Situated between lakes Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi at the western edge of Finnish Lakeland, Tampere is regularly rated the most desirable place to live in Finland. A vibrant, modern city surrounded by lakes and forest, Tampere is a hidden gem ideal for city breaks.

Nature and Cultural Attractions in Tampere

The region is an urban cultural destination combining the heartbeat of the city with the peace and tranquillity of easily accessible nature. The location between two lakes means that you can easily get on the water from the centre of Tampere to enjoy the surrounding lake scenery, for example on a lunch or dinner cruise. Viikinsaari, also known as Tampere’s oasis, can be reached by boat in an exhilarating way, at the end of which you can enjoy the island’s natural scenery, beaches, sauna, summer events, and good food in the island’s restaurant.

For cyclists, there are Lake Trails of varying lengths in the Tampere Region, taking you through magnificent countryside, past villages and towns, into national parks, and always near lakes. From the city, visitors can reach, for example, the Halimasjärvi and Villilänsaari nature reserves, the Härmälä, Hakavuori, Hervantajärvi and Suolijärvi Nature Trails, or explore the delightful Hatanpää Arboretum and Rose Garden.

Sauna is an important part of Finnish cultural heritage and Tampere is known as the sauna capital of the world. In Tampere, you can enjoy numerous high-quality saunas, which can be found both near the city centre and in the peace of nature. For example, sauna restaurant Kuuma located in Laukontori in the city centre offers gentle relaxation and unforgettable experiences, where you can enjoy, in addition to sauna, a cosy outdoor terrace and a dip in the cool Ratina stream pool, as well as enjoy the restaurant’s delicious dishes. Tampere also has a rich and diverse selection of restaurants! For example, try Restaurant Periscope, which opens up impressive views over the city and Lake Pyhäjärvi, as well as Restaurant Kajo, selected among the best restaurants in Finland.

In Tampere, there is always something happening. The city has almost 20 museums and the most theatres per capita in all of Finland. Tampere complements its regular cultural attractions with a packed calendar of events, which offers a variety of musical, cultural, and food events throughout the year.

In summer, the Central Square area in front of Tampere City Hall turns into the city’s largest summer terrace, and at the end of the year, the market area is filled with an atmospheric Christmas market. The Nokia Arena, on the other hand, is Tampere’s newest and largest event venue, where a variety of major events are organised, from concerts by famous stars to world-class sports competitions. Tampere has its own Philharmonic Orchestra, based in Tampere-talo, which is also home to the only Moomin Museum in the world.

Attractive shopping places complete a vacation full of culture and nature. So stop by the Design on Tampere boutiques to make guaranteed local and domestic finds. Their map also features local recommendations on museums and cafes!

Serlachius Museums in Art Town Mänttä

Located a little over an hour from Tampere, the modest town of Mänttä is home to the twin museums of Serlachius Gösta and Serlachius Gustaf, two cultural attractions worthy of any major city. With both idyllically located by lakes, and connected by a lakeside walking trail, visitors can combine their experience of national art treasures and fascinating architecture with a relaxing stroll while enjoying the beauty of Finnish nature. There are a range of guided packages available too, for example visitors can enjoy a guided walking tour through the beautiful lakeside landscape. Having worked up an appetite, indulge yourself with the offerings of Restaurant Gösta’s ‘natural cuisine’ as delivered by Chef Henry Tikkanen, with forest flavours to the fore in every dish.

The Serlachius museum is home to one of the largest, and most important, private art collections in the Nordics, which is exhibited in the Joenniemi manor house and in the internationally awarded Gösta Pavillion. In addition to the collection exhibitions, as well as the historical exhibitions in Serlachius Museum Gustaf, there are a number of temporary exhibitions of contemporary art to enjoy throughout the year. View current exhibitions here >>

A new architectonic perspective into the concept of Finnish sauna, Art Sauna has been opened on the shore by Serlachius Museum Gösta.Groups may book an evening in the sauna with catering services, and the public sauna for all sauna enthusiasts will be open on Tuesdays the whole year around, in July also on Wednesdays.

Photo: Touko Hujanen

Photo: Touko Hujanen

Art Sauna – Photo: Sampo Linkoneva

Sara Hildén Art Museum

Situated on the shores of Lake Näsijärvi in scenic park land, next to the Särkänniemi Amusement Park, the Sara Hildén Art Museum opened in 1979 at the same time as the sculpture park that surrounds it. The museum focuses on international modernism and contemporary art, with a collection comprising over 5,000 works and ranked among Finland’s most extensive and prestigious collections of modern and contemporary art. A visit to Sara Hildén Art Museum can be enhanced with a stroll through its impressive sculpture park, followed by refreshments at Café Sara, where scenic views over Lake Näsijärvi can be enjoyed.

