All The Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter

All The Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter

If you’re visiting the Finnish capital in the colder months, here’s our list of the ultimate things to do in Helsinki in winter.

All The Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter

Jump To:
Senate Square – Helsinki Cathedral
Walk The City Streets
Visit A Sauna
Library Oodi
Fazer Cafe
Sibelius Monument In Sibelius Park
Cafe Regatta
Esplanade Park
Christmas Markets
Old Market Hall
Lux Helsinki
Ice Skating
Eat Local
Where To Stay In Helsinki

Senate Square – Helsinki Cathedral

The most recognisable monument in Helsinki and the top destination for most tourists visiting the city.

Senate Square and its surroundings make up the oldest part of central Helsinki.

With Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace and many beautiful restaurants surrounding the square, these landmarks and famous buildings are one of the top things to do in Helsinki in winter.

Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter - Senate Square Helsinki Cathedral

Helsinki Cathedral is one of the top tourist attractions at any time of the year

Walk The City Streets

From Senate Square, why not take a walk around the beautifully lit streets of Helsinki in winter.

The town is decorated with Christmas lights from late November, and they make for some of the prettiest streets we’ve seen in Europe.

If Alexander Street is lit up, Helsinkians know that the Christmas season has begun.

Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter - alexander street helsinki Christmas lights

Walking the magical streets is one of the top things to do in Helsinki in winter

Visit A Sauna

Sauna’s are a huge part of Finnish culture. So if this isn’t on your things to do in Helsinki in winter list, you must have missed the memo.

With plenty around the city to choose from (Allas Sea Pool and Löyly being the most popular) we can’t recommend them enough! Easily our most memorable experience was jumping into the 24 degree outdoor pool with temperatures around reaching the minuses.

Fun Fact: There are five million inhabitants and over three million saunas in Finland – an average of one per household.

Click HERE for our full Allas Sea Pool Helsinki blog, including prices and opening times.

Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter - Allas Sea Pool Helsinki Sauna

Take a dip in Allas Sea Pool if you want to get a real feel for Helsinki


Another of the most popular attractions for both tourists and locals are the Helsinki museums.

From the quirky exhibitions at Amos Rex, to the Atheneum art museum, the Finns love their art. Finnish design and visual arts have been moulded into their culture since the 19th century.

Click HERE for the Best Museums In Helsinki – Our Top 3 blog.

Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter - Ateneum Museum Helsinki Museums

Ateneum is the most well known museum in the city but there are plenty of others

Library Oodi

Recently opened is the new Helsinki Central Library or Library Oodi as it’s better known.

On 5th December 2018 it opened its doors to the public and acts as a living room or work hub for locals and tourists in the capital. The 3 floor meeting place is located right in the heart of Helsinki. So if you’re getting a little cold from the weather, is the perfect place to warm up.

Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter - Helsinki Library Oodi

The brand new Library Oodi

Fazer Cafe

Ok, so if you haven’t heard of Fazer chocolate before you arrive in Helsinki, we guarantee you’ll be addicted by the time you leave!

From the air hostesses handing them out on the plane, to the hotel rooms leaving them on the tables, Fazer is everywhere.

Founded in 1891, the Fazer Cafe located on Kluuvikatu 3 is the flagship for Fazer’s chocolate empire. We strongly suggest stopping by for some warm bread and soup and of course collecting something sweet to take away!

Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter - Fazer Cafe Helsinki Chocolate

Fazer Cafe – the home of Helsinki chocolate

Sibelius Monument In Sibelius Park

This unusual shaped monument, located in Sibelius Park, consists of more than 600 hollow steel pipes welded together in a wave-like pattern.

The Sibelius Monument is dedicated to the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. And although it’s a little walk outside of the main city centre, it’s a definite option when looking for things to do in Helsinki in winter.

If snow has fallen already then Sibelius Park is beautiful.

Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter - Sibelius Monument Helsinki Sibelius Park

We had to snap a quick photo in front of the Sibelius Monument before the tour buses arrived

Cafe Regatta

Just outside of Sibelius Park stands one of the hottest cafes on Instagram right now.

Cafe Regatta is the cosiest of cosy when it comes to lakeside cafes. Stood alone and surrounded by snow, this tiny red wooden cabin stands out in a great way.

