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Finns go to bars to spend time with friends, not to meet new people, afaik.
Finns dont really "date" one another, and quite often you will be approached by a woman if she is interested in you (more often than not actually).
Hi, I moved to Helsinki a few weeks back as a part of my employment.
I'm an Indian, but have been living in USA for the past few years.
They are pleasant and mostly play nice music (even though the beer prices are kinda absurd...)Being a 28-yr old single man, the major motivation for going to pub is to check out the women (ahem! I have read in many places about the difficulty in getting a Finn to chat up with you.To add to the conversation : I myself an indian born and been living in finland for the last 5 yrs... Dated few girls and now recently engaged to my girl (second longest relationship).Know quite many asians(pak-ind-bangla) and some are happily married to finns.are dating ..have families...Finns normally go to the bar to either get drunk or pick up someone (or both).Most Finns dont go to bars to "meet someone" for an interesting conversation. As others have said, try tinder or some other form of social networking.
I also recommend hanging out at the actual barcounter and saying hi to whoever comes to wait next to you. Thats a little forward and Finnish girls buy their own drinks. I guess there's always an inherent resistance with women, especially white women (no offence intended), when it comes to chatting up and dating brown men...but, hey, there're exceptions always...:-)And the bar counter technique is the one which I have made use of in other countries..like you said, most of the time the bars are cramped and dark, and doesn't really provide a good atmosphere... Looks don't matter that much for women, so dont worry about being dark skinned or short.