• Posted:Wednesday, October 7, 2009
  • Comments: 0

Posted in: Travel
Visit Helsinki for a Christmas Santa would be proud of
We're still a few weeks away from Halloween, but already many people are turning their thoughts to Christmas. This month is likely to see lights switched on in town centres and shopping malls all over the world and if any of you are like my ultra-prepared mother you've already bought most of your presents.

Personally, I think Christmas should be reserved for December only, as it takes a little piece of the magic away if you extend the build up. But if you're planning to spend the holiday period in hostels in faraway lands then it makes sense to start thinking about it early. After all, booking in advance is the key to any cheap travel breaks.

And if you're still trying to decide where to spend your Christmas, where better than the home of Santa Claus himself? Well, nearby anyway - as I'm talking about Helsinki and that's just a short sleigh ride from Lapland by air.

According to tourism chiefs, Finland's capital city is an ideal destination, with its main shopping thoroughfare officially being transformed into 'Christmas Street' from November 22nd. The St Thomas Christmas Market is open for most of December if, like me, you tend not to do your seasonal shopping until at least 11 months have passed on the calendar.

There's also a Christmas fair and the chance to enjoy an ice rink in Central Railway Station Square. Meanwhile, the officials note that "Christmas concerts are held in churches and concert halls alike, providing a pleasant counterbalance to the buzz in the streets and shops".

But if you'd prefer to spend the holidays in sunnier climes, Hawaii may offer an alternative - as you can combine surfing with an annual Christmas parade through the streets of Waimea town.
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