As we revel in the final weeks of glorious Finnish summer and the midnight sun continues to wreak havoc on our body clocks, we tend to find ourselves staying up later and later. Unlike in the brutal winter where most denizens of Helsinki are likely to be sleeping half of the day away, summer is when we come out to play, and refuse to go to bed.
Despite once having a poor reputation in terms of nightlife, an increasingly youthful population and relaxed licensing laws have led to a proliferation of late-night venues across the city. Here are some top tips on where to go when you just aren't quite ready to call it a night.
Beyond the pounding techno clubs and divey death metal bars, there are plenty of places across the city where you can hang out at almost any hour of the night. In the summer months, a trip to the sky-high Kaivopuisto is guaranteed to be swarming with people well into the wee hours these days. For something with a little more edge, the cliff-top Lenin Park in Kallio is always full of lively and colourful characters at pretty much all hours.
You can also try your luck at a little gambling at the Casino Helsinki on Mikonkatu, open til 4 am every single day and always packed to the rafters with those looking to be a high roller. If you fancy a late-night roulette spin or trying your hand at blackjack after a night on the town, this is the place to go. Blackjack requires plenty of finesse and skill, so make sure to down a coffee a practice your blackjack strategy and bone up on probability thoroughly beforehand. Helsinki is one of the only places in the Nordics you can experience a night at the casino, so this one is definitely a must-do.
There are now hundreds of top-notch watering holes across the city, and some are open later than others. For a drinking experience to remember, head to Steam on Olavinkatu for a steampunk-inspired, surprisingly affordable session. The place is usually open until 6 am, so you'll have no trouble getting in.
For something a little more heart-racing, head to the floating rave vessel Merikerho, which you'll find by the docks by Hanasaari - open late on weekdays and as late as 7 am on weekends. Also, try the city's coolest techno dungeon Kaiku for 6 am close times, or the now-legendary Post Bar just a stone's throw away for 5 am last calls every night of the week.
If you're feeling a midnight snack in Helsinki, it's now easier than ever to satisfy those late night hunger pangs. There's really no shortage of open-all-hours eateries; it just depends on what you're craving. For pizza, head to Putte's, for ludicrously cheap Turkish food Sky Express is your best friend, Tenho is the place for nocturnal vegans and Cantina West is where to go for absolutely filthy Tex-Mex whenever the mood strikes.
This city has come a long way in the past ten years and now it truly feels like it's on track to be a global 24/7 city, which we could not be happier about.