For many, Helsinki is Finland’s most prominent Christmas destination, but that isn’t to say you shouldn’t consider visiting elsewhere in the country. Tampere Christmas Market is one example that is well worth visiting in December.
If you would like to visit, below I list the confirmed 2023 dates, opening hours and foods unique to the region.
As the lakes freeze over, Tampere is presented with opportunities for ice skating and other winter activities. Light installations then brighten the dark winter nights, creating a welcoming atmosphere.
Tampere Christmas Market 2023
The Central Square (Keskustori) has an artistic Christmas market that extends beyond the typical stalls selling arts, crafts and food.
You won’t only find Finnish produce in Tampere. This is primarily a European market, with vendors from Essen and Chemnitz having a strong presence.
It’s not just a shopping experience; the event features a diverse entertainment line-up. You’ll find concerts, theatre performances, glass-blowing demonstrations and daily appearances by Santa Claus.
Don’t miss the popular Glögi Restaurant, where you can get hot mulled wine and other Christmas drinks. Alternatively, book an igloo to enjoy a drink with friends. Or visit the doughnut cafe, a local favourite.
The Stable Yards and the historic Finlayson Factory area hosts markets and look out for the Christmas Window displays in the city centre.
Dates and Information
Tampere Christmas Market dates: 2nd to 22nd December 2023.
Location: Keskustori Square.
Opening times: 11am to 7pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Finlayson Area: 25th November to 6th January.
Stable Yards: 18th November to 23rd December 2023.
Christmas Windows: In the city centre from 26th November to 24th December.
Ice skating: No.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten free: Yes, but limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, but not recommended during busy periods.
Public transport: The #3 tram stops directly at the square.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: A focus on entertainment and concerts, historic Stable Yards market.
Food specialities: Traditional Finnish pastries, famous doughnuts, rice pudding, glögi.
Where to stay: Scandic Tampere Hämeenpuisto is a popular hotel, located 12 minutes from the market.
Hotels near Tampere Christmas Market
To be close to the Keskustori and the Christmas market, staying between the city centre and the central train station is a practical choice. It gives you easy access to the market and other city attractions. Scandic Tampere is a good choice in this area.
If you’re interested in visiting other destinations, read my Finland Christmas Markets guide, which lists some of the best markets in the region.
Christmas in Tampere
Runebergintorttu (Runeberg Cake): Runeberg cakes are small circular pastries named after the Finnish poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg. They typically contain almonds, rum, and raspberry jam. You’ll find these cakes as a particular item at the markets, often with a seasonal twist.
Karjalanpiirakka (Karelian Pie): Karelian pies are traditional Finnish pastries made from thin rye crust filled with rice porridge, mashed potatoes, or carrot and rice filling.
Lohikeitto (Salmon Soup): Lohikeitto is a creamy Finnish salmon soup. It usually combines salmon, potatoes, leeks, carrots, and spices like dill.
Piparkakut (Gingerbread Cookies): Piparkakut are traditional Finnish gingerbread commonly enjoyed during Christmas. In Tampere, vendors might present them with unique designs or festive shapes.
Glögi (Mulled Wine): Glögi is the Finnish version of mulled wine. It’s a warm, spiced drink made with red wine, various spices, and sometimes with added almonds and raisins.
Salmiakki (Finnish Salty Liquorice): Salmiakki is a polarising Finnish candy made from ammonium chloride, liquorice, and sugar. It has a strong flavour that might not be for everyone but is an experience you can have in Finland.
Riisipuuro (Rice Pudding): Rice pudding, often sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, is a typical dish in Finnish households, especially in winter.
Lätty (Finnish Pancake): Lätty are Finnish pancakes, usually thinner than American pancakes but thicker than crepes. They are often served hot with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of fresh berries.
Gifts and Stocking Fillers
Räsymatto (Rag Rug): The Tampere market is known for traditional Finnish textiles, including the rag rug. These are often hand-woven by local artisans and come in various patterns and colours. While they are functional as rugs, many use them as decorative wall hangings.
