Although the capital of Finland, Helsinki has a very Russian facade as it was rebuilt by the tsars of Russia in 1812 along the lines of a miniature St. Petersburg (a role it has played in many a Cold War movie). While summer is definitely the ideal time to visit this Finnish city when Finns peel off their fur coats and flock to outdoor spaces to enjoy sunshine at the many outdoor bars and cafes. Because this city gets so bitterly cold in the dark winter months, summer is definitely the best time to visit this city, when you can enjoy the beautiful nature without freezing your ass off. Since Helsinki is a modestly sized large city (there about a half million residents), there are plenty of choices (but not an overwhelming amount), when you are trying to find a cheap hotel in Helsinki.
There are quite a few budget hotels in Helsinki, the cheapest being youth hostels. Many student dormitories turn into youth hostels during the July-August school break, which happily coincides with peak season for tourists. The Finnish Youth Hostel Association can provide further information. If you want to stay in a hostel versus a cheap hotel in Helsinki.
While it may cost you a little more to stay near the city center in Helsinki, spending the extra dough is well worth the benefits of being based in a convenient location. If you are looking for a reliably clean and simply hotel, you may want to stick with the Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka, which is walking distance from the city center and is actually houses in an old prison (though, don’t worry, the rooms retain no trace of their past function).
The Hotel Finn, which is a small hotel with less than 30 rooms, is a clean, simple hotel with affordable prices located close to the train station. The Scandic Continental Helsinki is a great hotel that has affordable prices while offering guests more amenities (sauna, exercise facilities, breakfast) while still being within walking distance of city center. The Helka hotel is also located within walking distance of the city center and is dependable, comfortable place to stay.