Helsinki Christmas Market

Helsinki Christmas Market

Beneath the snowy steps of the city’s great white cathedral sits Senate Square, the location for Helsinki’s Christmas Market (locally known as “Tuomaan Markkinat”). This year the market runs from 1st December to 22nd December 2023.

Helsinki Cathedral and the Christmas tree at Helsinki Christmas Market.
Looking up at Helsinki Cathedral.
Helsinki Cathedral from Senate Square.
Helsinki Cathedral from Senate Square.

Helsinki Christmas Market is the oldest outdoor market in Helsinki. I was excited to see that it wasn’t a replica of the stale “European” Christmas markets found in UK cities these days. There are over 100 stalls selling a wide range of goods, mainly by Finnish creators.

Stalls at Helsinki Christmas Market.
Stalls at Helsinki Christmas Market.

Stalls at Helsinki Christmas Market.

Not only can you buy wonderful gifts, but you can also watch some craftspeople at work. My favourite, the glassblower, was busy doing demonstrations when I was there on the first evening of the market. It was a joy to watch. Sadly, I didn’t buy any glass as I was afraid of how I would manage to get it home in one piece! The blacksmith was also giving demonstrations, but I wasn’t lucky enough to catch him at work, though the forge was glowing.

The glassblower at Helsinki Christmas Market.
The glassblower at Helsinki Christmas Market.

As well as knitted goods, jewellery, toys, wooden crafts, printed goods, Christmas decorations and much, much more, there are also many food stalls, and these seem to be the busiest. From hot chocolate and Glögi to hot chestnuts and pastries, there is plenty of food & drink to choose from.

Food stalls at Helsinki Christmas Market.

An old-fashioned merry-go-round takes children and the young-at-heart on a gentle spin, and if you’re lucky you might find Santa Claus at the market!

The merry-go-round at Helsinki Christmas Market.
The merry-go-round at Helsinki Christmas Market.
Santa Claus sat in a chair at the Christmas market.
Santa Claus.

Contemplating visiting the Helsinki Christmas Market? Don’t forget to wrap up warm! Temperatures ranged between -7°C and -13°C during my visit, and the wind chill can make it feel even colder. As with most Christmas Markets, Helsinki Christmas Market can get very busy, especially at weekends and in the evenings, so keep this in mind if you’re visiting.

I really enjoyed my visit to Helsinki Christmas Market and would love to go again.

Do you have a favourite Christmas market?


  1. tomthebackroadstraveller says:

    … I love seeing European Christmas Markets and the Helsinki market look so festive. Thanks Nikki for taking my along to see the sights. I wish you a Merry Christmas. ☃️ ❄️

  2. Wow! I know a lady who would absolutely love this, Nikki. She’s been to most of the European Christmas markets, and went back to Krakow this year, in search of snow and mulled wine. I imagine you’d need the latter to keep your hands warm. No matter how festive and pretty, I can’t really be persuaded, though another friend went to Copenhagen and loved it. Scandinavia is horribly expensive too, but I can see how you would have a brilliant time there. All the very best to you, now and in the year ahead.

    • Nikki says:

      I found Helsinki on a par with London, price-wise (although I think Helsinki’s hotels are cheaper). I was wrapped up well with my new coat, boots, hat & gloves!

  3. Kelly says:

    I’ve been waiting for this post ever since you had some photos on Instagram! It looks so COLD there! I wonder if the temperature has much affect on glassblowing? I would have enjoyed watching that and the blacksmith at work. I love a merry-go-round. 🙂

  4. Ann says:

    I’m not much of a fan of Christmas market, perhaps because ours are as stale as those in the UK. The one in Helsinki sounds lovely and of course the snow must have contributed to the Christmas spirit. What a experience that must have been for you Nikki! xxx

  5. Melodie says:

    This is a nice Christmas market. My partner spent a year in Helsinki as part of Erasmus student programme. It was 10 years ago now and I went a couple of days to explore the city. It is a nice one a bit cold though ☺️.

