What’s On in Helsinki: June 2020

It’s beginning to look a lot like summer! This June, events are still canceled and travel is restricted, so it’s more important than ever to enjoy the beauty around you! Here’s a list of ideas for staying busy in Helsinki.

Here’s all the ways to enjoy Helsinki this June, including midsummer, virtual exhibitions, and architecture tours:

19th – 20th June


It’s midsummer! Although larger gatherings to celebrate are unlikely, there’s still plenty to enjoy. If you’re lucky enough to have access to one, head to a cottage, light a bonfire, go for a swim, and soak in the long summer evening.


Ongoing in June

Try the best coffee in Helsinki

We’ve compiled a guide to all the best places to get coffee in the city, so why not tick a few off the list? From dedicated roasteries to cafés with vintage clothing, there is a cup for everyone.


Get to know the emerging Finnish design scene

Unsure how contemporary Finnish design differs from Nordic? Submerge yourself in a world of humor, social impact, and raw beauty with our guide to six emerging Finnish designers you really should know and what makes them unique.



Take a tour of the bakery scene

The Nordics know good baked goods, but don’t take our word for it… Get to know the bakeries in the city and explore their surroundings, you might just find a new favorite local!


Swat up on Finnish architecture

“Our national identity,” the Finnish government declared in 1998, “has often found its most durable expressions through architecture.” From Helsinki Central Railway Station to the Temppeliaukio Rock Church, there are plenty of examples that are a testament to their statement. Read our brief history of Nordic and Finnish architecture, then head out on a treasure trail to see how many you can spot.



Cultural Activities

Sinerbychoff Art Museum Virtual Tour

Sinebychoff Art Museum showcases the art collection of Paul and Fanny Sinerbychoff, and it includes work by many European old masters. You can take a virtual tour of the house museum, which is a permanent exhibition consisting of art, furniture, and artifacts.


Learn about (and maybe even try) Swedish Surströmming

The best way to make people keep their distance from you? To faintly smell of the world’s smelliest food of course! If you’ve been putting off exploring this national dish, now might just be the time to dive in.

There are a few narratives around the history of surströmming and how it came to be, but the most interesting has to do with Finland. As the story goes, a group of Swedish sailors sold a barrel of “bad” herring at a Finnish port.

The sailors didn’t have enough salt to fully preserve the fish, and probably thought they’d get one over on the Finns. To their surprise, when they returned sometime later the locals asked for more of the semi-rotted herring.

The sailors then tried the fish for themselves, beginning what would become a source of national culinary pride.




Virtual Helsinki

If you have access to a VR device such an Oculus Rift, you can visit Helsinki’s landmarks virtually. Zoan, a virtual reality studio, has created the experience. In their “Sound of Seasons” tour, you can see things like Senate Square and Alvar Aalto’s home at different times of the year. Free to use.


Ateneum Virtual Tour

Ateneum, the largest art museum in Finland and part of the Finnish National Gallery, is one of the museums teamed up with Google Arts & Culture to offer a virtual taste of their items. The Google gallery includes 55 items, among them works by Finnish greats like Akseli Gallen-Kallela. Free.


Worker Housing Museum Virtual Tour

The Worker Housing Museum is a time capsule from Helsinki’s past. At the turn of the 20th century, Helsinki built housing for city employees and their families. Today one of the buildings exists as this museum, which simulates living conditions in different time periods. They offer a virtual tour.


Tiedekulma Livestreams

Tiedekulma, where University of Helsinki researchers present their latest findings, has live streams of its program. A myriad of topics are covered, including health, social issues, climate change, and politics. Once it’s safe, check out the live event in the city center too! Free.



Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra Livestreams

The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s spring season concerts have been canceled, but there are hours upon hours of live-stream footage from past concerts to enjoy! Many full concerts, from Beethoven and Tchaikovsky to contemporary composers, are available for free.


Korona-Konsertit Livestreamed Concerts

Korona-Konsertit (Corona Concerts), the newly launched and aptly named website, lists upcoming Finnish concerts that have decided to go to live stream instead of canceling. Concerts of many genres are available, and many of them are by small indie artists. Free. Live-streamed Performances, Rockway, and the Musician’s Guild have partnered up to bring you this service, which will host concerts and other performances virtually via live stream. Big Finnish names like Mira Luoti and Anssi Kela are set to perform. Ticket prices will vary.


Finnish National Opera and Ballet Livestreams

The spring season for the Finnish National Opera and Ballet is on hold, but their Stage24 service lets you watch full streams of their past performances! The selection includes operas like Don Giovanni and shows like Pippi Longstocking and La Bohème. Free.



Home Activities

Bake Some Karelian Pies

If you’ve never made traditional Finnish Karelian pies, it’s a wonderful activity that can fill an afternoon. Despite the long process, Karelian pies are not difficult to make! SaimaaLife has a recipe, complete with instructional photos, in English.


Watch Classic Finnish Films

At the end of last year, Finland’s National Audiovisual Institute, or KAVI, made hundreds of old Finnish films available for free online. Over 200 are full-length films, and their production dates range from 1913 to 1990.




LOKAL Online Store

LOKAL is a concept store and gallery that sells high-quality handicrafts from local creators. Their collection includes ceramics, jewelry, textiles, prints, wooden utensils, and more decorative items. You can buy from their online shop, which is in and of itself clean and aesthetic.


Kauniste Online Store

Kauniste is a charming independent lifestyle store that sells fabric, housewares, paper goods, and accessories. Their distinctive style is full of bold colors, shapes, and natural themes. Their online shop is well-stocked with many adorable items.


TRE Online Store

Nordic design items reflecting the values of good design, beauty, sustainability, and transparency are available at TRE. TRE has clothing for women and men, children’s items, housewares, furniture, health and beauty items, and more. Their online shop is open and easy to navigate.


Minna Parikka Online Store

Minna Parikka is a local shoe designer famous for her bunny-eared designs. The storefront in the city centre is famous for colourful and whimsical window displays, but even from home you can see that vibe reflected in the online store’s selection.



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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Sorcha McCrory

Sorcha McCrory is the Managing Editor at Scandinavia Standard. She is a British writer and content creator, writing on topics including fashion, feminism and pop culture.