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Best cafés and libraries to work and study in Helsinki

Best cafés and libraries to work and study in Helsinki

Whether you're in Helsinki for a short visit and have some ad hoc work needs or just need a little break from your home office, working or studying in a café is a great option. And luckily, Helsinki has some great coffeehouses where you can get some work done.

Best cafés to work or study in Helsinki

What makes a café a good place to work in?

Wi-Fi, ample seating (so you don't feel like you're hogging all the tables) and gentle background music. And of course: no restrictions on working in the premises. Some places might ban working during rush hours, and that is understandable. But the places listed here are laptop worker friendly.

! Quick note: if you're spending several hours working in a café, please make sure you buy more than just one cup of coffee – it needs to be fair for the coffee shop owners, too.

1. Ihana

Ihana Café in Aleksanterinkatu
Ihana Café in Aleksanterinkatu

Ihana is located very centrally in Aleksanterinkatu, the main shopping street of Helsinki. Yet, it's not noisy or too busy.

The Wi-Fi password is right there on the blackboard so you don't even need to ask for it. This hints to me that working and studying here is very much allowed.

Some of the main buildings of the University of Helsinki are right next to this café so, naturally, this place is often filled with students.

Mind you, this is not the most spacious café. If you happen to find the place packed, luckily there are other good options in the area. Keep on reading.

2. Paulig Kulma

Ihana Café in Aleksanterinkatu
Ihana Café in Aleksanterinkatu

Paulig Kulma is another great option in Aleksanterinkatu, almost next to Ihana.

The café is very spacious and features some wonderful large windows right onto the shopping street where you can watch trams pass by.

This place really supports and encourages working and studying: it has strong Wi-Fi and even three working booths with power outlets. You don't have to feel guilty about spending time here with your laptop.

3. Roasberg

Roasberg is right around the corner from Ihana and Paulig Kulma. It's a café/bar that serves coffee, drinks and lunch. Unlike most cafés, it's open late. Here you can get your work done and unwind with a glass of wine.

4. Levain Merikorttelit in Punavuori

Levain in Punavuori

Levain is located in the Punavuori district, almost at the seashore. Spread between two floors, this bakery café has lots of space and nice rustic/industrial decor.

On a weekday morning you'll likely find plenty of people hunched over their Macbooks here. It's safe to say that working here is not frowned upon.

5. IPI Kulmakuppila in Kallio

Ipi Kulmakuppila in Kallio
Ipi Kulmakuppila in Kallio

IPI Kulmakuppila is an institution in the Kallio neighborhood. The spacious open floor plan, airy mezzanine and large windows gives the place a modern and tranquil feel. Perfect place to get some work done.

The coffee shop is open only until 4 pm. If that's too early for you, you can keep your work spree going in the Kallio library right next door from the café.

And by visiting IPI Kulmakuppila you support a good cause: the coffeehouse employs people with special needs.

Libraries to work and study in Helsinki

Working in a café is a nice change of pace but they have some downsides – you have to buy something and it's really not polite to spend hours on end in one place.

Here's the beauty of libraries: they're quiet, equipped with Wi-Fi and 100% free. Don't feel guilty about spending the whole day there, just typing away on your keyboard and not paying a cent. And if you need your caffeine fix, you're welcome to bring your coffee (or even your lunch) to a library.

Here are a few central libraries to choose from but you can go to any public library closest to you. You can find all the libraries in the metropolitan area here.

1. Oodi library

Oodi library

Oodi library is a modern Helsinki landmark. Opened in 2018, it boasts spanking new facilities and even comes with a café where you can have a coffee or lunch break.

Oodi is a sight in itself so even if you're not looking to get any work done, it's still worthwhile to pay a visit.

2. Rikhardinkatu library

Located in Kaartinkaupunki, a few steps away from Esplanadi, this is another good option to work or study in. Built in 1881, this cozy library is packed with history.

3. Kallio library

Kallio library
Kallio library

Designed in 1912, the Kallio library was renovated recently but is now open to the public again. If you're staying in Kallio, try this place for your temporary remote office.

4. Töölö library

Töölö library is a quiet, more modern library. It's particularly nice in the summer when you can lounge in the balcony and terrace areas to get a break from all the work and studying.



I'm Ella, your local insider in Helsinki. In this blog I share my best tips to make sure everyone gets to enjoy Helsinki to the fullest.

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Insider's Helsinki

Insider's Helsinki