Sometimes you find a place that you can call home—Tampere is the place my heart truly belongs to. It’s big enough to have all the opportunities you need and small enough to be on the go all the time.
I love the vibe, the city, and the people. You’ve got your culture, nature, history, and your restaurant scene. It’s a little piece of heaven in Finland. I can hardly picture any sort of job (or other) opportunity that would make me move away from Tampere.
Proud of Tampere because…
It’s developing and growing all the time. It’s never static. In my ten years here, Tampere has blossomed so much: new infrastructure, new facilities, and new nature paths.
Big things are happening in the city, like Nokia Arena, the tram, and the evolving international cultural/sports scene. All the way to smaller things like new nature tracks and daycares. Tampere is already a gem of Finland. And it’s going to be even more so in the future.
My favorite cultural spots
Sara Hilden Art Museum. I just love the art exhibitions they curate. Another great place is the Finlayson Art Area. It’s a candy for the eye. Every year there’s something new going on, something unexpected and thought-provoking.
In general, I’m impressed by how even the smallest places in Finland manage to incorporate culture. For example, our community library at Pirkkala arranges exhibitions of local artists regularly.
My favorite picnic spots
As a picnic enthusiast, I just love those nice outdoorsy spots near the city center like Arboretum or Eteläpuisto park. These places are your perfect escape into nature on the quest for “stillness”. And all within the city district.
My favorite walking routes
The historical areas around Tallipiha Stable Yards and Finlayson are the best. I find it very symbolic that my first big job in Finland (as well as many other personal and professional milestones) originated in Finlayson area. Why symbolic? Because it’s where Tampere began.
If you are a nature lover, I recommend walking in Rauhaniemi and Lapiniemi areas. They offer a sauna, a beach, and the best sunsets in town.
My favorite brunch spots
Café Pispala is my go-to for brunches. Great food topped with a great location. Colorful wooden houses shine throughout all seasons of the year, especially the ruska time (the Finnish Indian summer).
The restaurant on Viikinsaari island is another gem. It’s a great package deal—experience a boat ride and a delicious brunch in a classy mansion. You can enjoy nature, go to the summer theater, spend time on the beach, and have a picnic. It’s a perfect getaway activity for a family or friends.
My favorite cafe
Cafe Ratinan Loisto. The customer service there is exceptional: they know your story and always treat it with an individual approach and lots of warmth. It’s my safe space. And even though it’s located right next to Ratina shopping mall, it still feels rather secluded. Not to mention that fantastic view of the lake Pyhäjärvi from the windows!
My favorite restaurants
Plevna Brewery and Restaurant. It’s an iconic restaurant in the historic center with amazing comfort food and craft beers. It’s everything you want in life.
Olympia Kortteli (Olympia Quarter). It’s hipster and cool. When you go in, it feels like you are in a different dimension. The design, the food, the whole vibe—amazing! You feel happy and chilled.
My favorite fine dining spot
Ravintola C. It’s very sustainable because they avoid food waste and use seasonal ingredients in cooking. And of course it goes without saying that they serve extremely good food that leaves you speechless. It’s an experience.
My favorite live music venue
G Livelab. I’ve been there twice to see my favorite Finnish band, Lake Jons. The acoustics are amazing, the place is centrally located and has a nice authentic terrace. If you are in the mood for some good live music, G Livelab is the place to be.
My favorite staycation hotel
Lillan Boutique Hotel and Restaurant. It’s a little bit outside the city center, which creates an even better environment for a little staycation. A hidden gem, beautiful both outside and inside. Sometimes, the hotel collaborates with other service providers. Last summer, for example, they hosted skumppajooga sessions. You could enjoy a little workout all while balancing a glass of that much-needed refreshing bubbly.
My favorite family attractions
Pikku Kakkonen playground. First of all, it offers fun activities for kids. If you are up for a sweet treat with hot chocolate, there is a cozy Waffle Cafe nearby. During summer you can have a picnic at Koskipuisto park, or simply take a walk by Tammerkoski rapids.
Sankilan Kartano. It’s a large beautiful petting zoo where you can meet horses, bunnies, and other animals. They have an old-school barn and a mansion building which you can rent for birthdays and other occasions. And don’t forget to indulge in a little cafe and enjoy the surrounding nature paths.
Photo: Yuliya Salorenko