| Although young by
some European standards, Helsinki is alive with
cultural activity. After World War I and Finland’s
independence from Russia, the country boomed both
culturally and economically. Helsinki is Finland’s hot spot
for many cultural events.
The major annual events take place in the summer, although there
are productions throughout the year.
The largest concerts are shown at :
Telephone number: (020) 41997
Tickets prices start from €33.
The Hall of
Telephone number: (09) 774 0270
Fax number: (09) 7740 2777
Tickets start from €3.50.
Telephone number: (09) 4763 8305
Fax number: (09) 4763 8383
This building used to house a Nokia factory and now resident to
over 100 artists.
For the latest events, visitors can pick up a copy of Helsinki
Happens or visit the online theatre listings (website:
The Ticket Theatre Information Centre
Telephone number: (09) 135 7887 or (0600) 11616
Fax number: (09) 135 5522
Tickets are also available online, through Finland’s nationwide
Telephone number: (09) 613 8611
Fax number: (09) 6138 6299
The main concert hall for national and international acts
Telephone number: (09) 40241
Fax number: (09) 446 249
Finlandia Hall is home to the Helsinki
Philharmonic Orchestra, founded by Robert Kajanus during 1882.
The Hall of Culture (listed above) is also used. Concerts are staged
by the students at the:
Sibelius Academy of All
Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 9
Telephone number: (09) 405 441
Details of the times of performances and programmes are available
from the customer service desk at the City of Helsinki Tourist
Chamber music is held
in various venues, including churches such as Temppeliaukio,
Lutherinkatu 3 (telephone number: (09) 494 698. Fax number: (09)
496 366). The works of Jean Sibelius are popular
with Helsinki audiences, although the works of rising stars, such
as Magnus Lindberg, are also performed locally.
National Opera, the Suomen Kansallisoopera , has its residence
at The Finnish National Opera House,
Telephone number: (09) 4030 2211
Fax number: (09) 4030 2305
Tickets start from €12.
There are 2 main venues, both showing mainly classical productions
including Ibsen, in Finnish.
The Finnish National
Theatre (Suomen Kansallisteatteri),
Läntinen Teatterikuja 1B
Telephone number: (09) 1733 311
Helsinki City Theatre (Kaupunginteatteri)
Telephone number: (09) 394 0422, tickets or 39401, information fax
number: (09) 394 0244
Ticket prices range from €6.50 to €42.
The Finnish Ballet School also has its residence
at the Finnish National Opera House (see listing
above), with tickets starting at €5.
For further information on all the other various dance companies
throughout Helsinki go online to : website: www.danceinfo.fi.
Helsinki has many cinemas. Each week, a programme showing times
and venues is published by the City of Helsinki Tourist
Office. Local Box offices open an hour before the first
show of the day.
The Finnish Film Archive
requires membership, which costs €3.50 and allows 1 ticket
to all performances. The archive shows classic and cult films.
The Finnish Film Archive,
Telephone number: (09) 615 400
Mainstream films can be seen at one Helsinki's multiplexes:
Telephone number: (0600) 944 944),
Telephone number: (0600) 007 007), and
Telephone number: (0600) 007 007).
Tickets for each cost €0.70 and virtually all films are screened
in their original soundtracks, with subtitles in Finnish and Swedish.
Finnish theatre is highly acclaimed and a large part of which can
be attributed to a Finnish filmmaking fraternal team, Mika
and Aki Kaurismäki. The brothers set some of their
films in Helsinki, including Mika’s gangster flick, Helsinki
Napoli All Night Long (1987) and Aki’s take
on Dostoyevsky’s classic Crime and Punishment (1983).
The Helsinki Film Festival is held during
September each year. For further details contact the following:
The Helsinki Film Festival
Telephone number: (09) 6843 5230
Fax number: (09) 6843 5232
Cultural highlights include:
the midsummer bonfire festival associated with the Feast
of St John in June), held on Seurasaari Island.
One of the busiest stages in Helsinki, with live acts all day throughout
the summer, including folk dancers and string quartets, is the Esplanadi
In February, J L Runeberg (one of Finland’s
best-loved poets) is commemorated on Runeberg Day,
a day of cake eating.
May Day marks the beginning of summer and is celebrated with vast
amounts of alcohol.
July sees the Jazz and Tango Festival when there
is open-air dancing on Seurasaari Island.
The Storyville Jazz Club hosts jazz events in July.
For Contemporary music lovers, there is the off-beat Helsinki
Music Nova. From the end of August, for 3 weeks, the Helsinki
Festival, a huge arts festival celebrating dance, art and
music, heralds the finish of summer.
One of Helsinki’s more noted writers and commentators is Eino
Leino, whose work, Helsingissä (1905),
documented life under the Russians.
Another work outlining this era is by Maila Talvio,
who wrote Itämeren tytär (1929-36), a
trilogy about 18th-century Helsinki.
The widely acclaimed author, Mika Waltari, penned
the trilogy, Isästä poikaan, describing
3 generations in Helsinki from the 1860s to the mid-1930s.
Other social commentators have included Anders Cleve,
whose short stories in Gatstenar (1959), describe
life in 1950s.
Helsinki and Alpo Ruuth,
whose book Kotimaa (1974) documented a young working-class
couple’s life in the 1960s.
More recent works include Rosa Liksom’s popular
collection of short stories, Yhden yön pysäkki