Helsinki Christmas Markets

I’ve lost track of time. When I went to buy our Christmas tree yesterday I couldn’t figure out why it was on sale. And then I realised – there’s only one week till Christmas! A common complaint in NZ and Australia is that Christmas merchandise starts appearing in stores around October but I haven’t noticed that so much here, with things really kicking off just this month.


Helsinki Christmas Markets run from 8-21 December and over 100 colourful cabins have been set up in Senate Square. Nerea and I went down on a cool and crisp day to check them out.

IMG_4356One of the hardest things about the Baltic wind right now is having cold ears! The markets have piles of warm woollen mittens, hats and ear warmers to choose from.


You can see this mannequin is also sporting a knitted neck warmer. Plainer versions are really popular for children to stop cold air slipping down their jackets and are easily removed so they are not too hot once indoors.

IMG_4351There’s a range of food on offer – including the ubiquitous smoked salmon, pickled vegetables, pickled herring, berry jams and sauces.



You can also find reindeer pelts and sheepskins to warm up your home – or why not go the whole fox if that’s your thing?


Finnish baking is on offer, such as traditional ginger biscuits (piparkakut) as is glögi, Finnish mulled wine popular at Christmas.

IMG_4361 IMG_4358

There are also warm Kareljan piiraka and lihakeitto (meat soup) as well as pulled pork rolls and vegan burgers to be found.



If you are in Helsinki I recommend stopping by before the markets close in five days time!

And for anyone feeling even slightly grinchy I have included below what may just be the cheesiest photo I have ever taken.


7 thoughts on “Helsinki Christmas Markets

  1. Cheesy? Not to me! I drove a one-horse buggy for tourists some years ago in Victoria, BC and a few years before that, my husband and I ran the barn for a company that has large horse-drawn wagons pulled by two draught horses. Not to mention that even before that I owned a team of draught horses (Belgian gelding and a Percheron mare). Nope, not cheesy; just very nostalgia-producing . . . I’ve never gotten over my love of horses and horse-drawn buggies. If I had the chance, I’d be thee one sitting up front with the driver, begging for a chance to take the reins into my own hands . . . it’s worked before 🙂
    Thanks for another great post. I’ve passed on the link to your blog to my Finnish friend. She likes it, too.


    • How wonderful – they are beautiful horses aren’t they and there is something very romantic about a horse-drawn buggy. I had to put that white frame on to hide some light distortion which I think gave it the cheesy finish. The cart is actually from Sinebrychoff brewery and had kegs of beer on the back. Thanks for sharing the post and for sharing your memories, I loved reading them, Mel.


  2. Pingback: An Insider’s Guide to Helsinki | Hey Helsinki

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