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Table of Contents
- Christmas Markets in Finland
- Best Christmas Markets in Helsinki
- Other Christmas Activities in Helsinki
- Good to Know in Helsinki
- Weather in Helsinki in December
- Should I Visit Helsinki Christmas Markets?
- Bottom Line
Christmas Markets in Finland
Christmas markets in German speaking countries are an old tradition. Germany is perhaps the number one place to enjoy Christmas markets with tasty mulled wine. Luckily, it is possible to experience Christmas atmosphere in Finland too, but to be honest, the markets here in Finland are not as large as in bigger capitals. Combined with other events, Finland is still an excellent option to enjoy the Christmas time.
There are a few things good to know before stepping onto Christmas markets in Finland: The weather may be cold and the price level is more expensive than in many other European countries. Alcohol laws, like in every Nordic country, are strict so there are designated areas to enjoy alcoholic drinks. The markets itself are free but buying souvenirs and eating costs.
Best Christmas Markets in Helsinki
Tuomaan Markkinat is often called as the main Christmas market in Helsinki and it is also one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. Traditionally, it has been on the Senate's Square just front of the iconic Helsinki Cathedral. In the year 2021, the event will happen a few hundred metres away on the Market Square. The location is still excellent for photographing since all the main sights are near. Helsinki Christmas Market will be open from Nov 27 to Dec 22.
In this market, you will find local food and snacks from outdoor stalls. Finnish handicraft and souvenirs can be bought. And naturally, you can taste Nordic version of mulled wine called Glögi. Glögi is a hot spicy alcoholic drink just like mulled wine. However, the taste is stronger.
Entering Tuomaan markkinat is free. The opening hours have not been decided yet. In the earlier years, the market has been open from Tuesdays to Fridays from 11am to 8pm and on Saturdays and Sundays, it has opened an hour earlier. The market has been closed on Mondays.
Helsinki Market Square is easy to find. After reaching the centre, just ask advice from local people.
Vanhan joulutori is an inside Christmas Market. It is arranged inside the Old Student House and seeing the building itself is a good reason to visit the market. Entering the market is naturally free.
There will be two floors full of the best Finnish design products and handicraft. While shopping, remember to have a coffee or a drink in Cafe Vanha.
The Old Student House is only a few minutes walk away from the central railway station.
Helsinki International Christmas Market
A few years ago, there was Helsinki International Christmas Market in Helsinki. According to our research, it will not be arranged in 2021.
Would you like to have a letter from Santa? Why not order a personalised letter, video message or call from Santa Letter Direct.
Private Christmas Markets
Many schools and small organisations are arranging their own small Christmas markets. These are less commercial and money is often collected for school projects or similar things.
The best way to find private Christmas markets is to use Google. The websites may not be in English so we recommend searching them with the keyword joulumyyjäiset.
Other Christmas Activities in Helsinki
Aleksanterinkatu is the Christmas Street of Helsinki. The street is meant only for pedestrians and trams so the athmosphere is relaxed. The Christmas street will be decorated with white lights. Luckily, the street is also heated so there will be no ice or snow.
Aleksanterinkatu Christmas Street is a nice place to have a slow walk, do some shopping and eat in cosy restaurants. Stockmann is a big department store whose windows will be decorated with a Christmas theme.
The Christmas Street will be opened in the late November.
Ice Skating in Helsinki
If you have never skated before, you can try ice skating in multiple locations around the town. Check the locations of traditional and artificial skating rinks on Helsinki website. Even though the temperature may rise over 0 centigrade in December, artificial skating rinks will still stay open.
We recommend heading to Brahe sports field artificial ice rink in Kallio district. Skates, helmets and hockey sticks are available for rent there. Make your skating even more enjoyable by buying warm juice and hot chocolate.
There may ice skating rink, called Helsinki Ice Park, also next to the main railway station. It is still unclear if it will be open in the season 2021 - 2022.
Lucia Day's Parade
Every year a young maiden is chosen to represent Lucia on Dec 13th. The parade will start from Helsinki Cathedral and after a few kilometres, it will end most likely to the market square. Following the parade is naturally free.
Celebrating Saint Lucia is especially popular in Sweden.
Good to Know in Helsinki
There are a few minor things we would like to emphasize.
Alcohol in Finland is expensive. The alcohol laws are also strict and you are not allowed to take alcohol drinks out from the Christmas market's dedicated areas. If you are used to German markets, the rules in Finland may feel strict.
Helsinki is also an expensive city. Christmas related things are pricey. Concentrate more on the feeling than doing unnecessary shopping.
Remember to buy Glögi. Hot glögi is the best to be enjoyed outside when it's cold. The recommended way to buy a souvenir bottle of Glögi is to visit Government's own alcohol store, Alko. Don't buy bad quality versions from supermarkets.
Where to Stay?
Majority of the travellers in the winter season stay only a few days in Helsinki. That is why it is advised to stay close to the city centre. We picked up our favourite hotels.
Sokos Hotel Vaakuna is a 4-star Finnish hotel above Sokos department store. The location is perfect and the hotel has a nice restaurant on the top.
Radisson Blu Aleksanteri Hotel is a 4-star hotel and well-located near the events. Radisson Blu chain is a safe choice if you are looking for the quality.
Glo Hotel Kluuvi is a 4-star modern and trendy hotel close to the Market Square. If you are looking for a short walk to the Christmas Market, this hotel is yours.
Hotel Kämp is maybe the best hotel in Helsinki. People who prefer 5-star accommodation, this hotel is the best choice.
See all hotels in Helsinki on Booking.com.
Weather in Helsinki in December
Helsinki is a coastal city and snow arrives usually late. It is more probable that there will be no snow in December yet. However, the weather is unpredictable. If you are lucky, the snow has already arrived in December. In some cases, it may also be freezing cold but normally the temperature is around 0 degree in December.
One thing is sure. The days are short and there is no much daylight. The sun rises at 9am and sets at 3pm. That does not mean that you will see the sun because it is usually cloudy and in every case, the sun will stay low in the horizon.
If you are looking for snowy Christmas markets, we advice you to fly to Rovaniemi, the home of Santa Claus. In Lapland, it is common to have much snow already in December. Seeing Northern Lights is possible there too.
Wishing to have a letter from Santa? Order one from Santa Letter Direct.
Should I Visit Helsinki Christmas Markets?
We would not say that you should come to Finland only to see Christmas markets. But we advice you to come to Finland to see the Finnish winter. Helsinki is a lively city and there are much to see in addition to Christmas markets. Even though, it is cold in December, you can always warm up yourself in a sauna.
We recommend visiting Helsinki during the Christmas time. Despite of the weather, the atmosphere is warm. The sun sets early but events and Christmas lights keep the city still bright.
After Helsinki, continuing to Tallinn Christmas Market is a great choice. Christmas markets are cheaper and Tallinn has also a fascinating Old Town that you wont't find in Helsinki.
Read our advice how to book a ferry to Tallinn.
Where is you favourite Christmas market? Comment below.
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Tips For Your Next Journey...
Book hotels from a reliable booking site
It is wise to book hotels on a reliable booking site. We recommend European booking.com that has good booking conditions, excellent customer service and offers the best prices.
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Don´t miss unforgettable activities and tours
Whether you are travelling near or far, make your trips more memorable by attending organized activities and tours. On GetYourGuide, you will easily find after sought sight seeings and tours at your destination.