Whether you are coming to Helsinki for a vacation or you are planning a move to Helsinki and want a flexible apartment rental, Noli Studios has tons of different options available.
During my two-week trip to Finland, I stayed in two different Noli Studios locations. The first location was the Noli Studios Malmi location which I absolutely fell in love with. I paid full price for this 5-night stay.
For my last day in Helsinki, before I left the country, I stayed at the Noli Studios Katajanokka location. This was a comped stay on behalf of the PR team at Noli Studios in exchange for an honest review of my time at their Katajanokka location.
Below is my full experience at both Noli Studios locations and why I think this is a great option, especially for my fellow digital nomads out there.
What is Noli Studios?
Noli Studios are serviced apartments with options for you to stay just a few days or up to months at a time.
If you are visiting Helsinki as a tourist and want the amenities of a hotel while also having the amenities of an apartment, you can’t look past all that they have to offer at Noli Studios.
If you are a digital nomad or remote worker and you’ve been thinking about making Helsinki a base for a while, Noli Studios is your chance to enjoy city living without getting involved in rental contracts, buying furniture, or making any other big investments that come along with living somewhere semi-long term.
In addition to the fully furnished and serviced apartments that I stayed in during my trip to Helsinki, Noli Studios also offers paired-back studios with just the essentials.
These apartments are perfect for people who are staying in Helsinki long term but aren’t sure exactly how long term. They are very affordable options, but also very flexible when it comes to how long you want to stay.
Read more about their different studios and flexible stay options on their website.
Besides having great apartments, there are also incredible facilities including saunas, free bikes, rooftop hangout spots with a BBQ, large shared kitchens with all of the things you might need to cook a feast, game rooms, TV rooms, workspaces, and unlimited high-speed WiFi.
Why I Chose to Stay at Noli Studios
Helsinki is a notoriously expensive city.
When I was planning my trip to Helsinki earlier this year, I was searching for a place to stay that was affordable, would allow me to self-cater easily, and was still in a good location for exploring Helsinki.
Noli Studios kept coming up. All of their studios have kitchens or kitchenettes and they also have large shared kitchen spaces in the common areas of the building for you to use.
I was particularly drawn to their location in the Malmi neighborhood of Helsinki.
At first glance, it appears to be quite far from the downtown area, but when I did the research on public transportation I realized that it was only about 15-20 minutes away from the center of the city.
And as an added bonus, all Noli Studios offer free bikes to use, so if I wanted to, I could cycle into the city.
Perks of Staying at Noli Studios
There was a lot I loved about staying at Noli Studios. Not every location is the same, so be sure to read about the different amenities available at their different locations before deciding which one is best for you.
- Very friendly staff
- Incredibly easy check-in and out – it’s all done via tablets located at the entrance of each hotel
- Bikes available to use
- Fantastic high-speed WiFi
- Great workspaces for people who don’t want to work in their rooms
- In-room kitchens have everything you need to self-cater
- Sauna and gym facilities (and hot tubs at the Katajanokka location!)
- Being able to extend your stay easily if you are looking for month-to-month rentals
- Even though its an apartment, it still gets cleaned every few days which doesn’t happen in an Airbnb
Downside of Staying at Noli Studios
Of course, nowhere is perfect. There were a few downsides to my stay at both locations of Noli Studios.
Of the two locations, I much preferred Noli Studios Malmi and I’m really glad that the majority of my stay in Helsinki was at this location rather than at the Katajonokka location. I’ll get into that more beneath each specific location.
Something that both locations had in common was the general vibe. As a guest at what I imagined to be more of a hotel than a long-term residency, it did at times feel like I was staying at a hostel.
There are always people around the common areas either on their laptops, watching TV, cooking, or playing games.
If this is the vibe you are looking for, then this is definitely a perk, but for me, it was a bit of a negative, especially in the Katajanokka location where there didn’t feel like enough space for all of the people hanging out.
The other negative is that there isn’t always someone around at the office, especially on the weekends. Since the majority of guests are longer-term and don’t really need the front desk/office, they have shorter hours than most hotels.
