Magical Christmas season has arrived in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, and the city is filled with plenty of opportunities to capture Christmas spirit and meet Santa Claus in person.
While other people spend their time shopping for Christmas presents at busy Helsinki city centre shopping centres, department stores and boutiques, I prefer taking an easy stroll around in the city admiring the beauty of Helsinki’s Christmas lights and soaking up Christmas spirit at the numerous Christmas markets, fairs and festivals offering unique gift ideas, locally made products and seasonal treats.
St. Thomas Christmas Market (Tuomaan markkinat) (4–22 Dec 2015) at Senate Square, in the very heart of the city, is my absolute favourite. The location and surroundings are so beautiful that you will most definitely fall in love with the place in the blink of an eye. Charming stalls in pastel colours, a huge Christmas tree in the middle of the square, plenty of atmospheric lights, a traditional carousel, and the best of all: a magnificent view of the white striking Helsinki Cathedral standing up high on top of the hill, and the yellow historical government and university buildings lining the square on three sides. You will not find a more perfect setting for a Christmas market anywhere in Helsinki!
Location: Senate Square, Aleksanterinkatu
At the other end of Street Aleksanterinkatu, opposite to Stockmann department store, by the Three Smiths statue and the Old Student House, you will find Christmas World (Joulumaailma) (28 Oct–23 Dec, 27 Dec–6 Jan), an atmospheric Christmas market in traditional style. Here you can buy homemade delicacies and traditional handicrafts, and even meet Santa Claus in person and whisper your special Christmas wishes in his ear.
Location: Mannerheimintie 3
The Old Student House Christmas Market (Vanhan Joulutori) (15–23 Dec 2015) offers a very traditional side of Finnish handicrafts such as woollen socks, hats and mittens, jewellery, accessories, hand-made soaps and candles as well as a good variety of local food products and pastries.
Location: Old Student House, Mannerheimintie 3
Cable Factory’s Traditional Christmas Festival (Kaapelin Joulu) (11–20 Dec 2015) introduces locally hand-made products from over 100 artisans, designers and craftsmen. In addition to the Christmas market you can also attend workshops and enjoy activities such as pony riding and dance classes.
Location: Cable Factory, Tallberginkatu 1
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