Helsinki…? IT’S ONLY THE CAPITAL OF FINLAND and it 100% should be your next winter destination. Having visited the capital two weeks back, I was completely blown away by how Christmassey it made me feel! So being the kind, loving girl I am I have compiled together 5 reasons why you should be hitting up Helsinki for a Christmas city break.
The capital is absolutely BOOMING with beautiful Christmas markets just waiting to be explored. St Thomas’ market, featuring 120 stalls selling ideal gifts for loved ones, was a favourite of ours. Handmade candles, chocolates, maps – all perfect to put under the Christmas tree. OR if you’re like me, just buy lots of treats for yourself 🙂 The whole area was decorated in fairy lights + Christmas trees…I kinda just wanted to burst into song with “IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMASSSS”. You could also sit in the warmth with furry blankets, taking in the scenery whilst relaxing.
Speaking of relaxing, whilst doing so you can tuck into a deliciously warm cup of Glögi for a measly €5. For €1 more you even get to keep a “Helsinki” cup as featured below – definitely worth it. Mulled wine at home just cannot compete. The drink is available as nonalcoholic, red wine OR even with the addition of a shot. Seeing as the weather in Helsinki doesn’t exactly resemble that of an Ozzie summer, this is perfect to warm you up whilst you sightsee!
WHO DOESN’T ASSOCIATE CHRISTMAS TIME WITH SNOW!? Well…you definitely should. Although it snowed during my visit, if you are to go later in December you are in for an absolute treat. It makes the Christmas markets that little bit better with snow covered roofs, footprints everywhere + if you’re lucky FALLING SNOW. Snow ball fight anyone?
You can also go skiing about 45 minutes outside of the capital if the snow is thick enough, although I’m told not to expect toooooo much from the area! Skiing is skiing though so if the chance is there, I would definitely check it out!
Christmas time can be so stressful. Last minute shopping, deadlines at work, all that partying – you just gotta relax! Where better to do so than a nice sauna? It is estimated that there are around 2 million saunas in Finland, with a population of around 5.3 million people…that’s a lot of saunas. Nearly all hotels offer a sauna experience, or you could opt for a local Finnish one.
I would always recommend getting to know the culture of the country which you are visiting, so please familiarise yourself with sauna etiquette before your trip. This can be found on the Visit Helsinki website:
The sun sets a lot earlier than I am used to in England during this time of the year + a great place to grab the early sunset is from the warmth of a sea pool! The Allas Sea Pool offers a great view of the harbour, perfect for when the sun is coming down. Think it’s too cold? No worries I gotcha covered. The fresh water pool rocks a temperature of around 27 degrees so you will be warm + cosy whilst surrounded by the Finnish air. The Sea pool is around 2 degrees, so jump in there first to get your chill on before going to relax in the fresh water. Supposedly this does your health wonders. For only €9 for an adult ticket, I would say this is a pretty sweet deal + a lovely addition to a winter’s city break. Oh + of course there’s a sauna there too.
If you’re feeling romantic, why not bring along a padlock to add to the lovelock bridge situated right next to the pools?