Helsinki’s major music hall, Helsinki Music Centre, was opened in 2011. It is the focal point of Helsinki’s music life in the heart of the city in the Töölönlahti (Töölö Bay) area. The main users of the centre are the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sibelius Academy music university.
Finlandia Hall (1971, 1975), designed by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, is a unique venue for congresses and events. The Hall was Helsinki’s primary concert hall before the opening of Helsinki Music Centre.
The Opera House is home to the Finnish National Opera.
The old Helsinki opera house, Alexander Theatre, is an elegant 19th century venue for music, dance and theatre.
Kulttuuritalo (House of Culture, 1958), also designed by Alvar Aalto, hosts concerts, congresses, galas and various events.
The City of Helsinki Cultural Office operates 10 venues for cultural activities including cultural centres. They host activities from exhibitions to concerts and other performances. Among them, Savoy Theatre is a city-centre stage for guest performances by domestic and foreign artists, mainly focusing on world music. The Espa Stage is a summer venue in the Esplanade Park for music and other performances.
Many vibrant and dynamic cultural centres operate in former industrial buildings. Among them, Kaapelitehdas (Cable Factory) offers vast facilities – 53,000 square metres in all – for concerts, fairs, exhibitions and festivals; stages for contemporary dance, children’s theatre, circus and improvisation; three museums and thirteen halls for events; as well as studios for numerous artists. Visitors amount to some half a million per year.
Suvilahti is a cultural centre operating in a former power plant. Early 20th century buildings have been turned into cultural facilities – a total of 12,500 square metres of space for rent.
The Korjaamo culture factory provides venues for theatre, visual arts, popular music, events and clubs in former tram repair shops.
Hartwall Areena is a major multi-use venue for ice hockey, figure skating and other sports, opera, popular music concerts, shows, conferences and events. The hall seats up to 15,000.
Helsinki Ice Hall serves a similar function to Hartwall Areena in an older facility that can seat up to 10,000 people.
The Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre is the largest fair and convention venue in Finland. It attracts yearly over a million visitors to trade fairs, conferences, banquets, concerts, training sessions, meetings and other events.
Other major venues for conventions in Helsinki and the area include the Paasitorni congress centre, Scandic Marina Congress Center in the South Harbour area, and Dipoli Congress Centre in the science and technology campus of Aalto University.