Bob W City Centre Hotel in Helsinki, Finland

, March 31, 2024

Though the likes of Hotel St. George, Hotel Kämp and new Hotel Maria have already carved out Helsinki’s luxury end, a more affordable hotel stay in Helsinki can be found via Finnish brand Bob W. Standing for “Best Of Both Worlds,” the hotel company has an international footprint and four properties in Finland’s capital. The City Centre address provides a convenient base with all the detail and comforts of a hotel, with the self-service efficiency of Airbnb.

Best W room types vary greatly but follow a series of abiding principles. All spaces are liveable with spacious flooring and dedicated eating areas. Yoga mats are part of the inventory and though there are no extra facilities to the self-service concept, a hook up with local gym chain means that all rooms come with passes according to the number of guest. For the City Centre property, a well stocked gym is a seven-minute walk away – Fitness24Seven (Google Maps).

For eating out in Helsinki, visit Restaurant (Ravintola) Elm on the edge of Kaivopuisto (park) for lunch – expect a cosy yet elegant dining experience, showcasing modern Finnish cuisine with a focus on seasonal ingredients. For evenings, try out Ravintola Nolla who emphasise zero-waste principles with a vegetarian menu that rivals the meatier option. Friends & Brgrs is your challenger burger option in Helsinki – vegan options uncompromising. Hotel St. George is the place to go for a hearty hotel breakfast.

Andante (Facebook page) is a top choice for specialty coffee in Helsinki.

Liberty or Death and Trillby & Chadwick are under the same ownership but different themes that capture the speakeasy theme for Helsinki.

Training Notes

As with Oslo and Gothenburg, surviving a Nordic winter while continuing training. Fortunately Helsinki is well appointed with an indoor track, super 50m pool and cycling options.

Runners new to Helsinki can navigate the waterfront which is paved throughout. Stop at Hakaniemi Market Hall for a snack – most cuisines are represented. Looking inland, Helsinksi’s parkrun at Tokoinranta is worth noting for summer months – the Töölönlahden park hugs the bank of the lake

Indoor running track at Olympiastadion

The 400m indoor running track is sunken immediately below the outdoor track at Olympiastadion, legacy infrastructure from the 1952 Summer Games.

Studded tires are a must for winter cycling in Helsinki, but roadways open up during Spring. Baana pedestrian and cycling corridor that runs through the centre of Helsinki along a stretch of disused railway line, part 1200km network of bike paths in Helsinki. For route ideas, browse options mapped by Breakaway CC.

Get hold of a gravel rental bike through Breakaway. Syncing with HelTri Cup duathlon / triathlon races is your bonus option.

Allas Sea Pool

The pilgrimage to Allas Sea Pool is one of the most rated globally. Located alongside the Helsinki harbour, Allas has a sea water dipping location, saunas and a 25m heated pool – a celebration that should be paired with the more refined Kulttuurisauna Public Sauna (bookings required). For conventional swimming lengths, visit the indoor 50m pool at Mäkelänrinne Swimming Center during winter, or the outdoor Swimming Stadium, part of the 1952 Olympics complex.

Looking for summer open water swimming in Helsinki, Kaitalampi is often used for open water swimming and triathlons. For more convenient options, use Hieteranta Beach (sea water) or Kuusijärvi (fresh water). Mustikkamaa Beach is harder to get to but worth considering if you’re on the east side of Helsinki.

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