Explore the suburbs!

Suburban excursions are a great way to enjoy nature, interesting architecture, history or unique attractions in interesting areas close to home. Read our tips for suburban excursions in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area!

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have become familiar with exploring local neighbourhoods. However, Linda Wiksten, Urban Design Manager at YIT, has been exploring the suburbs long before the pandemic.

“Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved visiting new places. In addition, I used to work for the City of Helsinki on a suburban development project that promoted the suburbs in the media and supported their growth. Thanks to the project, I became thoroughly familiar with all the suburbs of Helsinki,” Wiksten says.

Suburban excursions are a great way to get to know, for example, the space and architecture of surrounding areas, unique parks, cultural landscapes and nature in your hometown, elsewhere in Finland and abroad. Wiksten recommends touring the suburbs by public transportation, bicycle or on foot.

“Walking or cycling gives you enough time to see and feel the surroundings.”

Exploring suburbia is also a way to admire sustainable urban development in practice – making the suburbs, which are served by good transport connections, more compact and diverse.

“Building new public transport connections, such as light railways, is an important part of residential development. We do all of this at YIT,” Wiksten adds.


Memorable experiences are not always far away

The underlying idea of exploring the suburbs is that you do not have to go far in search of experiences, but you can appreciate the everyday beauty and atmosphere of different places.

“Excursions in suburbia are all about the dialogue between the built environment and nature. The suburbs are leafy areas that also show the impact of humans,” says Wiksten.

The suburbs benefit from visitors. When people see what the suburbs are really like, they learn to appreciate them.

“Many suburbs have a worse reputation than they would deserve. And when people visit them, they are surprised by how nice they really are.”


Wiksten’s tips for suburban excursions in the capital region:

1) Architecture of Pihlajamäki
Pihlajamäki is a well-preserved example of 1960s suburban architecture where the rugged, rocky terrain is dominated by tall towers and surrounded by serpentine lamellar blocks of flats.

2) Japanese-style garden in Roihuvuori.
The main stage of Hanami Festival, Roihuvuori Cherry Park, is familiar to many, while the more remote Japanese-style garden, built in an old slate quarry, is a less well-known part of the park.

3) The shoreline of Espoo.
A stunning 40-kilometre stretch of shoreline passes many residential areas by the sea. At the end of the route, Kivenlahti is a fun area known for its Sea Tower, Amfi House and paved squares.

4) Stansvik and Puotila Manors.
The historic mansions give a unique touch to the urban structure.