Best Helsinki Christmas Market – Tuomaan Markkinat


Anne wrote some weeks ago about Christmas Bazaars here in Helsinki. I think the best bazaar is Tuomaan Markkinat, which is situated in Senaatintori (along the Aleksanterinkatu). It is very beautiful place – Helsinki Cathedral is just next as well as Helsinki University and other old picturesque buildings. At Tuomaan Markkinat I recommend to stroll around and admire all different handicrafts, Christmas foods and Finnish specialities. Many of them are very reasonably priced so you can also buy great gifts for Christmas. If you have kids, they should try carousel. And when feeling cold, try some warm drinks!

Tuomaan Markkinat will be open until 22nd of December so there are still some days left. This time I bought some woolen stockings – very warm and useful for those cold winter days we are still waiting for.

Merry Christmas for everyone!







Best Christmas Lunch in Helsinki – Restaurant Sipuli


If you visit Helsinki during December, you should taste some Finnish Christmas specialities. This is also very local thing to do – I have already had two Christmas lunches and I’ll have at least one more before Christmas. This time I’ll tell you of my Christmas lunch in this special restaurant “Ravintola Sipuli”. Restaurant is situated between President Castle and Uspenski Cathedral (Russian Orthodox church here in Helsinki), the address is Kanavaranta 7. Building is brick-walled warehouse and absolute speciality is the glass ceiling since you can see Uspenski Cathedral throughout. It is great view as you can see from picture below.


And what about Finnish Christmas food specialities – in Sipuli there is buffet with many different fish – herring, salmon, fish roe as well as meat and many desserts (some of the latter ones not so traditionally Finnish like macarones) as well as selection of cheese. Place is hugely popular during Christmas time so you should book in advance. However, you can also just pop by and ask for a table. If there is only small company, waitress probably finds you a table. This Ravintola Sipuli is also great place to visit other times than December – it is very good restaurant – not cheap but as said, the view is exceptional and food is very tasty. I think Christmas buffet was 59 euros.

Hopefully I have time tomorrow to write few words about Tuomaan Markkinat, which Anne already mentioned in her writing about Christmas Bazaars here in Helsinki. I visited Tuomaan Markkinat today and it is really worth visiting!




Enjoy Christmas Lights of Helsinki – Christmas in Helsinki Part II


As you know, Helsinki is very up in north. That means city is pretty dark during Christmas time. Snow brings some light – but we need of course also some decorations. This year we have very pretty light decorations in Park Esplanad (Esplanadin puisto in Finnish, situated between Etelä- and Pohjoisesplanadi). Above and below pictures are taken there. There is also one picture of Restaurant Kappeli which is lovely old building in Park Esplanad. After admiring Esplanad lights, I recommend to pay a visit for Kappeli and enjoy some glögi, warm drink with some Christmas spices. Anne wrote about mulled wine (meaning glögi) some weeks ago.

After Park Esplanad you have to check our official Christmas Street Aleksanterinkatu which is just a block away. By the way, for British readers it is nice to know that Senaatintori is by the Aleksanterinkatu. And this Senaatintori and lovely Tuomiokirkko (Church) you saw when watching x factor UK this year since Saara Aalto, the Finnish Finalist in show this year, visited Senaatintori in the clip filmed in Finland shown a week ago in British tv.

In the beginning of Aleksanterinkatu (exact address is Aleksanterinkatu 52, the window being in the corner of Aleksanterinkatu and Keskuskatu) you can find “Christmas window” of department store Stockmann (read more about Stockmann and shopping in down town Helsinki here). This year Stockmann Christmas window is winter wonderland – a top for all kids but also absolute “must see” for everyone else.

For other Christmas activities you should read what Anne wrote some weeks ago,





Helsinki Christmas bazaars 2016

Helsinki is full of Christmas bazaars from November to December. You’ll find unique hand-made gifts, souveniers, high quality design, traditional pastries and much more in these events. Here are cople of tips where to go for Christmas bazaar shopping in Helsinki.

Tuomaan markkinat
In 2015, the Huffington Post ranked Helsinki Christmas Market among the 15 European Christmas markets we love to love.
In the centre of Helsinki, Senate Square
Mon-Fri 11am-8pm
Sat and Sun 10am-7pm

Vanhan Joulutori at the historic Vanha ylioppilastalo
Finnish handicrafts by Finnish designers and artisans.
Mannerheimintie 3
Mon – Fri 11am-8pm
Sat and Sun 11am-6pm
Fri Dec 23rd 11am-6pm

You’ll find more international flavours in this market. Australia, Italy and India are present together with Finnish products.
Kulttuuritehdas Korjaamo
Töölönkatu 51 a-b
26.-27.11. and 10.-11.12.2016 11am-5pm

