PHOTO: Sokoshotel Vaakuna Helsinki

Sokos Hotel Vaakuna

Asemaaukio 2, Helsinki, 00100, Finland

Terry Ward

Located on the upper floors of Helsinki's Sokos Department Store and right across the city's main railway station, the Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna appeals as much for its central location as its vintage Scandinavian charm. The property's retro 50s style makes itself known everywhere from the low-key lobby to the stylish if simple rooms, several of which have terraces with sweeping city views.

Book breakfast with your room, as the buffet is ample enough to carry you through lunchtime and the outdoor terrace has wonderful views overlooking the railway station and nearby square.

Photo: Sokoshotel Vaakuna Helsinki


The 50s style wooden furnishings and wooden floors in the rooms create a minimalist vibe that's warm at the same time. Many rooms have single beds, giving an almost train-car feel to them. They're not huge, but they're totally functional and really all you need to be comfortable.

Ninth-floor rooms have walk-out terraces that overlook the Parliament House and railway station.

Photo: Sokoshotel Vaakuna Helsinki


The simple bathrooms are tiled white throughout and have either a bath, shower, or shower-in-tub combo. The heated floors are an extra nice touch during the colder months.

Photo: Sokoshotel Vaakuna Helsinki


With 50s-era high-backed chairs lining the wood-veneer wall and vintage lighting fixtures, the lobby announces the hotel's retro style long before you ascend the elevator to the rooms. There's an entryway into the Sokos Department Store right off the lobby, making it all the easier to avoid the elements on a notoriously rainy Helsinki day.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Buses to the airport leave a half a block away from the hotel and not closer to the train station, as you might expect. Ask the concierge to point you in the right direction.

Photo: Sokoshotel Vaakuna Helsinki
Photo: Sokoshotel Vaakuna Helsinki


While there are no spa services provided on site, guests have access to two classic Finnish saunas during their stay--a great way to relax after pounding the pavement to see the sights.

Photo: Sokoshotel Vaakuna Helsinki


With a panoramic terrace with lots of outdoor tables and great city views from the tenth-floor dining room, too, the hotel's Loiste restaurant is a pleasant place to start your day. Enjoy Finnish breads, cheeses, yogurts, and jams as part of the ample breakfast buffet. Lunch and dinner options are fresh and healthy, too, with ample salads, sandwiches, and seafood and steak offerings.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Finns take their coffee strong, so if your caffeine needs sway more watered-down-American, consider yourself warned.

Photo: Sokoshotel Vaakuna Helsinki


There's no dedicated bar onsite at the hotel but you can find your favorite beverages on the menu at Loiste, and the staff are completely fine with guests occupying a table "just for drinks."

Photo: Sokoshotel Vaakuna Helsinki


Getting Around

Being so close to the train station, you're surrounded by bus and tram stops at this property. And Helsinki's vast public transport network is easy to navigate all over town. You can also walk to most of the city's attractions from the hotel.


Inside the city’s recently restored Old Market Hall, Story (15-minute walk) is an excellent pick for light breakfast and classic Scandinavian salads and sandwiches, laden with tiny pink shrimp. And the seafront terrace is particularly lovely during the warm months. And for lunch or dinner, consider the lively Gastrobar Emo (9-minute walk), with five-course dinner menus with fabulous wine and cheese pairings and king crab soup as lunchtime favorite.


Trillby & Chadwick (13-minute walk) does creative cocktails with a little theater on the site - the bar is themed after a speakeasy/detective agency. And when a classic Irish pub and a native English speaking crowd is what you crave, there’s Molly Malone’s (5-minute walk).


Hotels so close to train stations in major European cities often feel seedy. But not so for this Sokos. We love that the rooms are just what a traveler needs--simple and comfortable, without sacrificing style and a sense of place. Being able to access the attached department store right from the lobby is super convenient for picking up anything you've forgotten at home, too.


Local Flavor


Phones: 358-20-1234610

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