Helsinki Nightlife: Searching for the Perfect Club
After spending a wonderful day riding roller coasters and getting our kicks at Linnanmäki Amusement Park, my hostel roommate and I decided to have a fun night out. It was our last night before we made our respective ways, so we wanted to do something memorable and really experience Helsinki. Being summer, the day is really long, so we were in no rush. In fact, we found that even at 11 p.m., people were just starting to come out and enjoy the nice evening breeze.
Our first stop was Mbar, which is the place to be in Helsinki. It’s a great terrace to just hang out, get a drink and catch up with friends. The atmosphere is lovely, the place is modern and the music is great. We got our drinks, but the place was so packed that we could not find a seat anywhere! The music got us in the mood to dance, so we decided to go to a disco. Luckily, two friendly locals came to chat with us. Even if they could not speak English very well, the men were friendly and tried to suggest some places where we could head to next. Buoyed by our great start to the night, we headed towards a street where we saw many nightspots, but unfortunately none were what we were looking for.
After much walking, we decided to check out Club Vatican. Luckily, it turned out to be quite fun for a little while. We got some great cocktails and boogied on the dance floor. Unfortunately, there weren’t many people dancing, so the atmosphere was a bit flat. It seemed that most club goers preferred to stand on the sidelines and watch. What I found interesting was that there seemed to be a split of women in the middle of the dance floor and men on the sides. And, there were barely any men dancing at all! After we finished our drinks, we decided to head somewhere else, where there might be a better mood. It was almost midnight and the club goers were getting worse for wear.
The local men were mesmerized by us foreign girls, and they were quite assertive in their admiration and intentions.
With nary a clue where we are going, my friend and I decided to head back towards the Kamppi district, where the concentration of night venues were. Unfortunately, we found nothing that attracted our attention. We kept walking down Aleksanterinkatu and came across a karaoke bar that looked like fun.
Personally, I hate singing, but with lack of choice and a positive outlook, we decided to give it a try. We queued up at the door, and presented our IDs when asked by the security guard. He allowed my friend through with ease, and then scrutinized my passport and told me, “Sorry, you have to be over 22 years of age to come in this venue.” I looked at him strangely as I’d had no trouble getting into venues up until now. My friend asked him if he knew a venue nearby where we could dance. He mentioned Lady Moon Nightclub and gave us directions.
Off we went towards this nightclub while having a chuckle at the fact that I could not get into a karaoke bar. Lady Moon turned out to be quite a surprise. There was no security at the door, and you had to go up the stairs, through what looked like a mini casino, and then check your bags and coats in the coatroom. The patrons looked quite suspicious and, of course, quite intoxicated. The music was very dated and uninspiring, so we decided to go and find another venue.
He allowed my friend through with ease, and then scrutinized my passport and told me, “Sorry, you have to be over 22 years of age to come in this venue.”
By this stage, I was getting pretty tired, and it was getting to be rather early in the morning. We passed Milliklubi on our way, and having heard that it was a good venue for dancing, we decided to give it one last shot. Finally, this looked like a disco where the atmosphere was pumping. The music was really good, the dance floor was packed, and we started to have lots of fun. We partied for a few hours and then decided that it was time to head back to our hostel and get some sleep before catching the early train and boat.
While walking back to our hostel, in the wee hours of the morning, the dawn was stunning. We passed the Helsinki Cathedral and stopped to take in the sight and snap a few pictures. We even had a local man accompany us part of the way, and we chatted with him about where we were from and why we were visiting Finland.
Overall, it was an amazing night in Helsinki. We had some fun parts and some bewildering moments. The funniest thing we found was that the local men were mesmerized by us foreign girls, and they were quite assertive in their admiration and intentions. Even though it was Friday night, and there were many intoxicated people in the city center, I can say we felt very safe.