Tampere is located just under 200 km north of Helsinki and can easily be reached by train or by car in around 2 hours. Here’s a five reasons to visit this compact and charming city.
1. Natural Beauty
You have probably heard about Finland’s lakes, which number in the thousands. In Tampere alone there are around 200, with the central part of the city sitting between Lakes Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi.
Situated within the city area is the Pyynikki Nature Reserve, a scenic pine forest with hiking and skiing trails. From Pyynikki you can enjoy outstanding views of the city and surrounding lakes, as well as climb the Pyynikinharju ridge, which is the highest of its kind in the world. On the ridge is a unique 26m observation tower and cafe, where you can stop for hot coffee and delicious doughnuts.
2. One-of-a-Kind Museums
Tampere may be a small city but it is chock full of museums, many of which are unlike any you will find elsewhere, let alone in such a small radius.
Take for example the world’s only Moomin Museum. Whether you’re a long time fan of the Finnish classic cartoon, or a new convert won over by the latest Moomin tv-series, you’re sure to enjoy a visit to the only museum in the world dedicated to the adorable troll and his friends.
The Vapriikki Museum is another major museum that covers a wide range of themes. There you can find the Natural History Museum, Mineral Museum, Finnish Ice Hockey Hall of Fame, the Postal Museum and the Finnish Museum of Games.
As if that wasn’t enough, there is also a Lenin Museum, a Spy Museum, and Finland’s only official Police Museum. In all likelihood you’ll need more than one day to visit Tampere if you want to see them all.
3. Sauna City
When in Finland, sauna is a must, regardless of the season. If you are in Tampere then you have the chance to experience Finland’s oldest public sauna that is still operational. Over 100 years old, the Rajaportti Sauna is located on the outskirts of the city at Pispalan Valtatie 9.
There are several other public saunas where you can also go winter swimming, such as Rauhaniemi Sauna, Kaukajärvi Sauna and at the Kaupinoja Sauna which is beside the Näsijärvi lake.
4. Distinctive Finnish Food
“Mustamakkara” (black sausage) is an authentic Finnish food that originated in the Tampere region. It is typically eaten with lingonberry jam and a glass of cold milk. Nowadays it can be found throughout Finland, but if you are in Tampere we recommend that you try it there!
Try it from Market Hall (Kauppahalli) or from kiosks at Laukontori or Tammelantori Market Squares. If you are in Tampere during the Christmas season, be sure to visit the Christmas Market, where you can find mustamakkara, as well as many other local delicacies such as reindeer. Tampere also has a reputation for excellent doughnuts, so don’t miss those either!
5. Arts & Entertainment
Great food is not the only thing you can find in abundance in Tampere. This small city can stand on its own when it comes to entertainment, with a wide range of live-music and comedy venues, bars and clubs, as well as fun activities for visitors of all ages.
The most popular place to go for family-friendly fun is Särkänniemi Amusement Park. Särkänniemi is located centrally in Tampere and is only a 10-minute walk from the train station.
In addition to the standard amusement park fare such as roller coasters and water rides, Särkänniemi also houses a planetarium, aquarium and a children’s zoo. Here you can also visit the Näsinneula Observation Tower, which is the tallest structure in Finland and the second highest observation tower in the Nordic countries.
Look out for the Creepy Carnival at Särkänniemi, which starts on October 12, 2019.