Originally known for its rock and heavy metal clubs, Helsinki has recently developed a suave bar-lounge scene. What began as a love of mojitos is flourishing into a number of carpeted, couch-lined venues combining loungy tunes with magnificent cocktails, some as a separate part of chic restaurants. While the city is generally quiet Sunday–Tuesday nights, a well-dressed, mostly suit-clad clientele begins boozing and schmoozing in earnest on "little Saturday" (aka Wednesday), and you can expect lines at the most popular places starting at 11 on weekends. The compact size of the city center makes it easy to barhop. Almost any place with a terrace or courtyard is sure to be busy in summer, and cover charges, when required, average €5–€10.

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  • 1. Ateljee Bar


    Perched atop the historical Solo Sokos Hotel Torni, the Ateljee Bar is a modest space, accessed by means of elevator and narrow spiral straircase, that's big enough to serve its purpose: serving cocktails and other drinks. Though the drinks are expensive, the views of the city from its balconies—and famously, from its bathrooms—are second to none. Art exhibitions are an added attraction.

    Yrjönkatu 26, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00100, Finland
  • 2. Juttutupa


    Steeped in history, this bar was first opened in 1906 by the Helsinki Workers' Association. If that gives a staid impression, don't be deterred: Juttutupa hosts great jazz, blues, and other music nights (admission is free) and has a convivial, authentically Helsinki atmosphere, making it one of the city's best live music venues. At the bar's "revolutionary table," Vladimir Lenin met with fellow conspirators and plotted Russia's revolution, just one element of a fascinating and eventful history. The bar is inside the Graniittilinna restaurant, behind the Scandic Paasi hotel, a magnificent National Romantic–style stone fortress overlooking an inlet from the sea. The menu includes good pizzas and salads, and there is an outdoor terrace that catches the evening sun.

    Säästöpankinranta 6, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00530, Finland
  • 3. Storyville


    Helsinki's most popular jazz club has live jazz, blues, rock and roll, and dancing Monday–Saturday.

    Museokatu 8, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00100, Finland
  • 4. Angleterre

    Keskusta | Bars/Pubs

    An affluent crowd frequents this cozy English ale house, which is run by a well-known Helsinki cellar master.

    Fredrikinkatu 47, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00100, Finland
    010-7663–580-8 cents/call + 12 cents/min)
  • 5. DTM


    Short for "Don't Tell Mama," DTM is the largest and best-known gay club in Finland, combining a nightclub, bar, and event venue with VIP bookings and welcoming "every letter of LGBTIQ." There's an age minimum of 20 on Saturday and 18 on other days. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 to 5 . Check website for entry fees.

    Mannerheimintie 6B, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00100, Finland
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  • 6. Fennia Salon

    Keskusta | Dance Club

    For an upscale evening of cocktails, dinner, and a live show (June–August), head over to Grand Casino Helsinki's Fennia Salon.

    Mikonkatu 19, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00100, Finland
  • 7. Grotesk

    Keskusta | Bars/Pubs

    Grotesk belies its name with black carpet, an ornate polished-wood ceiling, and well-dressed people sipping champagne and expertly made cocktails; its courtyard is packed in summer.

    Ludvigink. 10, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00130, Finland
  • 8. Kaisla

    Keskusta | Bars/Pubs

    Larger than it appears from the outside, this bar offers a huge range of beers, ales, and ciders from across the globe in its snug, redbrick interior.

    Vilhonkatu 4, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00100, Finland
    010-76 63850
  • 9. Kaivohuone

    Kaivopuisto | Dance Club

    The dance floor of this old spa structure in beautiful Kaivopuisto is often packed weekends.

    Kaivohuone Kaivopuisto, Iso Puistotie 1, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00140, Finland
  • 10. Kappeli


    The windows of this ornate, classic 19th-century Esplanade venue—containing a café, bar, and restaurant as well as offering one of Helsinki's most popular summer terraces—provide an excellent view of the Havis Amanda statue and the western edge of the Market Square. The terrace is a great place to sip a drink while enjoying afternoon performances on the bandstand on the other side of the Esplanade.

    Eteläesplanadi 1, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00130, Finland
    010-766–3880-8 cents/call + 12 cents/min
  • 11. Manala

    Töölö | Dance Club

    On weekends, late night at Manala is an extraordinary cocktail of elegant tango, bebop, and swing in the main hall and frenetic disco on the top floor. The first-floor restaurant in open until 4 am.

    Dagmarinkatu 2, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00100, Finland

    Nightlife Details

    €2.70 cloakroom charge
  • 12. Molly Malone's

    Keskusta | Bars/Pubs

    There's nightly live music at this popular Irish pub.

    Kaisaniemenkatu 1C, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00100, Finland
  • 13. Ravintola Teatteri


    Located on the Esplanade side of the Swedish Theater, Teatteri takes full advantage of its sexy Esplanade location with a perennially cool (and expensive) nightclub and two bar-lounges.

    Pohjoisesplanadi 2, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00130, Finland
  • 14. Tavastia Club

    Keskusta | Dance Club

    The university-owned Tavastia Club is one of the best rock clubs for top Finnish talent and some solid imports.

    Urho Kekkosenk. 4–6, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00100, Finland
  • 15. Teerenpeli Helsinki


    Located on the edge of the Kamppi Center mall, Teerenpeli Kamppi serves excellent on-tap and bottled beers from its on-site microbrewery, its own whiskey, and substantial snacks and tapas plates. 

    Olavinkatu 2, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00100, Finland
  • 16. Vanha Ylioppilastalo

    Keskusta | Bars/Pubs

    The three spaces here attract students with live music and DJs—blues, folk, jazz, reggae, hip-hop, and Latin are all represented.

    Mannerheimintie. 3, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00100, Finland
  • 17. Vltava

    Keskusta | Bars/Pubs

    Once used as a Finnish State Railways' warehouse, this beautiful four-story, Jugend-style building is now a bar and restaurant with the best selection of Czech beers in the city.

    Elielinaukio 2, Helsinki, Uusimaa, 00100, Finland
    10-76 63650

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