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Tampere by night

Tampere (Swedish: Tammerfors) [1] is a town of around 200,000 inhabitants situated on the shore of lake Näsijärvi, some 170 km north of Helsinki, Finland. Tampere is the biggest inland town in Scandinavia.


The city of Tampere lies on an isthmus situated between Lake Näsijärvi, which reaches far to the north, and Lake Pyhäjärvi in the south. The Tammerkoski rapids that run through Tampere connect the two lakes with a fall of 18 metres. In the 7th century population started to gather to this connecting point of two waterways, and in the 18th century people started to understand the importance of the rapids as a way of making hydropower. So it came to be that Tampere was officially founded in the 1st of October in 1779 by Gustav III of Sweden.

During the 19th century Tampere grew rapidly to be an industrial center, and in the latter part of the century the town had almost half of Finland's industrial labour. Most of the industry was centered around the rapids. In 1927 first of the factories stopped industrial operations, and city offices later moved to the empty buildings. After 1960 most of the factories started to cease operations, but the buildings were kept. Nowadays central Tampere is characterized by these old red-brick industrial buildings, most of them housing offices, restaurants, and cultural activities.

During the Finnish Civil War (1918) Tampere was one of the Red strongholds, and it was supposed to be the country's next capital. However, In April 1918 the White forces captured the town and seized 10,000 prisoners.

Tampere has two universities, the University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology, each of which has some 10,000 students.


People in Tampere speak Finnish and English like everybody else in Finland, but knowing a few words of Tampere dialect (Tampereen kiäli) is guaranteed to get you a few laughs. It's easy enough: just greet people with moro, refer to yourself as mää, call them sää and end every sentence with nääs.

Get in

By plane

Tampere is serviced by Tampere-Pirkkala airport (TMP) [2], which lies 17 km from the city. Flying from Helsinki doesn't make much sense in terms of time or money (unless you're connecting). In addition to Finnair's route to Helsinki, there are also daily SAS/Blue1 flights to Stockholm and Copenhagen. Ryanair has popular budget flights to Riga, London (Stansted), Liverpool, and Frankfurt (Hahn) from the old terminal building. As of December 20 2006, a new route to Dublin will be operated by Ryanair. Additionally, a new route to Bremen will be opened in April 1 2007.

Bus services from the airport to Tampere are regular and take about 40 minutes, taxis take about 20 minutes. Ryanair has its own bus service [3], and the airport is also served by local bus routes [4]. In addition to regular taxi service, there is also a shared airport taxi service (12 € one-way between Tampere and airport) [5].

By train

Tampere has extensive train links, with lines to Helsinki, Turku, up north to Lapland, east towards Jyväskylä and west to Pori. The trip to/from Helsinki by Pendolino express takes 1 h 23 min and costs 30.40€, while a local clunker will take 2 h 04 min for the same trip and charge 20€. On weekdays, trains to Helsinki leave up to every 1-2 hours. For students and children (6-17 years) all train tickets are half prize.

The train station is located right at the city center, at the east end of the main street Hämeenkatu. Most of the hotels are within walking distance of the station. The national train operator, VR, has a website where you can view information, see timetables and purchase tickets. [6]

Get around

Tampere city centre has a couple of prominent features:

  • Main street Hämeenkatu runs from east to west. At the east end of the street is the railway station and at the west end the Alexander church [7]. Many shops, restaurants and offices are located on the main street. The main street continues to east as Itsenäisyydenkatu and to west as Pirkankatu.
  • Tammerkoski rapids run from lake Näsijärvi in north to lake Pyhäjärvi in south, via Finlayson historical factory area, by riverside park, TAKO factory and Kehräsaari. It's just over 1 kilometer long. The height difference between the two lakes is 18 meters, but the rapids don't flow freely as there are dams and hydroelectric power stations built on the rapids.
  • The central square is located right next to the bridge where Hämeenkatu crosses Tammerkoski rapids.
  • The city center continues to the shore of lake Näsijärvi in north and lake Pyhäjärvi in south.
  • Most of the hotels, shops and attractions are located within walking distance from each other.
  • Pyynikki ridge and Pispala are located couple of kilometers west of the city centre.


