If Detroit is a lovely city – Tampere is too! They don’t call Tampere Finland’s Detroit though but they call it “Manchester of Finland”. “Manse” is the well-known nickname for the city. Common things for all these three cities are the industrial background and the fact that there are famous artists and bands coming from there. Blue-collar workers and shining stars – what a combination!
This summer I have spent my time in Tampere – like I did last summer too. Just because I really enjoy my time in this town. It’s not too big (well nothing is big in Finland), it’s not too small – it’s very charming. In fact, one distant dream of mine is maybe to buy a house in Tampere some day, maybe. Let’s see later. But one thing is for sure; I will probably never have bad feelings about this city. Tampere is a lovely city for sure – and here are the best parts of the red brick town:
Beautiful lakes Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi: beaches, nature and sauna!
Tampere lies between two big lakes Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi. The sweet water lakeside is beautiful. It’s nice to go jogging by Näsijärvi lake in Rauhaniemi area or in Pyynikki area to have the Pyhäjärvi views. One evening I had to stop walking and sit down because the scenery was stunning: it was peaceful and the surface of the Näsijärvi looked like it was peach gold: the night sky sun was reflecting amazing colours. And the sky was filled with pastels. On another night I saw the fully orange huge sun diving into the horizon. The Finnish summer has shown its best lately.
One afternoon I spent on a nice Eliander beach. It was so nice I couldn’t leave. I went on the nearby platform by the water, I was sitting there in the evening sun and enjoying the warmth of the sunrays which were also sparkling on the lake. Then I dipped and swam in the sun bridge until I got back on the dock and sat there until I was dry. I had the place all by myself. It was such a calm moment in a warm summer evening.
I highly recommend foreigners to also try out the public saunas. The one where I have been is the Rauhaniemi sauna which is by the lake and you can swim there throughout the year (yes, ice swimming too!) The sauna might be a bit crowded – but don’t worry it’s a Finnish habit that everybody go to sauna together, no matter if it’s a stranger or a family member! Enjoy the lovely nature setting, have a beer and swim and go back to sauna, again and again. It’s healthy!
Tammela market place and green parks everywhere
It’s a common thing to go to the market place on Saturdays in Finland – during the summer season any day! You have a coffee or buy some fresh stuff – like strawberries! I really like these real life situations where you can sit back and relax and watch all kinds of citizens going by, people and furry friends. “Tammelantori” is my favourite. But “Laukontori” and Tampere Market Hall (= kauppahalli) are nice too.
Overall, it’s very nice to hang outside in Tampere because the cityscape is very appealing. There are green parks and areas everywhere. I love to go under the tree with my book and spend some quality time in a fresh air. Often I leave my phone home! There are nice little neighbourhoods too. Have a walk around!
Attractive pubs and cafes of Tampere
Lately I have been so excited about the Tampere pubs because I have found that there are quite cool pubs everywhere – and as a beer girl I really do enjoy them during the hot summer! (Also read about the pubs in Sliema.) It’s so nice to go and sit out in the great tiny pub terraces on the street – in Finland they can be 80 centimetres by length – if on the street. (we have tight rules!) Some places of course have big terraces – like Pyynikki brewhouse of the Pyynikki brewery. It feels like I was abroad in my home country there when the light bulbs create this certain atmosphere. Finnish prices might feel a bit too much – but welcome to an expensive welfare country haha! There are many nice cafes and restaurants too. Mokkamestarit is a really good coffee place!
Särkänniemi amusement park and the Moomin museum
Särkänniemi amusement park is in a nice Näsijärvi setting. The amusement rides are not necessarily as wild and crazy as somewhere in States – but “X” and “Hype” are the funniest! Children are also happy in Särkänniemi; they get fully entertained. One on the cutest thing for kids is the Koiramäki park where are the famous Koiramäki characters of the Finnish children book artist Mauri Kunnas and also some animals and cute buildings.
Another place for well-known and loved characters in Finland is the Moomin museum in Tampere-talo. This is the only Moomin museum in the world. They show and tell many different Moomin stories and there are many fine illustrations by the world famous Moomin artist Tove Jansson and it’s very fascinating to look at their details. You also read about the artist herself. Muumin museum suits for both children and adults – and of course for all the Japanese Moomin fans!
Go and watch also a movie in Plevna, just because it’s a nice setting! And just because we don’t dub things! Plevna movie theatre is in the historic Finlayson area.
The old industrial setting and great history of Tampere
And they set up a city around the rapids. Tampere was founded in a strategic point, great for industry, in the end of the 16th century. Today it’s charming to walk around in the red brick industrial scene of Finlayson area and admire the sense of history there is in the air. Tammerkoski rapid and the old cotton mill factory areas are great for an enjoyable walk. Hear the white water, see the mood lighting touching the red bricks. When the night falls, it feels magical. Walk in Vapriikki area and in Kehräsaari too. It feels a tiny bit royal to walk in the small Wilhelm von Nottbeck park with the fountain and statue there. And the Näsinpuisto on the hill is very nice too – especially the historical white castle of Näsilinna. There is a Milavida museum which tells some interesting history and how was living in Tampere back in the days, it tells the story of the cosmopolitan Von Nottbeck family who also used to live in the castle. There are also some interesting exhibitions in Milavida. It’s interesting to see how Tampere has become the third largest city (by population) in Finland! Let’s see if I will be one more habitant some day. And you, go to visit there!