Finland: Helsinki Christmas Markets

(Tailor-made Helsinki programmes are also available on request)

As befits the land of Santa Claus, Finland knows how to celebrate Christmas. In December Helsinki is brightened up by the many Christmas lights in the streets and shop window displays. Aleksanterinkatu, the main shopping street of the city centre, is an elaborately-decorated and illuminated Joulukatu ("Christmas Street"), opened by Santa Claus himself at the end of November. From this time, the large department stores have exotic Christmas window displays.

In Finland good food is an essential aspect of Christmas. Many restaurants have special Yuletide fare on their menus. Finnish Christmas delicacies include star-shaped pastries filled with thick plum jam, gingerbread, rosolli (a salad of beetroot and other vegetables with herring) and Christmas ham. To drink there is traditional glögi, a spicy hot mulled wine, specially brewed dark winter beers, and hot chocolate and coffees fortified with a little rum or cognac.

Home-made food delicacies, gifts and decorations are sold by vendors who come from all over Finland to the special Christmas markets. The market season begins with the Women's Christmas Fair at the Old Harbour (Vanha Satama) on 2nd December, and the largest is the St. Thomas Market, held in the city centre Esplanaadi Park from 7th to 22nd December in 2009. There is also an indoor Christmas market in the city centre in the Old Student Hall.

Several other local markets in the city and surroundings are known only to locals, but all our guests will receive a listing of these when they check-in, so they can experience the off-the-beaten-track markets only locals know. We also include a listing of Christmas concerts and other events of interest, as well as where to go for alternative Christmas shopping, and where to eat and drink Finnish Christmas style, including hidden cafes and bars serving winter beers - all to help you make the most of your pre-Christmas visit to Helsinki.

Services:

2 nights hotel accommodation in selected hotels, bed and buffet breakfast basis

Return private airport transfers

"Helsinki in December - a Christmas Shopping Experience"

- our exclusive guide is provided to each guest and given at check-in

- this offers listings and information on:
major Christmas markets in Helsinki
more off-the-beaten-track markets in and around the city & how to get there
suggestions for additional Christmas shopping possibilities
Christmas concert listings
city map

Christmas Lunch Buffet at a local restaurant



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