Kuksa (Wooden Cup): You should be able to find Kuksa, traditional wooden cups often made from birch burl. They are sturdy and long-lasting, typically used for drinking coffee or alcoholic drinks. They make a practical yet culturally significant gift.
Sauna Accessories: Tampere has a deep connection with sauna culture. You’ll find various sauna-related items, from spoons and buckets to essential oils for steam. These accessories are fun for those who appreciate the Finnish sauna experience.
Sisal Kori (Sisal Baskets): Handwoven sisal baskets are another popular item. Local artisans usually make them, and they come in various sizes. These baskets are durable and practical for storage, but they also serve as a rustic element in home decor.
Kalevala Jewellery: Inspired by Finnish folklore, Kalevala produces traditional jewellery designs. Necklaces, earrings, and bracelets often feature motifs from ancient tales and legends. This kind of jewellery adds a touch of Finnish culture to any outfit.
Hand-knitted Mittens and Socks: As Tampere experiences harsh winters, warm clothing items like hand-knitted mittens and socks are a staple. They are usually made from wool and come in traditional Finnish patterns. Many locals swear by their effectiveness in keeping the cold at bay.
Puukko: Puukko knives are Finnish utility knives traditionally used for woodwork and carving. You can find various kinds of Puukko, some with intricate detailing on the hilt and sheath, usually made by skilled local makers.
Finnish Glassware: Tampere is home to several glass artists, and the market often features unique Finnish glassware. From vases to decorative items, these pieces showcase the expertise involved in Finnish glass-blowing techniques.
Himmeli Mobiles: Traditionally made from straw, Himmeli are Finnish geometric mobiles. Today, you may find them made from modern materials like metal or plastic. They are striking, minimalist decor traditionally believed to bring good fortune.
Felt Slippers: Felt slippers are another warm and practical item on the market. Locally made, these slippers are lightweight yet warm, ideal for indoor use during the cold winter months.
Local Craft Beers: Tampere has a growing craft beer scene, and the Christmas market showcases some local breweries. You can buy bottled or canned beers featuring unique flavours, making them an ideal gift for those interested in craft beverages.
Finnish Coffee: Finland is one of the biggest coffee-consuming nations in the world. Surprisingly, you can find bags of locally roasted coffee beans. They make an excellent gift for coffee lovers eager to try something new.
Marimekko Fabrics: Marimekko is a well-known Finnish design company. You can find cut fabric, usually in bold prints and colours, that can be used for various purposes, from making clothing to home furnishings. It’s a great way to introduce Finnish design into your living space.
You’ll find up-to-date information on winter activities and the latest events in the city on Visit Tampere, the official website for visitors. This list of experiences is a good place to get started.
Sustainable Travel Tips
Here are some tips for responsible travel in Tampere during the Christmas season.
Eco-Friendly Hotels: In Tampere, hotels are often powered by renewable energy sources. Staying in such places reduces your carbon footprint and supports the local push towards sustainability.
Reducing Food Waste at Markets: The markets in Tampere are known for their local food specialties. To reduce waste, consider sharing portions, especially when you want to sample multiple foods. Many stalls use biodegradable or reusable plates and utensils, contributing to less waste.
Ethical Consumption: When shopping at the Christmas markets, consider the necessity and usability of your purchase. A lot of crafts and items sold are handmade by local artisans. By making thoughtful purchases, you directly support the community while avoiding clutter in your own life.
Sustainable Diets: Local food stalls often use ingredients sourced from nearby farms. Order plant-based options or smaller portions of meat dishes to lower your environmental impact. Finnish fish dishes are also a more sustainable choice, as many come from local waters but look for sustainability labelling before you order.
Sustainable Transport: Tampere has an efficient public transport system, including buses and trams running on biofuels. Taking public transport over a taxi or rented car helps reduce your carbon footprint. Walking is also an excellent way to explore the city centre, especially given how many Christmas attractions are near each other.
Comment below if you want to leave a review of Tampere Xmas Market or have any questions.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Tampere, Finland. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.