Visit Finland shares tips for discovering wonderful Christmas markets in Finland.
Helsinki Christmas Market
Located in Senate Square is the oldest and most popular Christmas market in the capital. Helsinki Cathedral, designed by Carl Ludwig Engel and completed in 1852, overlooks the scene, and on December 13th, the newly crowned St. Lucia descends the cathedral’s stairs.
Helsinki Christmas Market has more than one hundred stalls offering a potpourri of beautifully-crafted gifts and Christmas ornaments, as well as locally-grown produce, fish, meat and prepared foods. Santa Claus pays daily visits and an old-fashioned merry-go-round spins in the square’s centre, offering free rides for children and a dose of nostalgia for adults.
Visit Helsinki Christmas market’s website at Tuomaanmarkkinat.fi.
Porvoo Christmas market
Just over half an hour outside Helsinki, the small medieval city of Porvoo holds a charming holiday market that will make you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. Perfectly-preserved wooden houses and riverside huts dress up for the occasion and cobblestone streets are strung with lights. And when it snows, Porvoo truly becomes a winter wonderland.
Christmas in Porvoo officially begins with a ceremony in Old Market Square at the end of November, and there are festivities all throughout December. One is the traditional Christmas market in Old Town Hall Square, where vendors dressed in old-time costumes sell regional crafts and food items.
Read more about Christmas in Porvoo at Visitporvoo.fi.
Turku Christmas market
Finland’s oldest and third-largest city, Turku, sits on the southwest coast, just a two-hour train ride from Helsinki. Situated at the mouth of the scenic Aura River, the original town was settled in the 13th century and has been kicking off the Christmas season with a traditional Declaration of Christmas Peace since its inception.
here’s also a giant spruce tree lit up at Turku Cathedral, and the city’s official Christmas street, Yliopistonkatu, is adorned with garlands and light. The main Christmas Market is open on weekends the month before Christmas and has two locations: one in Old Great Square and another in Market Square. While the Old Great Square location is a family-oriented affair with food, concerts, Christmas characters and a boisterous feel, the one at Market Square is a smaller, more intimate event featuring high-quality products.
Visit Turku.fi for more information about Christmas in Turku.
Tampere Christmas markets
Tampere, Finland’s second largest city, is located in the southwest in Lakeland. During the holiday season, Tampere’s Christmas market in Central Square has a decidedly artistic vibe, but it offers much more than just arts, crafts and specialty foods. Held throughout December, this festival also provides plenty of entertainment, including concerts, theatre performances, glass blowing and forging demonstrations, and of course, daily visits from Santa Claus.
Another beautiful Christmas Market can be found at Stable Yards, a historic and idyllic shopping yard in the Finlayson factory area. In addition to its permanent arts and crafts shops and ambient café, Stable Yards sets up a lively market and small petting zoo during the holidays.
Read more about the Tampere Christmas Market at Tampereenjoulutori.fi.
Article by: Visit Finland
Photo: Ants Vahter / Visit Porvoo