Please note: Some of the events below are in-person. Please make sure to follow the country’s current COVID-19 guidelines (find them here), as they may change between the time this calendar is published and when an event takes place. Always maintain social distance, wash your hands, and wear a mask when possible.
Helsinki’s COVID-19 restrictions currently run until Sunday 28th February with a possible extension. Even ditigal events may be cancelled with short notice, so make sure to check the event link before attending anything.
This month’s Helsinki events offer us a calendar full of promise. Even if nothing really changes because of a collective countdown, the idea of a fresh start is so welcomed, especially after 2020. January also means that we’re emerging from the months-long darkness; the days are finally turning lighter and the sun is shining a little longer every day.
While much of Helsinki will still be locked down, all hope is not lost. We’ve turned over every stone and found a bunch of things to keep you busy, both indoors online, and in the outdoor fresh winter air!
Here’s the best of what’s on in Helsinki this month:
Ongoing Until Sunday 3rd January
Liisa Väärikoski calls herself an “unapologetic feminist, who takes her space in the virtual world exploring the themes of sexuality and womanhood, spicing it up with humour and provocation.” Her alter ego Munalissu is a project existing somewhere between reality and fiction, with Instagram as its main platform.
Ongoing Until 23rd January
Réka Király: Herbarium at Galleria Kuvitus (online)
The Hungarian Réka Király is, among other things, a publisher, editor, graphic designer and, illustrator. In her solo exhibition “Herbarium,” she presents ”spontaneous ink drawings” in black and white, and a collection of colorful scarfs, made specifically for this exhibition. Her work is both playful and serious.
Thursday 14th January
The Night of Science is an annual block party, celebrating science and research while making it accessible for us average folks. Originally inspired by the legendary Helsinki Night of Arts in August, the Night of Science only offers events that are free of charge. It showcases science in many different forms, and this year is completely digital
Ongoing in January
Virtual tours of Egypt of Glory – The Last Great Dynasties at Amos Rex
Amos Rex is hosting an exhibition that is the largest collection of Egyptian art and culture outside of Egypt, covering all possible aspects of the culture. On Amos Rex’s Instagram channel you’ll find guided mini-tours in many different languages. On their website, you’ll also be able to take a tour in a virtual tomb here.
Aya Brace & Uwa Iduozee: Helsinki–Brooklyn at Virtual Stoa Gallery
Throughout 2020, photographers all over the world documented the changes in our everyday lives. Helsinki-based photographer and graphic designer Aya Brace teamed up with the New York/Helsinki-based photographer, videographer, documentarist Uwa Iduozee to capture their surroundings in Helsinki and Brooklyn during the first waves of COVID-19. Through weekly shots on both sides of the Atlantic, Brace and Iduozee display a visual diary of our lives during a global pandemic.
See Helsinki Square by Square
We know we’d get a lot more done without it, but we can’t help loving Instagram (here’s Scandinavia Standard’s, incase you’re not already following!). While physical doors close, Instagram is always open. Take an insta-stroll through these Helsinki creatives’ accounts for the hottest eye candy right now.
Photographer and art critic Helen Korpak has an account to not only scroll through but to really spend some time in. Mixing pale and bright colors, and documenting tiny nuances of fleeting moments, she has a rough aesthetic that plays with the concepts of both reality and art.
Illustrator and artist Edith Hammar became a visual sensation this year with her debut graphic novel Homo Line. With Tom of Finland as her inspiration, Hammar tells queer stories through her comics and ceramics, and creates much-needed narratives of diversion and (not) belonging.
Make your way to photojournalist Emilia Kangasluoma’s Instagram for a reminder that Finland’s landscape is stunning. She captures both Lapland in the winter and the southern archipelago in the summer in a way that few do – mundane, detailed, and story-like. She’s also taken gorgeous portraits of her late grandmother that are incredibly moving.
In a time where irony and sharp flash lighting is what fills our feeds, Sanni Olasvuori’s cotton cloudy paintings are a sweet breeze. In 50 shades of pastel, she builds worlds that look both safe and fluffy, and makes us long for summer nights, good rosé, and playful days when anything can happen.
Outdoor Fun in Helsinki
The winter until now has been… not so wintery. It’s a shame, but maybe it enables us to take longer distance walks with our dear ones, or have a slightly-but-not-too-chilly barbeque outside? Take a break from working in your pajamas and hop outside for some fresh air. For both alone time and Corona-safe group activities, try these treats:
Most public saunas are now closed due to COVID-19, but the ocean is wide awake and there for you to dip in. Winter swimming is wildly popular in Finland, and in Helsinki, you can find 13 different winter swim spots. That generally means that you will have a warm changing room, a hole in the water (if it’s frozen), and stairs to safely lead you into the cold. Don’t forget shoes for the walk from the changing room, and a hat to keep your head warm!
Walking on Lammassaari Duckboards
Lammassaari – or Sheep Island, directly translated – is an island in East Helsinki. In the past couple of years it’s become a popular social media spot – just a skip outside Helsinki you can find yourself in a bed of reeds, walking on duckboards, and even petting sheep. Never mind SoMe; this walk is truly gorgeous and peaceful all year round, and accessible for both strollers and wheelchairs.
While you be able to eat out at the moment, more and more restaurants have a takeaway service to keep you full. Here are three Helsinki favorites:
Bites serves the best burgers you’ve ever had (for real). Handmade and simple, while still juicy and rich, this local burger spot is a culinary burger experience unlike any other.
Order a meal through Wolt or Foodora, or go pick up your burgers in one of the restaurants. You’ll find two of them in the heart of Helsinki city center, one on Mannerheimintie 3 and the other on Lapinlahdenkatu 3. Once the renovation in the Vallila restaurant is done, you’ll find the third restaurant on Nokiantie 2-4.
This bistro has a kitchen where fine dining meets the earthy Nordic everyday ingredients. Fresh, simple, and yet creative, Kuurna is a hidden gem loved by locals. By emailing [email protected] or calling +358 (0)44 755 4555 you can order a three-course meal. Don’t forget to mention your 9:15 pm.
There’s sushi, and then there’s sushi. In the depths of Vallila, you find little Kokoro, where the sushi is made fresh, truly pampering your pallet and leaving you hungry for more (never literally though – the portions are rich). Order through Wolt or Foodora, or at their restaurant on Elimäenkatu 9. Online you can also pre-order a meal.
If you’re a business or organisation that would like us to add your event to next month’s calendar, please contact us at hello [@] scandinaviastandard [dot] com. Thank you!
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