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Celebrating Helsinki Day – Birthday of the City of Helsinki


Last weekend Helsinki, the capital of Finland, turned into a huge festival for one day. This festival is called Helsinki Day (Helsinki-päivä), an annual celebration held on 12 June to celebrate the birthday of the city of Helsinki. The tradition was started in the late 1950s and ever since the festival has grown and become more popular year after year.Cathedral_SenateSquare_HelsinkiDuring Helsinki Day the city centre is packed with a wide variety of free events, outdoor concerts, guided tours, exhibitions, open houses, art and music performances, activities etc. organised by local companies, organisations, associations and residents. There is plenty to see and do and in every street corner and all citizens and visitors alike are on the move enjoying the day.

The festival day also includes formal events such as awarding noteworthy citizens with a Helsinki Medal by the city council. Traditionally the “Man of the city” (Stadin Kundi) and “Woman of the city” (Stadin Friidu) are selected.HelsinkiWe started our Helsinki Day by enjoying live music and entertainment at Esplanade Park in the city centre. Here we caught a glimpse of a giant soap bubble show. Esplanade Park is a classic place to hang out on a beautiful summer day, just chill out and watch people pass by. It was great to see how even trees were all dressed in red festival costumes, too.EsplanadePark_Helsinki_02EsplanadePark_Helsinki_03EsplanadePark_Helsinki_01I had never visited Helsinki City Hall before so on this special occasion we took the opportunity to visit the mayor’s office and the city hall balcony to take a look at the city from a completely new perspective.Helsinki_CityHallThe highlight of the day by far was a visit to Erottaja Rescue Station and Fire Museum situated in a historical red brick building completed in 1891 and originally functioned as Helsinki’s main fire station. It was extremely interesting to see the red huge fire engines in full equipment. We also got to climb the fire station tower. It was quite a climb, over 200 steps. I was not far from having a panic attack on the way up as I am totally afraid of heights. However, the beautiful views from the top over the rooftops of Helsinki were more than rewarding.ErottajaRescueStation_HelsinkiFireMuseum_HelsinkiHelsinki_02Helsinki_01Next we headed to Töölönlahti Bay just outside the city centre and visited 3 old wooden villas in the charming and leafy villa district of Linnunlaulu. Back in time this area flourished with a thriving villa community, but only parts of it remain today.ToolonlahtiBay_HelsinkiAt Villa Kivi, also a Writer’s House with studios and work spaces, we saw a photography exhibition and explored the cute little violet children’s playhouse next door.VillaKivi_HelsinkiPlayhouse_HelsinkiThe home gallery of an artist couple at Blue Villa was open to public for the day and we got to visit some of the beautiful historical interiors of the villa.SininenHuvila_BlueVilla_Helsinki_01SininenHuvila_BlueVilla_Helsinki_02Villa Eläintarha with a Bourgeois home exhibition dating back to the turn of the 19th and the 20th century was the most interesting of the villas. Three furnished rooms downstairs provided a glimpse of the atmosphere and life in the house more than a century ago. Today this villa also functions as a temporary residence for foreign artists.VillaElaintarha_helsinkiIn the garden of Villa Eläintarha we had a chance to eat like a bee. This was a food tasting event by an environmental artist. We tasted different types of honey from Finland and Portugal and also some sugar syrups that bees are fed with in the autumn and spring. What a sweet Sunday treat!HoneyTasting_Helsinki

Did you like this post? Read more about Helsinki:

9 New Places to Visit in Helsinki 2016

Helsinki: Secret Adventures in Kruunuvuori Ghost Town

Sunset Splendour in Helsinki

Helsinki: 6 Unique Summer Cafes

A Day Discovering Mancaves in Helsinki Design District

Fifty Shades of Autumn in Helsinki


Author: Piia | Ticket to Adventures

Captivating travel stories from around the world, near and far, by an experienced traveller and adventurer.

10 thoughts on “Celebrating Helsinki Day – Birthday of the City of Helsinki

  1. Pingback: Looking Back at Year 2016 on Ticket to Adventures | Ticket to Adventures

  2. Pingback: Helsinki: Traditional Midsummer Celebrations at Seurasaari Island | Ticket to Adventures

  3. Great pictures! Loved reading about Helsinki Day 😊


  4. Great views from the fire station! I missed Helsinki day this year as I was in Porvoo 😀


    • Oh yes, absolutely fantastic views, I wish it had been a clear day with no clouds, but what can you do. What a shame that you missed out Helsinki Day, it was good fun, but luckily there will be more of these in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful photos. I missed going out on Helsinki day. This Blue Villa interior looks so beautiful. I hope it’s open for public sometime again.


  6. Amazing photos!


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