Helsinki Rock City

At an Apocalyptica concert in Finland

Picture: Terhi Ylimäinen / Visit Finland

Finland is the heavy metal capital of the world, as the saying goes, and Helsinki is a rock city with lots of rock bars to keep you rocking all night long.

Loose (Annankatu 21) simply reeks of rock-cred.

This is where everybody from the local rock scene loves to hang out. The bar has live gigs and hosts popular parties and clubs, and the jukebox carries a broad selection from Iggy Pop (who has, actually, visited the bar) to Tom Waits, via The Who, James Brown, and local talent. Enough said.

Bar Bäkkäri (Pohjoinen Rautatienkatu 21) is a rock bar with some serious attitude. Bäkkäri (“Backstage” in Finnish) has a live music venue upstairs and a bar with a hard rock vibe downstairs.

They have lots of rock memorabilia, screens playing music videos and all kinds of theme nights. 

Located centrally next to the main railway station, On the Rocks (Mikonkatu 15) is a two-story rock bar and live music club with several live music nights every week. 

Helsinki’s biggest and ballsiest rock-club Tavastia gets the hottest acts that haven’t gone onto the arena circuit, and at the smaller, steamy Semifinal in the same block at Urho Kekkosen katu 4–6 you can catch promising artists on the way up and the best names in the underground scene. 

Outside these rock venues, live music can be heard at Korjaamo Culture Factory (Töölönkatu 51 A–B), a venue for smaller bands from rock to jazzy soul.

Kuudes Linja is an underground club (Hämeentie 13) with DJs and live acts playing anything from electronica to reggae.

They even have children’s disco matinees! Nosturi (Telakkakatu 8) is operated by the local live music association.

The venue has a capacity of 900 and offers a broad variety of music genres from black metal to hip hop.

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