Espoo, Finland

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Espoo (Swedish: Esbo) is the second largest municipality in Finland with the population of 248,355. It is part of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area along with the municipalities of Helsinki, Vantaa, and Kauniainen. The national park of Nuuksio is situated in northwest Espoo.

Espoo is divided into seven areas, the largest of which have their own commercial centers: Vanha-Espoo, Espoonlahti, Espoo, Kauklahti, Leppävaara, Matinkylä and Tapiola.

The main campus of the Aalto University is based in Otaniemi, Espoo, along with a thriving technology community that includes numerous IT companies and VTT – the Technical Research Center of Finland. Nokia is headquartered in Keilaniemi, Espoo, along with other high-tech companies such as KONE, Tekla and Fortum.

Get in

By train

Espoo is served by Helsinki commuter trains, with 4 faster E, S, U and Y trains (25 min from Helsinki) to Middle- and West-Espoo. In addition, the A train (every 10-20 minutes, 17 minutes from Helsinki) serves the east part of Espoo. The Finnish National Rail commuter traffic section has route maps and timetables online, click here to see.

By plane

  • Regional U-line bus 540 (€5.00) leaves from bus platform 14 of T2 via platform 5 of T1, for connections to the areas of Leppävaara, Nihtisilta, Ikea and Espoonkeskus. Everyday 7:45-22:50. Click here to see

The following regional buses run only in rush hours from Mon-Fri, roughly one departure per hour, leaving from bus platform 4 of T1 via platform 35 of T2

  • 514 and 514K (€5.00) connect the areas of Leppävaara, Tapiola and Westend.
  • 535 (€5.00) connect the areas of North and Middle Espoo.

Geography

The districts and major areas of Espoo

Location

Espoo is located in southern Finland, along the shore of the Gulf of Finland, and in the region of Uusimaa and the Helsinki sub-region. Prior to the abolition of Finnish provinces in 2009, Espoo was a part of the Southern Finland Province.

The city borders Helsinki, the Finnish capital, which is to the east. Other neighbouring municipalities are Vantaa to the east and northeast, Nurmijärvi to the north, Vihti to the northwest, and Kirkkonummi to the west and southwest. Espoo is a part of the Finnish Capital Region, which is the inner core of the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area.

Subdivision

Espoo is divided into seven major areas (Finnish: suuralueet, Swedish: storområden): Vanha-Espoo (with administrative center), Suur-Espoonlahti, Pohjois-Espoo, Suur-Kauklahti, Suur-Leppävaara, Suur-Matinkylä, and Suur-Tapiola. These major areas are then divided into a total of 56 districts.

Features

Although Espoo is relatively highly populated, it has large amounts of natural wilderness, particularly in the city’s western and northern portions. The city has a total of 71 lakes, the largest of which are Lake Bodom, Nuuksion Pitkäjärvi, Vanhankylän Pitkäjärvi, Loojärvi, Velskolan Pitkäjärvi, Saarijärvi, Matalajärvi, Siikajärvi, and Lippajärvi. The city has a large coastline on the Gulf of Finland.

Espoo has six Natura 2000 protected areas: Bånberget forests, Espoonlahti–Saunalahti bay area (partially in Kirkkonummi), Laajalahti bay, Matalajärvi lake, Nuuksio National Park (partially in Kirkkonummi and Vihti), as well as forests in Vestra (partially in Vantaa).

The official animal of Espoo is the Siberian flying squirrel, the official bird is the common blackbird, and the official plant is Anemone nemorosa.

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