Recommendations for pre-conference activities
General information about Midsummer the weekend
On Midsummer Eve (25.6) and Day (26.6) banks and offices are closed. Most museums and exhibitions are also closed. Most shops close early on Friday and stay closed over the weekend. Many restaurants and cafes are closed during the midsummer weekend.
The Helsinki City Transport inner city lines operate on Midsummer Eve according to Saturday timetables. Bus 24 runs to Seurasaari on Midsummer Eve at frequent intervals. On Saturday morning there is no traffic on City Transport until about 11.30 am.
Midsummer Eve celebration at Seurasaari
on Friday 25.6 19.00-1.00 at Seurasaari with bonfires and outdoor entertainments, a Midsummer Wedding, traditional work displays.
Midsummer is the biggest and most important summer celebration in Finland. It was originally the holiday of John the Baptist, but has become more of a celebration to the glory of summer and light.
Most Finns gather to their summer cottages with relatives and friends for the Midsummer celebrations. Some people prefer staying in the city, though, to be able to attend local festivals. Many residents of Helsinki go to Seurasaari to celebrate the Midsummer Eve. Seurasaari is an open air museum not far from the city centre. The traditional Seurasaari Midsummer Bonfire Feast brings together families, masters of Finnish handicrafts, folk dancers and musicians as well as the Midsummer bridal couple. Bonfires are lit during the evening and dancing goes on late into the light Midsummer night.
Tickets (adults FIM 70, children under 12 years free) should be purchased in advance.
Midsummer Eve at Mustikkamaa
The party in Mustikkamaa is a lot wilder: live rock bands, festival food and disco in a beautiful surrounding of water, beach and cliffs. The teenagers staying in town usually choose this party.
Midsummer Eve cruise
Bonfires can also be admired from the sea on special bonfire cruises.
For example on J.L. Runeberg on Friday 25.6 21-24.00. Departure: Market Square.
Midsummer Day tour to Hvittrask and Ainola
Half-day tour with sightseeing bus (ca. 4 hours) is on Saturday 26.6 from 13-17. English Guidance. Departure Esplanade Park, Fabianinkatu. Tour ticket costs 210 FIM.
Lapland,the northern part of Finland, is called the land of the Midnight sun. The sun does not set there at all from late May till July. There are daily tours organized to Lapland. The price of a 3-day, 2-night tour is approx. 4000 FIM/person in a shared double room.
In case you wish to spend your Midsummer in Finland, please contact the Area Congress team for further information and travel arrangements.