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Table of Contents
- Helsinki Pride 2020
- Helsinki in September
- LGBT Atmosphere in Finland
- Pride Events
- First Time to Helsinki?
- Saving Tips for Budget Pride Visitors
- Bottom Line
Helsinki Pride 2020
Unfortunately, Helsinki Pride 2020 won't take place as usual in June, after the famous Midsummer celebrations as planned but the event was postponed. The new schedule is from September 7th to 13th. That time, it is still moderately warm in Helsinki. The event is becoming more and more popular every year. For example, over 100,000 people attended the Helsinki Pride last year. While Finland is well-known for respecting gender equality, this makes Helsinki Pride an attractive event especially for the LGBT community across the globe.
In this article, we summarize Helsinki Pride 2020 information and we also give tips for foreign travellers from Helsinki locals' point of view.
Helsinki Pride 2020 is a full week event starting on Monday, September 7th and ending on Sunday, September 13, 2020. The main celebration and the Pride Parade will be on Saturday, September 12, 2020. There will be program every day and parties every night during the Helsinki Pride week.
Helsinki Pride's Theme
This year, the theme of Helsinki Pride is the role models. Who have inspired us and who have made us to feel that we are not alone? Helsinki Pride 2020 will celebrate people who have walked the difficult path first, those who use their position to lift others, and those who help the LGBT community to continue amidst difficult situations.
A role model is often a good leader who has executed exemplary performance for the benefit of others. Such a role model is not necessarily a single person but it can be an organisation. This topic will be discussed in many events during Helsinki Pride 2020.
The Venue and Virtual Pride Parade
There is no main venue for Helsinki Pride but events happen in different locations around the Helsinki Centre. Helsinki's downtown is small so walking from a place to another is recommended. If the weather happens to be rainy, Helsinki's well-working public transportation network makes moving easier.
The main celebration will be held on Saturday, 12th September in the Restaurant Maxine located in the downtown of Helsinki. This year, there won't be one common Pride Parade because the public gathering restrictions are still valid in Finland. The celebration will follow a hybrid model. Independent celebration groups can connect virtually at the noon on 12th September. Read more on the official website of Helsinki Pride 2020.
Helsinki in September
Unexceptionally, Helsinki Pride 2020 will be in September and not in June as it was planned before. That may raise a question: How is Helsinki's weather in September?
The summer in Helsinki ends officially in late August but the weather is still moderately warm in September. Visitors may expect day temperatures around 15 degrees and nights won't be cold. Days are getting shorter but the nature is still blooming. Like in the summer, it may rain or be sunny. Natural waters are already too cold for swimming outdoors like in lakes but visiting one of Helsinki's heated outdoor pools is a great replacement.
A good thing is that when the summer travel season is ending, hotel prices are getting cheaper. Travelling with a smaller budget is possible in September. Especially in this summer, the hotels in Helsinki are cheap. Helsinki would have been slightly more beautiful in June but visiting the capital in September is still a rewarding experience.
LGBT Atmosphere in Finland
LGBTQ atmosphere in Finland is liberal. The gender equality has developed far and LGBTQ members are widely accepted by the Finnish society. For example, gay people can marry each other. And just in April 20, 2020 LGBTQ organisation Sateenkaariperheet ry ("Rainbow families") announced that gay couples ( one male and one female couple) had each successfully adopted infants for the first time in Finland. Both couples are from Helsinki.
Is Helsinki a Safe Destination?
Helsinki is generally a safe city but still you need to be careful. There have been many pickpocketing incidents especially in Helsinki Centre during summer time. You should also avoid walking alone through dark parks because violent crimes may happen even though they are not common. Traffic culture in Helsinki is safe so driving a car or using public transport is safe.
The most important thing is that you can trust the police if something unpleasant happens. They are genuinely ready to assist you. Call to emergency number 112 as you need. Being a part of LGBTQ community does not increase significantly your risk level to be involved in hate crimes while in Finland.
What about Covid19?
The pandemic is in control in Finland. At the end of August, the infection rate was still low. However, the situation may change fast. There are also some border restricitions set by the goverment. That is why we recommend making final plans just a few days before the event week. Visit Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare to confirm the pandemic status in Finland and check if you are allowed to enter Finland from Finnish Border Guard.
