QS Staff Writer

Updated July 15, 2021 Updated July 15

QS Best Student Cities ranking: 56th

Home to two universities ranked among the world’s top 150, Finland’s harbor-based capital city is known for its attractive architecture, high quality of life, and for managing to be both laid-back and forward-looking at the same time.

It’s no surprise to see Helsinki getting a particularly high score in the desirability indicator of the QS Best Student Cities ranking. It’s also one of the world’s cleanest capitals according to Numbeo’s Pollution Index.

Given the Nordic region’s reputation for high living costs, it may be more surprising to find that Helsinki also scores relatively well for affordability. This is largely due to the fact that in Finland higher education is currently free, although non-EU/EEA students must now pay a minimum of 1,500 euros (~US$1,600) a year.

Would Helsinki get your vote? Tell us why.

Internationally ranked universities in Helsinki

University of HelsinkiAalto University

More about Helsinki

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

University of Helsinki (107th)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank


To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, 
view the methodology.

This article was originally published in November 2015 . It was last updated in January 2020

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