Find the party in LGBTQ Helsinki

Helsinki is one of the Nordic capitals, that are in general all very tolerant and chill places. That means you can pretty much be whoever you want to be and do what ever you want to do. Although it's not a huge city, there are still lots of things to do for the queer-minded traveller. And what's most important, you'll feel safe and accepted walking hand in hand. Or booking a hotel room with double beds. Or looking flamboyant. 

Obviously, there are some individuals who didn't get the memo of the year being 2018, but in general I'd say we're cool. 

So, whether you're looking for a party, a drag show or want to know about local gay heroes, there's something for everyone. 

Helsinki Pride

1. Nightclubs & parties

Yeah, I know that's what you wanted to know first. 

DTM is situated in the heart of Helsinki, right between the Stockmann department store and Forum shopping center. For boys & girls both, but there are some special events for only the other. Entrance prices are 3 € during the week and 8-10 € during the weekend. The place is pretty trashy, but in a good Eurovision kind of style. Good for dancing, and well, my favorite for a wild party night. The music is mostly big hits from Lady Gaga et cetera – you know the scene. 

Hercules moved to a new location (Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 21) a few years ago and I still haven't seen the new place. Drag shows and wild partying are guaranteed by what I remember from the old place (and that's not much, damn that Happy Hour). The club is mostly for men, but a few girls won't ruin anything. Mann's Street is also for men – or as they advertise themselves, not for boys but for older gentlemen. Cafe Cavalier is for a similar crowd and also has some live concerts every now and then.

Then there is the karaoke bar KGB in Kruununhaka (on weekends) and let's not forget about the pubs Fairytale and Freedom. Freedom is only open during the summer season, but has a nice summer terrace. And, well, Fairytale is not the fanciest or most welcoming of pubs, but a tiny, somewhat trashy place with regular customers in Kallio. I've never had the guts to try and go in.

For something a bit classier you could try out Room Bulevard. A good place for starting your evening since it's pretty close to both DTM and Hercules, that are the best for a night of dancing. 

Kaiku is not a gay club in itself, but very gay-friendly and often filled with techno-loving queer people. The queer/lesbian party Dyke Hard usually takes place in Kaiku. 

For the ladies there is also a new event called Lettukestit, that we are hoping has come to stay. 

Helsinki Pride March 2017

And of course there is the Pride week in June, this year from the 25th June till 1st of July. Lots of parties, speed-dating, the parade, and a picnic afterparty. 

2. Cafés

The Bear Park Café is a nice outdoors café in the Kallio 'main square', a.k.a. the Bear Park (Karhupuisto). Only open in the summer, though. It's perfect for a sunny afternoon, sipping your coffee and watching people pass by. 

Kulmakahvio Gay Café in Kallio

Right next to the Bear Park Café there is their second café, Kulmakahvio. Kulmakahvio is indoors, so if it's winter, snowing or a rainy summer day, head here! 

3. Drag shows and queer entertainment

In general you may want to check out the previously mentioned bars, since they host many of the drag shows and other events. Other queer-themed events are for example Feminist Comedy Nights and You Can't Be Serious hosted by trans comedian Jamie MacDonald and Kekkosklubi comedy nights by comedian Juuso Kekkonen.

The Punch up! show is a new one combining both stand up comedy and drag. Drag Me to HEL, Nights of Jaahas and House of Auer are one of the recurring events in the city. 

My drag queen friend also hints that there are drag acts in many burlesque events, such as Helsinki Shake It!, Rubies and Pirates Pleasures

4. Find your local gay heroes

Of course you already knew Tom of Finland was Finnish, but did you know the Moomins were too? The Moomin author Tove Jansson was a super cool gay lady and an idol to many gay gals of today. 

To follow Tove's footsteps you can take a walk around the Katajanokka area, where she had her atelier and home. This article has the route in pictures, however the text is in Finnish. There is a small exhibition of her artwork in HAM museum (Eteläinen rautatiekatu 8, inside the movie theatre). And if you're a big fan of the Moomin characters, pop by the Moomin shops and Moomin cafés. 

For Tom of Finland fans, your first step could be seeing the movie they made about him, called simply Tom of Finland. Then some exercise - Happy Guide Helsinki offers Tom of Finland themed walking tours. Finish the tour with shopping for awesome Tom bedsheets and aprons at Finlayson

Before the evening's party, of course.