Set between the vast Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi lakes, Tampere’s unique blend of nature, culture, history, food, hipster-vibe, and offbeat attractions make it a must-visit city for those looking to explore Finland beyond the usual tourist circuit. Tampere has something for everyone with its quirky museums, vibrant art scene, numerous parks, and delightful culinary experiences. It’s a city that has remained a favorite of ours from our time in Finland. Here’s our lowdown on the best things to do in Tampere.
We would like to let you know that our last visit to Tampere was sponsored by Tampere Region Festivals (Pirkanmaan Festivaalit) in co-operation with Visit Tampere. However, all our opinions are our own 🙂
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Table of Contents
How To Get Around Tampere?
Tampere is best explored on foot and the city is very compact and pretty easy to navigate. Virtually all the must-see attractions in Tampere are within comfortable walking distance of each other.
For the outer-lying sights, you can also get around Tampere using the city’s efficient public transport system which consists of bus and light rail (tram) services. The city’s public transportation system is run by Nysse, which offers extensive bus services throughout Tampere and the surrounding municipalities.
The Nysse service area is divided into six payment zones. Tampere proper is covered by zones A & B whereas Tampere-Pirkkala Airport lies in zone C. When buying a ticket, you have to select at least two adjacent zones for your ticket, even if your trip is in only one zone.
Buses and trams are frequent and reliable. You can purchase a single ticket (2.70 EUR/valid for 90 minutes) or a 24-hour ticket (7 EUR) from the Nysse Mobiili app or contactless payment.
To find out more information about tickets, fares, schedules, and how to plan your journey, check out the Nysse website.
If you are visiting Tampere in April-October, a great way to get around is on a bicycle. The city has a fantastic bike infrastructure with extensive bike lanes and routes throughout the city.
Tampere has a city bike rental scheme (Tampereen kaupunkipyörät) that offers a fast and convenient way to move from one place to another. You can find bikes at bike stations all over the city.
To use it, you need the Tampereen kaupunkipyörät, which is used to register as a user of city bikes and to pay for the use of the bike. The service costs 5 EUR/24 hours. To find out more information, click here.
I would advise using taxis in Tampere unless it is essential as they are very pricey, and you will run up a large tab. Should you need to use a taxi, you can either hail one on the street, book in advance, or get one at a taxi stand.
Things to do in Tampere
Below we have compiled a list of the top Tampere attractions (in no particular order). Consisting of a mix of well-known sights and lesser-known hidden gems, the following is our opinionated list of what we consider to be the best things to do in Tampere.
1. Explore the Museum Center Vapriikki
If you don’t know what to do in Tampere, start with cultural sites like the Museum Center Vapriikki (Museokeskus Vapriikki). It is home to an array of diverse museums and exhibitions under one roof, each focusing on different aspects of history, culture, nature, and technology.
The center includes permanent exhibits like the Natural History Museum, the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame, the Finnish Museum of Games, and the Postal Museum.
The Natural History Museum offers insightful displays on the region’s flora and fauna, geology, and environmental concerns.
At the same time, the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame is a must for sports enthusiasts, showcasing the rich history and notable figures of Finnish ice hockey.
The Finnish Museum of Games delves into the history of gaming in Finland. It showcases games and consoles that have been popular in Finland from the 1900s onwards.
The museum pays homage to the Finnish gaming industry’s achievements, which has produced internationally acclaimed games like “Angry Birds” and “Clash of Clans.”
I loved that there are several stations where visitors can play classic video games, which made it a nostalgic trip down memory lane for me.
Vapriikki is also home to the interesting Postal Museum, tracing the development of postal services and communication in Finland, from the days of horse-drawn carriages to the digital era.
Through various exhibits, visitors can learn about the evolution of postal services, including the challenges faced during wars and the role of the postal service in connecting the vast and sparsely populated nation. Visitors can engage with interactive displays, allowing them to dive deep into the world of letters, telegrams, and parcels.
This diversity means the Museum Center Vapriikki is worth visiting as there’s something to pique everyone’s interest, whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, sports fan, or gamer.
