Seinäjoki is the biggest city and the centre of the region of Southern Ostrobothnia, in Western Finland. It's a typical Finnish city, peaceful but with all the needed services and facilities of a big city. It is at the junction of five railways, at the intersection of several main roads and has good flight connections.
Railway station/ Rautatieasema Matkakeskus,Valtionkatu 1. Nationwide inquiries ☎ +358 600 41900
For national and international flights the closest airport is in Vaasa Vaasa airport, one hour trip from Seinäjoki.
Seinäjoki can be easily reached by car. The drive from Helsinki takes about 4 hours and there is a four-lane motorway as far as Tampere (speed limit 120 km/h in the summer, and 100 km/h in the winter), followed by two-lane regular roads with speed limits between 80 km/h and 100 km/h. There are also road connections from Seinäjoki to Vaasa, Jyväskylä and most of the main cities in Finland. The roads are always in good condition, but you need to pay extra care in winter when it is slippery and dark.
Seinäjoki is small enough that most of the things to see are easily reached on foot. When you exit the railway station, you will be facing the centre of town.
As elsewhere in Finland, taxicabs in Seinäjoki are clean, safe, reliable and rather expensive. The drivers are competent and know their way around. You can write down the address of your destination and hand it to the taxi driver to avoid misunderstandings. The cost of the trip depends on the number of passengers, time of day (day/night) and whether it is week day or weekend/official holiday. For example, 1-2 persons traveling in daytime a 5 km trip costs about €13 and a 10 km trip for 3-4 people about €25. Tipping is not necessary, but you can round up the bill if you feel you've been treated well and had a smooth ride. You can make an order by phone, yet the most common way is to find the nearest taxi stand and get a cab from there. Taxicabs accept cash and major credit cards. There are no private taxi companies; the national taxi service is the only legal service provider: ☎ +358 0100 84999
Taxi stands: Matkakeskus, Valtionkatu 1 (near the railway station and bus terminal) and Törnäväntie 21 (near Törnävänsaari and the Summer theatre)
Seinäjoki is a very calm place with bike roads all over the city, making every spot reachable by bike. Contact the Tourist Centre near the railway station if you are interested in riding a city bike. The price for renting a bike starts from €10 for 0-4 hours with a deposit of €20.
Rent a Car / Motorbike
Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto is a renowned Finnish architect and designer of the 20th century, one of the most important architects in the world. He was born in February 3rd of 1898, in Kuortane, a municipality of South Ostrobothnia Region and died in May 11th of 1976 in Helsinki. His work includes outstanding architecture, furniture, textiles and glassware. Aalto's career develops at the same time with the fast economic growth and industrialization of Finland during the first half of the twentieth century and many of his clients were industrialists. The length of his career, from the 1920s to the 1970s, is reflected in the styles of his work, extending from Nordic Classicism of the early work, to a rational International Style Modernism during the 1930s to a more organic modernist style from the 1940s onwards. Together with his first wife Aino Aalto designed not just the building, but give special treatments to the interior surfaces and design furniture, lamps, and furnishings and glassware.