  6. Dave Ply says:

    Having snow gives this Christmas market more credibility. But it looks cold! (We’re going to have visitors from Helsinki shortly after Christmas. Maybe they’re looking for warmer weather too. 😉 )

  7. Kris P says:

    Lovely city scenes, Nikki! There’s nothing akin to Christmas markets in my part of the world. There used to be more craft shows, usually in the summer/fall time periods, but sadly even those seem to have faded away. I used to buy a lot of advance Christmas presents at them.

  8. Beverley says:

    The Christmas market in Helsinki looks a wonderful place to visit. The cathedral in the background looks stunning. Thank you for sharing your photos of a memorable trip.
    Take care and sending Christmas good wishes to you x

  9. I like the lit up cathedral in the background of your photos, it looks beautiful. I’m not really a lover of Christmas markets, we have one in the main square of my home town but it’s always very crowded and the Manchester ones are even worse so I just don’t go.

  10. Ju-Lyn says:

    As I view your stunning images from a rather muggy Singapore morning, I am envious of the snowy Christmas you are enjoying. As expected, our Christmas fairs & markets are warm although still festive in their own way.

  11. lisl says:

    It looks nicely spaced out, and very welcoming int he snow. Here in Bath there is a very popular Christmas Market, but the crowds make it difficult to enjoy in a confined space

  12. Ginnie Hart says:

    Believe it or not, Nikki, Astrid and I just took my son Mark to the Christmas markets in Cologne, Germany, this past Thursday. It wasn’t as cold as yours but it was misty and therefore “water cold,” as the Dutch call it. It’s not my favorite Christmas-market place (I like Düsseldorf better) but it was very special for my son (age 48) to see, because it was his first. I’ve noticed that European Christmas markets are having more and more drinking stalls over the years. Have you seen that as well?

    • Nikki says:

      I hope you enjoyed your trip. I have yet to visit Germany, but I would like to visit one day. Yes, many of the Christmas markets now seem to have more and more drinking stalls these days.

  13. Catherine says:

    Lovely post. Christmas markets are such fun places to visit and the covering of snow adds to the ambience. I’m not too sure I’d cope the those temperatures though!

  14. Karalee says:

    I love going to Christmas markets, and Helsinki’s Christmas market looks amazing! Last weekend I went to the Christmas market in Roskilde, and there were a lot of handmade goods and Danish shops as well as æbleskiver and gløgg!

  15. This is a PROPER Christmas market – especially with the snow. Looks fantastic, Nikki. We have the Bath Christmas Market down here, but I do prefer the look of the Helsinki one, much more authentic.

  16. jeanie says:

    We really don’t have Christmas markets here — at least not in any cities I know. And I wish we did. I’ve always longed to go to one in Germany — but I have a feeling this one might be even better. It looks terrific and the setting couldn’t be more lovely! Merry Christmas, Nikki — and thanks for your visits to my blog!

  17. That’s such a majestic setting. I love that the vendors each have their own little house to stay warm in while they create and share their items to be purchased. The first thing I thought was, it looks cold there. Wise bundled-up shoppers like yourself make it look super cozy though. Thank you for sharing!

  18. Jo says:

    What a beautiful setting and it sets the scene for Christmas so well with the snow on the ground. I think it would be too cold for me though, I hunker down for the winter months here and it’s nowhere near as cold, haha.

  19. Astrid says:

    What a unique place to visit for the Christmas Market. SNOW…. that alone makes it feel Christmassy, if you know what I mean. Ginnie and I saw some wonderful Christmas markets, a special one is in Valkenburg, Netherlands. It is all in “marl caves”. It looks like you had a wonderful experience there. What a memory to make.
    Merry Christmas to you and for the next year, all the best, good health and wonderful travels to come.

  20. Peter B. says:

    What a wonderful market. Interesting to see the little roofed sheds. I was wondering how the vendors stayed warm. Our outdoor markets are all open-air. Helsinki looks beautiful. Have a very Merry Christmas!

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