Additionally, Vapriikki is housed in a repurposed red-brick factory symbolizing Tampere’s industrial past making it an architectural marvel in its own right. Its location on the banks of the Tammerkoski Rapids also provides scenic views.
The Museum Center Vapriikki is open Tuesday–Sunday from 10:00–18:00. In July, the center is also open on Mondays. The entrance costs 15 EUR. Free admission on Fridays from 15:00.
2. Admire the Tampere Cathedral
Tampere Cathedral (Tuomokirkko) is a prime example of Finnish National Romantic architecture and undoubtedly one of the top 10 sights in Tampere. Situated on the edge of the city center, the cathedral is surrounded by a peaceful park, enhancing its ethereal, timeless ambiance.
Art Nouveau is our favorite architectural style and we both love seeing Romantic Nationalist architecture edifices in Finland. Like the many beautiful National Romantic-style buildings in downtown Helsinki, the Tampere Cathedral stands as a beautiful testament to Finland’s architectural history.
The cathedral was designed by the famous Finnish architect Lars Sonck and built between 1902 and 1907. Its unique architecture features robust granite walls and a tall, square bell tower that rises majestically above the main structure, giving it an imposing and impressive appearance. The building’s exterior also showcases intricate stone carvings and statues that add to its grandeur.
The interior of the Tampere Cathedral is renowned for its breathtaking artistic masterpieces. The walls and ceilings are adorned with stunning frescoes painted by the eminent symbolist artist Hugo Simberg.
The most notable artworks are The Wounded Angel which depicts a bandaged angel being carried on a stretcher by two boys, and The Garden of Death, a somber, serene scene showing the personification of death caring for plants. Both works stirred controversy during their time for their unconventional religious imagery.
Another highlight of the cathedral is the altarpiece, titled “Resurrection,” created by Finnish artist Magnus Enckell. The piece depicts a resurrection scene and complements the other artworks within the cathedral.
With its captivating architecture and artworks, Tampere Cathedral is truly a must-visit Tampere attraction.
Tampere Cathedral is open daily from 10:00–17:00 (May–August) and 11:00–15:00 (September–April). Free entrance.
3. Go for a refreshing Sauna
You might have been to a sauna before, but there’s nothing quite like a sauna experience in Finland. Sauna is a Finnish invention, and it’s deeply woven into the fabric of the country’s society.
The sauna holds a deeply significant place in Finnish culture and they are not merely about bathing. Saunas represent a deeply ingrained cultural tradition that symbolizes relaxation, purification, healing, and socializing.
They are places where friends and families gather to unwind, share stories, and even celebrate special occasions. It’s even common for significant discussions or negotiations to take place in the relaxing environment of a sauna.
With over 50 public saunas in the Tampere region, the city is home to more public saunas than any other city in Finland and has been bestowed the moniker “sauna capital of the world.” Thus, going to a sauna is simply a Tampere must-do.
Tampere’s saunas range from historical wooden structures to modern city facilities. Regardless of the one you choose, you can expect an unforgettable experience. The ideal Finnish sauna is warmed to 80–100°C, creating the perfect “löyly,” a Finnish term for the steam that comes from pouring water onto the hot sauna stones.
One iconic sauna in Tampere is the Rajaportti Sauna, which has been operating since 1906 and holds the title of the oldest public sauna in Finland. The best thing about this sauna is that it offers a great chance to experience the softer steam from a traditionally heated wood sauna rather than the coarser electric ones.
Another must-visit is the Rauhaniemi Sauna, located on the shores of Lake Näsijärvi. Here, visitors can take a steamy sauna session followed by a refreshing dip in the lake, a custom known as ‘avanto’ in winter, when daredevils can jump in the icy waters for a rush of endorphins.
4. Stop by Tampere Market Hall
Opened in 1901, it’s the oldest market hall in continuous use in Finland, the Tampere Market Hall (Tampereen Kauppahalli) is an integral part of the city’s heart and soul. The market hall is huge with a floor area of 2,100 m2 making it the largest indoor market hall in the Nordic countries.
