Twitter FB

A record number of visitors in the Helsinki City Hall lobby Print E-mail

The Helsinki city hall reached a new visitor record in 2014 as the total number of visitors rose to 346 214. The number of visitors was about 100 000 more than the previous year. The busiest months at the City Hall lobby were June, July and August.

The Helsinki City Hall lobby attracts the residents of Helsinki, those who have migrated to the city as well as tourists. The Helsinki information service point situated in the lobby provides the visitors with Virka Info guidance services. The Virka Galleria team produces a variety of exhibitions as well as related events such as workshops and presentations at the lobby. The daily newspapers and magazines, computers and the popular brochure collection are also available for all visitors.

The City Hall lobby is open for visitors on weekdays for 9 am to 7 pm and on weekends form 10 am to 4 pm.

The City Hall lobby is a popular spot.
Photo: Ingrid Amarouche

A service adviser providers a customer with information on the services provided by the City of Helsinki.
Photo: Ingrid Amarouche

Virka Galleria exhibition "Faces of Power" 2013-2014.
Photo: Aino Huovio

Virka Galleria exhibition "Helsinki Facelift – photographs by Soili Mystapää".
Photo: Kirsi Hasu

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 January 2015 10:35
Guidance in Estonian available at Virka Info Print E-mail

Virka Info now offers guidance for immigrants also in Estonian. Information is provided about life in Finland and the procedures concerning immigration. Guidance is provided for example on applying for residence permits, EU citizen residential registration, applying for a Finnish citizenship and social security matters.

At the moment guidance is also provided in Finnish, Swedish, English, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, French, Berber, Kurdish, Somali, Turkish, Dari, Persian (Farsi), Bulgarian, German and Dutch.

How to contact Virka Info

  • visit us at the Helsinki City Hall, Sofiankatu 1 /Pohjoisesplanadi 11-13, Helsinki (opening hours: Mon- Fri 9 am-7 pm, Sat-Sun 10 am-4 pm)
  • phone Virka Info at +358 (0)9 310 11 111 ( Mon-Fri 9 am-3 pm)
  • send us a question or feedback online:


If you hope to be guided in Estonian please mention it when contacting Virka Info.



Virka Infos on saadaval ka eesti keelne teenindus

Virka Info pakub riiki elama asunutele nõustamist nüüd ka eesti keeles. Võid küsida infot elust Soomes ning ümberasumisega seotud üksikasjadest. Juhiseid saab ka näiteks elamisloa taotlemisest, EL-kodaniku elamisõiguse registreerimisest, Soome kodakondsuse taotlemisest ja sotsiaalkaitsest.

Hetkel nõustatakse Virka Infos eesti keelele lisaks ka soome, rootsi, inglise, vene, arabia, prantsuse, hiina, berberi, kurdi, somaali, türgi, dari, pärsia (farsi), bulgaaria, saksa ja hollandi keeles.


Kontakteerumiseks toimi järgmiselt:

  • tule Virka-info teenindusse linnavalitsuse majas, aadressil Sofiankatu 1 /Pohjoisesplanadi 11 – 13, Helsinki
    oleme avatud E - R 9 – 19, L - P 10 – 16)
  • helista Virka-infosse, telefonil (09) 310 11 111 (E-R 9 – 15)
  • saada meile kodulehe kaudu küsimus või anna tagasisidet


Kui soovid saada nöustamist eelköige eesti keeles, siis palume Virka Infoga kontakteerumisel sellest teada anda.




Last Updated on Monday, 09 February 2015 15:41
New visions of digital guidance services at a seminar by Click project Print E-mail

Applications of new technology in guidance services have been discussed at a seminar organized by the Click project that develops information services provided for immigrants. For instance the utilization of role games, google glasses and web cameras were brought up at the seminar. New technologies can for example help make the usage of interpretation services and processing of customer data easier in guidance situations.The seminar took place on November 14th.

The cities of Espoo, Helsinki, Kauniainen and Vantaa have cooperated in developing real-time guidance services within the Click project (EU/ESF) since 2013. The cities have introduced a new Infochat service, where service advisors guide the public on the services provided by the cities and the processes related to immigration.

Minna Pura from Segmento Oy discussed the potential of digitalization for guidance services.
Picture: Ingrid Amarouche

More information

Click project












Last Updated on Friday, 21 November 2014 15:03
10th anniversary of the multilingual information services Print E-mail


The guidance services at the city of Helsinki have now served customers multilingually for 10 years. The anniversary of the multilingual information services was celebrated at a joint seminar of Virka Info and Infopankki at the end of September.

More interactive information services being developed

Information services will become more interactive as the role of communality will grow: the residents of Helsinki will take on a more active role in the developing of the information services. The customer will be able to reach the services through virtual channels and new applications of technology. A new chat service has already been introduced at Virka Info. There, the inquiries are answered to in realtime.


