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Located way up north (though at the southern edge of Finland), Helsinki is understandably chilly come wintertime. The low temperatures only add to the fun, however, as they give visitors the opportunity to partake in some quintessentially Finnish cold-weather activities. Read on for three ideas!
Ice skating at Railway Square
The Ice Park right outside Helsinki’s central train station is one of the city’s most popular skating venues. The rink is open from November to March, and it offers a variety of programs and performances in addition to open skating. (On Thursday evening, for instance, you can participate in an ice skating aerobics class!)
Admission costs €5, and skate rentals are another €5. The Ice Park also has a café serving warm drinks and pastries.
A swim and sauna at Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall
The Finnish love of saunas is by no means limited to the coldest months of the year, but winter is a perfect time to warm your bones in one. For an extra-special experience, take a trip to the city’s iconic Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall. The institution dates back to 1928, and it boasts both an impressive pool along with private and group saunas.
Men and women have separate hours, so make sure to check the schedule online. Once you’re in, go for a swim (bathing suit optional) and admire the striking Classical architecture. When you’re done with the water, head to the sauna and relax. You’ll find plenty of locals doing the same.
Admission costs €2.20, and a locker costs €4.40. The swimming hall is open year-round; check the website for hours.
Taking in the music scene
Helsinki is sprinkled with dozens of über-hip clubs where both indie and well-known musical acts play. After a day of swimming and skating, settle down with a drink and get ready to dance.
Located in the happening Kallio hood north of the city center, Kuudes Linja offers live (usually underground) music and DJ sets nightly. Most shows costs less than €10.
If you’re looking for a less trendy, more traditional scene, head to Rymy-Eetu, a Finnish-German restaurant with hearty fare, plentiful beer, and folksy live music. The restaurant sits on the bar-lined Errotajankatu in central Helsinki, and it offers a “two for the price of one” discount on main courses from 2-5 PM daily.
To find more music clubs and bars, visit the city’s nightlife listings page.