Situated between two lakes, about two hours from Helsinki and two hours from Turku, is the city of Tampere. This city has something for everyone; good restaurants, nature close by, museums, an amusements park, an art scene, and more. I didn’t know much about it before I visited, but I am happy that I found this diverse city.
Visit the High Points
There are three points in Tampere where you can get up high and have a beautiful view. The Pyynikki Observation Tower is my favorite as there are trails through the woods all around the tower. I rented a bicycle for the day and cycled there, which was a lovely experience. The trails are great for walking, as well, or you can drive. I suggest you get there early, especially if you are visiting on a weekend, as it can be quite busy. I got there at 9:30 or 10:00 and it was pretty quiet.
You can get coffee and one of their homemade, and locally famous, doughnuts in the small cafe situated in the bottom of the tower. The doughnuts are raved about by both locals and visitors, so don’t miss these treats. Getting to the top of the tower costs only 2 Euros and you can either walk or take the elevator. From both the indoor and outdoor viewing areas, you can see both lakes and all of the city. This view really gives you a good perspective of the area and just how green it is around the city.
Another popular viewing spot is the Nasinnuela Observation Tower , located in the amusement park in Tampere. Inspired by, and resembling Seattle’s Space Needle in the United States, this tower is the second tallest in the Nordic countries at 551 feet tall. For some, this is a draw, for others, a drawback. When you are in the tower, you are a lot higher than anything around you, making the city look very small. I am glad that I went up to take in the view of the lake, the city, and the surroundings. While in the tower, you can treat yourself to a fancy meal, or snacks.
The last high point is lesser known and free to visit. For both these reasons, I really liked it. Across the train tracks from the main part of the city is a tall black hotel called the Solo Sokos Hotel Torni Tampere. Trust me, you can’t miss it. The Moro Sky Bar, located on the top floor (25th) offers a great view of the city, the lakes, and the surrounding area. You are welcome to take in the view when they are open, even if you are not staying in the hotel or visiting the bar. This hip bar offers a selection of drinks and food and is a great place to relax and socialize.
Sara Hilden Art Museum
The Sara Hilden Art Museum, located in the amusement park, offers a selection of interesting contemporary art, as well as outdoor sculptures. The museum is a nice size; large enough to warrant the time getting there, but small enough to not be overwhelming.
The Tampere Cathedral is open to the public and is beautiful inside and out. Tour groups stop here sometimes, but it can be very quiet in between these times. You can view the impressive main interior, and wander to the museum to learn more about this impressive cathedral.
Finlayson Art Area
This historic part of the city, located in the heart of the city is worth a visit. They have some art on display outdoors, as well as a free museum showing the history of Tampere; The Finnish Labour Museum Werstas. In addition to this, there is a movie theater in this area.
There are so many delicious places to eat in Tampere. In addition to restaurants, there is a small street food area near where the streets Laukontori and Kirkkokatu meet. The food is fast, fresh, affordable, and delicious. If you are planning to take a boat tour of the lakes, this is also where some of them board.
If you visit Finland and want to get out of Helsinki, I recommend hopping on a train to Tampere. The locals love this city, and it attracts visitors for good reason.