I enjoy heavy metal music a lot. When I’m abroad, it’s only natural that I try to find places where local headbangers gather. Usually the place is a bar or a some kind of a club, maybe an open air festival!
Finland is also well known of its metal scene and bands. Not every Finn enjoys heavy metal music but I would say that metal is quite popular here. I think Finland is a great destination for someone who loves metal, because..
We have festivals!
Tuska Open Air, Steelfest, Nummirock, Jalometalli and Sonisphere are the biggest metal festivals held in Finland. Three of these are in the capital city or at least in the capital area: Tuska and Sonisphere are held in Helsinki and Steelfest in Hyvinkää, which about an hour away from Helsinki. Many other festivals (that aren’t mentioned now) also have some rock/metal bands playing, so a true fan has the whole summer booked with festivals every weekend. Most of the festivals are held in summer time, but we have plenty of other metal events, bands playing etc. during winter – and around the year as well, of course.
Tuska Open Air
If we are not spending our time in festivals, we are probably consuming refreshing drinks at metal/rock bars and clubs. I would say that every city has at least one place where metal fanatics are welcomed.
Our large variety of different venues, bars and pubs and clubs keep a metalhead traveller rather busy, especially if visiting Hellsinki, Finland’s capital. Tampere city is also known of its rock scene. Some of the places offer hevikaraoke – heavy metal karaoke. That one I only recommend to listen if you are heavily under the influence of alcohol.. If you are not into bars, you could try the metal mass.
We Finns tend to be a little reserved, quiet and not very talkative at first when meeting new people. But it doesn’t mean, that a fellow metalhead woudn’t be welcome here. We love travellers, who have come here seeking our heavy metal culture! Because it’s something, that we are quite proud of. It’s only about 5,5 million people living in Finland but compared to our population we have a huge amount of heavy metal bands. Many of them, famous abroad as well.
Visiting On The Rocks bar in Helsinki with Hungarian couchsurfer Anna last summer
Even though it seems that we are somewhere far up north, Finland is actually quite easy to reach. Helsinki-Vantaa airport in southern Finland serves as an important hub connecting for example Asia and Europe. Many airlines operate from North America with direct flights. From European countries it’s easy to come here by car (and ferry) as well, if you happen to like driving. Other heavy metal countries, such as Sweden, Norway and Germany are just couple hour flights away. So if you are planning to visit one of these, you could include Finland to your travel itinerary as well!
When I travel and search for a great metal spots, I like to use Metal Travel Guide. It’s a site, where users can rate places they’ve visited, read reviews and it’s possible to search venues/bars/so on that have something to do with the rock/metal scene. Here you can find the Finland section. Metal from Finland is a site concentrating on finnish metal bands and culture – this site might be handy as well if you are planning your next metalhead trip to Finland!
Heavy metal people all around the world – I invite you to Finland!