Some of Aalto’s most impressive architecture is possible to admire in Seinäjoki. Here is located the Aalto Center, the administrative and cultural center of Seinäjoki. The Aalto Centre is composed of six buildings which were mainly completed between 1960 and 1968. The first building created was the church, Lakeuden Risti (‘Cross on the Plain’) and the last one, the theatre, in 1987. Nowadays is possible to appreciate in Seinäjoki a group of buildings which are exceptional by Finnish and even by international standards. The Aalto Centre was implemented down to the last detail. It is not necessary to be an architect to appreciate and understand Aalto’s brilliant work. In Seinäjoki, there is also Aalto’s only early work that has remained unchanged, the Staff Building of the Civil Guard, which was inaugurated in 1925. The group of three buildings is a good showcase from Aalto’s classical period. The interior still has in places the original paintwork dating back to 1925. Address: Kauppakatu 17, 60100 Seinäjoki Telephone: +358 6 416 2734. Opening hours: 15.5.–31.8. Wed 12–18, Thu-Sun 12–16 1.9.–14.5. Wed 12–18, Thu, Fri, Sun 12–16
Aalto Centre buildings in Seinäjoki include:
Lakeuden Risti Church, Cross of the Plain (1957-1960) and Parish Centre (1965-1966) There was a competition for the design of Seinäjoki church which took place in 1951. There was no agreement because Aalto’s design did not follow some patterns required. Finally the construction took place until 1957-1960. The adjacent congregational center was constructed during 1965-1966. The church seats 1200 people, the gallery another 124 and the small chapel 50 people. Everything, even in the interior, was designed by Alvar Aalto. It is absolutely a fascinating and impressive to see how perfect the measurements and details in the inside are. As part of the church there is a cross bell tower, which is 65 m, Seinäjoki’s highest building, which is possible to visit as well. There is an elevator and 36 more steps to get to the top of the tower. Address: Koulukatu 24, 60100 Seinäjoki Tel. +358 6 4184 111 Opening hours: Mon–Fri 14–18 During summer: Mon–Sun 10–20
City Hall (1961-1962) The competition for the City Hall design took place during 1958-1959. It was finally constructed during 1961-1962. The Council´s meeting chamber is also used for concerts. The facade of the City Hall is clad with special blue porcelain rods. The whole interior of the building is characterized with Aalto’s singular style and design. Address: Kirkkokatu 6, 60100 Seinäjoki Tel. +358 6 416 2111 Opening hours: Mon–Fri 9–15
City Library (1964-1965) The former City Library - Regional Library, the architectural pearl of the Aalto Centre, was constructed in 1964-1965. The open book shaped building is a very unique design. Address: Koulukatu 21, 60100 Seinäjoki Tel. +358 6 4162 326 Opening hours: Mon–Fri 10–19, Sat 11–15, During summer: Mon–Thu 10–19, Fri 10–17, Sat closed
State Office Building (1966-1968) This building constructed during 1966-1968 holds many city and state offices in Seinäjoki. Its most significant feature in the interior is the court room. Address: Alvar Aallonkatu 12, 60100 Seinäjoki
City Theatre (1986-1987) Alvar Aalto presented his plans for the theatre building as early as 1969, but its construction was not carried out until 1986-1987 under Elissa Aalto´s supervision. The theatre seats 429 people and the small stage 120. In the lobby there are famous wooden reliefs and Aalto’s biggest glass designs exhibition. Address: Alvar Aallonkatu 12, 60100 Seinäjoki Tel. +358 6 416 2600
The new public library in Seinäjoki is a modern, functional library and an exquisite piece of contemporary architecture at the same time. It is not what you would normally expect from a public library: bright colours in a classical white background, modern interior design, cosy atmosphere that really invites you to read or study and take advantage of all the digital functions available.
The new main library was opened to the public on August, 20th 2012. The library is designed by JKMM Architects from Helsinki, the winners of the 2008 architectural competition. The challenge of the project was to build a new library next to the administrative and cultural centre designed by Alvar Aalto, already famous to all connoisseurs of true architecture.
The old Aalto library had become too small for the growing town, therefore the need of larger space had to be fulfilled without disrupting the feeling created by the six Aalto buildings in the vicinity. The result is, without doubt, a success. It is a dialogue between old and new, a tribute to Aalto’s architectural style, without imitating it.
The new library is called APILA (Clover in English) as the building is divided into three sculptural units like a clover leaf.It has a surface of about 3500 square meters, with two floors open to the public.
The new library is a separate building from the existing Aalto Centre, but will communicate through a tunnel to the Aalto’s original library, which is to be renovated and reopened to the public shortly. Glass, copper and concrete blend perfectly together to form the façade of the building. As you enter the library, you will notice from the start the fully automated check-in and check-out. There is also a customer service desk, if you need customized help or simply ask further questions.
