The Complete Guide
Helsinki is the capital and most populous city of Finland. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, is by far the most populous urban area in Finland as well as the country’s most important center for politics, education, finance, culture, and research.
Together with the cities of Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen, and surrounding commuter towns, Helsinki forms the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which has a population of nearly 1.5 million. After Stockholm and Oslo, Helsinki is the third-largest municipality in the Nordic countries. The city is served by the international Helsinki Airport, located in the neighboring city of Vantaa, with frequent service to many destinations in Europe and Asia.
Helsinki was the World Design Capital for 2012, the venue for the 1952 Summer Olympics, and the host of the 52nd Eurovision Song Contest in 2007. Helsinki has one of the highest urban standards of living in the world. Along with these exciting day-time activities the city is exciting in the night as well.
Here in this article, we will provide all the necessary information related to nightlife features of Helsinki, including a comprehensive list of the best destinations. You will find all the tools and necessary information here to organize your holidays in Helsinki the most complete way to make your journey a beautiful experience.
Helsinki is a seaside city of beautiful islands and lush nature and has tons to offer all tourists coming through for a weekend! If you are a partier or a real nightlife lover, it has you covered with local bars, pubs, night clubs, a culture lover can be satisfied with it’s theatre options, and the outdoorsy type will be happy at the brand new sauna in town or a trip to Suomenlinna Island! So check out our recommended options here for the best venues available in Helsinki and all are ready to make you happy while you are enjoying your nightlife experience over there:
Suomenlinna is a UNESCO World Heritage site and popular with tourists and locals, who enjoy it as a picturesque lounging site. You can easily access it from early in the morning until as late as 2 am by utilizing the Finnish ferry system to get across. Once you take the ferry from Kauppatori to Suomenlinna Island, you can feel free to spend your evening uncovering Finland’s past and exploring this stunning natural beauty of an island! You can explore the island fortress, take tons of photos against the seaside backdrop and finish your night star gazing and enjoying a picnic dinner or drinks!
This is another great activity for wintertime visitors. Helsinki hosts a wide variety of outdoor activities during winter, ranging from cycling and ice skating to Nordic walking and ice-swimming. Helsinki’s Ice Park skating rink is located next to the Railway Station, right in the heart of the city, where you can rent skates or bring your own. For cozy night activity, get yourself a hot chocolate in the onsite café and enjoy ice skating. Another popular one, also with skate rental available, is located in the Kallio neighborhood and known as Brahe Rink.
Summers are short in Finland, which means that they are mostly enjoyed with zest. If you are visiting during the summer, the city of Helsinki offers more than 30 public beaches where you can spend some time relaxing in the evening or at night. Check out beaches such as Hietaranta, Kallahdenniemi, Laajasalo, Marjaniemi, Munkkiniemi, Mustikkamaa, etc. Most of the beaches in Helsinki are open from June until August each year. Some beaches are busier since they are located in the middle of bustling metropolitan areas while others are on the outskirts of Helsinki.
The Finnish National Theatre, established in 1872, is the oldest theatre house that is still running in all of Finland! Many flocks to it because of its central location in the middle of Helsinki City (on the Northside of the Helsinki Central Railway Station Square). The national treasure and architectural gem house the most quality theatre in the country.
Finns are known for their love of saunas. It is estimated that there is one sauna per household in Finland. In Finland, saunas are places for relaxation and socializing. Throughout Finnish history, the sauna was the holiest room in the house and one most closely associated with Finnish well-being. Even the Finnish parliament has its sauna chamber for MPs to debate in, and all the Finnish diplomatic and consular missions around the world have their saunas. Real Finnish saunas are dimly lit and there is no music or smells except for fresh birch and natural tar. We heartily recommend visiting one of the best saunas such as – Arlan Public Sauna, Kaurilan Sauna, Löyly Sauna Complex, Sauna Ship and Sauna Hermanni.
The Cable Factory – Kaapelitehdas
The Cable Factory includes three different museums, twelve distinct galleries, multiple dance theaters, and an art school at one point. Art and culture lovers rejoice! The Cable Factory encompasses all of the cultures Finland could offer! Covering a total area of 56,000 SqFt, the Cable Factory is the biggest and most diverse cultural center that Finland has. This venue used to be an industrial complex that produced cables, but now offers events to see, do and experience every day of the week for culturally inspired people of any age. The space is also well known to be used for famous and popular local fairs, festivals, concerts, and exhibitions year-round.
Finns might seem a bit quiet and reserved at first, but once meet them in a bar and you will discover a whole new dimension to the people. Finns love to party and weekend nights to satisfy their fun & quality time and booze desire, usually, they prefer central Helsinki, where it is most evident. From sweaty rock shows to classy cocktail lounges, bars and pubs, there is enough supply in night-time Helsinki to cater your liquor needs. And if you are taking a trip to Helsinki soon, here your recreation for the nightlife attraction is sorted with the list of best bars, pubs and cocktail lounges available in the capital of Helsinki. Go out with your friends and loved one to have a memorable experience on your vacation:
BrewDog is an international chain of bars owned by a Scottish brewery that opened a brewpub at Viiskulma in Helsinki in 2014. With its cool industrial style interior and good location, BrewDog has attracted many fans – even those who would not describe themselves as beer enthusiasts.
