Travel Guide Europe Finland Tampere

edit

Introduction

Tampere from Näsijärvi

Tampere from Näsijärvi

© All Rights Reserved vilmalotta

Tampere is a charming city of over 200,000 thousand people located in the inland area of southern Finland. The city is actually the largest inland city in all of the nordic countries! Located between the two lakes of Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi, which are only connected by the narrow rapids of Tammerkoski, Tampere is truly pretty. The Tammerkoski rapids have been an important power source for most of the city's history and today still produced hydro power. Because of these rapids Tampere was an industrial centre for Finland and was considered the Manchester of Finland. With a nice city centre, a good night life, beautiful scenery and a good theme park Tampere is a great place to spend a day or two. If a few more days are available the countryside around Tampere is amazing with rolling hills and stunning lakes with little cottages and saunas on their shores.

Top

edit

Neighbourhoods

There are only few neighborhoods in Tampere which can be considered interesting to most visitors, namely Downtown, Pyynikki, Pispala. While downtown area is certainly where tourists often hang out in Tampere, it's worth the effort to spend a few hours hiking around the ridge in Pyynikki and Pispala district which lie just 2-3 kilometres west of downtown. Hervanta and Nekala districts are more off beaten path.

  • Downtown is the oldest part of Tampere, and where nearly all the sights and shops are located. The busy main street, Hämeenkatu, runs through charming Keskustori main square and is lined with shops, restaurants and bars. Many of these are set in the foundations of beautiful historic buildings dating back to late 19th century. Tammerkoski rapids flowing through downtown and between historic red-brick factory buildings only add to the charm and also give Tampere its distinctive look. The canal walls and surrounding buildings are tastefully lit when it's dark. Visitors in a hurry will do well even if they do not have time to wander far from downtown area.
  • Pyynikki is both an upscale residential area adjacent to downtown, and one of Tampere's most remarkable natural areas of beauty. Geographically, it is an 85-metre-high narrow isthmus between the two lakes defining the city, Lake Näsijärvi and Lake Pyhäjärvi. As such, Pyynikki ridge is regarded as the highest gravel ridge in the world. On top of the ridge there is an 1920s observation tower. Pyynikki is used by residents as an exercising area in all seasons, it is the city's most important recreation area. Some of the trails are lit and they function as skiing tracks in the winter. There are two pedestrian and bicycle paths on the ridge, but cycling is prohibited elsewhere on the ridge. The ridge and its nature trail are also of great educational importance.
  • Pispala lies next to Pyynikki and is built both sides of the ridge between Lake Näsijärvi and Lake Pyhäjärvi. This formerly working-class neighborhood has gentrified radically and is currently one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in Tampere. Strangely enough, there's also a vibrant artivist atmosphere and Pispala has much in kin with other bohemian arts areas such as Užupis, Montmartre, Greenwich Village or Freetown Christiania. Together with Pyynikki, Pispala is widely considered the most beautiful district of Tampere and locals often guide tourists here for the view and the unique urban design features of the area. There is a famous landmark in the area called the Shot tower. Pispala houses the oldest still active public sauna in Finland, Rajaportin sauna that began its operation in 1906.
  • Hervanta is one of the biggest and best known suburbs in Tampere is located about 10 kilometres south of the city centre. It is home for Tampere University of Technology, Hermia Technology Center, many high tech companies and a large amount of students. Hervanta has a gritty reputation based on the large amount of 1970's concrete residential tower blocks and the social problems it suffered especially during 1980's, but nowadays it has been moderately gentrified. Hervanta modern red-brick centre is architecturally interesting work by the architect couple Pietilä. If you find yourself in Hervanta when the University is in session, do check out the campus and you have a good chance of running into something wacky.
  • Nekala area is famous for its old wooden houses, noncomformist cultural landscape and sadly, relatively high rates of violent crime in Finnish standards. Take a peek at the rough but still charming side of the city. It is generally agreed that people of Nekala hold an unique character unlike anywhere else, even if the problems associated with low-income and crime contribute to the atmosphere in a relatively small part. Safety for the visiting tourist is rarely a concern.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

Tammerkoski

Tammerkoski

© All Rights Reserved vilmalotta

  • Lake Näsijärvi and Lake Pyhäjärvi are great places for relaxing, swimming and boating in the summer. While in the winter months other activities can be enjoyed.
  • Tammerkoski is now an old school power station and several bars and restaurants are located around it
  • Tampere Cathedral
  • Nightlife - Tampere has a very fun nightlife because of the large student population. Fun times can be found any night of the year, especially in the endless days of the summer.

