Next summer I am going to spend a few weeks in Finland travelling around; but first I am going to do a medical clerkship staying four weeks in one town. I can choose between Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Oulu and Kuopio. I am trying hard to decide in which town I would like to spend four weeks, but I really can't get to a decision just with the help of travel guides. I know now which museums and sights every town offers, but can anybody tell me something more about these towns? I am really interested in more personal information; are those "nice" towns? would one want to do walks around, or is it more an industry town? Are there nice cafés? Parks? How can I spend leisure time in this town? ... Basically: which one is the nicest town to live in for a short time?
If anybody would share with me some information about Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Oulu or Kuopio I would be very grateful!!
(And please excuse the spelling and grammar mistakes, as English is not my mothertongue...)
I'd recommend either Helsinki, Tampere or Turku... and after saying that, I'd recommend Helsinki. That is if you're into cafes, museums, nightlife, etc. Helsinki is the largest of the three and the capital, so there are more things going on there. But it'll also cost you a bit more to live in Helsinki area.
Tampere and Turku are both very nice as well and are among the largest cities in Finland. All of these three are located in southern Finland and travelling time between them is 1,5-2 hours. So either way, it'll be easy to travel around and see the other cities.
Oulu and Kuopio are nice as well, but located much further up north. Plus Kuopio is quite a small town. But if you want to explore Finnish nature...
Just my opinion,
My choice would be Helsinki because it is a ferry ride or train ride away from St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. It may be a long ride away but it is worth a trip to this beautiful city in the summer months.
If you are gonna stay for 4 weeks, I would recommend to stay in Helsinki.
Helsinki is a very green city, and has a vibrant feel to it, that most other cities in Finland miss. Most of the young people come down to Helsinki to go to university. Turku and Tampere are about 2 hours away by train, so if you would like to visit them, you can do this as a daytrip. (In Turku, the Castle and the Cathedral are worth a visit).
Can't tell you anything about Oulu of Kuopio, but I have the feel that 4 weeks in these cities might seem like a long time.
Idem. Helsinki is the capital and thus the city with most things to do and visit (having said that, I haven't visited Turku and it seems like a really nice city). Tampere is more of an industrial city even though they are making efforts to change this. Helsinki has lots of nice places and if you want to do walks around, you can go pretty much anywhere, they have parks and forests all over the place and around the city. Plus it is very different from most big cities and is still very quiet despite being a capital
All I can add to the above is: don't go to Joensuu. I was there (work, not my fault!), and it's absolutely dead.