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Neighbourhoods: All trains lead to Pasila

In Italy we say "all roads lead to Rome", and talking about Pasila the association came to me spontaneously; because whatever train you take to or from the central station (Rautatientori) will in any case pass through Pasila and stop under the Tripla shopping centre, one of the busiest in Helsinki.

Pasila is a rather transitory and large central district - to the point of being divided into east-Pasila (Itä-Pasila) and west-Pasila (Länsi-Pasila) - it is growing and improving very quickly, in fact construction sites are quite common these days, both for the renovation of tram networks and housing developments.

Like any good self-respecting Helsinki neighbourhood, Pasila also has large parks in which one can immerse oneself on sunny days. My favourite is definitely Alppipuisto, which is not exaggeratedly large but is always a good way to get away from the hustle and bustle of a neighbourhood that, being a transit area, is extremely hectic and never still. Especially during the spring-summer period when the days stretch on endlessly and it almost seems as if Finns refuse to sleep in order to enjoy this sunshine until the last moment before hunkering down for the winter.

Also, not far from Alppipuisto, towers Linnanmäki, Helsinki's amusement park whose Ferris wheel can be seen from all over the city. It is not the biggest you will ever visit in your life, but it is definitely worth a chance and is a way to enrich the neighbourhood and the city.

Pasila is also home to the ice stadium where ice hockey matches and concerts often take place here in Helsinki, and there is also a great skate park in the immediate vicinity in case you want to try your hand at it with the youngsters who usually hang out there when the temperatures get warmer. And if you're not a fan of boards, you can stroll along the street that runs alongside them.

Pasila is a good choice to move in also if you are a student of the Haaga-Helia University which has one of its campus right next to Tripla.

But one cannot talk about pasila without mentioning the aforementioned Tripla shopping centre. Awarded as the best in Finland, Tripla is a hub that also contains the train station and is spread over four levels that manage to satisfy just about every need of such a building. But in my opinion the highlight of Tripla are the many restaurants it houses, there is something for every taste and at all hours; from cafés via all you can eat to South American and Thai ethnic restaurants. In addition, the centre always hosts some kind of promotional event and somehow they even managed to get a beach in there. In case you miss the sand between your toes during winter days.

In short, Pasila is a good middle ground between the well-connected, well-maintained and clean city centre, but it also has the savings of not being right in the centre, and in addition the buildings are mostly new and large. It is a constantly growing neighbourhood that can offer many services and is very well connected to the rest of the city, it just lacks the metro to have everything.


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