The 11th annual Lux Helsinki light festival takes place from Saturday 5 to Wednesday 9 January 2019. The light installations will be displayed non-stop along the fully accessible route between 5pm and 10pm. The event is free of charge to people of all ages, and it is accessible for persons with reduced mobility.

Lux Helsinki is a five-day light festival in the centre of Helsinki that is organised annually at the beginning of January. The festival presents a diverse range of light art along a new route each year that covers a few kilometres. In addition to the most famous buildings in Helsinki, the route also highlights lesser known courtyards and façades. The programme features specially commissioned new works and popular installations for international light festivals. The curators of the festival are artistic directors Ilkka Paloniemi and Matti Jykylä.

Over half a million visitors come each year to admire the festival, which transforms familiar buildings and spaces into unique works of urban art. The unforgettable experience created by the power and beauty of light attracts people to enjoy this winter festival during the darkest time of the year, even on the coldest nights.

Lux Helsinki is organised by the City of Helsinki. In 2017 the Helsinki Tourism Foundation presented the festival with the Helsinki Travel Award. which is presented annually to distinguished parties or events that have had a positive impact on the tourism industry, its reputation and customer satisfaction.


What’s the best way to get to the festival?

The official Lux Helsinki route is in the city centre.  Please take note of the right direction of the route which progresses from one installation to the next from start to finish. The first installation along this year’s route can be found behind the Swedish Theatre at one end of the Esplanade Park. The route is designed to be walked, and it is also accessible to persons with restricted mobility. Many streets will be closed to traffic during the festival, so we recommend using public transport, riding bike or walking to get to the festival. You can check public transport connections using the online Journey PlannerIf you are coming to the festival from outside Helsinki, here are some tips.

The My Helsinki website also lists hotels along the Lux Helsinki route.

Where can I pick up a copy of the Lux Helsinki map?

The Lux Helsinki map will be available one week before and during the festival from Tourist Information (Pohjoisesplanadi 19). Lux guides will also patrol the route to answer questions and hand out maps. 

The paper is provided by Stora Enso.

What services are available along the route?

Lux Helsinki Eat will feature a diverse range of foods and menus from the hottest restaurants in town. There will also be four stands along the route serving hot drinks by Johan&Nyström, including fresh brewed coffee and hot juices. You can find them in the Koulupuistikko, Kasarmitori square and in Senate Square.

Portable toilets will be available along the route, or you can, for example, use the WC at participating Lux Eat restaurants.

Is the route accessible for persons with reduced mobility?

All of the light installations along the route are fully accessible, but weather conditions should be taken into consideration. If there is snow, the route will be ploughed daily before the lights are turned on. The programme has detailed information about accessibility for indoor events.

What safety precautions are being taken for visitors?

Safety is always a priority for Lux Helsinki. The route has been planned together with Local Crew, which is responsible for safety arrangements, and local authorities.

Potential congestion areas have been taken into consideration when planning the route. In anticipation of the large number of visitors, some streets will be closed to traffic. There will also be a sufficient number of trained security stewards along the route. Please note, however, that occasional congestion is always possible during major public events.

Are dogs allowed along the route?

Due to the large numbers of people, we do not recommend bringing dogs with to the festival. In congested areas they can easily be trampled underfoot, and the special effects used in the installations – such as flashing lights and loud noises – may be frightening to dogs. If you do decide to bring your dog with for an evening walk along the route, we recommend doing so when fewer crowds can be expected – for example on Monday or Tuesday evening between 9pm and 10pm.

Can I take photos or videos of the installations?

Yes, taking photos or videos of the festival and its installations for non-commercial purposes is permitted and even encouraged. You can share your images and videos on social media using the hashtag #luxhelsinki. The names and authors of the installations can be found in the programme. You can also find images from the festival in the My Helsinki image bank

The centre of Helsinki is a no-fly zone, so using drones without a permit is prohibited. The festival’s security stewards are instructed to enforce this restriction. More information is available online at

Is there free WiFi?

Yes, you can use Helsinki City Open WLAN. The signal is strongest at City Hall.

How can I submit feedback?

You can send feedback by e-mail to We welcome all comments, positive and negative.

Why is the festival held around Epiphany at the beginning of January?

Helsinki is a diverse city with events all year round. The festival is organised during the post-Christmas holiday period to attract local residents, visitors from other parts of Finland and tourists visiting Helsinki at the start of the year.

Why does the festival last for just five days?

Lux Helsinki promotes a festival-like and communal atmosphere that is created by the people who attend the event. Lux Helsinki is not an exhibition. Restricting the festival to five days allows the organisers to obtain around 10 light installations a year while limiting the cost of security for the art work on public display.

How do you calculate the number of visitors to Lux Helsinki each year?

The same method has been used to calculate the number of visitors to the festival since 2013, and it is comparable to the method used for other international city events. Each evening throughout the festival the stewards estimate the number of people visiting each installation on an hourly basis, and the overall number of visitors is calculated accordingly. The stewards use hand-held tally counters to estimate the number of visitors, but since it’s a free-of-charge event that takes place outside in the city, it’s impossible to provide exact visitor numbers.