Helsinki in winter, here's what to do in the coldest season in the capital of Finland. Activities not to be missed, places to see and everything you need to know to visit Helsinki even in January.
Helsinki in winter is a fascinating city. It does not matter that the hours of light are few and that the temperatures are frequently below freezing. Indeed, perhaps these characteristics make it even more enigmatic.
It cannot be said to be the most beautiful city I have ever seen, but it is certainly well organized, clean and functional. Besides, it's a seaside town, and I always have a weakness for seaside resorts. Although in this case it is a icy north sea. When the sun sets, around 3 in the afternoon, the city is enveloped by artificial lights, which reflecting on the snow create a fairytale atmosphere.
What to do in Helsinki in winter
Here are some tips to better enjoy Helsinki in winter and enjoy its atmosphere to the fullest.
Stroll along the snow-white streets
Helsinki in winter is almost always white with snow, which usually falls around Christmas time.
Strolling along its snow-covered streets is undoubtedly impressive, as is the port area, where icebreakers are in action at sea. In fact, due to the low temperatures, the water tends to freeze.
Under Christmas walks for Aleksanterinkatu, the shopping street, which is filled with lights and is the perfect place to buy Christmas gifts.
Ice skating is a popular activity during the winter in Helsinki.
In the station square, an ice skating rink is set up before Christmas. Frequented by tourists and residents, it is the ideal place to spend a few hours outdoors with friends.
And don't worry about the cold: physical activity warms up.
Drink the typical glogi
If you visit Helsinki in winter, you will certainly be offered the glogi, typical Finnish mulled wine.
Based on wine, spices and raisins, or in a non-alcoholic version, it is the perfect drink to warm up cold days.
Take a hike to Nuuksio National Park
If you want to experience the Lappish atmosphere without straying too far from Helsinki, you could opt for an excursion of a few hours to the Nuuksio National Park.
It is located just half an hour from the capital and is a protected area where you can meet reindeer and try snow activities among the white forests of pine and birch.
Warm up in a public sauna
In Helsinki, the sauna is a real institution. To experience what it's like to be a Finnish, head to the public saunas.
I recommend a beautiful structure, overlooking the sea, and where in addition to various types of saunas, there is also an excellent restaurant. Is called "Loyly". You will recognize it immediately thanks to its very special design ...
Here you can spend the day or even just a few hours to warm up from the freezing temperatures of Helsinki in winter.
St Thomas Christmas Market
If you happen to spend Christmas in Helsinki, don't miss the St Thomas Christmas market.
More than a hundred stalls that sell everything and will immediately immerse you in the atmosphere of Finnish Christmas.