Noli Studios Malmi Review
As I mentioned above, Malmi was my favorite of the two locations where I stayed during my trip to Helsinki.
This was for a few reasons:
- It was mostly very quiet. Since it isn’t located in the downtown area, the people staying here are either working remotely or for a nearby company so there weren’t quite as many people using the lobby and amenities. We often had the sauna completely to ourselves and the rooms were full of natural light.
- The location is fantastic for getting to two nearby grocery stores, hopping on the train to go to the city or airport, or getting a bus to a different part of the city.
- It is one of the more affordable of the options since it’s not located right in the downtown area and even though it’s cheaper most of the amenities feel newer (or at least not as used).
The only real negative of Malmi also happens to be one of the reasons it has so many positives; its location. Since it’s not really in the city but rather in a quiet neighborhood right outside the train station, there aren’t a ton of options for food (although the onsite restaurant is pretty great).
If you want to have good food or check out some of the nightlife you need to take public transportation into the city and then make sure not to miss the last train back.
If you want to check availability and book a stay at Noli Studios Malmi, you can do it on Booking.com here.
Noli Studios Katajanokka Review
The thing that Noli Studios Katajonokka has over all of the other locations around Helsinki is its prime location.
It’s close to the ferry terminal. It’s within walking distance of the cathedral, the market square, and tons of great bars and restaurants. There are tram stops one minute from the entrance that can take you everywhere else around the city that you want to go.
If you want to stay at the best-located Noli Studios, this is the one for you.
Due to its location, it is also one of the pricier locations and definitely one of the busiest locations that they have.
We stayed in one of the beautiful big rooms with a huge balcony that looks out at the harbor and Market Square in downtown Helsinki.
It was raining (which it seems to do a lot in Helsinki), so we didn’t get to fully enjoy sitting out with drinks as we had hoped, but the view is really unbeatable.
If I had only stayed at this location, I probably would have loved it as well, but because I spent time at the Malmi location I had something to compare it to, and in comparison, this location is busier, messier, and noisier.
Where we had the sauna to ourselves in Malmi, there wasn’t anywhere to sit in the saunas in Katajanokka because they were so busy.
The other bummer about the saunas here is that there isn’t a shared unisex sauna. There is one for men and one for women, so if you are a couple, you can’t go in the sauna together. You can go in the steam room and hot tubs together, but not the sauna.
However, it was bliss to be able to walk out the door and head to a nearby bar and knowing that if we stayed out past midnight we could just walk back to the hotel rather than having to rush to catch the last train back to Malmi (or risk a very expensive taxi!).
Should You Stay at Noli Studios?
I think there are a few people who would really love any of the Noli Studios locations.
- Solo travelers who want to meet people but don’t want to stay in a hostel. Noli Studios organizes different events throughout the month to socialize with other residents. If you feel like you’ve aged out of the hostel scene, you still want your own private space at night, but you want to meet like-minded people, Noli Studios is a fantastic option for you.
- Digital nomads who aren’t sure how long you’re going to stay in the city. You can flexibly rent month-to-month and have all of the amenities of an apartment while still being able to meet people, have fun events to attend, and have fantastic workspaces to use if you don’t want to be in your room (although don’t miss out on a work day at the amazing Oodi Library).
- People moving to Helsinki who are looking for a place to live immediately. When you move to a new city, especially if you are moving to Finland for the first time from abroad, you want to be able to take your time getting to know the neighborhoods before you lock yourself into a long-term lease. Staying at Noli Studios when you first arrive in the city allows you to unpack and feel like you live here while still giving you the flexibility to get to know your favorite places in the city and eventually when you find the best spot, to move in fully elsewhere (unless you decide this is the best place for you in the end anyway!).
- Tourists who want to self-cater. I loved my time at Noli Studios and when I go back to Helsinki again one day, I will definitely look at staying at another of their locations. I loved having a sauna and gym, being able to use the great WiFi to work in the mornings, and being able to cook in my room at night to eat a bit healthier and save some money.