7 things to do in Finland to beat the winter blues

7 things to do in Finland to beat the winter blues

January is the perfect month to kick-start your resolution to be more cultural. So, brave the darkness and cold and enjoy what’s on offer this month including a wintry hike, a heavy metal concert, and the annual light festival.


Helsinki in a new light

January 4–9

Follow the recommended route or wonder around the city aimlessly and admire the luminous artworks. The installations of the LUX Helsinki light festival transform locations around the city centre with unimaginable colour schemes and outlandish ideas. Altogether the festival presents about 30 works of light art. Temperatures may drop well below zero so be sure to dress warmly.

The joy of the jam

January 4–5

Telakka Jazz is a festival featuring experimental music, beats, jazz virtuosos, jamming, and improv – guaranteed to touch your aural sensibilities and the sweet spot of your musical soul. Simply steer your ears to an old rustic brick-clad building in Tampere, known also as Finland’s Manchester, to enjoy the cultivated melodious pleasures served up by top Finnish jazz musicians.

Vintage goodies

January 5–6

From super-cool vintage clothing to design furniture classics and retro kitsch, the Helsinki Retro and Vintage Design Expo is your best bet to score some fabulous finds. The vast choice of goodies on offer caters to every conceivable taste and even includes Swedish, Estonian, and Danish products from the 1920s to the 1980s. Immerse yourself in nostalgia at the Helsinki Cable Factory.

Tasty microbrewery affair

January 11–13

It’s no wonder there’s a growing thirst for craft beer worldwide: microbreweries imbue a pint with the kind of art and devotion that you may still recall the next day. The Craft Beer Winter Wonderland brings together a fascinating selection of microbreweries from several European countries. This tasty festival is held at the Korjaamo Culture Factory, a historical tram depot in Helsinki. So, treat yourself to a beer or five and enjoy the great atmosphere and delicious food pairings.

Lovely, woebegone weekend for metalheads

January 18–19

Feeling a bit forlorn? There’s nothing like a heavy metal festival to cheer up a cold and dreary winter weekend. The JKL Metal Festival at Jyväskylä’s legendary live music venue Lutakko Sali will lift your spirits with a line-up of metallic flavours – emerging, renowned, dark – including bands such as MyGrain, Ajattara, and Medeia.

Do the Design Walk

Throughout January

Helsinki oozes limitless design inspiration, so it can be a bit tricky to know where to start. Fear not – the Design Walk is a guided tour through Helsinki’s design district and iconic Finnish brands. You can also meet fresh faces from the local design scene with different perspectives on Finnish design. On Saturdays, the Design Walk is in English. Reserve in advance.

Take a hike on the wild side

Throughout January

Listen to the snow crackle under your snowshoes. Enjoy a warm drink by a campfire. Relax and unwind in the magic of Finland’s winter nature. Nuuksio National Park offers breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences within easy reach of Helsinki. Their winter tours are also organised in English.

Text Carina Chela
Photo Kirsi Tuura / Helsinki Marketing


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