I have lived in Töölö for more than three decades. I love the area's functionalist architecture and the continuous presence of art, literature, and music. Taka-Töölö starts at the Hesperianpuisto park in close proximity to the museums and services of the inner downtown area, yet hides inside it a world of its own. Many artists and authors from Tove Jansson to Mika Waltari have inspired this area, and been inspired by it. One secret I can reveal is the Kirpilä Art Collection housed in a Töölö apartment, as well as several top-quality Japanese restaurants. I even refer to Taka-Töölö as Helsinki's Little Tokyo.
Taka-Töölö is a district on the western side of the downtown area with plenty of green space. The prefix means 'Outer', as opposed to the adjacent Etu-Töölö meaning ‘Inner Töölö’ (or, more literally: Back-Töölö and Front-Töölö). The whole area of Taka-Töölö includes 36 hectares of parks and 15 hectares of forest area. The neighbourhood is home to around 15,000 inhabitants and offers plenty of options for sports and recreation.
A significant part of Töölö is comprised of highly uniform 1930s apartment buildings. The district has always been a residential area with normal housing and also villas. Taka-Töölö also used to have several industrial plants.
The largest of the numerous parks is Eläintarha Park, which includes the Winter Garden on its south side. Near the sea, Sibelius Park is a visitor favourite largely on account of the Sibelius Monument found there: a landmark sculpture with its steel pipes welded into an iconic wave-like form. A short walk away is Rajasaari, an island allocated for dogs and dog-walkers which also offers a good view of the Prime Minister's residency Kesäranta.
In addition to parks, Taka-Töölö has plentiful sports facilities. The Helsinki Olympic Stadium has been called the most beautiful in the world. Other sporting venues in the area include the summertime paradise Swimming Stadium, the Eläintarha Sports Park, the Töölö Rowing Stadium with its rowing clubs, and the functionalist Töölö Sports Hall, which offers plenty of indoor sports. Cultural delights are also on offer: the Finnish National Opera and Ballet is situated by the water on Töölönlahti Bay.