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A person wakeboarding in the sea. Tall buildings on the beach behind.

See and do in Otaniemi

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Tips for leisure time in the OTaniemi area

Otaniemi is a lively, close-to-nature and architecturally interesting campus area that offers much to do and see. Many visitors at Otaniemi attend business meetings or international congresses, so, how about a refreshing walk outdoors after that? Or getting to know Espoo more about heading to one of our recreational islands? 

And good news for architectural fans - Otaniemi is a true crown jewel of Finnish architecture! 

Read more from our tips below.

Saaristovene merellä Stora Herrö -saaren edustalla.
Image: Archipelago boat in front of Stora Herrö island. Image: Riikka Laatikainen.

Archipelago boats

During summer, you can hop on one of the scheduled archipelago boats right next to Radisson Blu Hotel in Otaniemi. The harbour is called Otaranta, and the boat carries you swiftly to and from the island of Gåsgrund, Rövaren, Stora Herrö, and Iso Vasikkasaari. 

Iso Vasikkasaari is one the most visited islands with cafe and restaurant services. But if you wish to explore the island more on your own, head to Gåsgrund, Rövaren, Stora Herrö!

See the timetables, routes on our public archipelago boats page, and get to know the different islands on Seaside and archipelago page

A sandy footpath near the beach, surrounded by trees and flora.
Rantaraitti footpath. Image: Kristiina Vaano.

Waterfront walkway Espoon Rantaraitti

Our coastal pride, the 40-kilometre-long Waterfront Walkway Espoon Rantaraitti, is an outdoor paradise that runs along the city's coastline. It takes you from nature reserves to beaches, marinas, and close-by museums straight from Otaniemi's shores.

So why not encourage your congress delegates to take an early morning jog or walk before the meetings? For example, hop on the walkway straight from the Radisson Blu Hotel Espoo's doors. 

Wooden walkway surrounded by trees and flora.
Image: Heikki Vahtola.

Laajalahti nature reserve

Laajalahti is a large nature reserve and bird wetland beside Otaniemi, where conference delegates and visitors can head after a long conference day.  There you can gaze at the splashing waves of the Baltic Sea, listen to the sounds of birds, feel the crunch of the beach path under their feet, and just let the mind rest.

Laajalahti is also an excellent place for nature geeks, bird watchers, joggers, and bikers who want to learn more about nature. Starting from Otaniemi (Konemiehentie 2), a three-kilometre-long causeway path leads to the nature reserve and Nature Centre Villa Elfvik in Laajalahti. Entrance to Villa Elfvik is free of charge. At Villa Elfik, you'll also find a small cafe open during weekends.

The 40-kilometre Espoo Waterfront Walkway also takes you to the Laajalahti Nature Reserve. So it's your choice! 

Read more about the Laajanlahti nature reserve on the website of Metsähallitus, which maintains the area: - Laajalahti Nature Reserve.

The fan-shaped reb brick building of Aalto University's Undergraduate Centre.
The fan-shaped building of Aalto University's Undergraduate Centre. Image: Joni Viitanen.

Architectural gems of Otaniemi

Did you know that the famous architect Alvar Aalto designed the Otaniemi overall plan and that the campus has many individual buildings designed by him and other well-known Finnish architects, such as Reima and Raili Pietilä and Heikki and Kaija Sirén? 

For example, Aalto University's Undergraduate Centre, occupying the site of the main building of the former Helsinki University of Technology, is one of Otaniemi's prime landmarks designed by Alvar Aalto. The building is located on one of the area’s seven hilltops. The building and main auditorium situated at the end of the old estate’s lime tree row cannot go unnoticed.

Other well-known buildings in the area are:

  • Harald Herlin Learning Centre (formerly the library of Helsinki University of Technology), designed by Alvar Aalto
  • Shopping centre, designed by Alvar Aalto
  • Dipoli, the main building of Aalto University, designed by Reima and Raili Pietilä 
  • Otaniemi Chapel, designed by Heikki and Kaija Sirén. 

Read more about Otaniemi's architecture on

Hero image: Antti Rastivo.