Heading deep into the heart of Finland, nestled between the glassy surfaces of Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi lakes, lies Tampere, a city that effortlessly fuses industrial heritage with the raw beauty of nature. Known as the “Manchester of Finland” due to its historical role in the country’s industrialization, Tampere is not merely a center of industry, but a beacon of culture, gastronomy, and breathtaking landscapes.
From the hum of marketplaces brimming with fresh Finnish delicacies to the hushed tranquility of ancient forests on the city’s doorstep, Tampere is a city of contrasts. It is where you can delve into Finland’s rich history one moment and be spellbound by contemporary art the next.
In Tampere, we find a large number of museums, restaurants and different historical places to visit. It is a Finnish city very different from Helsinki, so you can visit very different places and have new experiences.
Whether you are an intrepid explorer seeking outdoor adventure or a culture enthusiast hungry for theatre and museums, Tampere promises a bouquet of experiences. We are going to show you the 10 essential places that you cannot miss if you visit this endearing Finnish city.
The Lutheran Cathedral of Tampere dates from 1907 and is in the Gothic National Romantic style. It is built with Finnish grey granite and its roof is red.
The most striking aspect of the cathedral is the Gothic frescoes found inside, painted by the artist Hugo Simberg between 1905 and 1906.
The frescoes in the church were the subject of controversy at the time of their opening due to the representation of certain figures in the paintings, such as a snake on the ceiling representing sin and corruption.
However, over the years the frescoes have received numerous awards and recognitions, and are one of the main tourist attractions in the city.
The Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame
Hockey is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the entire country. For this reason, Tampere is home to one of only six museums in the world dedicated to this sport.
The museum’s permanent display shows the history of Finnish hockey, the most important achievements of the national team and the most famous players.
It is possible to see a large number of trophies and medals obtained in different competitions, the different shirts that the national team has used throughout history and other elements of great relevance in the history of this sport.
In addition to having different audiovisual exhibits that present the history of Finnish hockey, we find some interactive exhibits in which you can play hockey or even act as a commentator in a game.
Särkänniemi is much more than an amusement park. The complex houses an aquarium, planetarium, a huge amusement park and the world’s first Angry Birds theme park.
With such a large catalogue of activities at your disposal, you can spend a whole day enjoying Särkänniemi.
In addition, on designated dates, very popular events, such as Halloween, are held inside and the entire venue changes its decoration to suit the celebration.
Särkänniemi stands out without a doubt for being the first amusement park in the world to have a thematic enclosure dedicated to the Angry Birds, the famous characters that have their origin in Finland. Its aquarium, with more than 200 species, is also one of the most important in the entire country.
The Näsinneula tower is located in the interior of Särkänniemi, so you can take advantage of your visit to the park to climb it.
It is the tallest observation tower in all of Scandinavia at a height of 168 meters.
The Näsinneula Tower was built in 1971 and its design is based on the Space Needle in Seattle.
In addition, the observation tower has a revolving restaurant, so you can take the opportunity to stop for lunch and rest while enjoying the impressive views of the entire city.
From the tower, you can see the entire urban landscape of Tampere, the huge forests that surround the city and the many lakes found in the region.
The Hatanpää Arboretum is an arboretum and botanical garden that is located about 3 kilometres from the centre of the city of Tampere, very close to the hospital.
The arboretum has about four hectares through which we recommend you to walk if the weather allows it, enjoying the plants and the wonderful views of Lake Pyhäjärvi.
In the arboretum, we also find the Hatanpää Manor, a neoclassical manor house that belonged to Hans Henrik Boije, the host of the Swedish King Gustav III during his visit to Tampere in 1775. Today, the mansion houses a collection of dolls belonging to the pukumuseum.
The Hatanpää Arboretum has mainly typical plants from the Tampere bioclimatic zone, but it is also possible to find some rare and exotic plants. In total, it is possible to find about 500 different species of plants.
Pyynikki Observation Tower
Pyynikki is one of the districts of the city of Tampere. In it, we find one of the most important natural reserves in the region. It is located in the Pyynikinharju mountain range, the highest esker in the world that rises up to 85 meters above the lake level.
The reserve has numerous paths to walk along and enjoy the views it offers of the lake and the city.
The Pyynikki observation tower, built in 1929, stands at the highest point of the mountain range. Its construction was carried out because the previous wooden tower suffered serious damage during the First World War.
It is possible to enter the interior of the tower and climb to its highest point to enjoy the impressive views of the forest, Lake Pyhäjärvi and the entire city. In addition, in the lower part of the tower, there is a famous cafe where it is possible to taste some typical sweets of the country.
The Alexander Church is possibly the most impressive in Tampere, second only to the cathedral. It was built between 1880 and 1881 and is named in honour of Tsar Alexander II of Russia.
The church is in the Gothic style and is built with the red brick that characterizes the entire city of Tampere. Its roof is tinted green due to the passage of time.
Outside there is a cemetery and huge gardens that it is also possible to visit and appreciate the history they collect.
Tampere Market Hall
The Tampere market hall is another one of the places that you cannot miss. It has been open since 1901 and is the largest covered market in the Nordic countries.
Inside, it is possible to find all kinds of products and coffees, both local and international. We recommend stopping to eat there to try some typical Tampere dishes and to be able to talk with the owners of the different stalls that you will find.
The Vapriikki Museum is located in the old grounds of Tampella, an important 20th century heavy industry factory.
The complex, of about 14,000 square meters, houses different museums, among which the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Dolls, the Museum and Minerals and the Media Museum stand out. In addition to all of them, Vapriikki has several temporary exhibitions that alternate throughout the year.
The Kaleva Church was built between 1964 and 1966, and its design was commissioned to the architects Raili and Reima Pietilä.
This Lutheran church has a somewhat peculiar design and tries to imitate the shape of a fish, one of the Christian symbols. The architects were also commissioned to design the interior of the building, including the altar, the pews and the church organ.
The massive concrete walls feature numerous windows extending from floor to ceiling, which bring a great deal of light to the interior of the building.
The 30-meter-high church can hold a total of 1,200 people, including 115 seats for the choir.
It is considered one of the key works of post-war Finnish modernism and, since 2006, it is a building protected by Church Law.
These are ten of the places that you cannot miss if you visit Tampere. Tell us in the comments which are your favourite and, if you liked the article, we invite you to share it on social networks using the buttons you will find below.