Christmas at Torikorttelit
Helsinki's historical centre makes for a beautiful Christmas backdrop and has something to offer every visitor.
The cobblestoned streets and the pastel stone houses lining them, Christmas decorations lighting up the streets, little boutiques with big personalities, hidden courtyards, the scents of the holiday season wafting out of restaurants.
The courtyards hidden within the buildings of Helsinki’s historical centre have surprises also in the darkest winter. A magical winter installation is being set up for the first time by the City Hall. The same courtyard, Torikorttelit Central Park, has become a favourite pitstop for families with small children, office workers on a lunch break and anyone searching for peace and quiet in the middle of the city. The wintertime version is bound to become a new tradition. Happy surprises are an urban luxury.
Shop til you drop
The Torikorttelit area is composed of 20 small shops which include a Christmassy surprise: the city’s first year-round Christmas shop, Christmas TRE (Unioninkatu 27A). In addition, treasures found in the shops include hats, vintage toys, vinyl records, design, ceramics, high-quality home textiles, and clothing.
The Torikorttelit Christmas invites to escape the end-of-year rush with great food and drinks. Measuring a total of three city blocks, Torikorttelit has 19 distinct, atmospheric restaurants and cafés right by each other with a wide selection of Christmas lunches and dinners, mulled wine and other hot drinks, wine, as well as microbrewery beers and sake.
Torikorttelit encourages a DIY attitude for the holidays. The fabric store Salapakka, the handicraft collective MadeBy Helsinki, and the handicraft club Maininki & Ystävät housed on the upper floor of the Christmas TRE shop all offer advice and workshops for DIY handicrafts, knitting and sewing.
Old and new traditions
The City Museum also organises Christmas handicraft workshops as well as a Christmas party. The museum building also houses the Valkoinen Sali festive hall, where an Independence Day celebration for the culture influencers and workers will be held for the third year running in collaboration with the local media house Basso. The City Hall Restaurant hosts a dinner where diners can follow the President’s Independence Day reception in real time on a big screen.
The New Year Eve’s festivities will return back to the historical Senate Square after couple of years, and this time the celebration is screened to the Market Square as well.