An urban holiday in Vallila, the historical heart of Helsinki culture

Wooden houses from the 1910s, modern design and the scent of coffee – Helsinki's Vallila district combines a historical working-class area with lively urban culture.

A holiday in Vallila is a way to get to know the most historical and most modern sides of Helsinki.

Vallila is in Helsinki's inner city, about 15 minutes by tram from the bohemian Kallio district and Helsinki city centre. The city's trendiest areas are always within reach, but a walk around Vallila will show you Helsinki in an entirely new light.

Vallila consists of new and old parts. The homely and delicious scent of freshly roasted coffee fills the air in the new part of Vallila courtesy of the Meira Coffee Roastery. There are charming little cafés just a stone's throw away!

Spend a summer's day touring the narrow alleys of the old part of the district, known as Wooden Vallila. The attractive and colourful wooden buildings in this neighbourhood stand side by side on small plots, reflecting the urban ideals of 1910s and 1920s Finland.

Vallila has also lent its name to the well-known Vallila Interior textile company, which is celebrated for its creative and refreshing patterns. The company's first textile factory was in Vallila's industrial area. Art is still very much present in the area, and you will find stores such as the Aarikka factory shop in Vallila. If you are interested in architecture, you should pay a visit to the splendid red-brick Paavalinkirkko church or the handsome Vallila warehouses on the site of the State Railways' former engineering workshops.

Modern architecture is represented by Vallila Library, one of the Helsinki city libraries. The library is in the Vallila community centre, designed by one of Finland's best-known modern architects, Juha Leiviskä, and built in 1991. The light wood cladding on the library's façade combines with the sharp angles and the light, airy atrium. Vallila library also hosts Galleria Kajava, which puts on a new exhibition every month to showcase the work of local artists.

Stop by the Vallila allotment area, which has attractive little huts and beautifully tended gardens that bring the peace and quiet of the country to the middle of the city. Behind the allotments, the Kumpula area contains the Kumpula Botanical Garden and Nylander's Park.

A holiday in Vallila has plenty for everyone to enjoy!

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