Gay Tourists Cross the Finnish Line
Photos (top and bottom) courtesy Q Life; photo of Pride courtesy Visit Helsinki; photo of bartenders courtesy A21; story by Nif Leder and Ed Salvato
You might not think of Finland as a gay hot spot, but its atmosphere is more like its average summer temperatures: comfortable.
Helsinki makes its debut on the gay radar with the introduction of a gay-friendly travel network. Tourism officials thread a rainbow string through retail stores, hotels, restaurants, and even taxis to provide gay-friendly service to LGBT tourists. Use the Q Life traveler’s guide available for free at the Tourist Office or online (click here).
Why flock to Finland? Beautiful Art Nouveau buildings line waterways, and there’s a a maze of bridges connecting over 300 islands that compose greater Helsinki. Heat up your experience by stepping inside one of the 2 million saunas the country offers. With a population of approximately 5 million, (that’s nearly more than 1 for every three people)! Europe’s northern most capital is also the second most populous city on the continent.
Wash down a day of adventure at A21 Cocktail Lounge (left), a trendy spot that holds tight to their motto of, “Cocktails are culinary experiences.” Sick of gay bars that are simply a scene, because you can’t hear over the music? Like many European cities, Helsinki offers a number of gay cafés. DTM is the first and biggest cafe and disco combo that keeps the music going until 4AM, as DTM chants, “’cos we love to party.” When a hangover hits, head over to Bear Park Cafe for a hot coffee or homemade ice cream.
Click here for a cool OutTraveler story on dogsledding in Finland.