Bars and nightlife and no dress-codes

Helsinki has a lively bar culture catering for every taste.

The nightlife warms up for the weekend with eager partyers swinging from bar to bar.

BARS IN HELSINKI open their doors at 9 a.m. or later; the licensing laws prohibit anything of an alcoholic nature being sold before then, so early liquid breakfasts are out.

At the other end of the dial, the latest of the nightclubs send their customers packing by 4 a.m.

If you are out late in Helsinki, particularly at the weekend, you can prepare yourself for some queuing, both to get in for a drink and to secure a taxi-ride home.

However, the good news is that Helsinki is nearly free of the sort of places that you find across Europe from Stockholm southwards – the ones that pay strict attention to the attire of their prospective customers.

Just as long as you don’t turn up in a jogger’s tracksuit and drip sweat all over the doorman’s shoes, the doors to a Helsinki restaurant will open to you.

How long you may have to wait rather depends on the day you choose.

Going out is weighted towards the weekends.

On Friday and Saturday nights the bars and clubs are jumping, but from Sunday through Tuesday you might wonder how it is possible to operate a capital city with so few people to work with.

On Wednesday and Thursday things start warming up again for the weekend.

Even at the weekends, the Helsinki locals do not tend to stay long cooling their heels in the same place.

The custom is to swing from bar to bar in the course of an evening, and to wind up at a nightclub in the small hours.

As Helsinki is a small city, many of the bars are within a walking distance from each other.

Here are some of the best places, among them cocktail bars, music venues and some Helsinki specialities.


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