Get into the Christmas spirit at the wonderful Christmas events on the East Coast! Roam around Christmas markets shopping for artisan gifts and sipping mulled wine. Admire wonderfully decorated old buildings, Christmas windows, and private homes dressed for the occasion and open for visitors looking for Christmas inspiration. Look for animals in the fairytale Christmas forest, and take a selfie with the glittering Coca-Cola truck. Get the best Christmas gifts from artisan stalls, farms, and small boutiques. Find something new for this season on the East Coast of Finland!
Historic Houses of Loviisa
Less than an hour’s drive east of Helsinki, you will find the charming old town of Loviisa. Every year, at the beginning of December, a group of locals who live in the historic houses in Loviisa, organize an event where you can visit their homes decorated for Christmas and full of inventive ideas. This year, the Historic Houses of Loviisa (Loviisan Wanhat Talot) are open December 3-4.
During the same weekend, there is also a traditional Christmas market at Laivasilta Pier, where you can hunt for unique bargains for your loved ones for Christmas. Loviisa is also known for its marvelous gift and design shops. So whatever you do, don’t miss the unique Krinti, White Vintage, and Bistro & Butik Kronan, just to name a few.
You can also make excellent discoveries in the villages of Loviisa. Visit Malmgård Manor for organic flour and award-winning self-cultivated beer, and Finland’s Smallest Shop Museum at Skinnarby for time travel to the Finnish countryside in the 50s.
One of the Oldest Ironworks in Finland
Where the westernmost fork of the mighty Kymi River flows to the Baltic Sea, a village was born at the end of the 17th century. The power from the river was used for the blacksmith’s jackhammer, and other businesses followed. During the 18th century Virginia af Forselles, a widowed mother of two, ran the village of Strömfors Ironworks for more than five decades. Today it remains a picturesque, idyllic community for artisan lifestyle and outdoor pursuits.
December 10-11 Strömfors Ironworks invites you to enjoy its unique milieu and atmosphere. Make gift finds, chat with Santa, pet farm animals, watch a skilled blacksmith use the historic water hammer, taste Christmas delicacies, and take a sauna in a yurt at the end of all the Christmas festivities! It doesn’t get more unique than that!
Fairytale-Like Old Town Hamina
The town of Hamina dates back to the 17th century. However, it was destroyed in the Great Northern War and rebuilt in the circular town plan in the 1720s.
The old, historic buildings of the town’s inner circle are a sight for the The old, historic buildings of the town’s inner circle are a sight for sore eyes, especially in December when they are lit Dec 9-26 for the festivities of the season.
Shop for gifts and walk around the old town looking for Christmas calendar windows. A new calendar window opens every day, Dec 1-24, at 6 pm, and there is often a song, a poem, or a snack on offer for the ceremony. Take advantage of this adorable tradition, organized in Hamina for the tenth year in a row.
Kotka – Harbor City on an Island
Kotka is the perfect place to stay while exploring the East Coast. It is the largest town in the region and has a variety of restaurants and accommodations to offer.
In the heart of this island city you will find Original Sokos Hotel Seurahuone, an excellent hotel that has just received a World Luxury Hotels Award. Within walking distance, you will find a shopping center, a theater, a concert hall, Finland’s most extensive sculpture promenade, a maritime museum, an aquarium, and a marketplace dressed for Christmas.
If you happen to be at the market square on Kotkansaari Island in Kotka December 15 at 4 pm, there will be a photo op with the legendary Coca-Cola truck with 11 000 led lights. During the other days in December there is a fairytale forest on the market square with Christmassy spruce trees, a campfire, and some forest animals to search for among the trees.
You are warmly welcome to enjoy the Christmas spirit on the East Coast! What a joy of discovery!