photo © Discovering Finland

Tampere – The most loved tourism city in Finland

Tourism Tampere & Tampere Guide

Situated between lakes Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi, Tampere has grown thanks in part to differing in water levels of the lakes, 18 metres, and the channel that links them – the Tammerkoski Rapids. There are at least a dozen museums here and it is recognised as the centre for theatrical arts in Finland. There are some wonderful examples of Art Nouveau architecture in the city, as well as some of Finland’s most impressive churches. It is also home to Särkänniemi, one of Finland’s best loved adventure parks. Although Tampere is still a thriving industrial city, much of the former industrial areas have been recovered thanks to forward-thinking city planners, with a dense hub of restaurants and cafés, shops, theatres and cinemas, galleries, museums, and sport and fitness centres.

Visitors to Tampere will find many of the museums conveniently located in the Vapriikki Museum Centre which is home to the Natural History Museum of Tampere, the Media Museum Rupriikki, the Mineral Museum, the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame, the Doll Museum, Postal Museum and The Finnish Museum of Games. Tampere is also home to the only Moomin Museum in the world, located in the modern Tampere-talo the largest concert and congress centre in the Nordics, and home to Tampere’s highly regarded Philharmonic Orchestra. Elsewhere in the city you’ll find Tampere’s industrial past remembered in the Finnish Labour Museum Werstas, Textile Industry Museum, and the Steam Engine Museum. Two very unique attractions are the Spy Museum and the Lenin Museum, the only surviving one located outside Russia. Art lovers will be impressed by the collections in Tampere Art Museum, and by the exhibitions in the privately run Sara Hildén Art Museum, while in the nearby town of Mänttä-Vilppula the Serlachius Museums Gösta and Gustaf combine great art experiences with a beautiful natural setting and excellent dining.

There’s plenty of excitement available to families with kids – Tampere is home to Särkänniemi, the 2nd most popular amusement park in Finland. There are over 30 different rides here, with something for everyone from the smallest members to the most adventurous, with a separate Kiddie Land for the little ones, a children’s zoo, an Angry Birds Land and Koiraniemi. There is also an Aquarium and a Planetarium for enquiring minds. If you want to enjoy the finest views over the land-surrounded city, the Näsinneula Observation Tower, which stands at 168m is the tallest observation tower in the Nordic countries, has an excellent restaurant at 124m open throughout the year.

Tampere is also recognised as the Sauna Capital of the World, with over 30 public saunas in the region for anyone to relax in, throughout the year. Tampere is particularly attractive for those who love to mix hot steam and ice-cold water, as the region offers the most numerous possibilities in Finland to enjoy this addictive combination. Sauna & Restaurant Kuuma is located in the Heart of Tampere, by the Laukontori market square and boat quay, and it boasts a restaurant, a big two-storey terrace and two saunas, open all year round. You can experience the hottest löyly sensations either in wood-heated sauna or modern smoke sauna.From the sauna heat, you only need to take a couple of steps to plunge into the refreshing waters of Pyhäjärvi lake, in Kuuma’s own pool area.

As a regional capital Tampere has plenty of shopping options, including Ideapark Commercial City in Lempäälä. Ideapark is situated only 18 kilometers from Tampere City center, and is easy to reach because it is situated right by Helsinki-Tampere motorway. Ideapark offers an overwhelming selection of fashion, leisure, decoration and other consumer products under one roof. Free parking for 4000 cars. Ideapark is also easy to reach by bus. Visitors are certain to be charmed by Tampere Market Hall, an iconic building that has operated since 1901 and is the biggest indoor market in the Nordic countries. Be sure to sample the city’s most famous delicacy, Mustamakkara, literally translated black sausage, a Finnish blood sausage made from pork meat, blood and rye flour. This treat is best enjoyed warm from a local market stall. When buying mustamakkara, locals specify the amount of money they want to spend on sausage instead of weight or the size, for example “Five euros”. Another way of ordering is to get a “meno-paluu”, literally translated “out-and-return”, referring to the U-curve form of the whole sausage. Lingonberry jam is often served with mustamakkara. Mustamakkara has been produced in the region from 19th century onwards.

In Tampere, the lakeside begins at the city centre, with the forests opening up all around. Nature is never far, and there are numerous nature experiences to enjoy, including the Pyhä-Näsi lakeside cycling trails, the world’s highest gravel ridge, Pyynikinharju, and all the water activities available on lakes Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi. Another absolute gem in Tampere is of course the mighty Pyynikki area. Pyynikki is located on top of the world’s highest gravel ridge. Pyynikki offers incredible views over the blue lakes and the green forests. It is home to the Pyynikki observation tower, cafe and the delicious doughnuts. Local company Villipihlaja offers various experiences and programme services in nature, with a focus on well-being, dance, games, wild vegetables and steamboats.