A man and woman pose by the seaside with a dog
 Nature and fresh air are always close at hand in Helsinki – and so too somewhere to cycle, with over 1 500 km of maintained bike paths on offer. Image: Tern Bicycles

Helsinki has a top quality of life

British lifestyle magazine Monocle has ranked Helsinki fourth in its annual look at the quality of life in global cities.

James O’Sullivan


According to the City of Helsinki, Monocle took various factors into account when compiling its comparison, including crime statistics, ambulance arrival times, number of cycling paths and access to nature.

Additional emphasis was placed on the post-pandemic shift in work in this year’s survey, along with increases in costs of living and people’s desire to breathe easier. Swimming sites and fresh air were other factors that influenced a city’s final placement.

Monocle praised Helsinki for combining functionality with fun, its safety, free healthcare, education system and dynamic startup environment.

Helsinki was ranked third in 2021, a couple of slots behind its best ever position of first in 2011. Copenhagen took the top spot this year, followed by Zürich and Lisbon.

The Quality of Life survey appears in Monocle’s July-to-August issue this year.

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