Beat Crowds Discover Helsinki Christmas Markets
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Brits can enjoy a magical and affordable Christmas shopping-spree in Finland for the first time this year as easyJet launches the first low-cost flights to Helsinki from November.
Helsinki's Christmas Markets are often overlooked, yet they are among the very best in Europe, in a city that offers an intriguing history stretching back over nearly 500 years.
Market season begins on 3rd December with the Women's Christmas Fair at the Old Harbour (Vanha Satama) offering a host of hand-crafted gifts from ear-muffs to hand knitted shawls made by Finnish women.
St Thomas Market, situated in the city centre's Esplanaadi Park from 8th to 21st December is famous for traditional delicacies including; star-shaped pastries filled with thick plum jam, rosolli (a salad of beetroot and other vegetables with herring) and Christmas ham - not to mention glögi, a spicy hot mulled wine and coffees fortified with rum or brandy that are guaranteed to warm even the coldest shopper through after a hard days shopping!
And for those not willing to brave the winter weather, Helsinki hosts an indoor market in Old Student Hall, where you can browse an impressive array of birch wood Christmas decorations and hand-made gifts in the cosy comfort of the historic building.
Special events are also held over the Christmas market period and visitors can enjoy music concerts, opera, ballet and ice hockey after their Christmas shopping is complete!