The Christmas holidays are a great time to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and experience something new. If you’re looking for a festive holiday destination, Helsinki is the perfect place. Located in Finland, the country’s capital is a vibrant and festive city that is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.
From the twinkling fairy lights that adorn the city’s snow-covered streets to the Christmas markets that offer a wide variety of unique gifts and traditional foods, Helsinki is a city full of surprises during the festive season. Helsinki is a city full of surprises during the festive season. Read on to find out more below!
What to do in Helsinki at Christmas?
Helsinki is an ideal destination to visit at Christmas. Not only is it located in the heart of Europe, but it offers a unique Christmas experience that you won’t find anywhere else. With its stunning winter scenery, traditional Christmas markets and festive activities, Helsinki is the perfect place to get into the Christmas spirit.
Start your Christmas adventure by exploring the city’s best Christmas markets. Stockmann’s Christmas Market is a great place to shop for traditional Finnish decorations and gifts. Esplanadi Park, decorated for the holidays with ice sculptures, reindeer and other attractions, is also a must-see.
Senate Square, where the Helsinki Cathedral is located, is also a great place to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere. Here you will find a huge Christmas tree, a nativity scene and a Christmas carousel, as well as another Christmas market.
For those looking for outdoor activities, Helsinki offers many options during this time of year. Popular winter activities include ice skating, skiing and snow tubing.
For a unique experience, visit Linnanmäki, Finland’s oldest amusement park, for a festive ride on its ice slide and Christmas carousel. If you want to take in the breathtaking views of the city, you can take a winter sightseeing cruise around the city’s harbour.
As you can see, Helsinki has many attractions to explore during the Christmas season. From its traditional markets to its winter activities, there is something for everyone. Whether you come to explore the city’s Christmas spirit or simply enjoy the winter scenery, you’ll find plenty of reasons to love Helsinki during the festive season.
Christmas markets in Helsinki
In Helsinki you will find several Christmas markets scattered around the city. All of them offer traditional Christmas treats and unique handmade gifts, and we’ll introduce you to them all below. Here is a list of them all. Which ones will you visit?
The Helsinki Christmas Market, located in Senate Square, is one of the city’s most popular Christmas attractions. This traditional market has more than 70 vendors selling handmade crafts, traditional Finnish food and Christmas decorations. There is also a wide variety of hot drinks and festive treats to enjoy. The atmosphere is festive and the market buzzes with live music and carols.
The Ateneum Christmas Market is another popular place for Christmas shopping. This market is located in the courtyard of the Ateneum Art Museum, and features more than 60 vendors selling handmade gifts, art and local food and drink. Live music and cultural performances make this market an enjoyable and unique experience. Visitors can also take a break from shopping and enjoy the museum’s art galleries.
Overall, Helsinki is a great destination for Christmas market lovers looking for unique gifts, festive atmosphere and cultural experiences. Whether you are looking for traditional Finnish crafts or modern art, Helsinki’s Christmas markets have something to offer.
Helsinki hosts many high-profile Christmas concerts in the country. The most important of these is the annual Christmas Concert at the Helsinki Music Centre. This concert brings together some of the city’s best musicians and orchestras to perform a variety of Christmas carols and classical pieces. The performance culminates in a grand finale of a traditional Christmas song. The atmosphere is always festive and the audience is usually packed with people of all ages.
The other major Christmas concert in Helsinki is the annual Helsinki University Symphony Orchestra Christmas Concert. This concert is held in the main hall of the university’s music building and features some of Finland’s finest classical music. The audience is usually packed with students, professors and music lovers, who enjoy the performance of the talented Finnish musicians.
Some carol concerts are also held in the city’s churches and concert halls. These are open to the public, so you can attend any of them. All you have to do is find a church where one of these carol concerts is being held.
Christmas Sauna in Helsinki
During the Christmas season, numerous public saunas open in the centre of Helsinki. These saunas are a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, who come to relax and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
As we told you in our article on Finnish Christmas traditions, the sauna is not missing from any local celebration. The Christmas sauna is meant to relax and cleanse you before the Christmas Eve celebrations begin. It is also common to organise such get-togethers with family and friends in the weeks leading up to the start of Christmas.
Some of the public saunas where you can enjoy a Christmas sauna are Kotiharju sauna in the Kallio district, Löyly, the cultural sauna Kulttuurisauna and the Uusi sauna in Jätkäsaari. All of them are open all day and offer a wide range of services, such as massages, steam baths and special holiday-themed treatments.
Lucia Parade: St. Lucia’s Day in Helsinki
The Lucia Parade is a much-loved tradition in Helsinki, held every year on 13 December. The parade is a celebration of light during the dark winter months, and is a time of joy and celebration for all who attend.
The parade begins with a procession of children dressed in white and holding candles. They are led by a girl dressed in white as the “Lucia”, or the “Queen of Light”. She is followed by a children’s choir singing the traditional carol of Lucia. The procession continues with other performers, such as marching bands, dancers and other artists. The parade culminates with the appearance of Father Christmas, who hands out presents to the children.
The Lucia Parade is a unique celebration that attracts people from all over the city and beyond. People of all ages come to witness the festivities, and the atmosphere is always full of joy and excitement.
The parade is a beautiful way to enjoy the winter season and get into the Christmas spirit. It is a time of celebration and a reminder of the beauty of the season, even on the darkest of days.
Christmas light shows
The streets of Helsinki are transformed into a winter wonderland every year during the Christmas season. The city is known for its eye-catching Christmas lights, which adorn streets and public spaces throughout the city. During the festive season, it is not uncommon to find entire city blocks lit up with twinkling Christmas lights. From the main shopping streets to residential areas, Helsinki is illuminated in a variety of festive colours.
Christmas lights are an icon of Helsinki’s winter landscape and add an extra sparkle to the city. Whether you’re strolling along the cobbled streets of the Old Town or taking a leisurely stroll through the parks and gardens, the Christmas lights will get you in the festive spirit. It’s also a great way to admire Helsinki’s architecture, as the lights highlight the unique designs of the city’s buildings.
If you want to enjoy the city’s Christmas lights, we recommend heading to the city centre’s shopping streets, especially Alekanterinkatu Street, to enjoy the light show and Christmas-themed shop windows. Esplanadi Park is also home to an abundance of Christmas decorations.
If you are thinking of travelling to Helsinki and enjoy Christmas in the capital of Finland and have any questions, we invite you to leave your question in the comments section of this article. We also invite you to share this article with your friends and family using the icons below.