It is a perfect venue for a date or hanging out with friends, this popular rooftop bar has it all; spectacular views and delicious alcoholic beverages. Enjoy your view and evening over a cocktail in the Ateljee Bar on the top floor of the 14 story Hotel Torni, which locals refer to as the highest “skyscraper” in Helsinki! Many locals love this spot for its casual and lounge vibe, then afterward they usually head to a nightclub for some more fun!
Stadin Panimo, which roughly translates into Helsinki Downtown Brewery, is an innovative craft brewery and beerhouse located in the intriguing district of Suvilahti. If you schedule your visit accurate and they are making space for new brews, you can even purchase their great craft beers at outlet prices, they also serve great tapas!
Here you will find your typical cocktail bar for hipsters, but with a twist. This place is more of an experience than a partying night out. They craft all of their cocktails by hand and are known here for quality over quantity. They are constantly holding drink-making competitions, and trying out recipes from all over the world at this top-notch establishment. Stop in for some global drink exploration!
Ok, technically this place is not a brewpub, but if the name of the establishment mentions beer twice, we can’t just leave it out. Bier-Bier is situated in a historically protected building that used to house an Alko. The list of beers is comprehensive and specializes in craft beers.
The cocktail bar Goldfish opened beside the Design Museum to challenge the finest cocktail lounges in the Nordic countries with world-class stirring & shaking and a seasonal drink list. The cocktail menu is based on the four elements: for the first year, the cocktails revolve around water, fire, earth, and air. The next theme and sources of inspiration will be completely different. Small snacks are served to go with the drinks and the champagne list is exceptionally extensive. The interior has drawn inspiration from the library bars of London’s luxury hotels and all drinks are served to the tables.
The compact and minimalist Post Bar opened its doors in a corner of the so-called ‘party complex’ of Kaikukatu (home also to the Siltanen bar and the clubs Kuudes Linja and Kaiku). Post Bar is run by local DJs and caters to fans of top quality music with a wide range by both Helsinki talents and international guests. Another strong feature is visuality: new guest artists take over space once a month. The short and concise drinks menu includes classics as well as yuzu sake and the Lil Tonic.
Helsinki’s growing restaurant scene is underappreciated by outsiders but a great reason to visit the city. The capital’s cafes, independent bistros, and fine-dining establishments are full of food from all over the world with a Finnish slant and made with quality local ingredients. It is possible to find modest eateries serving only local culinary options, however, usually, most restaurants serve international dishes. Here we have come up with some of the best and premium restaurants available in Helsinki so you don’t find yourself in the hassle of looking for:
Sofia Gastro is a cozy fine dining restaurant upstairs at Kiseleff House that became an instant success among tourists as soon as it opened. There is no à la carte menu; instead, you can choose a tasting menu with either three or six items, and even though special diets and allergies are taken into consideration. The food mostly represents modern French cuisine with lots of vegetables, while the wines are mainly biodynamic natural wines and champagnes. Sofia Gastro also offers unbeatable views to Senate Square and Helsinki Cathedral.
Young Hearts is an intimate and cozy local restaurant on Arkadiankatu in the Etu-Töölö district. The food is modern and international, and you can push it down with organic wines and Finnish artisan beers. All the starters are reasonable and they include white anchovies and mozzarella served with ground almonds and liver paté served with fermented garlic, honey. The smallest main courses are delightfully diverse; the sugar-salted duck with Sichuan pepper and mala sauce provides a different taste sensation compared to the yellow root, horseradish and black garlic with tofu!
Plein is a new local restaurant in the Vallila district, Plein specializes in natural wines and excellent food. The result is picture-perfect dishes that are best enjoyed when shared. The mangalitza paté with pistachios, for example, is made from mangalitza curly-haired pigs that are raised on the Kohonen Farm in Central Finland. Their dishes you should try, the leek in butter sauce with smoked roe and the Sebastien Riffault Sancerre from the wine list!
Ultima was founded on the idea of searching for the future of Finnish cuisine. The restaurant focuses on hyper-locality and aims to grow more than half of its ingredients on-site via a hydroponic greenhouse system. Put together, the ambiance has a green, dreamlike touch. Ultima serves a full-evening fine dining menu as well as snacks for a shorter stop. The food is to-the-point, beautiful and very driven by ingredients. The wine list is composed of an interesting selection of wines from e.g. Denmark, Southern England, and Eastern Europe.
The newest arrival on Helsinki’s brewpub scene is Sori Taproom in Kaisaniemi. The inspiration behind Sori Taproom’s food philosophy comes from the founders of the popular restaurant Kolmon3n. At Sori Taproom you can enjoy American-style smoked food with your beer, including sausages, burgers and BBQ meats, not to forget all the vegetarian options. The beer options include Sori Brewing’s craft beers along with other drafts and bottled beers.
