Top 10 best things to do in Tampere Finland. Ideas, attractions, pictures, general information and interesting historical facts
Updated article (March 2018)
Looking for information and pictures about the city of Tampere in Finland?
We have gathered an article about Tampere, including top 10 things to do, attractions and must-do's, history, weather, facts, shopping centre guide, links and much more with nice big pictures.
Welcome to find all best ideas, activities and facts you ever wanted to know about Tampere - also called the Manchester of Finland.
- Tampere In a Nutshell
- History of Tampere
- Amazing Fact Of Tampere From The Year 1882
- Tampere Today
- The Top 10 Things To Do In Tampere
- The Top 7 Shopping Centers And Malls in Tampere
- Want to study in Tampere?
- Flights to Tampere Airport
- Weather and climate of Tampere
- Hotels in Tampere
- Flights to Tampere
- Tampere in Amazon
- Finland in Amazon
The City of Tampere in a nutshell
Tampere is the third biggest city and the second-largest urban area Finland. The city of Tampere has a great location in Southern Finland and it is the central city of larger region called Pirkanmaa with 689.59 km2 (266.25 sq mi). Tampere is a city full of life - culture, sports, happenings and festivals with a colorful history both in local and in international perspective. As an inland city, Tampere is located in crossroads of all main railroads and highways and thanks to its location, it is easy to travel everywhere in Finland by car or by train from Tampere.
Tampere city center is on a narrow isthmus and it is surrounded by two big lakes called Pyhäjärvi and Näsijärvi. One of the most popular places in Tampere is the Pyynikki outdoor area and its observation tower near the city center. Pyynikki is the world’s highest gravel ridge, which was formed by the actions of iceage more than 10.000 years ago and it rises up to 80 meters above Lake Pyhäjärvi and about 156 metres above sea level.
The population of Tampere was almost 225,000 in 2014 and the the annual growth rate is about 2% (3,000-4,000 inhabitants per year). There are about 400,000 people living in the entire Tampere region. According to the official statistics from 2011, close to 52% of the inhabitants were female, 48% male and 4% foreign nationalities. In 2011 about 2,500 babies were born and 1,900 inhabitants died. The unemployment rate was about 12,8% (2011). The mayor is Mr Lauri Lyly and The City Council has 67 members, who are elected in a municipal election held every four years.
Tampere has many possibilities for studying: two universities (University Of Tampere and Technical University Of Tampere), Tampere University Of Applied Sciences and several colleges, which makes the city popular and attractive among students.
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Tampere is one of the most popular cities in Finland
Finnish people have voted Tampere to be the most popular place to live in Finland several times - thanks to its location and multiple possibilities to work, study and enjoy the rich culture life.
History of Tampere
The city was founded first as a market place in 1775 and four years later in 1779, it got full city rights granted by the Swedish King called Kustaa III (Gustav III of Sweden) at the time when Finland was part of Sweden. The origin of the city name is partly unknown, but the Swedish name Tammerfors for Tampere means "Rapids of Tammer".
The city grew on an ithmus on the banks of Tammerkoski rapids (the Finnish name of the rapids) between two big lakes Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi, but it has expanded widely to East and West during more than 200 years. The surface of these two big lakes differ 18 metres (59 feets) on a quite short distance.
This area was ideal for all kinds of industries, having electric power from the rapids. The first factories were founded by a Scottish James Finlayson who brought the industurial revolution to Tampere and Finland in the 1820 s'.
Lenin and Tampere
There is an echo of international history in this story, when you learn that Tampere is also hometown to one of the few last museums in the world, and the only one in Europe, dedicated to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
The historical story why the Lenin-museum is located in the Tampere workers' hall goes back to over 100 years ago when Autonomic Finland (The Grand Duchy Of Finland) was part of The Russian Empire (1809-1917) before the Russian Revolution.
What London, Paris, Strasbourg, Milan and Tampere have in common?
They all are of course European cities and the first four are very well known large international cities. But all the five cities have something in common you perhaps would not come to think about - they all had the first eletric light systems in use in Europe in the 1880's, which make the citizens of Tampere still proud.
The first electric lights in the Nordic countries broke out in Tampere, when the Finlayson factory shed was lit by over 100 bulbs in March 1882. Only four European cities were lit with electric light before Tampere : Paris, Strasbourg , Milan and London. This is one of the reasons why Tampere is also known as the "Manchester of Finland", because of its history as a leading textile center of Finland and Northern Europe.
