A typical Time Out
review of Helsinki winter night life would urge vistors to the tunnel between the train station and the metro for a "fascinating insight into youth culture of this dark wintry city. Punk meets goth, metal clashes with death and anything goes as long as it's black, black, black. Piercings punctate the skin of Helsinki's sub-terranean folk, as 'vitu' punctuates the air amongst the last of the shoppers making use of the late night (10pm) opening grocery store, the aptly named KKK. But don't try this Finnish phrase amongst new friends, it's actually a swear word, though you would almost think it's a form of greeting from its prolific use. High leather boots, capped or trimmed with (you guessed it) metal are the derigeur footwear, while long black coats keep out the winter wind. Hair is teased and backcombed for girls, long and lank for the boys. Hair is about the only place where colour is seen; blue, black red, all are acceptable though only the most Marilyn Manson lookalike could bravely sport a peroxide do - it's just too close to the norm for anyone else. Socks to match your hair are of course an added bonus."
"For visitors seeking a more ethnic feel to this most homogenous of cities, try the central railway station. No it's not a hub of passengers en route to exotic destinations, but a convenient and warm place for huddling masses. Kids from global immigrant parents chat up local girls, while groups of single Somali men congregate at the door closest to the Rautatientori. Eastern Europeans aren't alone; take the escalators down to the left luggage and if you're lucky you'll catch an ol' Rusky taking his home brew out of a locker late at night. Real travellers with bags beware, you'll be hard pushed to find an available locker at this rate but if you're lucky you might get a swig of station-fermented vodka for your 3 Euro instead."
"For a truly authentic night out, take the 67 bus late at night to downtown Maunula, in the suburbs out near Keha 1, the notorious ring road that keeps Helsinki in, and the reindeers out. The ride itself is never a dull one. Occasionally the bus driver speaks Finnish so speak your stop clearly or have the correct change available. Activities on the 67 include unsolicited massage, urination, singing and vocal exercises and language workshops on the conjugation of the verb 'vitu'. Those who work in mental health will find the ride a fascinating experience. Get off the bus at the popular Suursuon stop, noticeable for the faded neon Ostoskeskus sign. DikiDiks and Bart's Ravintola are the main attractions here, with karaoke, fights, and beer spillage on offer at both places. Shell suits are suitable for day visits but come sunset, it's a strictly boots, jeans and flannel environment."
"But if the suburban nightlife is too quiet for you then nothing beats a night cruising the subway of Sornainen. Night or day, this metro station always houses some of the cities most eloquent and active drunks. Almost athletic in their ability to remaining standing, they totter between the ticket gates and the lolly shop. Usually found in groups, drinking out of bags, they would readily welcome tourists to join them if you bring a drink stronger than the local pear cider. When you're done with standing up, just move onto the Metro; it's warm, has plenty of seats and lots of people who will give you room once you start talking to yourself. Even when it's crowded, you're guarenteed to get a seat, not least because you smell like wee."
Time Out Helsinki indeed.