The foreign artworks in the Sara Hildén Foundation reflect the international trends of their respective periods. Highlights in the collection include works by early modern masters such as sculptors Alberto Giacometti and Henry Moore, painters Francis Bacon, Victor Brauner, Paul Klee, Joan Miró, Georges Rouault, Graham Sutherland, Yves Tanguy, Pierre Bonnard, Juan Gris, Fernand Léger, and Pablo Picasso. There is also a wide-ranging sample of modern and contemporary art by Finland’s most renowned artists.

Visitors can complement their visit with a cup of coffee or tea and a home-made sweet or savoury pastry in the museum’s Café Sara? The top-quality coffee and tea come from a small local roastery. You can admire the unique landscape surrounding Lake Näsijärvi through the windows or from the outdoor terrace.

View current exhibitions here >>

Vapriikki – Versatile Museum Centre

Located by the Tammerkoski rapids in Tampere, the Vapriikki museum centre offers plenty to see and do for the whole family. The largest in Tampere, with four floors of exhibition space, Vapriikki hosts around a dozen exhibitions a year, with varied themes, including history, natural sciences, and technology. A truly versatile museum centre, Vapriikki is also home to the Natural History Museum of Tampere, Rupriikki Media Museum, the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame, the Finnish Museum of Games, the Mineral Museum, and Postal Museum. A single ticket to Vapriikki gives visitors entry to over 10 exhibitions, and the variety of those exhibitions ensures there’s something for all the family.

The Finnish Museum of Games is focused on experiences, allowing visitors to try the games first hand. Of the more than 100 games on display, 60 can be played. There is an arcade of old-school coin-operated games, or you can visit a Commodore 64 enthusiast’s room and play Nintendo games from the early ’90s. The permanent exhibition at the Tampere Museum of Natural History is also fascinating, chronicling in detail the history of life and biological diversity in the Tampere region. A new section focuses on many new natural phenomena and takes an exploratory approach that is engaging for all the senses.

Visitors are well served by the museum restaurant and café Valssi, which serves snacks and lunch. The summer terrace provides a magnificent view of the industrial red brick scenery along the flowing waters of the Tammerkoski rapids. As visitors enter Vapriikki’s spacious entrance lobby they’ll find the museum shop, providing an extensive selection of high quality gifts, jewellery, ornaments and utility articles, books, postcards and sweets.

Tampere Region Festivals – an oasis for culture vultures

Tampere can also be called the capital of events thanks to its packed calendar. The Tampere region is an oasis for culture vultures, with diverse events and festivals attracting people to the area all year round. Overseeing these since 2009, Tampere Region Festivals is a unique local network for 36 professional cultural events, developing local and international cultural festivals in the fields of music, theatre, dance, circus, literature, cinema and visual arts. The Region has many significant towns located along the lakes and rivers, each with its own proud history and its own unique events.

In summer, members of Tampere Region Festivals host the biggest festivals in the region, such as  Tammerfest and Blockfest, with other wonderful concert experiences offered by the likes of Tampere Jazz Happening, Fest Afrika, Tampere Guitar Festival, Tampere Chamber Music, Tampere Flamenco Week, Pispala Sottiisi, Lost in Music, Tampere Biennale and Tampere Vocal Music Festival. The gems of the art city Mänttä-Vilppula include the Mänttä Arts Festival, one of Finland’s most popular summer exhibitions

Aitoon Kirkastusjuhlat – photo: Tuuli Pulma

Annikin Runofestivaali – photo: Eino Ansio

Parkano Art Festivo – photo: Tuuli Pulma

Sastamala Gregoriana – photo: Laura Vanzo

Getting to Tampere

Tampere is easily reached by plane, train, or bus, with excellent domestic and international travel connections. Air Baltic operates direct flights from Copenhagen and Munich three times a week and to Málaga twice a week. Daily flights to Tampere are provided from Amsterdam and Riga. From May onwards, airBaltic will have flights from Tampere to Nice and Milan twice a week. Additionally, there are all-year-round flights to London by Ryanair. Finnair operates to Helsinki.