The core of Tampere is small enough to cover on foot, but an extensive bus network radiates out to the suburbs. In the city centre, most of the buses go along Hämeenkatu. All buses stop on or near the central square.

You can purchase a Tampere Tourist Card for unlimited travel by bus within Tampere city limits (6€ for first day, additional days 4€ for adults; youth and children are 4/3 and 3/2 respectively). Purchase the ticket at the railway or bus station, central square kiosk or city transport (TKL) office at Aleksis Kiven katu 18.

For public transport routes and timetables (throughout Finland), visit ([8]).


Taxis in Tampere (and in Finland) are clean, safe and reliable. The cost of the trip depends on the number of passengers and time of day (day/night). As an example, 1-2 persons traveling in daytime a 5-kilometre trip costs about 10€; and a 10 km trip about 16€. You can try to hail a passign cab if its roof light is on, but the usual way is to find nearest taxi stand and get a cab from there; or call for a taxi (the number is 10041 from landline, or 01004131 from a mobile phone). Taxis accept major credit cards. [9]

Car rental

Most major car rental companies have offices in Tampere. Driving in Tampere is rather straightforward, but winter driving conditions could be dangerous for drivers who are not used to slippery roads (usually between November and April, but possibly during other months too). When driving outside city, watch our for wild moose that could wander over the road. Traffic signs are posted to notify the driver of the areas where moose tend to move about.


Vladimir Ilyich strikes a pose
  • The Lenin Museum (Hämeenpuisto 28, [10]) is Tampere's most offbeat attraction and well worth a visit if you have any interest, serious or humorous, in the Soviet revolutionary figure who spent some time in exile in Tampere. Lenin and Stalin met for the first time in this very apartment. Exhibits include a sofa that Lenin slept on and more busts that you can shake a stick at. There is also a wacky but fairly expensive gift shop. Admission 4 €, open 9 AM to 6 PM weekdays, 11 AM to 4 PM weekends.
  • Tampere Art Museum (Hämeenpuisto 20, [11]) is best known for its permanent Moominvalley exhibition ([12]), showcasing Tove Jansson's lovable troll family. Admission 4 €, open 9 AM to 5 PM daily (except Mondays outside the summer season).
  • Särkänniemi amusement park ([13]), which includes a dolphinarium and the landmark Näsinneula tower, topped by the inevitable revolving restaurant. On a summer day the views of the surrounding forests and lakes are quite nice though.
  • Pispala, a ridge between lake Näsijärvi and lake Pyhäjärvi, which housed the majority of industrial labour in late 19th and early 20th century. Pispala area has gentrified radically and is currently one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in Tampere. However, you can still get a glimpse of the history at the area as there are lots of original houses left. Along with neighouring Pyynikki it forms an important historical area of Tampere. You can enjoy nature at the Pyynikki park and climb up to Pyynikki tower for nice views over the ridge, lakes and the city and enjoy coffee & famous doughnuts afterwards. In the summer you can also stop by at Pyynikin kesäteatteri by Lake Pyhäjärvi to enjoy open-air theatre and experience the revolving auditorium.
  • Kaleva Church (Kalevan kirkko). Designed by famous architect Reima Pietilä in 1966.


