Christmastime in Helsinki

Glitz, discoveries and adventures - Helsinki at Christmas brings many choices of events.

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Christmas takes over Helsinki

Get in the mood for Christmas

  • The traditional Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu will be lit during the “Christmas Street” opening ceremony on November xx. A parade – led, of course, by Santa Claus himself – will pass through the downtown area.
  • Saint Lucia Day isn’t an official holiday, but it’s celebrated throughout Finland on December 13th. Each year, an official Saint Lucia is crowned, and she’ll lead a parade of Santa’s elves, horses and vintage cars through downtown Helsinki.
  • You can listen to Christmas songs in churches around Helsinki.

Flavors and gifts from Christmas markets

Holidays in Finland would not be complete without Christmas markets. December in Helsinki brings a number of places to visit to experience this traditional activity.

  • Tuomaan markkinat, a traditional Christmas market, fills Senate Square with delicacies, gifts and restaurants during December. You can sip traditional Finnish glögi (mulled wine) while you take in the spectacular evening lights of the Helsinki Cathedral.
  • Right in the heart of Helsinki on Kolmen sepän aukio and Kaivopiha, there will be a Christmas market during December. In addition to festive products and tasty treats, you’ll get to meet Santa and a host of fantasy figures.
  • In the traditional Women’s Christmas market (Naisten joulumessut) in Wanha Satama, you can buy handicrafts and seasonal delicacies made by Finnish women. The market will be held during December.
  • If you are into Scandinavian design, Christmas is a great time to visit. In the beautiful Vanha Ylioppilastalo, there will be a variety of local artisans and designers selling their goods during December.
  • You can also get your design shopping on in Kaapelitehdas, which also hosts a variety of museums and events. Ornamo Design’s Christmas sale will be held during December.
  • In the Kaapelin joulu event, you can meet Finnish artisans during December and there will even be workshops and programmes for children.

Christmas activities for kids

Kids will enjoy the Lasten Joulurieha in Narinkkatori, next to the Kamppi Shopping Centre. There will be shows, fun activities and a winter carnival for those who are willing to brave the cold.

At Haltiala farm, located just a few kilometres from the centre, you will be able to pet sheep, cows and other furry friends.

Another family-friendly Christmastime tradition is the Joulupolku, or Christmas path. There will be one on the grounds of the Herttoniemi mansion, the coast of Vuosaari and the popular Seurasaari island, a place worthy of visiting in itself, will have a Joulupolku on December 10.12.