How is it that Finland is not a more popular destination for us Swedes? So close, but often so forgotten. Helsinki is one of our closest capitals, but we still go to Berlin or Copenhagen more often. A weekend at Christmas time, Helsinki also offers more Christmas coziness and Santa factor than both Berlin and Copenhagen combined. When Stockholm is rainy and gray, Helsinki is often covered in snow and the Christmas lights twinkle in the dark to the music of the costumed star boys singing in the streets and cafes. We've found some Christmas favorites that will keep us coming back. Are these some of your favorites too?
1. The Thomas market
Below the great white judgment in Helsinki you will find throughout December Tomasmarknaden, the city's largest Christmas market. Here you will find lots of fine crafts and edible treats, I myself found the most amazing knitted mittens when I visited the market last time. A nice Christmas present for myself which is used extensively.
2. Karl Fazer cafe
For me, Fazer is associated with Christmas. Every year we buy packages of Fazermint and Marianne (preferably the blue one with caramel in it!) and eat until we freeze. The very first The Karl Fazer café opened on Glogatan in Helsinki at the end of the 19th century and the café still exists today in the same premises. Push your way through all the people, eat a bulging shrimp sandwich and finish with a mousse cake and chocolate shopping. There is a lot of good stuff here!
3. Moomin shop
An entire store filled with Moomin, it's almost a notch better than an entire store with Harry Potter! On Moomin shop is it hard not to buy something. Clothes, toys and gadgets of all kinds – most of them are available with the Moomin. My favorite from here is an angel game with Moomin and his friends that we bring out here at home every Christmas. If you miss buying something in the shops in the city, you can always do your last shopping at the airport.
4. Licorice shopping
There is no candy as good as licorice. And there is no country in the world that is as good at licorice as Finland. You don't even need a specialty store, it's enough to go into the nearest grocery store to find 20 bags of licorice like you've never seen before. Simply shop til you drop.
5. Stockmann's signage
Every Christmas I usually go past NK in Stockholm and look at the Christmas signage. In Helsinki you do the same thing, but then you go to Stockmann instead of NK. Stockmann may not have as extravagant shop windows as, for example, Liberty in London, but it is very sweet, lovely and cosy. Surely it is too lovely to see all the twinkling children's eyes fantasizing into the fairy tale world of the shop window and dreaming of Christmas Eve?
6. Mulled wine
Do you like mulled wine? Then you will definitely like mulled wine. The difference between glögg and glögi? It could be imagination, but I would probably say that mulled wine is usually not as sweet as mulled wine and that it usually feels a little stronger than mulled wine. Glögi can be found at the Christmas markets, but a tip is to buy a bottle home with you for Christmas Eve. There are many brands and flavors here that you have never seen at home in Sweden.
7. The sales hall Kauppahalli
At the southern harbor in a fine old house is the market hall kauppahalli since the end of the 19th century. There are plenty of local delicacies here, but if you tire of the sauna-cured ham, you can also indulge in both Vietnamese food and treats from the Middle East.
8. Classic Kappeli
In a house that almost looks like an antique greenhouse, is located Kappeli café and restaurant. Classic menu and maybe even a little expensive, but the glass palace is in a perfect location when you, as a tourist, move around the streets in the center. High cozy factor during Christmas!
Have you been here? What did you think of the destination?
Travel blogger, gastronaut, photographer and family adventurer with over 55 countries in his luggage. Eva loves trips that include beautiful nature, hiking boots and well-cooked food. On the travel blog Rucksack she takes you to all corners of the world with the help of her inspiring pictures and texts.