The market hall building itself is a reflection of the architectural spirit of the early 20th century. Its red-brick facade and long, rectangular shape echo the industrial heritage of Tampere, while its interior houses a maze of stalls and shops that brim with life and color.
The high ceiling, wooden stalls, and ornate details evoke a charming old-world atmosphere, and the warmth of the space is enhanced by the welcoming nature of the local vendors.
Inside the Tampere Market Hall, you’ll find approximately 40 businesses offering a wide variety of products. It’s a food lover’s paradise, with fresh produce, meats, fish, cheeses, bread, and pastries being sold by local vendors. You’ll find everything from everyday staples to exotic ingredients and gourmet delicacies.
Specialty food shops sell items such as locally-produced honey, organic grains, and a range of Finnish and international delicacies. You’ll also find stalls dedicated to clothing, flowers, and Finnish handicrafts, offering an authentic slice of local life.
There’s also a delightful array of cafés and restaurants where you can sample traditional Finnish cuisine as well as international food.
The Tampere Market Hall is open from 09:00–18:00 (Monday–Friday) and 09:00–16:00 (Saturday).
5. Be enthralled at the world’s only Moomin Museum
One of the things that makes Tampere unique is that the city is home to the Moomin Museum – the world’s only museum dedicated to the Moomins, the beloved characters known worldwide created by Finnish author and illustrator Tove Jansson.
The Moomins are a family of round, whimsical creatures who somewhat resemble white hippos, and they are the central characters in a series of books and comics. First introduced in the 1940s, the Moomins have since become Finland’s biggest literary export.
The Moomin Museum boasts an impressive collection of approximately 2,000 works by Tove Jansson, including original illustrations, 3D tableaux, and even the five-story Moominhouse, which brings to life the Moomin family’s home in exquisite detail.
These works are carefully displayed to evoke the atmospheric storytelling of Jansson’s books and comic strips, taking visitors on an imaginative journey through various adventures and seasons.
Jacky’s been a huge fan of the Moomins since childhood and was extremely excited to visit the museum. The museum showcases how the Moomins, while appearing simple and childlike, deal with complex themes like tolerance, love, friendship, environmentalism, and the quest for identity.
The Moomin Museum is thoughtfully designed for all ages. Interactive elements, like the immersive “Moominvalley” soundscape and the Moominhouse that visitors can explore with torches, add an element of discovery and adventure.
Whether you’re a longtime fan of the Moomins or just discovering them, the museum is a must-visit when in Tampere.
The Moomin Museum is open from 09:00–17:00 (Tuesday–Wednesday & Friday), 09:00–19:00 (Thursday), and 10:00–17:00 (Saturday–Sunday). The entrance costs 14.50 EUR. There is free admission to the Moomin Museum on certain Fridays. Please check the museum website for more details.
6. Try the iconic blood sausage
Mustamakkara, or Finnish blood sausage, is a distinctive and traditional food item originating from Tampere and has since become an emblematic dish of the city’s culinary culture.
Mustamakkara is a type of sausage that is made primarily from pig’s blood, pork, crushed rye, and flour, spiced with salt and crushed allspice berries. It’s typically dark black in color, hence its name “musta” (black) and “makkara” (sausage). The mixture is filled into the intestines and then slowly cooked in an oven.
Mustamakkara was originally a frugal dish, created by working-class locals to make full use of all parts of the pig. Over time, it has transcended its humble beginnings to become a culinary icon of Tampere, enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.
Mustamakkara is traditionally enjoyed hot, accompanied by a dollop of lingonberry jam. The sweetness and tartness of the jam provide a delightful contrast to the savory richness of the sausage, making for a well-rounded and satisfying dish.
Mustamakkara is one of my all-time favorite sausages and I always have a couple when visiting Tampere. Unless you’re a vegetarian or vegan, I highly recommend you try it!
You can find mustamakkara all over Tampere. Two of the best places to eat blood sausage in Tampere are Tapola Tammelantori and the Tampere Market Hall.
