The Best Places for Book Lovers in Helsinki

Finland lays claim to the highest literacy rates world-wide. So it’s not surprising that Helsinki is a paradise for book lovers. Here’s 7 of my favourite places to visit when I want to get lost amidst pages of adventure.

Finland lays claim to being the nation with highest literacy rates in the world, so it’s no surprise that a love of books and libraries are an integral part of the country. As well as beautiful libraries, Helsinki is also home to many charming antique and international bookstores.

Here are 7 places in Helsinki that will spark the imagination of book lovers the world over

old world map

1. Oodi: Helsinki Central Library

The newest edition to Helsinki’s libraries, Oodi opened on Independence Day in December 2018. The state-of-the-art library was a centenary gift to the citizens of Finland from the government.

The building itself is unique and eye-catching, featuring a top level completely enclosed in glass. Not only does the library house an extensive literary collection but it also serves as a recreational melting pot. There are spaces for children to play, virtual reality gaming rooms, music recording studios, crafting and sewing areas and high tech media stations.

The result is a relaxing and stimulating meeting place, with indoor plants and amazing views to boot.

Location: Kansalaistori square

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8am-10pm, Sat-Sun 10am-8pm

More info here

2. The National Library

Located directly across from the Helsinki Cathedral, the National library is a truly amazing and humbling experience for any book-lover.

Shelves are stacked high with every type of book imaginable and the views from window-ined reading nooks are enchanting.

Location: Unioninkatu 36

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, except Wednesday 9am-8pm. Closed on weekends.

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3. The Kallio library

Housed in a huge old redbrick building at the top of Porthaninkatu, this three story library has sweeping staircases and huge widows looking out over Bear Park.

Location: Viides linja 11

Opening hours: Mon-Thur 8am-8pm, Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 12-6pm

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4. Arkadia International Bookshop

This place is not only a fantastic international bookstore but a place for scientific talks, philosophical discussions, board games and generally relaxing in a cosy atmosphere.

Location: Nervanderinkatu 11

Opening hours: Tue-Fri 12-7pm, Sat 12-6pm, Sun-Mon closed

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5. Hagelstam Antiques

This antique bookstore has shelf upon shelf overflowing with old and rare books, maps and prints. While most are in Finnish, it still feels like a treasure trove of hidden, long lost literally gems.

Location: Fredrikinkatu 35

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 11am-4pm, Sun closed

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6. Nide Bookstore

Just next door to Hagelstam Antiques you’ll find this charming bookstore. Full of bright modern books (and classics) that I couldn’t help but touch and flick through. I wanted to buy most of the store and could spend days here. The perfect spot to find a gift for a friend or a new read.

Location: Fredrikinkatu 35

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun closed

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7. Sivukirjasto

There’s something about having a glass of wine amidst old books that soothes my soul. Even if most of the book-lined shelves contain Finnish titles. The drinks are also well priced for Helsinki standards.

Location: Fleminginkatu 5

Opening hours: Mon-Thur 2pm-2am, Fri-Sun 12-2am

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Helsinki, Finland

Author: Emma

I'm an Aussie who loves exploring my new homeland of Finland in my day to day life and traveling around Europe in my free time. I'm particularly passionate about solo and eco-friendly travel.

5 thoughts on “The Best Places for Book Lovers in Helsinki”

    1. It’s amazing- you’ll love it! and I’m sure it will be even better when a little less crowded after the opening rush dies down 🙂

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