“It is interesting to see how the information services will transform through new technology and the continuous diversification of the city”, commented the Director of Information Technology and Communications of the City of Helsinki, Jaakko Salavuo.

Information services help the customer further

The core purpose of multilingual guidance services was discussed by participants across Finland at the seminar. It is essential to guide the customer to the right information so that he will be able to find the necessary information independently later on. “It is important to provide services in the customer’s own language as it builds up trust in the system and enables one to act more independently in the future", commented one of the participants of the seminar workshops.


The multilingual information services were discussed actively at the seminar.

More information

Video streaming of the seminar at Helsinki-kanava

Seminar material (in Finnish)


Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 11:32
Register for Finnish language courses held in autumn 2014 Print E-mail

The service contains many Finnish language courses open to all and starting in autumn 2014. In the Helsinki region, there are more than 350 courses about to begin and in the Tampere region close to 30. More information on when the courses will begin, what type of courses are available and when to register is available through our course search.

You can browse the courses held in the autumn by entering a date of your choice (for example 01.08.2014) into the "Search by start date" field. Remember to select your area first. If you wish, you can also apply other search criteria.

Education providers update course information continuously. If you cannot find a suitable Finnish or Swedish language course, you can try to search for one later or you can contact education providers directly and ask about their courses.

The service contains information on Finnish language courses open to all and organised in the Helsinki or Tampere region. The service also gives information on Swedish language courses organised in the Helsinki region.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 11:26
Infochat – livechat information services Print E-mail

Infochat is an information service for anyone planning to move from outside Finland to Helsinki, immigrants already living here and everybody interested in the city.

The Infochat service gives you information about the services of the City of Helsinki, services in Finland in general, and the various alternatives to immigrate to Finland. The Infochat service hours are Monday to Thursday 9–16 (9–4 p.m.) and Friday 9-15 (9-3) local time except on Finnish holidays. In Helsinki you are served by the Virka Info.

Click is an EU project operated by the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen.

More information about Infochat:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 October 2015 08:58
More effective ticket inspections reduced fare dodging Print E-mail


In 2013, about 2.7 per cent of public transport passengers were caught fare dodging while in 2012 the figure was about 3.2 per cent. The highest numbers of fare dodgers were found on commuter trains, trams and the Metro. Helsinki Region Transport HSL is responsible for ticket inspections on the HSL area public transport services and on long-distance trains across the country.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 May 2014 10:39
Sharing data for better services in Helsinki Print E-mail

Eurocities recently published a case study on the Helsinki Metropolitan Area’s open data platform, Helsinki Region Infoshare.
Sharing data with citizens can lead to better public services, greater transparency and closer links between a local government and its citizens.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 May 2014 10:38
Time to go skiing! Print E-mail

Kivikko ski hall opens 21 September 2013. About 800 m of tracks. Read more

Last Updated on Friday, 16 May 2014 10:38
Virka Info speaks also Estonian - Virka Info teenindab nüüd ka eesti keeles Print E-mail

From the beginning of August 2013 Virka Info speaks and provides its services also in Estonian. 


Last Updated on Friday, 14 March 2014 09:24
Virka Info speaks also Persia and Dari Print E-mail

Virka Info speaks also Persia and DariSince the beginning of May 2013 Virka Info provides its services also in Dari and Persia. 

Last Updated on Friday, 14 March 2014 09:27
Arrival of an EU citizen to Helsinki Print E-mail

Are you an EU citizen who has moved from abroad to City of Helsinki, Espoo or Vantaa? Are you planning to stay in Finland more than three months?From the enclosed brochure you will find information of different authorities you have to visit. The brochure gives you advice on what types of documents you need to take with you when you deal with the authorities.

The information is verified by the authorities. Here is the guide for you - Arrival of an EU citizen to Helsinki (pdf)

Last Updated on Friday, 24 May 2013 10:46
Virka Info speaks now also Chinese! Print E-mail


Happy new year! In year 2012 Virka Info also speaks Chinese.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 May 2013 10:15
Fingerprints is needed for applying residence permits Print E-mail

From 1 January 2012, Finland has started use biometric residence permit cards.

Last Updated on Monday, 04 March 2013 14:05
Blue Card’ residence permit for highly qualified third country nationals can be applied now! Print E-mail

Finland adopts the EU ‘Blue Card’ residence permit from 1 January 2012, which intended for highly qualified third country nationals.

More information please visit Finnish Immigration Service web page.

Last Updated on Monday, 04 March 2013 14:04


Opening hours Mon-Fri 9-19, Sat-Sun 10-16, free entry

Information service (09) 310 11 111 Mon-Thu 9-16, Fri 9-15

City Hall, Sofiankatu 1 / Pohjoisesplanadi 11-13, Helsinki

Site admin: City of Helsinki