Going out is not cheap, and complaining about the prices is a popular Finnish pastime, but compared to (say) London or New York City the prices aren’t that bad. If you are on a budget and intent on getting plastered, follow the Finns and drink up a good “base” at home or hotel before going out on town. Alternatively, you can start the night outside the city centre area and head to the district of Kallio where bar prices are significantly lower. Popular places include Heinähattu,
Roskapankki, Iltakoulu, Bar Molotow and Lepakkomies but there are lots more to choose from, just walk along Helsinginkatu or Vaasankatu. You can reach Kallio from the center by walking, by tram (lines 1, 3B, 6 or 7B) or by metro (get off at Hakaniemi and walk uphill, or Sörnäinen, and head west). All bars in Kallio have to close at the latest at 2AM, whereas in city centre there are many that are open until 4AM, this reinforces Kallio as a ‘party starting district’. The Kallio area is generally a bit rougher than the rest of the city and is as close as Helsinki gets to a red light district. However, it is a lot more tame than most ‘such parts of town’ in Europe. You will be fine there at any hour as long as you look out not to get in between a fight of two drunkards about who the remaining vodka belongs to.