Helsinki, in common with most major cities of the Scandanavian countries, makes a pretty big deal of new year's eve, with spectacular fireworks over the capital city to welcome the new year.
The climate in Helsinki at this time of year makes visiting an activity only for the hardy, as sub zero temperatures and long hours of darkness characterise the winter season, but for those who make the effort they will be well rewarded with a modern, vibrant city that is exceptionally welcoming to visitors and of course know how to throw a fabulous new year's eve party!
The new year's eve celebrations to welcome 2018 in Helsinki will have an extra special significance as this is the event that will kick off their centenary of independence from Russia.
The highlight of the celebrations will be of course the spectacular midnight fireworks display - in previous years these have taken place in Senate Square, but for new year 2018 the location has moved to the much more recently developed Kansalaistori Square, located in between the Music Centre and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma along Mannerheimintie
There will be crowds of tens of thousands in the square as locals and visitors alike join to enjoy the party, and the buildup to the fireworks will include live musical performances, tradiitional speeches and dancing. You can see the full range of official new year events in Helsinki here
Away from the main party, or if you're looking for somewhere to fuel up in advance, there are a number of highly rated restaurants in the city, including Passio Kitchen and Bar, Olo Ravintola, Ragu, Juuri and Nokka. Vegans are well catered for by a range of options including Bar Sandro and Zucchini. See the full range of Helsinki restaurants, many with online booking options, here.
If you are in Helsinki over the festive period then it would be remiss to not mention the importance of a visit to the Christmas market, located in Senate Square and offering the usual range of festive food, drinks and entertainment.
The new year celebrations will be broadcast live by the national Finnish TV Broadcasting Company Yle, which should also be streaming live online here:
Alternatively you might like to check out some of the local live webcam views, with several located around the port:
There are plenty of hotels to choose from in Helsinki but as a relatively small capital city capacity does tend to fill up quickly, especially over busy periods like Christmas and new year, so we advise booking as far in advance as you can.
You can search for deals at all local hotels here.