The winter season is just around the corner, and we cannot wait to see the snowy Espoo landscapes again. To make the most out of this winter awaiting time and your vacation in Espoo, we created a BUCKET LIST with TOP 10 activities to do in ESPOO this winter!
1) Make a winter picnic with campfire coffee/tea and pancakes
Spending time outdoors is essential for Finns all year round. During the winter, when the temperature can drop a way under zero degrees, it may seem not the best idea, but the opposite is true! Just imagine sitting by the outdoor campfire or Teepee, enjoying a cup of freshly made coffee or tea, and tasting the warm pancakes made on the open fire. Winter picnic can be a great idea and a surprisingly unique culinary experience! Just remember to wear proper clothes with enough layers.
2) Meet and greet reindeer in Nuuksio National Park
Every Saturday and Sunday, Nuuksio Reindeer Park opens its doors to visitors. Fluffy Santa's helpers will be happy to see you, especially if you feed them their favorite snack (available from Reindeer staff) before and after their extensive Christmas duties!
3) Come to see the Northern Lights at the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia
Sometimes, even in Espoo, you can be lucky and get to see real Northern Lights. However, if you want to make sure to experience how it feels to stand under this magical nature wonder, you should visit the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia. There, you can stand under the artificial Northern Lights (almost) 365 days a year!
4) Stay a night in a cozy cottage or glamping accommodation
Just imagine watching the bright Nordic sky from your glamping nest or spending a weekend spending time outdoors and playing board games with your friends or family in a beautiful and modern log house. Is there a better way to reconnect with nature and spend quality time with your closest ones?
5) Try out Arctic kayaking
Who said that kayaking is only a summer must-do activity? In Espoo, you can enjoy the archipelago's beauty all year round. The Natura Viva team will guide you through this artic kayaking experience so you can be very new to kayaking or a more experienced enthusiast. The tour takes place every second Saturday at Matinkylä Kayaking Point, so if you are up for a new adventure, remember to book your spot.
6) Sauna & winter swimming the Finnish way
Visiting Finland without sweating in a sauna would not be an authentic Finnish experience. You can take even a step further and try out winter swimming, dipping, or rolling in the snow during winter.
Note: Please remember to have a friend with you while trying out and follow safety guidelines.
7) Change your hiking boots for snowshoes
Are you a hiking lover all year round? Then snowshoeing may be an activity for you! You can still keep your hiking boots on and add a pair of snowshoes that will make touring around much easier. Trails in Nuuksio National Park are open 365 days a year, and you can get your snowshoeing gear directly from the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia or a guided tour from the Natura Viva team.
8) Ice skating at the famous Tapiola centre pool
Once the temperature drops to zero for several days, locals know that the Ice Garden season is soon on. In Tapiola, you can enjoy a 330 m-long artificial ice rink that is a famous centre pool of Tapiola district during summer. In winter, the Ice Garden welcomes all types of ice skaters, from beginners to professionals, and is always free of charge.
Note: you can also rent your skates from nearby Café Hile.
9) Test out local slopes and cross-country skiing trails
Whether you decide on slopes or xc skiing, you can test both. Although the sea level stays low in Espoo, you will still find several peaks and hills with great Ski Centers around - Solvalla Swinghill, Vihti Ski Center, Serena Ski Resort, and Peuranmaa Ski. If you are more into chasing kilometers on the ski track, head to Oittaa Recreational Area or Leppävaara district. There, you will find several well-maintained ski trails and routes.
10) Have some traditional glögi drink
It could not be a Christmas in Finland without having a cup (or two) of traditional glögi. This Finnish version of mulled wine is a popular social activity during the Christmas awaiting time. Finns gather with their friends, family, or co-workers and change their usual cup of coffee for a cup of glögi. So remember to order (at least) one cup of glögi from a local Café during your winter holiday in Espoo.
Local Cafés that serve glögi:
Hero Image: Kathrin Deter