  • Tampere has two ice hockey teams, Tappara and Ilves, which are among the most successful in Finland. Tampere United football club won the 2001 Finnish championship.
  • Cruises to Hämeenlinna (a leisurely 8 hours), Nokia (a town, not the company) or just on the lake are popular in the summer. There are many regular boat routes on both lakes (Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi) [14].
  • Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra [15]
  • A popular pastime during sunny midwinter day is to go for an ice walk. In March people walk about an one-kilometer trip to a small island of Siilinkari on lake Näsijärvi and have a picnic. [16] Be aware that it's only safe to walk on well-frozen lake. Only go if you see other people (and not just ice-fishers) doing so.
  • A farm holiday is a way to experience Finnish countryside [17]. Farms and cottages are mostly available during summer but there may be exceptions.
  • Hiking around forests. In Finland, everyone has a right of public access to the wilderness provided that you don't damage the nature [18]. Roaming the forests is safe, but mosquitoes and horseflies can be an annoyance. Even though there exists potentially dangerous wildlife in Finland (for example, bears), chance of meeting it near urban areas is extremely rare. There is one type of poisonous snake in Finland, the Crossed Viper [19]. In Tampere, good hiking grounds with marked paths are, for example, Pyynikki and Kauppi forests.
  • Even though the Midnight sun doesn't quite reach Tampere (you need to be north of the Arctic Circle for the proper midnight sun), the summer nights are bright. In midsummer, the sun sets for just couple of hours and there is no darkness, only twilight. This is nice for spending mild summer evening outdoors. The downside of this is that during winter months, the day is very short and darkness falls already in the afternoon.
  • During warm summer days, people enjoy sitting on outdoor terraces of restaurants and have a beer or two. You can see outdoor tables and chairs being set up outside restaurants as soon as the first sunny and warm(ish) spring days arrive.
  • Rajaportin sauna (Pispalan valtatie 9, [20]) is the oldest still-functioning public sauna in Finland. It is located in historical Pispala, easily reached with buses 1, 13,18,19, 25, 26 or 27. In old days, people who didn't have a sauna of their own went to a public sauna to clean up. In addition to seeing a piece of history, you can experience one of the best quality saunas in the world: The 100-year-old Rajaportin sauna has a stove that is three cubic meters in size and contains over ton of stones that are heated literally glowing red with burning logs. After simmering for couple of hours, the sauna is ready for the customers. It is widely described to be as one of the best sauna experiences one can have.
  • Holiday Club Tampere Spa (Lapinniemenranta 12, [21]) is a spa hotel built into an old cotton mill and it is situated next to a marina, about 1 km from the city center. The large spa department offers swimming pools, jacuzzis, a children's pool, saunas, a steam room and spa treatments also for day visitors.
  • During winter, you can combine sauna with ice swimming: drill a hole into the ice cover of a lake and hop in! The water under the ice stays at constant temperature of +4 degrees Celcius, and is very refreshing. You can try ice swimming at Kaupinojan sauna [22], [23] or Rauhaniemen kansankylpylä [24] on Rauhaniementie near hotel Holiday Club Tampere.
  • Fishing enthusiasts are delighted to hear that you can fish at the Tammerkoski rapids that run right through the city center. You need to purchase a fishing permit from a nearby R-kioski (Hatanpään valtatie 2), Tourist office (Verkatehtaankatu 2) or vending machine at the wall of restaurant Rosso. The price is 4€ for 4 hours or 4,50€ for full day and you may catch at most three salmonoids a day (whitefish not included). [25]


Tampere has lots of shopping opportunities from small specialized shops to malls.

Department stores

  • Stockmann, Hämeenkatu 4 [26]. Upscale department store right next to the railway station.
  • Sokos, Hämeenkatu 21 [27]. Large department store at the west end of the main street.
  • Anttila, Puutarhakatu 10 [28]. Large department store near Finlayson.


  • Koskikeskus, Hatanpään valtatie 1 [29]. Midsize mall at the riverbank, at the foot of Hotel Ilves.
  • Tullintori, Tullikatu 10 [30]. Smallish mall behind railway station, next to Hotel Villa.


  • Laukontori, south end of Aleksis kiven katu [31]. Marketplace at the shore of lake Pyhäjärvi. In addition to market booths, many Pyhäjärvi cruises start from the harbour right next to the market. From Laukontori you have also a good view of a local eccentricity: a fully-functioning cardboard factory at the middle of the city [32]. This is a good reminder of the Tampere's industrial past.
  • Tammelantori, on Tammelan puistotie. Busy marketplace surrounded by rather dull-looking 70's apartment flats. In here you can taste the Tampere specialty, black sausage.


