Helsinki is the northernmost capital of an EU state and most populous city of Finland, with a population of 650,000 in the city itself and almost 1.5 million in the metro area (Helsinki and surrounding towns of Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen). Helsinki has one of the world’s highest urban standards of living, and it has ranked high in various liveability and safety rankings.
Nicknamed “Silicon Sauna”, Helsinki boasts a large ICT market and represents a thriving technology hub of startups and many seasoned technology companies.
The average IT salary in Helsinki is €5,080 per month (€60,960 per year). Salaries range from €2,610 to €8,200.
Here are the average IT salaries in Helsinki (€ per month, before taxes) depending on the specialization, according to Salary Explorer:
- Android developer: 4,930
- Angular developer: 4,260
- Blockchain developer: 4,370
- Business Intelligence developer: 4,960
- C# developer: 5,390
- C++ developer: 5,130
- Data analyst: 4,400
- Database administrator: 4,980
- Front-end developer: 4,210
- Full-stack developer: 5,180
- Game developer: 4,460
- Information security specialist: 5,580
- IT project manager: 7,620
- iOS developer: 5,400
- Java developer: 5,210
- Network engineer: 4,470
- PHP developer: 4,400
- Python developer: 5,050
- Ruby developer: 4,550
- Salesforce administrator: 4,520
- Salesforce developer: 3,890
- Scrum master: 3,860
- SharePoint developer: 5,220
- Software architect: 4,540
- Software engineer: 4,810
- Software QA engineer: 4,540
- Software test engineer: 4,040
- Solutions architect: 6,380
- Systems architect: 4,740
- Technical writer: 4,320
- UX designer: 4,120
- Web designer: 4,210
- Web developer: 4,450
Greater Helsinki (the capital with surrounding towns of Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen) generates approximately one-third of Finland’s GDP, equalling those of Paris and Stockholm.
The unemployment rate in Helsinki stood at about 8.4% before the COVID-19 pandemic — almost at the same level as the national average of around 8.5%.
Important economic sectors in Helsinki include:
- Maritime industry
- Serviced-related IT sector
About 80% of the largest Finnish companies have their headquarters in Greater Helsinki. The most popular technology companies present in the city include the following:
- 3 Step IT
- MaaS Global
- Unity Technologies
Moreover, Big Data, blockchain and cloud technology bring together ICT, maritime and shipping industries in Helsinki. Local engineering and industrial companies working towards the digitalization of the maritime industry include ABB Marine, Aker Arctic, and Wärtsilä.
Helsinki also has startup campus Maria 01 which is home to over 130 start-ups and scale-ups, 12 venture capital funds, several ecosystem supporters, and over 1,100 members. It is planning to create new jobs for at least 6,000 people.
Additionally, Helsinki hosts Slush, Europe’s leading annual startup and entrepreneurship event.
Cost of living
The average monthly costs in Helsinki are about €810 for a single person or €2,990 for a four-person family (excluding rent).
Here are examples of the average prices in Helsinki (€):
- Meal at McDonald’s: 7,5 – 9
- Meal at another inexpensive restaurant: 9–20
- Average food basket (milk, bread, eggs, cheese, chicken, apples, potatoes, water, beer): 29
- Monthly fee at a fitness club: 20–60
- Monthly pass: 60–65
- Monthly rent (1 bedroom): 700 – 1,250
- Monthly rent (3 bedrooms): 1,100 – 2,500
- Property prices per square meter: 3,500 – 10,000
- Utilities: 50–170 per month
- Internet: 15–30 per month
The city is served by the international Helsinki Airport, located in the neighboring city of Vantaa, with frequent service to many destinations in Europe and Asia, including Antalya, Bangkok, Beijing, Chengdu, Delhi, Istanbul, Minsk, Moscow, New York, Shanghai, and many others.
Additionally, Helsinki is close to many European cities: it is located 80 km north of Tallinn, 400 km east of Stockholm, and 300 km west of Saint Petersburg.
Like the majority of large European cities, Helsinki has a plethora of entertainment options: more than a dozen big museums, three major theaters, many movie theaters, two full-size symphony orchestras, a number of musical venues, and more. The Finnish capital also hosts annual art and film festivals, including the Helsinki Festival, the Love & Anarchy film festival, Night Visions, and others.