Tampere, Finland

Rail Guide to Tampere

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Local languageFinnish and Swedish
Country Finland


Founded in 1779 on the banks of the Tammerkoski Rapids, Tampere is the capital of Finland’s Western Lake District and is home to almost 200 lakes within the city limits! With 210,000 inhabitants, Tampere is actually considered a big city compared to other Finnish cities but compared to other European cities it is still relatively small and once you are in the centre you can easily cover everything on foot.

In the 19th century, the city was the country’s most industrialized, however today, many of the former industrial areas (Finlayson and Tampella for example) have been re-developed and are home to a variety of cafés, restaurants, shops, sport and fitness centres, cinemas, theatres, workshops and galleries leaving behind the more industrial past.

Things to do

Tampere offers a wide range of museums and galleries, among them a few unique ones, such as the Lenin Museum, Spy Museum, Ice Hockey Museum, Moominvalley Museum or Vapriikki Museum Centre, for those who are interested in local history.

One of Tampere’s main attractions is Särkänniemi Adventure Park which attracts over 700,000 visitors each year and is only 2km from the city centre. Logically the park is busiest in summer, but it is open all year round.

The park’s main attractions include the Aquarium, the Planetarium, Näsinneula Observation Tower. Except for the fun rides, the Dolphinarium and the Children's Zoo, which are open from early May to late August, all the parks attractions are open all year round.

Amonst the locals, Finlaysonin Palatsi is better known as the "Little Palace". The Finlayson Palace is extraordinarily decorative, with the Neo-Renaissance style being the dominant influence. The facade has kept most of its original look, except for some of the plaster sculptures and decorations that have been damaged in the course of time and have therefore had to be restored and/or replaced. The palace now houses the popular restaurant Alexanderin Palatsi.

Located south of Tampere, the fascinating Dolls & Costumes Museum museum has more than 4000 dolls on display, with some of the exhibits dating back to the 12th century. The building itself is called Hatanpää Manor house and is surrounded by the stunning Arboretum Park. The founder had been collecting family treasures, antiquities, and also Finnish upper class art for years and in 1966 decided to open the museum. Run by the Haihara Museum Foundation since 1982, the museum collection contains exhibits from all over the world, such as magical and antique toy dolls, paper dolls, stone age venuses, pin up Barbies, puppets, Christmas crib and votive wax dolls, as well as dolls' houses with their inhabitants, china services, and toys.

In the basement of the public library, the Moominvalley Museum offers an exhibition based on the popular children's books of Tove Jansson. On display are original drawings and tableaux models from the world of Moomintrolls as well as the 5-storey miniature (2.5 meters high) version of Moomin house. Children and fans of Moominworld will love it.

The Pyynikki Ridge & Observation Tower ridge is a forested area of walking and cycling trails between Tampere's two lakes. Rising 85m above the shores of the lake, the ridge claims to be the highest gravel ridge in the world. On the ridge, there's an old observation tower which also has a great café. From the tower, which was built in 1929, you’ll have a splendid view of Tampere: you can see Lake Näsijärvi on one side, Lake Pyhäjärvi on the other side with the city in between.

Located in the Worker's Hall of Tampere, inside the hall where Lenin and Stalin met for the first time in 1905, the tiny Lenin Museum is home to the only permanent Lenin exhibition in the world since Lenin museums’ elsewhere in the world have either closed down or are only open at certain times. Owned by the Finland-Russia Society and supported by Tampere city and the Ministry of Education, the museum has a collection exhibits and research material related to Lenin's life and the history of the former Soviet Union, with a lot of the material relating to Lenin’s time in Finland.

Local transport

All major sights in and around the city centre can easily be reached on foot. The city’s bus network connects the suburbs with the city centre, with all buses stopping right at or near the central square.

There are nightbuses, too. These are the ones with a ‘Y’ in addition to their line number. Regional bus lines are the buses with the numbers 45-95. There are also buses to destinations outside the city, such as Helsinki.

Recommended places and events to visit in Tampere

Tampere Film Festival Picture
Event (During March)
Tampere Film Festival Locations around central Tampere
Event (During June)
Juhannus Midsummer Celebration Various locations around Tampere