From East to West
One easy way to have a look around Tampere in a small amount of time is to head from the East end of the centre towards the West. Here are our top picks along the way:
Tampere Cathedral: Start your exploration from the East side of Tammerkoski rapids and visit the Tampere Cathedral. It’s a historical location with Hugo Simberg’s unconventional church art and Lars Sonck’s impressive architecture wowing visitors. Check the opening hours (in Finnish) in here.
Finlayson area: Follow the Satakunnankatu street and over the rapids to end up in Finlayson area, also known as the old town of Tampere. This is where it all began for the city: textile factory being set up on the banks of the rapids. Finlayson area is basically a city within a city: walking under the main entrance you walk in the foot steps of thousands of past factory workers. If you want to know more of their story, Finnish Labour Museum Werstas has free admission to exhibitions including the original steam engine of Finlayson, at its original place in the engine room. In addition, while you are in the area, you should pop into the world’s first Spy Museum to test your skills as a spy.
Stable yards: Finlayson area doesn’t just have old factory buildings: be sure to visit the Finlayson church, built for factory workers and their families, Finlayson Palace, nowadays a restaurant in the beautiful surrounding park, and the idyllic Tallipiha Stable Yards. Housing the factory owner’s animals in the olden days, this cute little yard with historical stable buildings hosts handicrafts shops, family events and a café with delicious baked goods and a homely lunch. If your sweet tooth is still aching, stop by Stable Yards Chocolate Shop to buy some souvenirs!
Milavida: Look up for the Stable Yards to see an impressive white building rising on the Näsinkallio rock. Milavida, the former home of one of the owners of Finlayson, is now a museum, café and restaurant. Just taking a walk around the mansion is worth it for the view opening up to lake Näsijärvi.
Whether you have a whole day or just a couple of hours to spend in our lovely city, you might want to grab a bite to eat either way.
Tampere Market Hall: When hunger strikes, we definitely recommend you direct your steps to Tampere Market Hall. The historical market hall is one of the main sights in Tampere, and choosing the local specialty, black sausage, for lunch will make your experience ultimately local. The market hall features top-notch burgers, sushi and French cuisine as well!
World’s best doughnuts: At the market hall you can have your coffee with a famous Pyynikki doughnut. The original doughnut café is situated in the observation tower on top of Pyynikki ridge, but if you don’t have the time to enjoy both the doughnut and the gorgeous lake view, at least have the doughnut in the market hall café!
What else to do?
Shopping: There’s no need to leave Tampere empty-handed. If you didn’t throw all your money in the Stable Yards’ shops, explore some local design stores for a truly local souvenir. PikkuPutiikit is a good option for hand-made jewellry, and Seele for the best of Finnish design.
World’s only Moomin Museum: Last but not least, a couple of bonus tips if you still find yourself with extra time: The world’s only Moomin Museum in Tampere Hall is definitely worth visiting, with the original artwork of Tove Jansson taking you to the roots of the beloved characters. The Moomin library and gift shop add to the experience!
Tampere is the Sauna Capital: If you haven’t experienced the Finnish sauna, and even if you have, you have to do it in Tampere – the Sauna Capital of the World. Try Rajaportti sauna if you prefer the tradition of the oldest Finnish public sauna still in use, or go to Kaupinoja or Rauhaniemi to dip in the lake in between sauna-going – summer or winter! If instead you want to have a sauna in the city, that is possible as well: Sauna & Restaurant Kuuma offers heat in the middle of the town.