On the left of the entrance there is the News area, where you can find updated newspapers and magazines, workstations and a café. If you look up, you will see on the ceiling a relief that represents a river, both a piece of art and an acoustic element. On the right of the entrance, somehow hidden it is the access to a conference room with 120 seats, a stage, and a grand piano. In addition, the room can be divided in two sections with movable walls.
The children’s department has been inspired by a theme picked up from an old Finnish children book. Straight away your interest is drawn to the book houses, each having an individual theme and to the green fantasy room, a place for play, adventure and story reading.
Next to this, there is the adults’ lending department: wooden bookshelves, vivid red and orange rocking chairs, and a glass wall towards the North, with a view to Aalto’s centre. The atmosphere is peaceful and more traditional.
A lot of attention has been given to the young people’s department. Situated below the café, it opens up towards the reading steps with green cushions, a venue for various events as well as reading and spending time. The colourful reading nooks give intimacy to one reader or a small group of friends. Teenagers accommodate these spaces on a daily basis, and it is normal to see them shoeless, with a book in their hands.
The library has a unique atmosphere and is the perfect combination of art and functionality. It is much more that a facility for the town residents, it is a must for any tourist that comes to Seinäjoki.
For a town with 60,000 people, Seinäjoki has surprisingly numerous shopping opportunities. Most of them are concentrated in the centre of the town, easily accessible and within walking distance from each other. There are quite a lot of small shops, as well as two quite large shopping centers: Torikeskus and Epstori.
Torikeskus is located on Kauppatori 1-3 st., the main entrance opening to the central square in the town, a popular market area, especially in the summer. The centre has two shopping levels and a food court, which includes quite a lot of fast food and traditional restaurants, as well as coffee shops. You can find here clothes and accessories, interior design solutions or gifts for the ones you love. International brands, such as H&M, Lindex, KappAhl and BodyShop are next to Finish brands, like Pentik for instance.
Amfora is a Finnish product, created and manufactured by artist Päivi Rintaniemi . The Amfora collection of everyday ceramic ware and decorative items can be found in different culinary cultures both in Europe and the Far East.
All Amfora products are vitro-porcelain, which is a durable porcelain type with a warm and slightly creamy white tint. These products have been specifically created as everyday objects, thus they are dishwasher, oven and microwave proof. They are contemporary pieces of art, yet functional and well suited for modern home appliances. The best part about it is that they aren’t mass-produced, so you get invariably unique products made in small series.
An Amfora product is meant to bring you joy and to make you celebrate the everyday life. The underlying idea behind Amfora products is playfulness, optimism and positive attitude. Your day may be brightened up simply by the fact that your coffee cup feels good to touch and is beautiful to look at. Your everyday life is boosted when you arrange the first spring tulips in a beautiful vase or find a new way to set your table. The very same little Amfora pot can serve you as a sugar bowl, you can use it for nuts or even plant living things in it, just as you can find new, creative ways to use it on your own.
The products are both artistic and functional. They can be easily combined with other sets and make the ultimate ideal gift for yourself or someone dear to you. You can choose from the tri plates, tri pots, tri serving sets, the multipurpose triangles or the ovo bowls. One eloquent example is the Amfora espresso set, also called ‘drink and think’ cup. The stylish cups, mainly in a black and white combination or with hand painted stripes, can be purchased separately or as a set. The price per piece starts from €15-20 for everyday ceramic objects.
Pizzeria Istanbul, The best pizzas in town. Also good kebabs. Located across the street from the railway station.
