It isn’t Valentines’ Day – it’s Friendship Day
For everyone who cringes at the thought of Valentine’s Day, this is a post that will bring you some relief. Finland does not celebrate Valentine’s Day. Nope, no Cupid shooting arrows at lovelorn ladies and gents here.
Instead, the Finns celebrate Ystävänpäivä, which translates into “Friendship Day”. The focus here is all about appreciating our friends, not just our significant other. Now how can you go wrong with that?
Granted, it’s still in the middle of winter when everything is generally frozen stiff or, as is this case this year, just pretty darn cold. At least it means that you can celebrate the day with your buddies doing something really cool – literally!
Here’s some fun stuff to do if you’re in Helsinki on Ystävänpäivä:
Take a cold shower
Cold water swimming is all the rage now, so take your buddies along and have fun betting on who can last the longest in the icy water!
There are several places in Helsinki where you can enjoy the happiness-stimulating effects of combining an icy dip with a traditional Finnish sauna session afterwards.
Try the Allas Sea Pool and Café, which has a seawater pool and the added bonus of a great view of the city and its iconic landmarks.
A Room with a City View
If you’re a bibliophile then this is the place for you, but if books aren’t your thing, don’t fret. Whether it’s reading, relaxing, sewing, creating music or 3D printing, there’s definitely something for you to enjoy at this thoroughly modern re-invention of the library.
This Valentines Day head to Oodi between 1 and 5 pm to have a fun photo taken, whether you’re by yourself or together with a friend.
Dancing on ice
Leave the roses and chocolate at home and grab your skates instead! Have fun with friends or family while skating in the heart of the city at the open-air Helsinki Ice Park. If you don’t have skates of your own, you can rent them there.
From 6 to 10 pm on Friday you can enjoy Jäätävä Disco, at which there will be traditional rousette skating accompanied by entertainment by DJ Laura Vartio.
A Happy Valentines’ Day after all
For all of you bonafide lovers who genuinely look forward to the sentimental activities that is typical on Valentine’s Day, there’s good news – you will find the usual romantic options to light your fire here too.
And with Helsinki quietly becoming a true foodie capital, you can count on having your pick of restaurants to find the perfect romantic spot to spoil your beloved or at least fatten them up.
So from all of us here at Discover Helsinki, cheers and Happy Valentines’ Day!
Original post 13.2.2019; updated 14.2.2020