Helsinki is an appealing city for international visitors with its diverse events, many of which involve opportunities to socialise and meet other people. Art, music, cinema, food, recycling and sports events can be found alongsideurban block parties, neighbourhood gatherings and fairs. Many interesting art and culture institutions invite a versatile audience from around the world – new attractions include the brand new central library Oodi and the hugely popular Amos Rex. The first exhibition at the contemporary art museum drew a crowd of 268,000 visitors. In addition to cultural events, citizens of Helsinki love high-quality food of great variety.
The pleasant surprise of free events
When you need time for yourself, you can find plenty of different activities for enjoyment and relaxation. You can recharge your batteries at diverse events and urban spaces also for free.
The popular communal event Cleaning Day encourages people to recycle and to care for the environment. On Restaurant Day, Helsinkians set up one-day pop-up restaurants in the city. A plethora of different neighbourhood gatherings make sure that the suburban parts of the city can also get into a festive mood. A highlight of the annual the Night of the Arts, offers urban art for the whole family, and Lux Helsinki illuminates the winter season with beautiful lights.
Many now-established events in Helsinki have started as citizen initiatives. A sense of community is strong in the city and you can see this in city events of all kinds.
Exercise is another way to recharge one's batteries. The diverse sports and exercise facilities offered by the city, from ice skating rinks to parks and public saunas, attract visitors who want to get acquainted boldly with the local lifestyle.
A diverse and lively art scene
The arts and culture scene in the city is active and bustling. Helsinki is home to, for example, the National Opera, two symphony orchestras, the new Dance House Helsinki, which opened its first season in 2021, eleven professional theatres, and plenty of freely organised artistic groups from poetry collectives to rappers.
The high-quality museums in the capital region present contemporary art from around the world. The Museum Card is based on a pay-per-year system which makes access to the top museums easy and affordable. Galleries around the city can be visited free of charge. .
The yearly Helsinki Book Fair brings the top names in literature from Finland and abroad to the city, and different film and documentary festivals bring diverse stories to the crowds.
When summer turns to autumn, the city's art scene is enlivened by the Helsinki Festival, a massive multidisciplinary showcase of top art from Finland and the international art world. The Helsinki Festival weeks also inspire many free events coinciding with the programme.
The restaurant world is experimental and top-notch
Helsinki is a city open to experimentation and gourmandism. Great spots for food are located throughout the city from the downtown area to the outskirts and beyond. Be it cricket sandwiches, vegan dishes, Asian food trends or traditional Finnish fare, you are sure to find an option that pleases both your tastebuds and your wallet.
In addition to restaurants, many food trucks and street kitchens delight locals and visitors on the bigger market squares and at events around the city. Thanks to stringent sanitary regulations in Finland, it is completely safe to eat from any food stand.
Some cities drain your energy, but in Helsinki, you can recharge it.