Tampere at civil war
Tampere played a big role also in the Finland's civil war (27.1-15.5.1918), which occurred only couple months later after Finland gained independence from The Russian Empire in December 1917.
There was a brutal civil war between the Reds (left-wingers) and the Whites (right-wingers) in the springtime of 1918.
The battle of Tampere was the biggest battle of that war and by all times before that in Northern Europe. The White forces defeated the Reds (Finnish Bolsheviks). It was the crucial battle of the whole war, and led finally the Whites to the victory with Marshal Carl Gustav Emil Mannerheim in Helsinki in May 1918.
Though 100 years have passed, the signs of the war and the battle - the bullet hits - can still be seen in the old brickwalls, stone foundations and on the tombstones at the cemeteries in the city center of Tampere.
Tampere at World War II
Because Tampere was the biggest city of many major industries - textile, metal and armor - during the years of the Second World War 1939-1944 in Finland, Tampere was one of the main targets of the Soviet airforce bombers, but was - thanks to accurate air-defence - saved from bigger desctructions and the factories were able to operate during the whole war.
Here you can see old pictures from Tampere at the Second World War by the Finnish Defence Forces (SA-KUVA).
Decades after war
After the severe years of war, the urbanization of Finland began and Tampere grew during the next five decades from a small town of 40,000 inhabitants to a city of almost 180,000 citizens between the years of 1940-1990.
After the World War II Tampere kept growing and was still known for its textile and metal industries, but the changes in global economy and society caused a change in the industry fields.
Information Technology and telecommunications replaced the majority of old industries in the 1990's and onwards.
Nowdays there are many different industries in Tampere, for example locomotive works, machinery, leather, information technology and telecommunications.
In the beginning of the 21st century, Tampere was also known for Nokia Mobile Phones' offices in Hervanta business area and Nokia Network offices in downtown Tampere.
Did you know this?
The company name Nokia originates from the name of a small town called Nokia located next to Tampere, where the company was established in the 1800's.
Architecture of Tampere
You could claim that Tampere is a fairly young city, since it was founded in 1779.
And because of that there are only few buildings from the past centuries left. The oldest building of the city is The Old Church Of Messukylä from medieval times (500 years old) built in the beginning of 1500's (in 1510-1530), when Finland was part of the Kingdom of Sweden and Messukylä was part of The old Suur-Pirkkala (Great-Pirkkala).
In the city center there are many old buildings, and especially Jugend/Art Noveau -style buildings, which were built at the end of 1800's or in the early 1900's. Tampere City Hall (1890) is a neo-renaissance building in Tampere, situated at the edge of the Tampere Central Square.
Tampere has something for everyone
Tampere has a very rich culture life with many theaters, museums, happenings, sports and festivals.
Tampere is known for a active culture life and there are two big theaters (Tampereen Teatteri and Tampereen Työväen Teatteri) and also the famous Pyynikin Kesäteatteri (Pyynikki Summer Theater), which is an open-air theatre with the oldest revolving auditorium in Europe.
International bestseller authors and musicians
Tampere is also home town for some of the most popular and even internationally known Finnish authors like Väinö Linna (writer of the novel Unknown Soldier) and Kalle Päätalo.
You may also have heard about some of the famous musicians who come from Tampere - like Jonne Aaron from Negative.
The Finnish National TV channel Yle TV2 is based in Tampere, and Tampere is also known as the location for many popular Finnish TV comedies. There are also lots of music festivals held in city every year, of which perhaps the best known is the Tammerfest - which is the Tampere Urban Rock Festival held yearly in July.
Local food specialities in Tampere
A well known local food speciality of Tampere is defeniately the "Blacksausage with lingonsauce" - in Finnish called mustamakkara ja puolukkahillo, which resembles black pudding of Northern England.
Basically Mustamakkara is made by mixing pork, pig blood, crushed rye and flour, and this mixture is stuffed into animal intestines, like most sausages.
The home of the Finnish icehockey
Tampere is known for being the home of Finnish ice hockey for several reasons. Finland's first ice hockey stadium is called Hakametsän Jäähalli (Tampere Ice Stadium), and it was built about 50 years ago in 1965 for the first ice hockey championship games played in Finland.
Another reason calling Tampere as "the cradle of Finnish hockey" is because both of the local teams have won the championship in Finland 35 times in less than 100 years.
