Helsinki Weather January Averages, Finland
What's the Weather like in Helsinki in January
Located in far northern Europe, Helsinki, Finland faces a cold January, though its proximity to the ocean keeps it slightly warmer than the rest of the nation. The average temperature in Helsinki is -5°C throughout the month of January. The average high during January is -1°C and the average low is -9°C, just slightly warmer than February, the coldest month of the year in Helsinki.
This chilly month also has an average of 16 days of rainfall, only totaling up to 60mm of rain. The chance of rain decreases throughout the month as a dryer February approaches.
The days are short in Helsinki this month, starting off at about 6 hours of sunlight each day, though they get longer throughout the month and daylight lasts for nearly 8 hours by the end of January. The sun rises at 9:30 in the beginning of the month and sets at 15:30. By the end of the month, sunrise is at 8:30 and sunset is at 16:30. Located on the Baltic Sea, the sea temperature near Helsinki averages around 1°C this month, hovering just above freezing.
The average wind speeds this month are approximately 16-17km/hour. Due to its location near the sea, Helsinki does not receive very much snow, with a chance of about 1.5cm of snowfall on any given day in January. Though there will probably be some ground coverage, skiers and snowboarders may want to head further north in Finland for snow-based activities. Overall, January offers a brisk winter escape in Helsinki, without being too cold to enjoy outdoor activities like ice skating. Visitors can take advantage of the area having fewer crowds than during the summer months, and plenty of indoor activities are available if the weather worsens.
Helsinki Hotels in January
Located across the street from the Esplanadi, Hotel Kämp is perfectly situated for visitors hoping to explore the port and the Market Square and Senate Square areas. Built in 1887, when Finland was still a part of the Russian empire, the hotel is older than the country itself. The prestigious, five-star hotel is an important part of Finnish history and culture. The first hotel in Finland to have elevators, it now houses restaurants and a bar in its older section, while hosting guests in newly renovated, classically decorated rooms. The elegance extends to the spa where they offer massages, pedicures, skin therapies and more. Hotel Kämp is one of the most highly rated hotels in Helsinki.
Gio Hotel Kluvvi
For visitors with a midrange budget hoping to stay in the city center, Glo Hotel Kluuvi is a great option. Its accommodations range from rooms for two to suites that can fit up to six people, making Glo a flexible option, particularly for family travelers. Amenities include blackout curtains, available baby cribs, free internet and even a robe and slippers. Trendy meeting rooms, a stylish cocktail bar, and a restaurant with international flare round out the amenities at Glo Hotel. Located within walking distance to the central railway station, the University of Helsinki metro station, and the city center, this hotel is a great option for guests on short trips or just hoping to enjoy the bustle of the city.
Hotel Fabian provides a smaller, more boutique-style option in the heart of the city. A short walk from Esplanadi and Market Square, this hotel offers a total of 58 rooms available in one of three categories: Comfort, Style or Lux. Even the more affordable Comfort rooms feature high-end style and finishes in trendy Finnish styles. The Lux rooms offer a kitchenette for guests who are staying longer or prefer to make their own food. The staff are known for being friendly and providing small extra touches that can help a traveler feel more at home. Reviewers rate Hotel Fabian as one of the best hotels in Helsinki.
Travelers on a tighter budget will enjoy staying at Hotel Helka in the Leppäsuo district, near a large city park and several museums and art galleries. There are three types of rooms available for a range of budgets. Hotel amenities include a bar, a sauna, and three meeting roomsne even has a cozy fireplace for winter meetings. The furniture throughout the hotel was designed by Alvar Aalto, a Finnish designer. The Scandinavian feel continues to the included breakfast buffet. If there is room in the budget to splurge on an upgrade to a suite, guests can enjoy a private sauna
Bars and Restaurants
Café Köket is a cozy dining option for visitors looking to warm up from the cold outdoors. A café, bar, banquet hall and meeting place, Köket is a popular brunch spot for Helsinki guests. It is moderately priced and features European and Scandinavian cuisine. Centrally located between the Senate Square and the Market Square in the historic Kiseleff House, which also hosts a variety of local, handmade crafts and vendors for shoppers.
A favorite for popular northern European delicacies, Finlandia Caviar is located near the east end of the downtown urban park Esplanadi, just across from Market Square and the port area. With seafood that reflects local cuisine as well as Russian influences, this fine dining restaurant is highly rated amongst Helsinki tourists. Some of their most popular items include oysters, caviar and truffle butter.
Pizzeria Via Tribunali
International visitors looking for more familiar cuisine have a variety of restaurants to choose from, including Chinese, Italian, Mexican and more. One highly rated choice is the Neapolitan-style pizza at Pizzeria Via Tribunali. Located in the same district as Café Köket and Finlandia Caviar, this buzzing area is a reliable spot for hungry tourists. Pizzeria Via Tribunali features classic pizzas like Margherita or Salami, while also offering more unique toppings like Brussels sprouts or tuna.
Soppakeittiö, literally "Soup Kitchen," is an affordable option for travelers on a budget. Located in the Old Market Hall, this small soup restaurant is a perfect stop on a cold winter day. Soppakeittiö offers a rotating menu with three soups each day, typically including one seafood, one meat and one vegetarian soup. Customer favorites include the mushroom soup and the seafood soup. Complimentary bread is available as well.
Things to do in Helsinki in January
Helsinki Central Station
Approximately 200,000 passengers pass through Helsinki Central Station every day, including nearby commuters as well as travelers from other Nordic countries. In 2013, BBC listed the rail station as one of the most beautiful in the world. The current building was opened in 1919 and is a central part of Helsinki. Whether visitors are traveling through the station or not, it's worth making a visit to see the Finnish granite exterior, the clock tower, and the two pairs of statues holding spherical lamps outside of the main entrance. Exploring the equally impressive interior of the station provides a reprieve from the winter weather for visitors; the interior also hosts a variety of restaurants and shops.
Travelers hoping to embrace the chilly weather will enjoy the ice skating rink at Rautatientori Railway Square in Helsinki's city center. Located just one block from the Central Station, the Jääpuisto Icepark offers affordable tickets, season passes and skating lessons. This urban ice skating rink offers skate rentals as well as a café to relax in and enjoy a hot drink between skating sessions. The rink is open from December until the end of March. Surrounded by beautiful buildings and open until 9PM every day, this is a beautiful spot to appreciate the city's architecture, lights and vibrant winter lifestyle.
More of Finland's beautiful architecture can be found at the Uspenski Cathedral, just east of the city center in the Katajanokka district. This Russian-designed cathedral gives visitors a reminder of Finland's historical ties to its neighboring country Russia. There is a plaque commemorating Russian Emperor Alexander II, who was sovereign of the Grand Duchy of Finland during the cathedral's construction. Built in 1868, the cathedral is set on a hillside and has a beautiful view overlooking the city. It is one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals in western Europe, with 13 onion domes representing Christ and the 12 apostles. Visiting is free, though the cathedral is typically closed on Mondays during the winter.
Sea Life Aquarium
Further north in Helsinki, the Sea Life Aquarium offers an indoor escape for the occasional bad weather day in January. An ocean tunnel lets visitors walk through the ocean tank, coming close to sharks and colorful fish. A recreated shipwreck, starfish exhibit, and rainforest are some of the other available attractions at the aquarium. Children can enjoy a play area and a touching tank, making this a family-friendly experience. Open throughout the year, the aquarium can become particularly busy on weekends and holidays.