There will be many events during the Pride Week..
Virtual Pride Parade
The Pride Parade will be virtual this year. Read more here.
Daily Program and Parties
The full program is available on the official website.
Where to Buy Tickets?
A ticket to the main party costs 17,50 euros if bought in advance and 15 euros at the door. A ticket can be bought online on Ticketmaster.
First Time to Helsinki?
You may be visiting Helsinki for the very first time. Summer is the best time to enjoy Nordic capitals when the days are long and the weather is warm. Helsinki is still a lively destination during early autumn so why not to spend the whole week here.
The easiest way to arrive in Helsinki is to fly. Helsinki Airport is 18 kilometres from the Helsinki centre. It is also possible to arrive to Helsinki by a ferry from Tallinn, Stockholm or St. Petersburg. We recommend you to read our Helsinki Stopover Guide to get practical information about Helsinki.
Public Transport in Helsinki
Helsinki area's public transport system has been divided to zones A, B,C and D. You must select at least two different zones for a ticket. The zones AB are enough for the whole Helsinki but Helsinki Airport is located inside the zone C. In other words, from the airport to the city centre you will need a ticket for zones ABC. A single ticket for the said zones costs 4.10€.
The same public transport ticket is valid for buses, trams, local trains and Suomenlinna ferry. Public transport tickets are not valid for long-distance trains even though they may stop in many Helsinki area stations. Be sure to take a commuter train (marked with a single letter) if you have a zone ticket. Single tickets are valid 90 minutes after the validation and when the ticket expires you can still finish your on-going journey. The penalty for travelling without a validated ticket is 80 euros. Ticket inspections happen but they are not common.
On buses, you need always to validate the ticket or show it to the driver. In other transportation methods, it is not necessary.
It is recommended to wear a facemask inside public transport vehicles.
Only thing what we recommend is to download HSL App to buy public transport tickets. The app is really handy and functional with its recent updates. After downloading the app, just provide your basic personal information and your payment card and then you are ready to buy your ticket/s. You should purchase day ticket (1-7 days) depending on your needs as is it cheaper than buying single tickets many times. Mobile roaming in the EU area is cheap but if you have a non-EU SIM in your phone, you may buy a local prepaid SIM Card for example from R-kioski. One of them is located inside Helsinki Airport's Terminal 2 on the arrival floor. Don't expect tickets to be sold inside public transport carriers.
We recommend you to read our Helsinki Airport Taxi Guide. It describes not only Helsinki Airport's taxi connections but information about taxis apps in Helsinki. Unfortunately, riding with a taxi is not cheap but with the right app you can save money.
Taxi prices are not regulated in Finland, so choosing a wrong taxi may bring you a huge bill.
This year, there is a lot of free capacity in Helsinki's hotels. Staying in a hotel in Helsinki centre does not take you to a bankcrupt.
We recommend you to compare hotel prices on HotelsCombined. It is one of the best tools to find affordable hotel deals.
Saving Tips for Budget Pride Visitors
Maybe you are hesitating whether to visit Helsinki Pride because of high costs? To save money, we give you a few useful tips. Flying to Helsinki is not always the cheapest option. It is also possible to fly to Turku and Tampere and take a bus or a train ride to Helsinki. There are low-cost flights to Turku from Kutaisi, Kaunas, Skopje, Gdansk, Krakow and Warsaw by Wizz Air and to Tampere from Bremen and Budapest by Ryanair. Ryanair flies also from Vienna to Helsinki.
Due to the pandemic, many routes are temporarily suspended now.
In Helsinki, staying in Airbnb is also an option. But if you prefer cheaper hotels, try looking for a hotel in Leppävaara, Otaniemi, Tikkurila or Airport region. These areas are connected with a fast rail connection to Helsinki centre. There are also hostels in Helsinki.
The best way to save is to cook yourself. Restaurants in Helsinki are pricey. Having an Airbnb with cooking facilities is a wise choice.
Helsinki is a lively and safe city. The weather is not always the nicest so expect anything between cold rain and warm sunshine. As all Nordic countries, the price level in Helsinki is high compared to many other European countries, but price levels in Helsinki is still lower than its neighboring Scandinavian capitals. We recommend you to plan your Helsinki Pride visit early to save some money. May to September is absolutely the best time to visit Helsinki!
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