“What is the weather like in Helsinki” is a question commonly asked by travellers who are coming to Helsinki. As we are located at the very North of Europe, many tend to think that Finland is that cold place constantly covered with snow and ice. In this blog post I will try to explain what you can realistically expect when travelling to Helsinki.
It is generally considered that the Helsinki climate is a combination of maritime and continental climate types. Our proximity to the Arctic as well as to the gulf Stream creates the conditions that make four seasons in Helsinki very distinctive.
So let’s start with the winter. If you ask, ‘When does the winter start?’, it is difficult to give a definite answer. It often depends on the year, but generally winter comes to Helsinki as early as the beginning of November or as late as December. The temperatures then usually fluctuate between 0 and -25 C. January is considered to be the coldest month - with an average low temperature of -9 and an average high of -1. The end of January is considered to be the coldest time of the year, with the temperature often dropping below -20 C. So be prepared! On December the 21st you can also experience the shortest day of the year – only 5 hours 49 minutes of day light.
On the contrary the summer months are generally very warm and sunny. July is the hottest month here with the temperatures reaching above +20 C. However, even when coming to Helsinki in the summer, don’t forget to take some warmer clothing with you. Some years the temperatures in July can be as low as +8 or +10 degrees. July is also a great time to come because of the widely celebrated in Finland Juhannus or Summer solstice. It is a tradition of celebrating Midsummer dating back to the pagan times in Finland. You can also experience pretty much endless day light in Helsinki in July, otherwise known as the white night.
Of course, you also have the in-between seasons in Helsinki – Spring and Autumn. In Spring, an amazing thing happens quickly over the space of only a couple of days…Life! After a long and cold winter, it can seem like the whole of nature has died. All the leaves are gone, the tree branches are bare, the grass is all dead. How can anything survive -30C?! But with the warmer weather comes life – and suddenly within a few days a miracle happens – the trees start to give shoots, small patches of grass start to appear, and the birds start to come out of hiding. After a long and warm summer, there is also the transition to Autumn – this can be one of the most beautiful times of years, where you can see amazing autumnal colours – every colour of the rainbow can be seen in nature, but particularly the striking oranges and browns that make for fantastic photographs.
Whenever you come to Helsinki, we are fully prepared for all seasons… the public transport never stops, the people never stop exercising, and the nature is constantly evolving. Whatever the season, we have something for everyone!