiola

"Mini-Tapiola" is a children's play park featuring a miniature version of the centre of Tapiola, located in the centre of Tapiola itself. Here children can have fun and familiarise themselves with the Tapiola district and basic traffic rules, while being safely overseen by their parents.

DO   —  Tapiola centre

Marketanpuisto

This park is a permanent garden exhibition next to and operated by the Överby gardening vocational school. Stroll around and look at the works by the students. If you are an amateur gardener yourself, you'll perhaps get some ideas for your own garden.

SEE   —  Pehtorinkuja 3

Ravintola Johannes

Scandinavian cuisine served in an environment of modern art. Good food, but the service is rather slow even as the restaurant is not even half full. The restaurant also has their own pale ale "Märket" (named after the lighthouse west of Åland).

EAT   —  Hanasaarenranta 5

Architecture in Tapiola

The Tapiola district in the east of Espoo was constructed as a garden city in the 1950's and 1960's. The district is a showcase of Finnish architecture from that period and many of the buildings look quite innovative and unusual even today.

SEE   —  Map

Classical music

Tapiola Sinfonietta is an orchestra specializing in Viennese classical music, but also plays modern music. They perform regularly in the Tapiolasali concert hall, sometimes together with international guest soloists.

DO   —  Map

Espoo Recycling Centre

The selection includes furniture, clothes, toys, books, sports equipment, cookware and cutlery. The shop has also a free of charge department with a small variety of clothes and other items.

BUY   —  Matinpurontie 8

Radisson Blu Espoo

A hotel of the luxury chain Radisson in the Aalto University campus in Otaniemi, right next to the Keilaniemi business district, popular among business travelers and academic visitors.

SLEEP   —  +358 20 1234 700 —  Otaranta 2

Lumene

Finnish cosmetics manufacturer Lumene has its factory outlet in the disctrict of Kauklahti in Western Espoo. Local trains E, S, U and the night train L stop at Kauklahti station.


Kaisan Café

Located in the "Sampokuja" building in central Tapiola. Open on weekdays only. Try their cinnamon buns, they're tasty, huge (perhaps the biggest in Espoo) and quite cheap.

DRINK   —  Itätuulenkuja 8

Student diners in Otaniemi

The lunch restaurants of the Aalto University engineering schools offer cheap meals even for non-students. Most have 2-3 cheap options and one higher-price option.

EAT   —  Otakaari 1

Scandic Espoo

A newly renovated chain hotel next to freeway 1, best suited for those traveling by car as there isn't very much to see within walking distance.

SLEEP   —  +358 9 43520 —  Nihtisillantie 1

Espoo Camping Oittaa

Slightly shabby, yet friendly place. Open from end of May to end of August. A nice beach at lake Bodom just some 200 m from the entrance.

SLEEP   —  +358 9 863 2585 —  Kunnarlantie 31

Pizzaman

Pizzaman is located next to the K-Kauppa grocery store. Large pizzas. Try the "Mieliteko" made with four toppings that you pick yourself.


Ravintola Grilli Toro

A good selection of large steaks at a reasonable price in Pohjantori, north Tapiola, especially popular during lunchtime.

EAT   —  +358 9 460 427 —  Louhentie 16

Café Mellsten

Located near the beach in Haukilahti. As well as a café, also serves tasty and cheap lunch consisting of soup or pasta.

DRINK   —  Mellstenintie 6

Espoo archipelago

Many small islands outside Espoo can be visited by boat in the summer. They are great for hiking and camping.

DO   —  Map

Bada Bing

The former Fellini/Aladdin is located in right in the Tapiola district and attracts many young adults. R-22.

DRINK   —  Itätuulenkuja 10

Hellsten Hotel Apartment

Clean and simple. Located in a quiet neighbourhood but close enough to shopping centre Sello in Leppävaara.


Curry Palace

Indian restaurant. Don't leave the restaurant without trying its pickled spice. It's fantastic!


Bella Ciao

The place to go in Matinkylä. Like the others it is also a restaurant during the daytime. R-18

DRINK   —  Piispansilta 11 A

Espoon lahjatupa

An outlet shop rich in atmosphere selling Finnish handmade gifts and home decoration products.


EMMA

Hosts Espoo Museum of Modern Art (EMMA) and a few other museums WeeGee exhibition centre

SEE   —  Ahertajantie 5

Espoo cathedral

The cathedral near Espoon Keskus is over 500 years old and built out of granite stone.

SEE   —  +358 9 862 5000 —  Kirkkokatu 1

Ravintola Haikaranpesä

A panoramic restaurant in the water tower of Haukilahti. Open only for lunch!

EAT   —  +358 9 452 4254 —  Hauenkallio 3

Ravintola Haukimuori

A lunch restaurant in Iivisniemi district with home cooked delicious food.

EAT   —  Iivisniemenkatu 2D

Club Kannunkulma

A restaurant in the daytime, and some form of entertainment every night.

DRINK   —  Kannusillankatu 2

Bembölen kahvitupa

Traditional café with century-old history next to the King's Road.

DRINK   —  Bellinmäki 1

Deli Rasoi

Tasty and authentic Indian food. Great value for the price.

EAT   —  +358 9 42891892 —  Siltakatu 11

Palace Hotel Sello

A brand new design hotel next to Sello shopping center.


Fusion Square

Tasty and authentic Chinese food. Try their spicy tofu.


William K

A passable beer pub with nice sunny outdoor seating.

DRINK   —  Leppävaarankatu 3-9

Base

A cosy place for a drink, also situated at Sello.

DRINK   —  Leppävaarankatu 3-9

Restaurant Lime Leaf

Thai and Malay restaurant run by Chinese.


Iittala Outlet

Home decoration and kitchen utensils.


Mitta & Hana (former pub Satulinna)

Likely the most famous pub in Espoo.

DRINK   —  Kirstintie 5

Hotelli Kuninkaantie

The only hotel in Espoon Keskus.

SLEEP   —  Lakelankatu 1

Ropecon

Annual role playing convention

DO   —  Map

Ravintola Sevilla Bar & Restaurante

Spanish-style restaurant.


Glims talomuseo

Local open air museum.


About Espoo

Espoo has several local regional centres, thus divided into seven major areas: Vanha-Espoo, Espoonlahti, Espoo, Kauklahti, Leppävaara, Matinkylä and Tapiola. The Espoo center (Espoon keskus) is the administrative centre, but doesn't rise above its peers with respect to population. Population is concentrated in an ⊐-shaped area defined by the railway to Espoo centre (north) and the highway Länsiväylä (south) up to Espoonlahti. The rest is sparsely populated, and north of Espoo centre, the area is mostly forested. The science and technology related campuses of the Aalto University are based in Otaniemi, Espoo, along with a thriving science community that includes numerous startups and organizations such as VTT – the Technical Research Centre of Finland. Nokia is headquartered in Keilaniemi, Espoo, along with other high-tech companies such as KONE, Tekla and Fortum, etc.


Source: wikivoyage