Espoo

Shopping at Iso Omena

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.

The national park of Nuuksio is situated in northwestern Espoo.

Understand

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.

Get in

By bus

With respect to transit, the south of Espoo is served by the local highway, Länsiväylä. Buses via Länsiväylä to destinations in Espoo leave from the Kamppi bus station (Kamppi shopping center, ground floor). The orbital line 550 connects the train stations of Oulunkylä and Huopalahti with the southeastern part of Espoo (Leppävaara, Laajalahti, Otaniemi, Tapiola and Westend).

By train

Northern Espoo and Espoo centre (Espoon keskus) are served by Helsinki commuter trains, with 4 faster E, S, U and Y trains (25 min from Helsinki) to Middle- and West-Espoo. In addition, A train (every 10-20 minutes, 17 minutes from Helsinki) serves the east part of Espoo. The Finnish National Rail commuter traffic section has route maps and timetables online.

By plane

See Helsinki#Get in

For public transport, generally just use Journey Planner or Google Maps for routes and timetables.

The following regional buses run only in rush hours from Mon-Fri, roughly one departure per hour, leaving from bus platform 4 of T1 via platform 35 of T2

By car

Freeways 1 and 51 pass through Espoo, as do the westernmost portions of ring road one and three.

Get around

See Helsinki#Get around

For public transport, generally just use Journey Planner or Google Maps for routes and timetables.

By train

Trains A, E, S, U run across Espoo. Train L runs late at night and on weekend mornings. Single ticket costs €3.00 within Espoo and €5.00 to Helsinki and Vantaa, valid within 80 minutes and entitles unlimited transfer to other trains and buses.

By bus

Buses are frequent and convenient enough. Check HSL Journey Planner for timetables. Kauniainen is a part of the Espoo zone. Two-digit lines (e.g. 18, 42) are Espoo internal lines, three-digit lines (194, 506) cross city borders to Helsinki and Vantaa. One can select a zone 1 ticket (Espoo internal, €3.00) or a zone 2 ticket (cross-border, €5.00). With the Travel Card (5 €), a card like London's Oyster card, these can be reduced to €1.95 and €3.65, respectively.

Additionally, tickets to Kerava, Sipoo and Kirkkonummi (zone 3) cost €7.00 or €5.70 with the Travel Card.

By bike

There are excellent cycling paths almost everywhere in Espoo, so it's worth cycling in a sunny day. Remember to wear a helmet. Detailed information of cyclist paths are available at HSL's website.

See

Aalto University auditorium in Otaniemi
"Hip flask" houses in Tapiola

Do

"Mini-Tapiola" in autumn 2006.
Outdoor half-pipe water slide at Serena

Events

The start of the Länsiväyläjuoksu event in 2013. The short run starts first, the long run and the walk start 15 minutes after that. This is intended to minimise collisions between runners and walkers.

Buy

Shopping centers

Department stores in Tapiola during the Christmas season

Outlet shops

Outdoor markets

Like most cities in Finland you can buy fruits, vegetables, fish and more and sit down for a cup of coffee at outdoor markets (tori). They are open from 9AM to 5PM. For maps and information on events, Espoon torikauppiaat association website.

Flea markets

Eat

Hanasaari cultural centre, also has a restaurant with Scandinavian cuisine

Budget

Mid-range

Steak au poivre, beef steak with peppercorn sauce, one of the classic dishes at Grilli Ribis.

Splurge

Drink

Bemböle coffee house

Cafés

Bars and pubs

Nightclubs

Most people head east to Helsinki when they're planning a night out, but there are a couple of night clubs in Espoo as well.

Sleep

Otaniemi waterfront

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

Although a part of the Helsinki metropolitan area, Espoo has few or no problem spots and is exceptionally safe. There are various reasons. The population of Espoo is affluent, with few low-income neighborhoods. Population is simply less concentrated, with few high-rise districts, traffic junctions or concentrations of nightlife. Thus, partygoers are more likely to head to Helsinki to cause trouble.

Caution is warranted in urban districts (along the railway) with nightlife during Friday or Saturday nights, for instance in Leppävaara and Espoon keskus. Suvela and Kirstinmäki, next to Espoon keskus, is often mentioned as the only "ghetto" in Espoo, although this is more reputation than fact if compared to districts in Central or Eastern Helsinki.

Cope

The Jorvi Hospital (Jorvin sairaala) is near Espoon keskus. Unfortunately this is a rather remote location relative to most other places in Espoo, 20 min by car from the southwestern corner.

The police station ("Kilon poliisi") is in Kilo district, Nihtisillankuja 4. Contacts

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, April 02, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.