Ornamo Design Christmas Market
A selection of high quality design and handicrafts by professional designers
Cable Factory, Tallberginkatu 1, Helsinki
2.-4.12.2016, Fri 12pm-8pm, Sat and Sun 10pm-6pm

Women’s Christmas Fair
You will find hand-knit and embroidered Christmas decorations, pottery, jewelry, candles, leather and wood products and much more.
Pikku Satamakatu 3-5
Fri 2.12. 11am-7pm
Sat-Mon 3.-5.12. 10am-6pm
Tue 6.12. 10am-5pm


tuomaan_markkinatTuomaan markkinat. Picture: Jussi Hellsten

Try these mulled wine places in Helsinki

When winter arrives in Helsinki, it’s time to spend some time in candle light enjoying mulled wind, or as we call it glögi, with your friends and family. The tradition of drinking this warm, alcholic drink comes from 1800s and is nowadays mainly enjoyed around Christmas time.

From November onwards you can find several bars and restaurants in helsinki that serve glögi in its various formats: alcoholic, non-alcoholic, with red or white wine or even with a dash of vodka or brandy. The spices makes it special and most often you’ll find cinnamon, ginger, cloves, bitter orange peel or star anis in it.

Glögi is served with almonds and raisins and you can choose to add or leave them out depending on your preference.

Try some of the following places around Espa for warm glögi and cozy winter atmosphere.

Eteläesplanadi 1


Pohjoisesplanadi 33


Salutorget Bar
Pohjoisesplanadi 15
(picture borrowed from Salutorget’s website)

Read next:
Christmas markets – Tuomaan markkinat. This year 3.-22.12.2016
Christmas pastries – see the video on how to make traditional Christmas stars

Christmas in Helsinki, Part II: Christmas market Tuomaan Markkinat

Senaatintori in Christmas

Want to enjoy Christmas feeling and buy some local handicrafts? Or taste Finnish Christamas pastries? I recommend you to visit Tuomaan Markkinat – a charming Christmas Market in Helsinki downtown. The market is situated next to Tuomikokirkko in Senate Square. You find it walking by Aleksanterinkatu.

Surroundings are very beautiful around the Christmas Market– there are Helsinki University main building, some government offices and lovely café Engel (more about that later) as well as above mentioned Tuomiokirkko around the Christmas Market. Of course there is also a carousel – so nice to taste some glüwine when watching kids having fun.


You may also find many traditional (like woolen stockings and lovely self-made candles) as well as modern gift ideas. The market is really a place to buy all your Christmas presents at once. And if you are lucky you can see Santa Claus as well!

Tuomiokirkko and Christmas tree

I also want to mention one Finnish Christmas bonus next to Helsinki Christmas Market – it is “Christmas Sauna” in inner yard of Bock block – you find it when crossing the Aleksanterinkatu coming from Christmas Market. After that – ask somebody where is Bock block.

Merry Christmas to all of you,


Christmas in Helsinki, Part I

Johanneksen Kirkko

Most Finns are Lutheran by religion. However, hardly anybody goes to church on Sundays or in fact in any other day. But there is an exception for this and the name of exception is Christmas – On 24th and 25th of December all the churches are full. Also, before Christmas it is popular to visit churches and enjoy Christmas music. You can listen when others sing or play and you can also sing Christmas carols together, the latter we Finns call “Kauneimmat joululaulut”.

Music in Johannes Church

On Monday evening me and Marjo wanted to enjoy Christmas spirit and headed to Johanneksen Kirkko (Johannes Church in English) since there was a Christmas concert. Since we wanted to chat as well, we first paid visit to this lovely bar called Latva just next to church. I recommend the combination – first some glögi (that is a Finnish Christmas drink), and after that something for your soul (music, words of God or at least charming surroundings) in Johanneksen Kirkko.

Want to experience yourself?

The address of this remarkable church is Korkeavuorenkatu 12, it is about one kilometre from main Railway station. From downtown you can walk or take tram 10. To ensure best experience, visit bar Latva as well. It is next to church and the address is Korkeavuorenkatu 25 (they are really close even numbers a bit far away!). There will some concerts in Johanneksen Kirkko before Christmas – 11.12. and 15.12. at 7 pm. Kauneimmat Joululaulut will be there on Sunday 13.12 6 pm.


Traditional Christmas Star Pastries

Since it’s 1 December tomorrow we made some traditional Finnish Christmas pastries called Star Pastries with puff pastry dough (or filo dough) and prune jam and made a short video about it.

We used (as probably most Finns do) a ready made prune marmalade and frozen dough which you can buy from any grocery store. The dough is quite simple to do from scratch, too. All you need is

  • 300 g butter
  • 300 g wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 dl water

The pastries are baked at 225°C in an oven for 10-15 minutes. To get that golden hue, apply an egg wash on top. You can decorate the Christmas pastries with powdered sugar.Really good and simple and extremely Christmassy!