  • Market Hall (Kauppahalli), Hämeenkatu 19 [33]. Fresh food and other shopping in a historical market hall.
  • Kehräsaari, next to Laukontori. Restaurants and tourist shopping at the mouth of the rapid between lakes Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi. You can walk from Laukontori to Koskikeskus via Kehräsaari.
  • Finlayson, at the north from main square. Historical cotton factory area, now renovated into area with shopping (Siperia), movie theater multiplex (Plevna), restaurants, night clubs, parks, offices and apartment buildings. The factory, founded by James Finlayson in 1820, helped Tampere grow into thriving industrial city. Towards the end of 1800's Finlayson factories grew into "a city inside a city". The renovation was completed in 2001. [34]


Tampere is (in)famous for its black sausage (mustamakkara), a sausage made of blood. The most authentic (and cheapest) way to try this is to buy from one of the stalls at the Tammelantori or Laukontori markets, with a dab of lingonberry jam and a pint of milk on the side, but old Tampere hands will insist that the one true condiment is a mix of lingonberry jam and mustard. Order by price, not weight: "two euros" will get you a nice hefty chunk. Note that both markets close by 2 PM and are closed Sundays too.


For inexpensive fast food, you can always visit McDonald's and Subway, or their domestic equivalents Hesburger and Rolls. Finnish pizza franchise Kotipizza has restaurants throughout the city. Ethnic pizza and kebab restaurants can be found throughout the city and are usually quite affordable.

  • Katupoika, Aleksanterinkatu 20, tel. +358-3-2720201, [35]. Proudly serving hearty portions of real Tampere food for over thirty years, including black sausage. The mural in the restaurant depicts a view of Pispala, one of Tampere's harju hills. Dishes from €9, including salad bar. Open Mon-Sat 11 AM-9 PM or later.
  • Pizzeria Napoli (Aleksanterinkatu 21, [36]), the oldest pizzeria in Tampere. Pizzas (7-12€) vary from the ordinary to exotic (for example, ostrich meat or Finlandia vodka with fried game)


  • Maruseki, Hallituskatu 7, [37]. Japanese restaurant and tea house founded and owned by Marjo Seki, who lived 20 years in Japan as a teacher and interpreter. Maruseki had the first tea house in Finland, and you can experience real Japanese dinner kneeling in front of a kotatsu-table wearing a kimono. Sushi and warm dishes 6-15€, sushi for two 25€. Closed Mon.
  • Plevna, Itäinenkatu 8, [38]. A brewery pub and restaurant in a renovated old red-brick textile mill, serving solid German-style fare and a wide range of its own microbrews. Mains 10-20€ and a large beer to wash it down 5€. For children 4-8€.
  • Rosso, Kuninkaankatu 24 & Koskipuisto, [39]. A popular family restaurant. The prize-quality ratio is excellent and restaurants offer good playgrounds and dishes for children. Main courses 10-20€, for children 4-8€.
  • Ströget, Laukontori 10, Danish style sandwiches.
  • Wistub Alsace, Laukontori 6B, [40]), hearty Alsatian restaurant in the heart of Tampere. All the traditional Alsatian meals are represented on the menu. Tarte flambée 12-14€, other mains 10-22€.


  • Hella ja huone, Salhojankatu 48, [41]. French style. Main course 20€, four-course menu 43€.
  • Hämeensilta, Hämeenkatu 13, [42]. A dance & music restaurant in the heart of Tampere. Main courses cost 17-23€.
  • Näsinneula. (Särkänniemi amusement park), [43]). A high class restaurant with a beautiful view and excellent menu of Finnish ingredients such as game and berries. Näsinneula restaurant has been chosen as the 8th best restaurant in Finland, making it the best restaurant in Tampere [44]. Appetisers cost 10-15€, main courses 20-30€, desserts 8-10€ and famous Finlandia menu costs 58€.
  • Perla, Rautatienkatu 20, [45]. Italian style. Main courses 20€-60€.