7. Head to the Finlayson Complex
The Finlayson Complex is one of the major points of interest in Tampere. Named after its founder, Scottish industrialist James Finlayson, the complex is a testament to Tampere’s transformation from a small rural settlement into the powerhouse of the Finnish industrial revolution in the 19th century.
Established in 1820, the Finlayson Complex was initially a cotton mill, and later expanded into engineering works, becoming the largest industrial enterprise in the Nordic countries by the late 19th century. Due to its industrial output, Tampere was dubbed “Manchester of the North.”
The red-brick factory buildings of the Finlayson Complex, with their robust structures and large windows, are characteristic examples of industrial architecture from this era.
However, the Finlayson Complex is more than just an industrial relic. Much like the old mills and industrial buildings in Manchester, it has been reimagined and revitalized in recent decades, home to a diverse array of boutiques, design shops, cafés, restaurants, innovative startups, as well as cultural institutions.
One of the highlights of the Finlayson Complex is the Finlayson Art Area. Established in 2008, the Art Area has grown into an integral part of Tampere’s vibrant arts scene. The area showcases an ever-changing collection of contemporary art and is home to numerous art galleries, design shops, and artist studios.
The Finlayson Art Area is known for its annual Finlayson Art Area Summer Exhibition. Held from June to August, this open-air exhibition features works from various artists and is free for all visitors.
The exhibited works, ranging from sculptures to installations, blend into the historic industrial landscape, creating a unique juxtaposition of old and new.
Tampere was the first city in the Nordic countries to get electric light. The Finlayson textile factory’s Weaving Hall installed electric lighting in 1882, only three years after Thomas Edison patented the light bulb.
I love how strolling through the streets of the Finlayson Complex offers a journey through time and shows the city’s spirit of reinvention. It is a must-see for any visitor to Tampere.
8. Make your way up the Pyynikki Observation Tower
Perched on the Pyynikki ridge, the tallest gravel ridge in the world, the Pyynikki Observation Tower stands as an iconic landmark in Tampere, offering panoramic views of the city and its surrounding natural beauty.
The tower itself is a testament to the early 20th-century architecture, built in 1929. It stands at a height of 26 meters, but its location on top of the ridge, which is 80 meters above the surface of the adjacent Lake Pyhäjärvi, makes it an exceptional vantage point.
A climb up the tower (either by stairs or a lift) takes visitors to an observation deck that provides breathtaking 360-degree views of Tampere. To the east and west, you can see the shimmering surfaces of the two large lakes, Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi, that border the city.
Beyond the lakes, expansive forests stretch out, underlining the unique beauty of Finnish nature. Looking down, you can gawk at Tampere itself, an impressive blend of modern urban living and preserved natural landscape.
The Pyynikki Observation Tower is not just about the views. At the base of the tower is the famous Pyynikki Café, which is renowned for its delicious munkki (donuts), considered by many to be the best in Finland.
The Pyynikki Observation Tower and Café are open daily from 09:00–20:00 (until 21:00 from June–August). The entrance to the tower costs 2 EUR.
9. Pop into the Finnish Labour Museum Werstas
One of the favorite things to do in Tampere was visit the Finnish Labour Museum Werstas (Työväenmuseo Werstas), a significant cultural institution situated within the historic Finlayson Complex in Tampere.
As the national museum of work and labor in Finland, Werstas aims to illuminate the country’s social history and working-class culture and in doing so, sheds light on the social dynamics that have shaped Finland’s past and present.
The Finnish Labour Museum’s permanent exhibition consists of three parts: a reconstruction of different historically typical Finnish workplaces – a shop and printing press; the Industry Museum; and the Steam Engine Museum.
The Steam Engine Museum houses a collection of fully operational steam engines, which once powered the Finlayson factory. Seeing these machines in action is a fantastic way to understand the Industrial Revolution’s technology and impact.
The Industry Museum retells how Tampere evolved into an industrial powerhouse through various historical artifacts and factory machinery. The museum not only chronicles labor history but also underscores the importance of social rights, workers’ rights, and the broader theme of social justice.
I like that many sections of the museum are interactive, and designed to provide a tangible feel of the past.