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

  • Tammer Fest in early July is when Tampere comes to life. Stages are set, pubs are filled and local and national artists perfom on stages on in bars. Around 80,000 guests arrive to Tampere, and as July is the most common holiday month in Finland, locals join in. Tammerfest opens the summer season, followed by what is called the Flower Week, when Tampere blooms and sets a big ferriswheel and a market in the city's central square. Various art exhibitions, performances and concerts take place until the beginning of August.

Top

edit

Weather

Summers are warm, around 21 °C during the day on average from June to August, and days above 30 °C are possible. Winters are cold with snowfall. Average maximum temperatures are around -5 °C while nights average around -10 °C. Occasionally, when the winds blow east from Siberia, temperatures can plummit way below -25 °C. Precipitation is fairly even throughout the year, but winters and spring tend to be a bit drier. On average, there are between 10 and 15 wet days with around 50 mm of rain or snow a month.

Top

edit

Getting There

Cathedral in Tampere

Cathedral in Tampere

© All Rights Reserved malmn

By Plane

Tampere-Pirkkala Airport (IATA:TMP, ICAO:EFTP) is and international airport about 17 kilometres southwest of the city. It is the third busiest airport in Finland. Its popularity has been growing in recent years especially due to direct flights with Ryanair to many cities in Central and Western Europe. The airport has two terminals with Ryanair in Terminal 2 while other airlines use Terminal 1. There are daily flights to Helsinki, Turku, Oulu, Stockholm, Copenhagen, London Stansted, Milan, Frankfurt-Hahn, Dublin, Bremen and Riga.

Bus Number 6 runs every hour from Pyynikintori Square in the city centre to the airport, this bus also stops at Keskustori and outside the bus station. It roughly takes 40 minutes and costs €2. Tokee operates a bus for Ryanair flights, they run between the Tampere railway station and Terminal 2, which takes about 30 minutes.

By Train

The national railway company, VR, offers extensive train services from different parts of Finland to Tampere with connections south to Helsinki, south-west to Turku, west to Pori, and north to Oulu, Jyväskylä and Lapland. The trip to/from Helsinki using the fastest Pendolino connection takes 90 minutes and costs between €8.50 and €33.90, whereas a local train will take just over 2 hours and costs between €9.70 and €22.50. On weekdays, there are hourly connections to Helsinki except for a few hours during the night. On weekends, there may be a gap of up to 2 hours between trains. For Finnish students (ISIC not accepted) and children (6–17 years), all train tickets are half price.

From Helsinki-Vantaa airport, take the P-train, bus or taxi to Tikkurila and change there for mainline trains, rather than at Helsinki main railway station. You'll need a ticket in advance, either online, or from the ticket machines, or staffed kiosk daytime. (Since June 2017, tickets are not sold on board trains.) The trip from Tikkurila to Tampere takes between 75 and 110 minutes.

Tampere main train station is located downtown, at the east end of the main street Hämeenkatu. Most hotels are well within walking distance from the station.

By Car

Tampere can be easily reached by car. The drive from Helsinki takes about 2 hours and there is a four-lane motorway throughout the journey (speed limit 120 km/h with small portions 100 km/h in the summer, or 100 km/h throughout in the winter). The motorway is new and in excellent condition, but is mainly not well lit. Care must be exercised when driving in the dark, particularly in winter as driving conditions can be harsh due to snow and slippery roads.

There are also road connections from Tampere to Turku, Pori, Rauma, Seinäjoki/Vaasa, Jyväskylä and Lahti. These are mostly two-lane regular roads with speed limits between 80 km/h and 100 km/h. You can also rent a car from car-rental services found at Tampere-Pirkkala airport.

By Bus

There is an almost hourly ExpressBus coach connection from Helsinki-Vantaa airport to Tampere bus station operated by Paunu, departing from platform 13. The service operates round the clock, although there may be a gap of 1 to 2 hours between services in the small hours of the night. The trip takes between 2 h and 2 h 30 min depending on whether the service calls in towns on the way. In some cases, there is a change of coach close by at Keimolanportti service station, but it is well-coordinated and effortless. Tickets cost €22.50 (round trip €40.50) for adults, €11.30 for Finnish students (ISIC not accepted) and children of age 4-16. Children under the age of four travel free.

