Moments of calm
Activities hosted by Helsinki parishes
Cemeteries extend visiting hours
Helsinki residents are currently visiting cemeteries more than during previous Christmas seasons. As a result, cemeteries have extending their visiting hours. Cemetery gates will be open 24 hours a day starting on 22 December and remain open through Epiphany on 7 January 2021. Cemetaries in Helsinki will likely be very crowded on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as it is customary to put candles on graves of departed loved ones. For this reason, the city recommends that people try to visit the cemetery on less crowded days. Visitors to the cemetaries are requested to observe the traffic rules and signposts about extraordinary traffic arrangements. See more information on Helsinki cemeteries during Christmas time (in Finnish).
Nativity scenes on display
This year’s Christmas nativity scenes in the Helsinki adhere to the topical theme ‘Kaukaa katsoen – lähelle päästäen’ (Viewed from afar – experienced up close). The nativity scene viewing route for the creches in the city centre, as well as information on other Christmas nativity scenes in the city, can be found on the website ww,jouluseimet.fi.
Outdoor Christmas trails with activities
The parishes of Helsinki are offering activity-oriented Christmas trails that people can visit at their leisure to explore what the holidays are all about. They also offer an opportunity to share in Christmas traditions, carols and the seasonal atmosphere in a safe outdoor environment. Please observe safe distances and hygiene guidelines while using the trails. In addition to this, light installations and Christmas light arrangements will be set up in church yards and churches. A comprehensive list of the trails and Christmas light arrangements can be found on the parish websites (in Finnish).
Churches will be open
Kamppi Chapel will be open for quiet reflection and discussion daily 8–18, with the following exceptions: 24 December 8–13 and 25–27 December12–16. Workers from the church and the City of Helsinki Department of Social Services and Health Care will be available during the opening hours. They are available for discussion support without an appointment, anonymously and regardless of your municipality of residence 365 days a year.
The city as a treasure trove: Go for a hike or a leisurely walk in nature
Nature provides us all with gentle care, which is why it is a wonderful benefit that natural environments are so close by in Helsinki. Nothing reinvigorates the mind and body quite like time spent in the outdoors. So dress warm and go for a walk and to bring some colour to those cheeks!
Accessible nature experiences in the Helsinki region
Nature in the Helsinki area provides amazing experiences for everyone, including those with impaired mobility. The MyHelsinki website presents seven accessible nature trails that are suitable for disabled persons and those who wish to bring their children along in a pram, for example.
Green Hears is a Helsinki Urban Environment Division website that showcases wonderful walks in the diverse and delightful parks of the Finnish capital. Visit local parks and fall in love! https://vihreatsylit.fi/en/
Outdoor recreation areas
The natural environments, expansive parks and forest areas in the immediate vicinity of the city are freely available to everyone for a variety of recreational activities. The expansive Central Park runs northward through the very heart of Helsinki. In addition to this, the city owns some 5,000 hectares of natural areas suitable for recreation in nearby municipalities.
New and old neighbourhoods
Helsinki is changing at a rapid pace, and sometimes the city’s diversity can surprise even long-time locals. New districts spring up and old areas transform with time, as new layers are added to cityscapes and vistas. In the urban environment, an outdoor activity such as an architectural tour can serve as a replacement for a walk in the woods or other natural environments. Aesthetic experiences – experiences of something beautiful or otherwise visually appealing – can also support our well-being. In terms of architecture, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and everyone has an opinion. Where do you think the most beautiful or interesting vistas in Helsinki can be found?
The dark time of the year and low temperatures provide an excellent opportunity to explore the calm and peaceful side of Helsinki. Among the glistening Christmas cities of the world, the Finnish capital can be equated to an urban retreat that provides an energy boost and the opportunity to wind down through sauna bathing, nature and traditions both old and new. Read more about events in the 2020 holiday season on the City of Helsinki website.