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Entertainment & Nightlife in Finland
 
 
 

Helsinki

General

Most of the nightlife is centrally located around Uudenmaankatu and Eerikinkatu and bar-hopping is easily done on foot. The Helsinkiläiset are fairly relaxed about their dress code; visitors will feel at ease in anything from jeans to eveningwear, depending on the venue. Helsinki seems to specialise in the bar-cum-restaurant – the early shift comes to dine, the later crowd to party. Most stay open until about 3am in the summer, while hours vary in the winter, often depending on patronage. Discos or nightclubs generally close about 4am. The Finns love dancing to tango music and many restaurants have dance floors. Outdoor dancing is a particular favourite and can be found at Pavin tanssilava, in nearby Vantaa. The legal drinking age is 18, although some pubs and discos have an age limit of 21 years. The minimum age for nightclubs is generally 24 years. The price of a bottle of beer is approximately €3-3.50, while a glass of wine costs from €3 to €4.

The best guide to the city is Helsinki This Week published by the City of Helsinki Tourist Office and widely available (www.helsinkiexpert.fi).

Bars

Most of the bars are found on two nearby streets, so a bar crawl will reveal most of Helsinki’s nightlife. Molly Malone’s, Kaisaniemenkatu 1C, is a lively pub in the generic ‘Irish’ style, with regular live music. For surroundings with a difference, Restaurant Zetor at Mannerheimintie 3, is a must – here one can drink and dine amid a collection of agricultural machinery. The trendy Bar 9, Uudenmaankatu 9, domain of Helsinki’s movers and shakers. Just beside it is Bar Tapasta, Uudenmaankatu 13, a hole-in-the-wall bar, always spilling over with a hip crowd washing down tasty tapas with designer beers. Bar Corona, Eerikinkatu 11, has billiards, pool and a laid-back atmosphere, where you can either perch at the bar or sit outside on the street. Just next door is MOSKOVA, normally packed with youngsters enjoying a honey-vodka or ten. Further down the road, Mother, Eerikinkatu 2, is another popular hangout, while a little further along is Con Hombres, Eerikinkatu 14, a small, often packed gay bar, which plays some of Helsinki’s best techno tunes. Café Tin Tin Tango, Töölöntorinkatu 7, is an unusual venue with built in launderette and sauna. The Finnish national passion for tango dancing can be experienced at Vanha Maestro, Fredrikinkatu 51-53.

Casinos

Grand Casino, Mikonkatu 19 (www.grandcasinohelsinki.fi) is open from 12pm-4am daily, offers the full range of gambling games and machines. Foreign nationals can register as guests. It is Finland’s only venue of its type, and attracts over 200,000 visitors annually. Located close to the main railway station, it is operated by the Finnish Slot Machine Association.

Clubs

It is difficult to know where to place Café Soda, Annankatu/Uudenmaankatu 16, as it is a café by day, bar by night and nightclub after midnight. DJs spin Helsinki’s best moves and grooves and a young, funky crowd frequent the bar and dance floor. Nightclub DTM, Annakatu 6, is large, noisy, gay and steaming with pumping techno music. Hotel clubs tend to cater to the business crowd – some of the more popular include the Helsinki Nightclub, Sokos Hotel, Kluuvikatu 8, Helsinki, Yliopistonkatu 8, and Hesperia Nightclub, at the Radisson SAS Hesperia Hotel, Mannerheimintie 12. Club Ooppera is a lively R’n’B and hiphop restaurant in Mannerheimintie, and the nearby La Tour is open Wed-Sat with a lower age limit of 24.


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