Expensive but lovely: Helsinki is worthy a visit!
I love travelling by bus, even more than by train: I find it the best way to discover the surroundings and the real soul of an area! So, instead of taking a train, I made my way from Turku to Helsinki by bus: I found an amazing and very cheap way to travel around Finland, ABus, quick and easy!
I spent a couple of nights in Helsinki, staying at a friend’s place, and I discovered it as a truly interesting city worth a visit, even though I was not really impressed by its gay scene…
It is not a huge city, and almost everything happens around the centre of it: pretty easy to walk around, you can discover its main sights in no more than one day.
But if you have time, you should consider to extend your visit to Suomenlinna, a sea fortress built on six islands, easily reachable by boat, from the main port of the city.
Suomenlinna is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it is very interesting to visit, especially if you like to enjoy sights of the city landscape form the distance, like I do, as you should know by now :p
Another great spot to enjoy a beautiful view of the city is the Ateljee Bar, on the roof of the Sokos Hotel Torni. The lift goes up to the 12th floor of the building, then a narrow spiral staircase brings you straght to the bar. As you can see, the view from the bar is stunning.
What about gay life? I was not really lucky… the night gay bars I checked out, DTM, Mann’s street, Hercules were not really busy… I happened to be there just the week after Helsinki’s Gay Pride, which can explain why not so many people were around. Also, the great good weather might have convinced many people to hang out in terraced bars rather than in old claustrophobic bars which ask for a stupid cover charge just to let you in…
One the other hand I was pleasantly surprised by a nice outdoor bar, mainly good for sunny daylight enjoyment: Freedom, which has also a very nice Instagram account. Freedom bar is located near the main park of the city, very green all around, so it is perfect for a nice drink or many when the weather is good enough to enjoy it outdoors with old or new friends!
So, is Helsinki a gay city? My answer is: I do not know… I will have to repeat my visit, possibly during spring or fall time, to find it out… do you want to come along? Just drop me an email and we can organize a cheeky visit!
Date of Last Visit: July 2015