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My Favourite Libraries in Helsinki

A collection of my favourite libraries in Helsinki.

Helsinki’s library system is outstanding. Not only is loaning free but you can also borrow board games, outdoor games, musical instruments, movies, audiobooks and tools. You can book private study rooms, sewing spaces and lots more. Not to mention all of the incredible free events. 

There are many libraries other than the main public library system. A friend told me of a day when they went around Helsinki and got 13 library cards from different libraries. A great day idea! There are many libraries I have yet to explore. Every University has a library. The concentration in libraries becomes a physical material that can be felt.

Where I wrote my handwritten thesis

Plant Museum library (Kasianiemenranta 2, 00170 Helsinki) 

To access an incredible collection of botanically related books, email kasvimuseo@helsinki.fi and make an appointment. This is by far the most atmospheric, ancient and old library in Finland.

Student writing in an old library

The classic 

Oodi (Töölönlahdenkatu 4, 00100 Helsinki)

For 3D-printing, standing desks, music and podcast recording, laser cutting, gaming and study Oodi is the place to be. The architecture is phenomenal. My favourite place to sit is upstairs above the kids’ section. There is a large carpet to lay down on.  Extra tip, Musiikkitalo has the best student lunch and is close by.

Big library shot from a drone
Photographer – Kuvio, Oodi Library

For the views 

Töölö Library (Topeliuksenkatu 6, 00250 Helsinki) 

On the second floor of the library is a large study hall with huge windows facing the forestry park. All of the desks face the window. The concentration that gets built up in this room is intense. Extra tip – take a study break walk/swim at Raja Saari.

View of library through summery trees
Photographer – Mariliis Kuukuma

For the concentration

The National Library (Unioninkatu 36, 00170 Helsinki)

For some serious vibes visit the National Library. The top floor is my go-to place. It is usually very quiet and has very low levels of distractions. When entering the library, you have to leave your backpack in a locker and take your belongings in a basket.

For the art books 

Kiasma Library (Mannerheiminaukio 2, 00100 Helsinki)

The Academy of Fine Arts Library (​​Haapaniemenkatu 6, 00530 Helsinki)

This one is a tie because both collections are amazing. The Kiasma Library can be accessed without buying a ticket to the museum. There is no home loaning. The Academy of Fine Arts library allows home borrowing and anyone can get a library card. I really like the downstairs cellar area.

For the furniture 

Lippulaiva Library (Espoonlahdenkatu 8, 02320 Espoo) 

This library has the decor of a forest and Grandpa’s study. When I studied here I sat at a huge old wooden desk that was very masculine and made me feel like I was the director of my life. Whoever chose the furniture, I take my hat off to you. 

Vintage furniture in library
Photographer – Espoo kaupungki

Life of an art student

In this blog, Uniarts Helsinki students share their experiences as art students from different academies and perspectives, in their own words. If you want to learn even more regarding studying and student life in Uniarts and Helsinki, you can ask directly from our student ambassadors.

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