It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Helsinki! The city centre is beautifully illuminated with seasonal lights and Christmas Markets opened their doors on the weekend.Already a couple of weeks ago I took a head start to the Christmas season exploring Copenhagen’s atmospheric Christmas Markets and admiring Copenhagen’s festive city lights and decorations. So I was getting a bit anxious waiting for to arrive in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, too, but now I am a happy person again as Christmas is full on in Helsinki.Yesterday I spent the day in the city centre soaking up Christmas spirit at the many atmospheric Christmas markets and wandering the streets of Helsinki to get into the full Christmas mood.
Manta Christmas Market
I started my day at Manta Christmas Market (Mantan joulumarkkinat) (26 Nov 2016–8 Dec 2017), which is a newbie in town with some 30 red little stalls selling traditional Finnish bakery products, home-made juices, flowers, handicrafts, jewellery and other gift items at Havis Amanda Square at the far end of the Esplanade Park right next to Helsinki Market Square. Location: Manta Christmas Market, Havis Amanda Square, 00130 Helsinki
Helsinki Christmas Market
Then I continued to Helsinki Christmas Market (Tuomaan markkinat) (3–22 Dec 2016) at Senate Square, in the very heart of the city. This is a perfect place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the busy season, soak up some Christmas spirit and indulge in delicacies.
At Helsinki Christmas Market the atmosphere is very magical with hundreds of charming stalls in pastel colours, a huge Christmas tree in the middle of the square, plenty of atmospheric seasonal lights, and a traditional carousel. Here the best thing of all is the magnificent view of the white striking Helsinki Cathedral standing up high on top of the hill, together with the yellow imposing neo-classical buildings designed by Carl Ludvig Engel lining the square on three sides. Location: Helsinki Christmas Market, Senate Square, Aleksanterinkatu, 00170 Helsinki
TRE Christmas Market
At the historical WTC bank hall on Aleksanterinkatu in the very centre of the city I found TRE Christmas Market (24 Nov–24 Dec 2016) that brings together design products by over 100 Finnish design companies under one roof. This is definitely the right place to find true local design gems. Location: TRE Christmas Market, Aleksanterinkatu 17, 00100 Helsinki
Helsinki Christmas World
The highlight of my day was Helsinki Christmas World (Joulumaailma) (3–23 Dec 2016, 27 Dec 2016–7 Jan 2017), an atmospheric Christmas market in traditional style with plenty of festive lights. This is where I bumped into Santa Claus and whispered my special Christmas wishes in his ear. I also enjoyed some roasted chestnuts and mulled wine to warm up. Location: Helsinki Christmas World, Mannerheimintie 3, 00100 Helsinki A couple of weeks ago I went to Korjaamo Christmas Market held at Korjaamo Culture Factory. They had plenty of interesting Finnish design products, jewels, books, cards and interior products. On the upcoming weekend (10–11 Dec) they will host a Christmas market again.I am also going to visit other Christmas events and markets such as Kaapelin Joulu Christmas Event famous for products from hundreds of artisans, designers and craftsmen as well as the Christmas Market at Old Student House (Vanhan Joulutori), which is great for unique handicrafts and Christmas delicacies.It was such a cold day yesterday, temperatures around -10 degrees Celsius. Even though I was well dressed with plenty of layers I was so happy to get back home after a very nice day in the city, take a long hot shower, put on my wooly socks and enjoy a cup of peppermint tea all tuned into the Christmas mood.
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