Numerous urban tourists and cruise guests from abroad will visit Helsinki during the Midsummer weekend. To the delight of holidaymakers and others spending Midsummer in Helsinki, the streets of the city will not fall silent, but the white summer night will abound in events. The website Visithelsinki.fi offers lots of tips for celebrating Midsummer in the Finnish capital. In the Midsummer section of the website you can also check the opening hours of the various attractions and look for your own favourite.
Tips and brochures are also available at the tourist information points. The main shop at Pohjoisesplanadi 19 is open on Midsummer’s Eve and Midsummer’s Day between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Helsinki Help tourist advisers will tour the streets of the city and be at your service in the info container on the Market Square throughout the Midsummer holidays.
Traditional atmosphere and bonfires at Seurasaari
The Midsummer celebrations at Seurasaari begin on Midsummer’s Eve 20 June at 4 p.m. The festivities will continue all the way until one o’clock in the morning. Midsummer bonfires have been lit on Seurasaari for sixty years and the celebrations will this year have a nostalgic touch focusing especially on the youngest visitors. For the children there is maypole decoration, a Midsummer poetry workshop and a puppet show. The children’s music orchestra Ammuu will also perform on the island.
Besides the bonfires of different provinces the programme at Seurasaari includes Finnish folk dances, musical performances, maypole raising and horse carriage rides. The impressive main bonfire, renewed in honour of the jubilee year, will be lit by the Midsummer wedding couple from a Kyrösjärvi lake church boat with ten rowlocks. To end the night, folk musicians will invite you to dance.
Tickets to the Midsummer’s Eve celebrations at Seurasaari cost 20 euros, and admission is free of charge for children under the age of 15. The easiest way to get to Seurasaari is by bus 24 from the city centre. Additional services will run on Midsummer’s Eve.
Maritime pleasures on Midsummer cruises and in Pihlajasaari
You can also admire the Midsummer bonfires from the sea by boarding a cruise boat departing from the Market Square. Some of the dinner cruises are bonfire cruises that take you to the bonfires at Seurasaari and Kaunissaari in Sipoo east of Helsinki.
The bonfire at Pihlajasaari will be lit at 9 p.m. on Midsummer’s Eve. The seaside terrace at the restaurant will serve food and refreshments that can be enjoyed to the accompaniment of dance music. The restaurant kitchen will be open until 6 p.m. on Midsummer’s Eve, whereafter the grill on the seaside terrace will be kept hot until 11 p.m. The restaurant will be open until 1:30 a.m., and the last ferry back to the mainland departs at 1:45 a.m. On Midsummer’s Day the restaurant will be open normally from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
To get to Pihlajasaari, take the ferry from Merisatamanranta or Ruoholahti. Return tickets cost 3.50–6 euros.
Dances are part of the urban Midsummer
We Love Helsinki organises traditional Midsummer dances three nights in a row. Midsummer is celebrated with Finnish popular and classic hits from Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 June in the Restaurant Kuudes linja and at Club Kaiku.
Midsummer dances on the stage in the Linnanmäki amusement park will take place on Midsummer’s Eve 20 June from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The clown Sebastian will also entertain visitors during the Midsummer weekend.
Dinner above the rooftops of Helsinki
Midsummer can also be spent dining 50 metres above the ground. The Dinner in the Sky event, which has toured more than 40 countries, is back in Helsinki. The dinner table will be hoisted at Lasipalatsinaukio on 17–22 June.
The Michelin star chefs Filip Langhoff from restaurant Ask and Samuli Wirgentius from restaurant Postres have planned the menu. On Midsummer’s Eve and Midsummer’s Day the Estonian Chef de Cuisine Vladislav Djatšuk of the restaurant Tchaikovsky in Tallinn will be in charge of the kitchen. There will also be jazz music played by musicians following the diners to the sky.
Neighbourhood saunas crown the Midsummer feast
The traditional neighbourhood saunas in Helsinki’s Kallio district will be open at the Midsummer weekend.
The Arla sauna will be open as usual from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. over the weekend. On Midsummer’s Eve the wood-heated Kotiharju sauna will be open between 12 noon and 4/5 p.m and the Hermanni sauna from 10 a.m. to 3/4 p.m.
More tips for celebrating Midsummer
(Picture: Visit Finland / Juho Kuva)