Run by a local family, be sure to pop in and grab a cinnamon scroll and hot chocolate. Or you could even pop outside and cook some sausages if you’re brave enough!

Click HERE for our full Cafe Regatta Helsinki – The Worlds Cosiest Cafe blog.

Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter - Cafe Regatta Helsinki

Cafe Regatta – Our favourite of the things to do in Helsinki in winter

Esplanade Park

Even the grinch could walk through here and feel Christmassy!

One of our favourite things to do in Helsinki in winter was to walk through the Esplanade Park in awe of the decorations.

The Esplanadi, as it’s known locally, is just a five minute walk from start to finish and links downtown Helsinki to the Market Square.

Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter - Esplanade Park Helsinki Esplanadi

Take a steady stroll down Esplanade Park whilst in the capital

Christmas Markets

If you’re looking for things to do in Helsinki in winter then Christmas time must be close!

At the end of Esplanade Park you’ll find the cutest little Christmas Markets with a fire pit in the middle.

The difference with this Christmas Market is that rather than the usual stools and stands laid out, there are actual cabins! Cabins that you can go inside and have a seat with a hot drink to warm up from the freezing temperatures outside.

Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter - Helsinki Christmas Market

Warm up in the cabins at the Christmas markets…

Old Market Hall

The Old Market Hall has served up customers since 1889.

You can find everything inside from cheese to shellfish, vegetables to fruits and cakes to spices. With a mixture of traditional takeaway market stalls and sit down cafes this is an ideal spot to plan lunch at.

If your looking for a place to rest and warm up during your things to do in Helsinki in winter trail, this is ideal. Also the locals are super friendly!

Click HERE for our Old Market Hall Helsinki – All The Visiting Info blog.

Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter - Old Market Hall Helsinki Market

…or at the traditional Old Market Hall

Lux Helsinki

If you happen to find yourself in Helsinki at the same time as LUX Helsinki, you simply must go!

LUX Helsinki is a light show that trails around the city centre and brings in artists from around the world. The event is free of charge to people of all ages and a diverse light festival that presents both new and old Helsinki. Landmarks are lit up, lanterns are hung and crowds gather to walk the streets and take in the beauty surrounding the capital.

In 2019 LUX Helsinki was held from Saturday 5th – Wednesday 9th January and the light installations were be displayed between 5pm and 10pm.

Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter - LUX Helsinki Finlandia Hall

LUX Helsinki definitely makes for a memorable event

Ice Skating

How can we not include the ice rink in our things to do in Helsinki in winter list!

Every year the Helsinki Icepark is set up in the heart of Helsinki, next door to the central railway station and opposite the Ateneum Museum.

Entrance is €6 per adult and €3 per child (under 18) and its a magical way to spend a couple of hours in the city. Also, it’s a great way of keeping warm.

Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter - Ice Skating Helsinki Icepark

Charlie was too scared to put the skates on

Eat Local

One thing we always try to do when we visit a new place is eat locally.

We were fortunate enough to be granted access to many of the best restaurants in Helsinki, our favourite though being Savotta.

Offering genuine Finnish food and atmosphere, with a view across to Senate Square and the famous Helsinki Cathedral, it was a perfectly romantic way to end our trip to Finland.

Oh and also don’t forget to try the typical Karjalanpiirakka on your journey through Helsinki!

Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter - Restaurant Savotta Helsinki

A beautiful way to end our top things to do in Helsinki in winter

Where To Stay In Helsinki

Luxury – Hotel Kämp – Hotel Kämp is housed in a beautiful 19th-century building, opposite the Esplenade Park in the heart of Helsinki. Guests enjoy free access to the Kämp Spa which offers a traditional Finnish sauna, steam bath and a spa lounge. Soothing massages, body scrubs and facials are also available.

Mid-Budget – Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel – Featuring the Plaza Restaurant, this historical hotel from 1917 is next to Kaisaniemi Park, 150 yards from Helsinki Central Station. It also offers free fitness centre access and modern air-conditioned rooms with WiFi.

Budget – Eurohostel – Located on Helsinki’s Katajanokka island, this hostel is a 5-minute tramride from the city centre. Kauppatori Market Square is 10 minutes‘ walk away. It offers guest kitchens, free WiFi and a free morning sauna.

For other places to stay in Helsinki you can check the latest prices here.


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Trip sponsored by My Helsinki


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