I've said many a time that Helsinki is not a major city but a major village. And Eira is like a village inside a village. It combines a central location with exceptional peace and calm. Having the sea right before your eyes is not a bad thing either. One of the finest residential neighbourhoods in the world.
Eira is a small district of 1,000 inhabitants in southern Helsinki. It is known for its quaint villas, small apartment buildings, and narrow, winding streets. The charm of the neighbourhood is in the views of the sea, beautiful buildings and parks, and silence and tranquility.
In the late 19th century, the area was considered too distant to be a residential zone and plans were made to build an industrial park there. In time these were abandoned however and Eira was developed into an ideal model neighbourhood according to contemporary city-planning ideas. The name derives from the Eira Medical Centre in adjacent Ullanlinna, which carries the name of the Norse goddess of healing, Eir.
The parks in the area date back to the early 20th century and for that era, they represented significant urban green areas. Many enjoy taking a stroll in these parks, sitting on benches or on the grass and watching life go by. The geometrical shapes of the green square known as Engelinaukio add a soothing harmony to the 100-year-old art nouveau stone villas. The little park there overlooks the sea.
Located by the water, the Memorial for Seafarers and lives lost at sea is a shelter for summertime picnics and a spot to smell the salty sea wind in other seasons. In summer, ferries take day-trippers from Merisatamanranta to the nearby islands."