Helsinki might not be your obvious gay destination, but like other Scandinavian cities, it's relaxed and cool. It's where old Soviet sobriety meets Scandinavian chic. Helsinki has a small but lively gay scene. Unlike other European gay cities, nightlife is not endless. Restaurants and bars are allowed to stay open between 9am and 2am. Night clubs can stay open until 4am with a special licence, but 30 minutes before it's your last chance to order some alcohol.
Where to stay in Helsinki?
Stay in a hotel in the center, then you are close to everything. Check out our hotel page for a map of the center and the gay places.Hotel recommendations and map
On Lonnrotinkatu you can find club Hercules, a spacious cruise and dance bar. But the Helsinkis main gay club is Don't Tell you Mother, or just DTM. It offers different floors with catchy dance tunes, trance, Finnish folk songs and other campy nights. DTM is Scandanavia's largest gay venue.
For those who like to cruise somewhere inside, there are in fact only two choices: Hercules and the only gay sauna in Finland, Vogue. Of course there are more saunas in the Land of the Sweaty, but most visitors there do not welcome your horny moves... When the night falls (which is most often very early this far up north), the grounds around the Olympic Stadium just north of city centre become a big outdoor cruising area! And as soon as the sun does shine, you must try huge gay nudist beach on the island of Pihlayasaari. You can take the ferry ride from the Carousel quayside in the city.
Gay Bars and Cafés
The main gay area is just south west of the railway station with bars, clubs, restaurants and shops all catering a gay or hetero friendly public. Here you can find bars like Bar Stuff, Mann's Bar and Albert Room. Another small queer quarter can be found just north east of the city centre. Here you find bars like Fairytale and the Nalle Pub - a laid-back pub attracting both sexes and all ages.