There are many people who don’t go running in winter. Why? That’s tough question to answer as running in winter times can be absolutely amazing. When I visited Helsinki in January, I decided to not only go running once, but twice. My second tour was a combined leisure and sightseeing tour through the city center. Something I’d definitely recommend to do no matter what season you are visiting Helsinki.
Cold. No freezing. When I left the Hilton Helsinki Strand, I knew that this may be the coldest day I’ll go running this year.
However, I knew that running in Helsinki can be absolutely amazing from the run I did two days before in Kalastajatorppa.
Due to that, I overcame my will to stay in the warm and began to run instead!
You get a good impression of the temperatures when you have a look at the river that is right next to my starting point.
At the very moment, there was nothing but ice. However, it didn’t take me a long run through the city to get an even more impressive “ice world”.
After passing some nice colonial buildings that can be found everywhere in Helsinki, I reached the harbor. Large ships stuck in ice, harbor buildings that are temporary closed and – what a surprise – another frozen river.
Interestingly enough, the large harbor itself is ice free to some degrees. That’s important as many ferries are connecting Helsinki to islands around the city where people live.
After waving goodbye to the amazing ice spectacle I was able to watch, I was just about to hit the most important street in Helsinki.
With all major brands being represented and the best known hotel of the city located right there, the Pohjoisesplanadi couldn’t be of any more importance.
At first, that may not sound perfect for running, but as there is a large park between two large streets (the other one is Eteläesplanda), it is indeed a really nice area for running.
However, I had no eye for the good running conditions as I focused on all the beautiful buildings that are located in that area of Helsinki. A street you definitely shouldn’t miss!
The nice thing about the size of Helsinki is that there is a nice park nearby pretty much everywhere.
As I decided to combine sightseeing and running, I passed the Central Station (an impressive building as well!), a lovely church and finally “Finlandia” to get to another nice parquet.
You will be totally surprised, but what I first recognized was the fact that in warmer months there should be water right next to the running route!
Even though the only thing I saw was snow, I was happy about the fact that the running conditions were good again. At least for a moment as the route got more and more slippery over time.
It may sound weird, but I actually enjoyed that the conditions got a little worse. It’s always kind of a challenge to run on a slippery path, especially when it’s kind of authentic with all the ice and snow around you.
However, I decided to not risk my health and turned into the direction of my starting point. On my way “home”, I passed a nice train bridge with beautiful houses around (the noise of the trains must be horrible). Moreover, I had the pleasure to also see one of the biggest theaters in Finland, the Helsinki Kapunginteaterri.
Just a few hundred meters later (with good conditions again), I reached my starting point. After nearly seven exhausting, demanding, but absolutely amazing kilometers, I was able to enter the warm hotel again.
Even though running in Helsinki may not have been the most easy thing I did in the last years, I’d recommend it to everyone as it is something absolutely amazing – especially in winter!