If that time period is divided into sections of championships before and after the time of ice stadiums - there are "only 13 championships" for the teams of Tampere in the last 50 years - so one could say they played good hockey outdoors in Tampere, too.
Since the stadium was built, the local team Tappara has been the most succesful local team with 11 gold medals (latest in 2016 and 2017). The other two locals teams, Ilves has won 3 gold medals (in 1966, 1972 and 1985) and Team KooVee has 4 gold medals.
The Finnish ice hockey club Tappara from Tampere has roots with an other name of TBK (in Swedish Tammerfors Boll Klubb), which was established in 1932. TBK elevated to the top of Finnish hockey level in 1942, and won 3 national championship titles in the 1950's until the club's hockey area changed its name to Tappara in 1955.
Tappara has won 14 gold medals and Finnish titles with the forerunner TBK including another three titles. The title years are 2017, 2016, 2003, 1988, 1987, 1986, 1984, 1982, 1979, 1977, 1975, 1964, 1961, 1959, and TBK's 1955, 1954 and 1953.
Tappara in the 2010´s
During the 2010´s Tappara has risen, you could say "from the bottom to the top of the league", since the Team Tappara has been very succesful playing in the championship finals five times in a row in 2013-2017.
The first three years (2013-2015) end results have been somewhat bitter at the same time since the team ended up receiving three silver medals.
But finally the sun shined (in their point of view) and they won the golden medals in 2016 and 2017.
Ice hockey team Ilves has won the golden medal for 16 times, which makes it the most successful hockey team in Finland. The club was founded in the spring of 1931. The golden years of championships are the latest 1985, 1972, 1966, 1962, 1960, 1958, 1957, 1952, 1951, 1950, 1947, 1946, 1945, 1938, 1937 and the first one 1936.
Despite the rival during decades between the local ice hockey teams of Tampere - Ilves, Tappara and Koovee - Ilves has also done cooperation with Koovee when the two clubs decided to sign an agreement of cooperation (1980) and after that all the best players of Koovee moved to Ilves like Risto Jalo for example.
The latest years of Ilves haven't been as succesful as the past decades. The last 5 years could be said in a nutsell "surviving and struggling" with a small light at the end of the tunnel when Ilves fought its way to the first round of playoffs in the spring 2015, but unfortunately it was defeated by HIFK Helsinki.
Most Finnish citizens (73,7%) belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Tampere English Service is an international community affiliated with the Tampere Pentecostal Church.
What is happening and what are people talking about in Tampere today?
The city of Tampere is improving its infrastructure with many projects at the moment.
For example a traffic tunnel of 2,3 kilometers, going under the city center and beneath the Tammerkoski rapids, enables the city to expand and improve the city area on the shores of Näsijärvi and replace the roads for traffic with a nice living area.
Another ongoing debate is regarding the plans to build a tram system to the city. There are also big plans to build more high buildings to city centre like The Tower Hotel Of Tampere (See on map; Tampereen Tornihotelli in Finnish) and Tampere Central Arena above the railway station.
Things to do in Tampere? The number one tourist attraction and fun for the whole family is the Särkänniemi amusement park. In Särkänniemi area also stands Finland's highest building Näsinneula Observation Tower (built in 1971; 168 metres high) - which is the landmark of the city and is topped by a revolving famous fine dining restaurant at the height of 120 m.
Other sites of interest and definately in top 10 things to do and see in Tampere are the Pyynikki Observation Tower (26 metres high) and the its very popular cafeteria with delicious doughnuts, which are baked daily on the spot and always served fresh and warm. In Pyynikki area you can feel an unique athmosphere with breathtaking views to the city centre and far beyond the both big lakes Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi.
Tampere has these two famous observation towers, but there are many other places to see and visit like the neo-renaissance building Tampere City Hall, the main City Library of Tampere called Metso ("wood grouse"), Kaleva Church (designed by a famous Finnish architect Reima Pietilä), the Tampere Hall for conferences, happenings and concerts, and the Tampere Market Hall. One of the most popular churches to visit is definately Tampere Cathedral, which has been elected to be the most beautiful church in Finland.
You might also want to add these 5 places to your things to do list
Great places to visit in Tampere on a rainy or sunny day - winter or summer - are also Spy Museum, Workers' housing museum in Amuri, The Finnish Ice Hockey Museum (The Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame) and The Vapriikki Museum Center. Last but not the least is the Rajaportti Sauna, where you can experience the unique athomphere of Finnish sauna culture and see tourists from all over the world doing the same.