JYU Student Ambassadors


Finnish Winter Guide: How to enjoy the coldness and the darkness!

During your online research you have probably found out already quite some information about Finland. Most likely you have also heard some crazy stories about the finnish winter. It is true it will get cold and also dark. But it is a magical time of the year. Following we are going to present you some information about how to dress appropriate and how to make the best out of this time of the year.

First of all, take warm clothes with you and put them on. Being warm goes before style in winter. Walking outside ankle-free or with a crop top is cool, it is even too cool. One could say it is freezing. So leave these in your closet for warmer times of the year :) The onion-look is IN here in Winter and everyone wears it. So go with it. When it is really cold we recommend to put on a warm underlayer under your normal clothes or a really warm top layer like snow pants and always wear a scarf, a hat and gloves. For the winter jacket we recommend a mid-long to long jacket that covers the upper part of your legs so that they stay warm. If you have a shorter jacket you can put outdoor pants on so that your legs stay warm. Also put on warm winter shoes (not just sneakers). Proper winter shoes keep you warm and prevent you from slipping because they usually have a better profile under the shoe.

There is a lot of darkness during finnish winter and you easily get in a lazy cycle, where you feel that the best for you is just to stay home under a warm blanket with a tea and watching series. And that is not bad. You can do that. But be sure to also keep active: keep on doing sports, go outside to the fresh air, go to some of the many university or other events and see your friends. Keeping active is the biggest secret of having a great winter here. Also make sure to take some additional Vitamin D to stay healthy.

It is very dark in the finnish winter. Therefore it is recommended to wear reflectors on your jackets and backpacks. It is for the simple reason to be seen better by other people.
If you are biking in Winter: drive safely! Next to that always have bike lights and a helmet. Sometimes it can be very slippery and icy. For that there are spike tyres for bikes and cars - so that you get better grip on the ice. These also exist for shoes. You can easily attach them to your normal winter shoes.

Additionally you can find a post here from the university which provides you with tips for the winter!

Now we get the the second and more fun part of this blog post: Winter Activities
There is soooo much to do in finnish winter!
Check out VisitJyväskylä for a comprehensive list!

First of all, go out! It is so refreshing walking on one of the lakes in Jyväskylä or up to Laajavuori (Skiarea of Jyväskylä) or anywhere else!

Downhill skiing/snowboarding
Laajavuori is only a short bike/bus ride from the center and if you live in Kortepohja it is even just a small walk. At Laajavuori you can go downhill skiing and snowboarding. They have around 13 slopes, a fun park and a practice hill for beginners. You can either bring your own equipment or rent some on site

Cross country skiing
Next to downhill skiing and snowboarding Laajis also offers 60 km of cross country skiing tracks. But in and around Jyväskylä there are a lot more of cross country tracks
Jyväskylän Seutu  and Jyväskylä.fi  have more information about all the different tracks.
If you do not have your own equipment the easiest is to go to Laajavuori and rent and ski there. If you are planning to go more frequently, you can buy your own ones. Cheap options are second hand groups on Facebook or Sporttidivari  which is a sports equipment secondhand shop in Seppälä.

Ice skating
When it is long enough cold, the lakes will all freeze and you can go ice skating on them. (Always make sure that the lake is proper frozen, if you are unsure do not go!!) On Jyväsjärvi (the big lake in the center of Jyväskylä) they make a 2.4 km long track in Winter were you can ice skate on. Check out visitJyväskylä.fi post about ice skating in Jyväskylä. Next to the big lakes, many schools also flood their school yards. During the day these spots are reserved for the school kids. But afterwards they are open and everyone can enjoy skating on them.

Ice fishing
Once the lakes are frozen there is also another traditional winter activity you can try: ice fishing. For that finns cut a whole in the ice and then sit next to it and fish for hours.It should be said, that for trying out ice fishing you should join a local or someone who has done it before. Visit Central Finland has published a blog post about this finnish hobby.

Ice swimming
The local ice swimming club of Jyväskylä operates 5 different ice swimming spots in Jyväskylä. For a small membership fee you can use their warm changing rooms and experience the magic of ice swimming. At first it sounds crazy to jump in a mostly frozen lake during minus degree. But ice swimming offers many health benefits and you will instantly feel better after. Also it is one of the greatest feelings to expand your comfort zone and go ice swimming.

Last but not least: sauna. Sauna you can do all year round in Finland. Rumors say that there are around 2 million saunas in Finland for a population of around 5.5 million people - so there should be one nearby for you. Going to the sauna is especially in winter after being outside in the cold it is the best feeling ever to sit in a hot room and to get finally really warm again. Sauna can be also perfectly connected to ice swimming. If you do not have a lake close by, going outside in the snow is a perfect way to cool down from the sauna turn.

Come and enjoy the Finnish winter with us! :)

Finnish Winter Guide: How to enjoy the coldness and the darkness! Finnish Winter Guide: How to enjoy the coldness and the darkness! Reviewed by ambassadors on 16:54 Rating: 5


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