The low cost coach company Onnibus has services from some cities. To get bargains, tickets should be bought online well in advance. The company uses locations in Hervanta and Kaleva as its terminals and interchange stations, and does (with the exception of the Pori route) not serve the city centre.

Top

edit

Getting Around

By Car

There is no need for a car if you are visiting Tampere only. Driving in the city is safe and straightforward, but one should keep in mind that there are many one-way streets in downtown. Roads in Tampere are in excellent condition. Notice that the roads will be icy during winter time and very slippery even at cold spring and autumn nights. Always drive extremely carefully if you do not have experience in driving in harsh conditions. If you choose to drive outside Tampere, heed moose warning signs, especially at dawn and dusk. The legal blood alcohol level while driving in Finland is below 0.5 ppm. There are no open bottle laws, but the police are allowed to measure the alcohol level of the driver on spot if they suspect driving under influence.

As elsewhere in Finland, taxis in Tampere are clean, safe, reliable and expensive. The drivers are extremely competent and will know their way around. If you happen to know the address of your destination, you may consider writing it down and showing it to the driver to avoid misunderstandings. The cost of the trip depends on the number of passengers and time of day (day/night). For 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 passing cab if its roof light is on, but the most common way is to find the nearest taxi stand and get a cab from there. There is a stand in front of the train station and in central square, among other locations. You may also call the taxi station (the number is 10041 from landline, or 01004131 from a mobile phone) and ask for a taxi to your current location. Taxis accept cash and major credit cards.

By Bus

An extensive city bus network connects the suburbs to downtown. Due to the unique geography of downtown Tampere, most of the bus lines run in the East-West direction and pass through the main street Hämeenkatu. All buses except few circle lines stop at the central square, Keskustori or nearby Koskipuisto.

When you want to stop a bus, give a clear signal to the driver by holding your hand up: if you are just standing still, the bus will probably just pass the stop. Keep in mind that you can only enter the bus from the front door, unless you are traveling with an infant in a pushcar (and then you must use the middle doors).

Starting from 2014, the regional public transit system operates on a system of Zones. Zone 1 covers all of Tampere and Pirkkala, as well as some adjacent parts of other surrounding municipalities. A single ticket for adults (12 years and above) costs €3.00 for Zone 1 allowing for unlimited transfers on buses operated by any company within the Zone for the next 60 minutes. A children's ticket costs €1.20, but every paying adult can be accompanied for free by one child under the age of 7. Adults with a baby in a pushchair can travel for free. Between midnight and 4:40 am, night buses charge €3.00 extra (except if you have a valid Tourist Ticket). Tickets can only be purchased in cash from the driver on board.

You may also choose to purchase a Tampere Tourist Card for unlimited travel by bus within the city limits (€6.50 for the first day, additional days cost €4 for adults; youth and children are €4.50/€3 and €3/€2 respectively). Purchase the smartcard at the railway or bus station, Central Square Kiosk or city transportation office at Frenckellinaukio 2 B, on the northeastern side of the Central Square. Longer-term guests may consider buying a Tampere Travel Card for cheaper trips and more convenience.

City buses offer a cheap and convenient way to get to know off-the-beaten path-locations. Nearly all the bus lines stop at the central square, Keskustori.

By Foot and Bicycle

Since nearly all the shops, restaurants and attractions are located in the compact downtown area, walking is the preferred way to get around Tampere. From the main railway station, the central square is just a couple of hundred meters straight down the main street. While there are not many pedestrian-only streets downtown, Tampere is still considered a very walkable city. However, there are only few cycling lanes downtown, and therefore bicycles are not encouraged. Even in Pispala and Pyynikki districts neighboring downtown, cycling can be difficult not only due to the lack of bike lanes but also because of the elevation differences and abundant flights of stairs in many alleyways.

