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Table of Contents
- Christmas Markets in Finland
- The Best Christmas Markets in Helsinki
- Other Christmas Activities in Helsinki
- Keep in Mind 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 really popular. Germany is perhaps one the best place to enjoy them with tasty German mulled wine. Luckily, it is possible to experience Christmas markets in Finland too, but to be honest, the markets here are not as big as in Germany. Combined with other events, Finland is still an excellent option to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere.
There are a few things good to know before entering Christmas Markets in Finland: the weather may be cold and the price level is more expensive than in many other European countries. The markets itself are free but buying souvenirs and eating costs.
The Best Christmas Markets in Helsinki
Helsinki International Christmas Market
We are sorry to say, but Helsinki International Christmas Market 2019 is cancelled. It was planned to happen from Nov 23th to December 22th. Its idea was to have sellers from 17 countries to introduce delicious food and handicraft in Lasipalatsi Square. Unfortunately, this market will stay closed in 2019.
Tuomaan Markkinat can be considered as the main Christmas market in Helsinki and also one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. It will be located outside on the Senate's Square just front of the iconic Helsinki Cathedral. The location is excellent for photographing. The market will be open from Dec 6th to Dec 22th.
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 market will be open from Tuesdays to Fridays from 11am to 8pm and on Saturdays and Sundays it will open an hour earlier. The market is closed on Mondays.
Helsinki Cathedral is easy to find. After reaching the centre, just ask advice from local people.
Korjaamo Christmas Market
Korjaamo Christmas Market is an inside market open only for one weekend from Nov 30th to Dec 1st (11am to 5pm). Entering the market is free. It will be a great place to find sustainable Finnish design products and and gifts for you loved ones. The market is quite commercial but still nice to visit.
There will also be a bar and kitchen open.
Use Google Maps to find Korjaamo. It can be reached from the centre in a few minutes by a tram.
Vanhan joulutori is another inside Christmas Market. It will be located 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 walking from the central railway station.
Other Christmas Activities in Helsinki
Aleksanterinkatu is the Christmas Street of Helsinki. The street is meant only for pedestrians and trams and it will be decorated with Christmas 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 open on Nov 25th.
Skating in the Center
If you have never skated before, you can try it in the middle of the town just next to the Central Railway Station. There is Helsinki Ice Park where you can rent skates and try skating on artificial ice. Skating is possible even if the temperature raised over 0 degrees.
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 kilometers, it will end most likely to the market square. Following the parade is naturally free.
Celebrating Saint Lucia is especially popular in Sweden.
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. These markets are also more authentic events.
The best way to find private Christmas markets is to use Google. The websites may not be in English so we recommend you to use the keyword joulumyyjäiset.
Santa Claus lives in Rovaniemi, Finland. Unfortunately, not every child can visit him but getting a letter is still possible. Order a personalised letter or postcard from Santa Letter.
Keep in Mind 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 unneeded shopping.
Remember to buy Glögi with you. Hot glögi is the best to have when it's cold. The best place to buy a bottle of Glögi is to visit Government's own alcohol store Alko. Don't buy bad quality versions from supermarkets.
Helsinki is a LGBT friendly city. We recommend you to see our Helsinki Pride article for LGBT related information.
Weather in Helsinki in December
Helsinki is a coastal city and snow arrives usually quite 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 about 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 would say low on 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.
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 how the winter is here like. Helsinki is a lively city and there will be much to see in addition to Christmas markets. Even though, it will be cold, you can always warm up yourself in a sauna.
We recommend you to visit Helsinki during the Christmas time. Despite of the weather, the atmosphere is warm. The sun sets early but events and Christmas lights keeps the city still bright.
After Helsinki, continuing to Tallinn is a great option. Christmas markets are cheaper and Tallinn has also a fascinating Old Town that you wont't find in Helsinki.
See our tips, how to book a ferry to Tallinn.
Where is you favourite Christmas market? Comment below.