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A swimming pool

Helsinki offers refugees discounts for cultural and leisure services

Helsinki offers refugees discounts for cultural and leisure services

One must present their residence card or a certificate confirming they have received asylum to be eligible for the discounts

On 12 May, the City of Helsinki revealed that its Culture and Leisure Committee has made a decision to offer asylum seekers discounts to the municipality’s museums and sports venues. More specifically, those who have applied for (and received) temporary protection will have discounted access to the Helsinki Art Museum and Hakasalmi Villa as well as to the city’s swimming pools and gyms.

To prove that they are eligible for the discounted fee, refugees must present their residence card or a certificate confirming that they have received asylum or temporary protection. The City of Helsinki lists the normal and discounted rates for the cultural and leisure services are as follows:

  • City of Helsinki swimming pools: Discounted price EUR 3 / Normal price EUR 5.50
  • Gyms: Discounted price EUR 2 / Normal price 3.50
  • HAM Helsinki Art Museum: Discounted price EUR 10 / Normal price EUR 12 / Free for children under 18
  • Hakasalmi villa: Discounted price EUR 10 / Normal price EUR 12 / Free for children under 18

Culture and leisure activities promote mental wellbeing

Until now, many European cities have offered Ukrainians refugees discounts or free access to various services, such as public transport. With these actions, the municipalities help relieve their financial burden and facilitate their integration into a new environment. Explaining why the Finnish capital has decided to offer discounted access to cultural and sports venues, Director of Culture and Leisure Laura Aalto explained:

“Exercise and culture are known to have a number of physical and mental health-promoting effects. Getting access to sports and culture offers meaningful things for people looking for a place. We believe that this opportunity will also help asylum seekers to feel welcome in Helsinki.”  

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