Top

edit

Eat

Tampere is (in)famous for its black sausage (mustamakkara), a sausage made of blood. The cheapest and most authentic way to try this is to buy from one of the stalls at the Tammelantori or Laukontori markets, with a dab of lingonberry jam (puolukkahillo) and a pint of milk (maito) 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" (kaksi euroa) will get you a nice hefty chunk. You can also try a doughnut (donitsi) with a cup of coffee. Both markets close by 2:00pm and are closed Sundays too.

For inexpensive fast food, you can always visit McDonald's and Subway, or local fast food chains Hesburger (McDonald's with added mayo) and Kotipizza pizzeria (they're actually rather good - they win international pizza contests on regular basis) that have restaurants everywhere. Ethnic pizza and kebab restaurants can be found throughout the city, and they are usually even cheaper than the fast food restaurants. Some restaurants stay open as late as 5am in weekends.

Many of the more pricey restaurants also have lunch specials under €10 during weekdays, most notably the lunch at Ravintola C is a steal at 10-12€. Lunch can also be bought in several places inside Kauppahalli market hall in Keskustori central square, and in University restaurants located on downtown campus.

Top

edit

Drink

There's no shortage of nightlife in Tampere, and better yet, it's all concentrated to a very manageable area downtown. Virtually all the noteworthy establishment are located either on the main street Hämeenkatu or on the adjacent streets. Therefore, pub crawling is ridiculously easy and there is virtually no fear of getting lost even on the morning hours.

As anywhere in Finland, most pubs close at 2:00am, but nightclubs stay open until 4:00am, at least on weekends. People enter the clubs quite early by central European standards, and the queues are the longest around 11:00pm. Most clubs have an entrance fee of €3-10 plus an added mandatory service fee of €2-3. The legal drinking age in Finland is 18, but some places have even more strict limit at 20 or 22. Dresscode is rather informal even in the highest end clubs (one might even say that there are no high end clubs in Tampere), but locals still often dress to impress.

Top

edit

Sleep

View our map of accommodation in Tampere or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

Top

edit

Learn

There are two universities in Tampere; the University of Tampere, and Tampere University of Technology. The former has about 15,000 students and the latter about 10,000 students. Furthermore, Tampere has also one university of applied sciences, the TAMK which has some 10,000 students.

City of Tampere runs the Adult Education Centre that offers rather cheap courses for everyone.

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

Internet is usually always broadband and fast. Most libraries have a free internet connection, so look for a sign "kirjasto" for a library. Internet cafes are not hugely popular, as most Finns have internet at home. Wifi hotspots are also increasingly common. 4G networks cover the capital region and major cities. You'll find wifi in many restaurants, cafes and in stations and on public transport.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The general emergency number is 112. Finland's country code is +358. The prefix for international calls (from local land lines) is 00, as in the rest of EU.

As you'd expect from Nokia's home country, mobile phones are ubiquitous in Finland. GSM and WCDMA (3G) networks blanket all of the country, although it's still possible to find wilderness areas with poor signal, typically in Lapland and the outer archipelago. The largest operators are Sonera and Elisa, a Vodafone partner, but travellers who want a local number may wish to opt for DNA's Prepaid package, which can cost as little as €6. Ask at any convenience store for a list of prices and special offers.

Public telephones are close to extinction in Finland, although a few can still be found at airports, major train/bus stations and the like. It's best to bring along a phone or buy one. A simple GSM model can cost less than €40.

Post

Post is fast and reliable in Finland. You can receive mail simply by marking it Poste Restante, and the postal code of the town (check with the particular post office). First class stamps can be bought from machines or inside the office, and the fare is the same anywhere in the world up to 20 grams, so your postcards will be fine. The current rate for a stamp is €0.75. Heavier letters and postcards have different prices though, you can check them online at the Posti Website. There is also a 'track and trace' system available. Stamps are widely available and sold with the postcards, in kiosks, stationary shops and souvinier shops. Parcels abroad are expensive. You can buy all the packing from the post office, including boxes, tapes etc. For sending parcels internationally, you can also check companies like FedEx, TNT, UPS or DHL.

Top

Quick Facts

[edit]

Coordinates
  • Latitude: 61.498023
  • Longitude: 23.764859

Accommodation in Tampere

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Tampere searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Tampere and areas nearby.

Contributors

as well as Lavafalls (11%), Ofelia (3%)

Tampere Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Tampere

This is version 21. Last edited at 13:19 on Oct 13, 17 by Utrecht. 20 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License