Housing for doctoral researchers

The instruction belongs to the following themes

By selecting a degree programme you are able to see the general content as well as the possible degree programme-specific content. You do not have to select a degree programme to see the Open University's instructions.

Are you moving to Helsinki? We strongly recommend that you start searching for a flat as soon as you have accepted the offered study place. There is a lack of housing in the Helsinki area and finding an available flat can take time. By acting quickly and looking at several different housing options simultaneously you will improve your chances of finding a suitable flat quickly.

Where can I apply for a flat?

Doctoral researchers can apply for a rental flat from the city of Helsinki, companies and foundations offering rental flats, and from the private rental market. International researchers moving to Finland from abroad can apply for entry-housing for up to six months or a long-term rental flat via the Unihome-service for researchers in the University of Helsinki and Aalto University.

The Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki area (HOAS) always prioritizes undergraduate and graduate students in the housing queues, so doctoral researchers should primarily search for a flat elsewhere, especially at the start of each term when the housing queues are at their longest.

What does it cost to live in Helsinki?

When looking for an apartment, it's good to be prepared for the fact that rental flats especially in the Helsinki city centre area are costly, and the rent alone is usually well over 500 euros per month. Studios apartments are even more expensive.

It's a good idea to also look at options outside the immediate city centre. Rental costs of apartments in the suburbs are usually lower and there is also more variety. The public transportation in the Helsinki area works very well.


The University of Helsinki offers housing for researchers arriving from abroad via a service called Unihome. Unihome manages all University of Helsinki’s accommodation services as well as the rental flats owned by the University. Please note that if you are an exchange student rather than a degree student, only certain Unihome housing options are available for you. The Unihome website will guide you to the right direction.

Entry hous­ing

While queuing for a long-term rental flat, you can stay at Unihome accommodation locations with easy access to all Campuses. You can stay up to 6 months. The reservation should be made by the host department. The price varies according to the size of the accommodation and the length of stay.

For more information, please visit the Unihome website.

Long-term rental flats

The University of Helsinki rents unfurnished apartments to its incoming researchers. The flats are rented with a fixed period 12 months and with the option to continue for another 12 months if available.

For more information, please visit the Unihome website.

Housing options & furnishing tips

Listed below are other options for finding both long-term and sort term housing. To help you on the way the Student Union has created a short Finnish-to-English wordlist for househunting.

Long-term housing

  • City of Helsinki rental apartments
  • Oikotie, a webservice that lists available rental apartments - the site is only available in Finnish, so find a buddy to help you navigate.
  • Vuokraovi, a webservice that lists available rental apartments.
  • Lumo & VVO, a private rental company.
  • Sato, a private rental company.
  • Forenom, a private accommodation and relocation service provider.

Short-term hous­ing

In case you don't have housing when you arrive, check the short-term housing options below:

Furnishing your apartment

Furniture for reasonable prices can be bought at second hand shops. There are also two Ikea stores near Helsinki in Espoo and Vantaa, for contact information and instructions on how to get there, see Ikea's website. They also have a delivery service. For one-stop shopping, check out the shopping centres in Helsinki and the surrounding area. You can find directions on how to get to the different shops and stores by using the Journey Planner, street addresses are provided below. You may also want to search the local Facebook recycling groups for affordable second hand furniture.

Shopping centres, department stores and shops in the Helsinki area

Forum (Helsinki City Centre): Mannerheimintie 14–20
Kamppi (Helsinki City Centre): Urho Kekkosenkatu 1
Stockmann (Helsinki City Centre): Aleksanterinkatu 52
Sokos (Helsinki City Centre): Mannerheimintie 9
Clas Ohlsson (Helsinki City Centre): Mannerheimintie 4
Itis (Eastern Helsinki): Itäkatu 1–7
Jumbo (Vantaa): Vantaanportinkatu 3
Sello (Espoo): Leppävaarankatu 3–9
Iso Omena (Espoo): Piispansilta 11

Second hand shops and flea markets

Reuse Centre department stores and shops: Kyläsaarenkatu 8 (Helsinki), Kauppakartanonkatu 12 (Helsinki), Keinulaudankuja 4 (Helsinki), Kutojantie 3 (Espoo), Rusthollarinkatu 1 (Espoo), Hosantie 2 (Vantaa)
Fida second hand shops: e.g. Hämeentie 5a (Helsinki), Hämeentie 31 (Helsinki)
Kontti second hand department stores by the Red Cross: Visbynkuja 2 (Helsinki), Nimismiehenpelto 6 (Espoo), Tammiston kauppatie 8 (Vantaa)
Emmaus Helsinki flea markets: Mäkelänkatu 54, Gyldénintie 2
Hietalahti Flea Market: Hietalahti Market Square
Hakaniemi Flea Market (on Sundays): Hakaniemi Market Square