Magu is a completely vegan restaurant that is both modern and casual. Magu’s menu is inspired by flavors from around the world. Their small dishes are perfect for sharing, especially such delights as apple-cabbage kimchi, stuffed Dolma vine leaves with tzatziki, and nettle soup. The main dishes include vegan puttanesca pasta and cabbage dumplings with shiitake mushrooms, horseradish, red cabbage, quino, and nuts. Magu is not a usual local bistro, however; pay more and you can order your forest mushroom nettle raviolis and beet-mushroom risotto with white truffles on top. Magu has a good selection of natural and organic wines.
When you want to go overboard, why not try the three-course menu with specially selected beers at Bryggeri in the Tori Quarters? You can also drop in for just a glass or a small snack and enjoy the historical environment. Bryggeri serves great food and beer produced on the premises from scratch using the finest raw ingredients. It even produces its energy ecologically by reusing the biogas produced during the brewing process!
Are you ready to experience one of the best nightlife attraction, how the European people like to party? In this beautiful town of Helsinki, you can now get a chance to have a fun and quality time with your friends or loved one and mingle with the locals as well, while having a well-deserved drink. You can relax after spending a long day wandering the streets by spending time at the best nightclubs in the capital city of Finland. Refer our recommendations here and keep the nightlife activities going on at the optimum best night clubs in Helsinki:
Located in the Forum shopping Centre right in the middle of the City, Apollo Live Club is situated in a former cinema and now operates as an event restaurant. During the weekends, the nightclub also combines with the Forum’s inner courtyard, playing Scandinavian cover bands and karaoke until 3 am. During weeknights, the club hosts stand-up and theatre performances as well.
This rock bar for locals is a long-standing establishment with entertainment for everyone! If you love rock music then you will enjoy the many bands they have throughout the night and every night. Locally, Bäkkäri is known as an institution for all rock and music enthusiasts in Helsinki. It has been open now for eight years and in that time has gained a following to include rock stars in their weekend parties. On the weekend the nightclub upstairs showcases new and unique bands in all genres of heavy metal and rock. Bäkkäri has also been known to offer standup comedy, metal karaoke, and tons of other music-related night activities for your enjoyment!
DTM is short-form for “Don’t Tell Your Mother” and is one of the most popular night clubs, not only in Helsinki, but in all of Scandinavia. The venue features three bars, some of the City’s top DJs, karaoke on Wednesday nights, and is open until 4 am from Wednesday to Sunday.
If the name is not enough to draw your attention into this wonderful nightclub and bar, the atmosphere and friendly staff will do that. Fairytale can be recognized from Helsinkinkatu by the distinct rainbow flag on its window. It is a smaller, more intimate venue for those who are not into the big clubs.
For a change to the Nordic atmosphere, try Kokomo Tikibar, it is a Hawaii / Pacific themed bar, the first of its kind in Helsinki and perfect for when you need a break from the snow. As well as the Tiki theme, there is also a nightclub, karaoke, and cocktail bar, all with a fun atmosphere.
Established by Helsinki’s Live Music Association, this concert venue in Hietalahti hosts more than 120 events each year, with everything from black metal to hip-hop. It attracts both national and international acts for true local fans and music lovers. In addition, the bar and summer terrace serves food and drink and have a lunch menu on weekdays.
It is one of Helsinki’s oldest and most popular rock clubs operating since 1970. In it’s time, Tavastia has held gigs for some of Finland’s best acts and still contains a nostalgic atmosphere for classic rock fans. It still attracts many top Finnish and international performers and up-and-coming musicians. The nearby Restaurant Ives collaborates with the club to serve a-la-carte pre-concert cuisine.
To indulge in the global capital of heavy metal music, try the Helsinki metal scene’s favorite metal bar, PRKL Club. The upstairs bar serves drinks until late at night while the basement club hosts the City’s best metal acts during the weekends, from up-and-coming bands to established international performers. There are even thrash disco nights playing 80s and 90s floor fillers.
Let us conclude the topic, here in this article we had a brief introduction of Helsinki along with highlighting some of its prominent norms, culture, and nightlife features. We also went through different activities and places to enjoy the nightlife of the region, Musical venues, Bars, Restaurants and Nightclubs as well. Such activities provide a great source of entertainment for tourists and locals as well.
As already elaborated, the nightlife attraction of Helsinki is scattered throughout the city. There are several streets / bustling areas of the city where cafes, concert and dance venues, galleries and restaurants offer something special to everyone who loves the culture, shopping and nightlife attraction. There are plenty of pubs & bars throughout the City areas and they are truly satisfying the desire of thirsty visitors where you can enjoy your cocktails with the mesmerizing architectural beauty of the hand-crafted beers and their decors.
You don’t feel any hunger during your trip that is why we also suggested some of the finest restaurants in the city that offer exotic and delicious food along with your favorite drinks. You can enjoy the taste of good food along with some great booze.
And lastly, we went through comprehensive options of nightclubs of the city that offers great music and fun with some delightfully exotic choices of drinks and cocktail that will delight your overall experience of charming nightlife during your stay at Helsinki.
All of the experiences as mentioned above will work together to make your journey to Helsinki a memorable one. A perfect and balanced blend of the above-identified activities can actually boost your experience and make your trip extremely unforgettable for you.