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 Christmas 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 Helsinki 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) (18 Nov 2017–9 Jan 2018), 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.
Helsinki Christmas Market
Then I continued to Helsinki Christmas Market (Tuomaan markkinat) (2–22 Dec 2017) 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.
TRE Christmas Market
At the historical WTC bank hall on Aleksanterinkatu Street in the very centre of the city I found TRE Christmas Market (15 Nov–23 Dec 2017) 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.
Helsinki Christmas World
The highlight of my day was Helsinki Christmas World (Joulumaailma) (26 Nov 2017–6 Jan 2018) by the Three Smiths Statue (Kolmen sepän patsas) outside Stockmann department store, an atmospheric Christmas market in traditional style with plenty of festive lights. This is where I bumped into Father Christmas and whispered my special Christmas wishes in his ear. I also enjoyed some roasted chestnuts and mulled wine to warm up.
Korjaamo Christmas Market
Korjaamo Christmas Market (25–26 Nov 2017) is another attractive Christmas market that should not be missed in Helsinki. It is held at Korjaamo Culture Factory and they have plenty of interesting Finnish design products, jewels, books, cards and interior products.
Other Christmas Markets
There are plentiful Christmas markets and events in Helsinki during the festive season. Women’s Christmas Fair (6–10 Dec 2017) is famous for the abundance of products from hundreds of artisans, designers and Finnish handicraft companies. The stalls at Old Student House’s Christmas Market (Vanhan Joulutori) (15–22 Dec 2017) in turn are filled with unique handicrafts and Christmas delicacies.It may get cold this time of the year with temperatures well below zero degrees Celsius, so it is a good idea to dress warm with plenty of layers and enjoy hot drinks while tuning into the holiday spirit in the city.
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