Pubs and Nightclubs
Kalevankatu 2, FI-60100 Seinäjoki 50 m from the railway station
Kauppakatu 10, FI-60100 Seinäjoki 100 m from the railway station restaurants: Huviretki (for 100 persons), Wanha Mestari (for 147 persons), Lyhty (a dance restaurant, for 267 persons) Tel. +358 6 418 6111 Fax +358 6 4186299 seinajoki.cumulus(at)restel.fi
Torikatu 2, FI-60100 Seinäjoki 300 m from railway station restaurants: Matador, a pub, a terrace restaurant, a bookable restaurant Tel. +358 10 764 8000 Fax +358 10 764 8199 lakeus.seinajoki(at)sok.fi
Kauppatori 3, FI-60100 Seinäjoki 400 m from the railway station restaurants: Fransmanni, Amarillo (Tex&Mex), Karma Bar&Café&Club Tel. +358 10 764 7000 Fax +358 10 764 7199 vaakuna.seinajoki(at)sok.fi
Törnäväntie 27, FI-60200 Seinäjoki 10 min from the railway station and the airport, in the beautiful historic surroundings of Törnävä restaurants: à la carte, Kompassi (a bookable restaurant), Tel. +358 20 741 8181 sorsanpesa(at)sorsanpesa.fi
Ruukintie 4, FI-60100 Seinäjoki next to the railway station restaurants: for 120 persons max., two cabinets (for 30 and 8 persons) Tel. +358 6 421 5200 alma(at)hotelalma.fi
Kalevankatu 29, FI-60100 Seinäjoki 500 metres from the railway station Tel. +358 6 414 1771 Fax +358 6 414 1774 hotellinurmela(at)netikka.fi
Kaarretie 4, FI-60510 Hyllykallio 3,5 km from the railway station, 12 km from the airport restaurants: à la carte, pizza Tel. +358 6 421 7700 Fax: +358 6 421 7770 myynti(at)hotellifooninki.com
Pikkukuja 2, FI-60320 Seinäjoki Tel. +358 40 351 3666 marjatta.latosaari(at)luukku.com
Rural tourism and camping
Kalajärvi recreational resort is the main tourist attraction in Peräseinäjoki, a village 30 minutes away drive from Seinäjoki. You can find here a popular caravan park which has been selected as the best in the country three times over. The caravan area is large enough to hold 340 pitches. Accommodation is also possible in cottages or tents close to the restaurant and the beach by the lake. During the summer, you can choose from a wide variety of leisure activities: mini- golfing, swimming, grilling, tennis or beach volleyball, cycling or fishing. The mini golf course in Kalajärvi has 18 separate tracks and the level of difficulty suits well payers of all ages. Nearby, there is also a 100 meter long water chute, the longest in Finland, and the price for 10 slides is only €5. The cycling route is 22 km long and it goes around the lake. During the winter, you can enjoy cross- country skiing on the frozen lake, snowshoes walking, ice fishing and skating. Speed skating on special tracks is available to the most adventurous ones, while families and children can enjoy traditional skating. If you have an interest in history, you can also visit the Finnish Emigrant Museum in Terästalo and find detailed information on the local emigration to North America from 1867 to 1930. The museum is open every day, from Monday to Friday between 9am and 9 pm and at the weekends from 12am to 6 pm in the summer months. For further information, prices or fishing permits, you can address the Kalajärvi Tourist Center.
Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences has two Bachelor degree programs in English, one in International Business and the other in Nursing, as well as a Master program in International Business Management. The educational offer is pretty comprehensive and there are a lot of courses available online or through distance learning. There are five distinctive schools within the university: the Business School, the School of Agriculture and Forestry, The School of Culture and Design, the School of Health Care and Social Work, and the School of Technology.
The town of Seinäjoki runs the Adult Education Centre that offers low-priced courses to all interested.
Internet cafes are not very popular in Finland, and Seinäjoki makes no exception. If you have a smartphone or a laptop, the shopping centres, Swimming and Sports Hall, Frami and Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences offer free wi-fi (or WLAN as it is commonly called in Finland). The tourist office and the main public library as well as the several side libraries also offer free Internet access.