June, July, and January are the busiest months for the capital’s tourism and the flights to Helsinki can book up fast. Travelling during the off-season can help to score lower accommodation rates and cheaper plane tickets to Helsinki.
Weather in Helsinki
Weather-wise, Helsinki caters well for all tastes and preferences as there are four distinctly beautiful seasons during which to explore the city's changing ambience.
The moderate temperatures of spring and fall are great for comfortably exploring the outdoors and sightseeing in peace.
The hotter summer climate is perfect for relaxing beach days as well as endlessly bright nights in the lively city. It’s good to know that the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, occurs between 20–22 June. In Helsinki that means nearly 19 hours of daylight and the sun barely setting during Midsummer celebrations!
In winter, the pace of life winds down and the cold gives way to beautiful snowy days you can spend ice skating, cross-country skiing or exploring the charming Christmas markets.
Helsinki’s event calendar
It’s good to know some of the most popular local celebrations and festivals to time your trip to Helsinki.
March kicks off with Helsinki Sauna Day and April follows with the biggest coffee festival in Northern Europe, Helsinki Coffee Festival. The nationwide Vappu, Finnish day for the springtime festival and May Day, is held on the 1 May.
In June, Helsinki Day (Helsinki’s birthday) is celebrated with a wide range of free events across the town. June also sees the Taste of Helsinki gourmet restaurant festival and the biggest cultural and human rights event in Finland – Helsinki Pride.
At the end of June, Finns, like many Northern European cultures, celebrate Midsummer (Juhannus) as one of the main traditional festivities. Helsinki usually goes quiet at that time of the year because locals leave to summer cottages away from the city.
August is packed with cultural events, to name a few: Flow Festival as the leading urban music and arts festival in Europe, Helsinki Festival as the largest arts festival in Finland with theatrical performances, music, dance, and visual art displays.
September is a real treat for design lovers as the largest design festival in the region, Helsinki Design Week is held. Also, the Helsinki Film Festival takes over the local cinemas in September. November attracts with an international Baltic Circle festival for contemporary theatre as well as the world’s leading start-up and tech event Slush.
Christmas season starts with the opening of the Christmas Street (occasionally in the end of November). Helsinki downtown charms with mesmerising Christmas lights and the Helsinki Christmas Market that’s one of the city’s oldest events and has been repeatedly picked among the European Christmas Markets to visit. Finland’s Independence Day is also celebrated in December (6th).
In January, a five-day Lux Helsinki light festival turns the city into a living light art piece as buildings and facades light up in mesmerizing installations.