  • Hotelli Haapalinna. Rahtimiehenkatu 3, [46]. A budget hotel located 4 km from the city center in a residential area, near bus routes.
  • Hostel Uimahallin Maja. Pirkankatu 10-12, [47]. A budget hostel located in a same building with a swimming hall not far from the city center.
  • Hotel Kauppi. Kalevan puistotie 2, [48]. A budget hotel/motel about 1 km from the city center, near Kauppi recreation forest.
  • Omena Hotel Tampere. Hämeenkatu 28, [49]. The local branch of a budget hotel chain, centrally located on the main street. A room for 1-4 guests costs €55, including free bus ride from Tampere airport if flying Ryanair. A self-service hotel (no reception desk).
  • Summer Hotel Härmälä. Nuolialantie 48, [50]. Located on a lakeside location, 4 km from the city center in a residential area, near bus routes. Available only during summer, during wintertime houses students. Located next to the Härmälä camping area [51].


  • Sokos Hotel Villa. Sumeliuksenkatu 14, tel. 020 1234 633 [52]. Built into an old grain storehouse, located right behind the railway station in the city centre.
  • Scandic Tampere City. Hämeenkatu 1, tel. +358 3 244 6111 [53]. Located right across the street from the railway station, on the main street.
  • Cumulus Hämeenpuisto. Hämeenpuisto 47, [54]. Located on a boulevard at a southern part of the city.
  • Cumulus Koskikatu. Koskikatu 5, [55]. Located in the center of the city next to the riverside park.
  • Cumulus Pinja. Satakunnankatu 10, [56]. A small hotel, located in the center of the city.
  • Holiday Inn Tampere. Yliopistonkatu 44, [57]. A business hotel, located right behind the railway station in the city centre.
  • Holiday Club Tampere. Lapinniemenranta 12, [58]. A hotel/spa next to a marina, about 1 km from the city center. Built into an old cotton mill with high rooms.
  • Hotelli Victoria. Itsenäisyydenkatu 1, [59]. Located right behind the railway station in the city centre.


  • Sokos Hotel Tammer. Satakunnankatu 13, tel. 020 1234 632 [60]. Historical 1920's style hotel, centrally located next to the riverside park.
  • Scandic Hotel Rosendahl. Pyynikintie 13, tel. +358 3 244 1111 [61]. Located in a beautiful lakeside location right under Pyynikki ridge.
  • Sokos Hotel Ilves. Hatanpään valtatie 1, tel. 020 1234 631 [62]. Tampere's best known hotel, well-known and centrally located next to the riverside park.

Stay safe

In general, Finland is a fairly safe country, and Tampere is no exception. On weekend nights, intoxicated people wandering around city streets may be an annoyance, especially on April 30th, the eve of May Day, when it's a common habit to get drunk; and when nice weather has people on the move. Intoxicated Finns tend to be (sometimes over-)friendly and curious towards foreigners, though black people and arabs may sometimes experience racism. Just use your common sense.

There are no exceptional crime problems or health hazards, although the extreme cold in the winter should be borne in mind by visitors, especially those planning outdoor activities. Whilst in summer the temperature rises occasionally to over 25ºC, in the winter months it can drop to around -30ºC for a day or two. Dressing warmly is a must. If you forget to bring winter clothing, you can always visit local shops for appropiate apparel. Also, watch out for slippery sidewalks in winter.

In case of Emergency

Ambulance, fire brigade, police: call 112.

Same number is used with both landline and mobile phone. The number works on any mobile phone, whether it is keylocked or not and with or without SIM card.

Get out

  • In the unlikely event that the stress of city life gets to you in Tampere, escape for a day of pampering at the spa in Nokia. And there aren't even any mobile phone companies left to disturb you.
  • A suburb of Hervanta is located about 10 km south of the city center. It is the location of Tampere University of Technology, Hermia Technology Center and large amount of student housing. Many high-tech companies (for example, Nokia) have offices Hervanta. What makes Hervanta infamous is the large amount of 1970's concrete residential tower blocks and the social problems it suffered, especially during 1980's.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!