Best 2022 Vappu Party in Helsinki
Looking for the best Vappu Party in Helsinki? (2022 Update)
Read the 2023 Ultimate guide to Vappu here.
Vappu (May Day) is a
funny crazy occasion in Finland. Vappu is celebrated on 30.4 (Vappuaatto or the eve) and on 1.5 (Vappupäivä or May day). In Finland May day is one the the most traditional holidays on the binge drinking calendar.
The rest of the world may consider the Finns shy, quiet and somewhat reserved. That holds true on almost any other occasion, but not on Vappu.
The change in behavior may come as a surprise to tourists.
If you are visiting Finland or Helsinki for the first time, it’s best to clear your schedule between 30.4-1.5 (+ take May 2nd for recovery).
Vappu is the time when the country goes bonkers and if the weather permits, will be quite fun to take part even if yu have no idea what going on.
During the 10 days leading up to Vappu, the easiest topic you can strike a conversation over is the weather preditiction. In 2022 the Helsinki area we are expecting sunny but chilly weather. What ever the weather will be it will not affect the level of passion with which the finns will be drinking alcohol outdoors.
Vappu means champagne, lots of champagne
As a tourist you will be hard pressed to meet a sober person, and you will take note that almost every party of people you come across will be enjoying champagne.
Overall the game plan is quite straight forward: start the party on the eve and no matter who you are, start nurturing your hangover the following morning earlier and harder than you would on any other occasion. On May day , which this year falls on a Sunday, its typical to book a table or go out for a picnic and have a nice Vappu lunch.
It is some how not only socially acceptable but also partially tradition for every lunch and picnic group to include at leats 1-2 people who are uncomprehensible by midday.
What you need to know:
- Finns are going to be extremely approachable but incomprehensible.
- Some 25% will be wearing colorful overalls
- Despite everything said above, its a party for the whole family. Kids who are not with their parents are hiding in the crowds getting drunk in secret with their friends.
- On Saturday30.4 at 18.00 the crowds (in Helsinki) will be gathering mostly around the statue / fountain of Manta, at the end of Esplanadi park. If you are able to make it there, you may experience first hand a really crowded park with thousands of drunk people doing drunk things. The big event is about putting a hat on the statue (the official account:”Kauppatori is a place for students in overalls and other party-minded people to participate a student tradition of Capping of Havis Amanda statue and pop bottles of sparkling wine to celebrate 1st of May or “vappu” in Finnish. Havis Amanda “Manta” is Helsinki’s own mermaid at Kauppatori, who has stood there since 1908.“)
- The rest of the evening is pretty much freestyle adult drinking, overdone. But the atmosphere is good.
- On May Day it is tradition to have the Vappu Lunch. if you get invited or otherwise happen to get the opportunity to take part, you should, its the day after and people are mostly nice and relaxed until they start getting some energy from the alcohol they consume with their breakfast. Tables are impossible to get (booked months in advance) but your hotel or an acquaintance might be your solution.
I am new in town, what should I do?
First of all, this year make sure you bring an overcoat, perhaps a hat of some kind.
Secondly, its the first vappu after lock down so our guess is there will be a lot of people. Be ready.
We suggest you bravely roam the city somewhat freestyle. Its one of those events where plans tend to get in the way. Remeber its a 2 day event.
You may encounter physical love making in the parks. On May Day different customary gathering places around the city exist.
The crowning of the statue of “Manta” between Esplanadi park and kauppatori more or less officially kicks off Vappy celebrations. Expect a big crowd. If you are here you are experiencing vappu in one of its purest forms. This event is powered by university students, and did we say it can get crowded. Be here on 30.4 at 18.00 (arrive at least 30 mins early to ahev any chance of seeing whats going on). Check out the official program & info.
The groups defined by or claiming to represent “the working class” celebrate their Vappu typically in Hakaniemi – this is a long standing tradition, a kind of open air museum of socialism with speeches and live performances, so it may be worth visiting. Party in Hakaniemi with the comrades starting from 13.00 on 1.5
Another popular place is Kaivopuisto Park where the crowds gather to pick nick and socialise. At its best on 1.5 starting around 11.00 am. Both are worth visiting.
Hakaniemi is perhaps slightly more accessible, as Kaivopuisto is a big park, but its perhaps closer to the experience we are recommending. Everyone brings their own booze. If you like peace and quiet, do not expect for public transport to be comfortable for you. If you prefer to travel by Taxi, Uber or car, expect to get stuck often.
You may also want to check out the area around the parliament house, the library Oodi and the Pikku Finlandia. Our prediction is those places wont be as crowded giving you a chance to take in the atmostphere without something thats necessarily totally full on.
Crystal Show Club is one of the better places to continue the evening as the sun begins to set.
We will have scantily dressed dancers getting on stage and removing what ever clothing remains. And of course a party atmosphere fitting for the best Vappu after party in Helsinki.