Beyond the permanent displays, Werstas regularly organizes changing exhibitions that focus on varied aspects of working life and societal change in Finland.
The Finnish Labour Museum Werstas is open from 11:00–18:00 (Tuesday–Sunday). Admission to Werstas is always free of charge making it definitely worth visiting!
10. Check out the Tammerkoski Rapids
Tammerkoski Rapids is one of the defining features of Tampere. It is a channel of fast-flowing water running through the city that connects Lake Näsijärvi to the north and Lake Pyhäjärvi to the south.
With a drop of 18 meters (59 ft)over a distance of roughly two kilometers, the rapids have been a crucial energy source for the city. Spanning roughly two kilometers, the rapids have played a pivotal role in Tampere’s industrial history, with their energy driving the mills and factories that once lined their banks.
The rapids, bordered by scenic pathways, parks, and bridges, provide a serene escape, with the sound of rushing water and sights of swirling whirlpools.
The most scenic stretch of the Tammerkoski Rapids can be seen from the Hämeensilta Bridge. It’s also one of the best photo spots in Tampere!
11. Enjoy a sightseeing cruise on Lake Pyhäjärvi
If you’re visiting Tampere in the summer months, a sightseeing cruise on Lake Pyhäjärvi offers a unique perspective of Tampere and its beautiful surroundings. Departing from Laukontori Quay in central Tampere, these cruises take you on a journey through scenic waterways and past stunning natural landscapes.
As the boat glides away from the bustling city, the urban scenes gradually give way to serene vistas of forested hills, secluded coves, and waterfront cottages. On board, you can soak in the stunning panoramic views from the open deck, or enjoy the scenery from the comfort of the indoor seating area.
Many cruises offer refreshments on board, with options ranging from coffee and snacks to full-course meals. The meals are often prepared with locally sourced ingredients and presented in a minimalist yet artistic manner, both hallmarks of New Nordic Cuisine.
A typical cruise lasts for about two to three hours. Check Hopealinjat for more information about tickets.
12. Be fascinated at the Lenin Museum
I am a big history geek and one of the things I was looking forward to when visiting Tampere was checking out the city’s Lenin Museum (Lenin Museo). This is a truly unique institution as it is the only museum dedicated to Vladimir Lenin outside of Russia.
Housed in the Tampere Workers’ House, a former hotspot of working-class and labor movements, the museum’s location itself is a significant historical site. It is where Lenin and Joseph Stalin met for the first time during a secret Bolshevik conference in 1905, thus altering the course of world history.
The museum presents a comprehensive overview of Lenin’s life and political career, from his early years as a revolutionary to his role as a Soviet leader. This includes an exploration of his political ideology, his relationships, his time in exile in Finland, and his impact on world history.
One of the highlights is the collection of Lenin’s personal artifacts. This includes his books, propaganda posters, photographs, documents, and other items that offer an intimate look into his life. It even contains a replica of Lenin’s office in the Kremlin, providing an intimate look into his working environment.
Furthermore, the museum isn’t just about Lenin; it also sheds light on the broader historical and political context. Exhibits explore the turbulent history of the 20th century, touching on themes like the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, the Cold War, and the relationship between Finland and Soviet Russia.
On a lighter note, you can even snap a selfie with lifesize figures of Lenin and “Uncle Joe.”
Overall, the Lenin Museum offers a thought-provoking exploration of a key figure in world history and his complex legacy.
The Lenin Museum is open daily from 10:00–18:00 (June–August) and Tuesday–Sunday from 11:00–17:00 (September–May). The entrance costs 8 EUR.
13. Attend some Tampere festivals
Tampere is known for hosting a rich and vibrant calendar of festivals throughout the year, showcasing the city’s diverse culture, arts, and gastronomy. The following are some of the Tampere’s main festivals:
a. Tampere Theater Festival: Established in 1969, the Tampere Theater Festival is the largest and oldest theatre festival in the Nordic countries and a cornerstone event in the Finnish cultural calendar. It takes place annually over six days in early August embodying the city’s passion for theater and arts.
The festival showcases a wide spectrum of theatrical expression, offering a varied program that includes both domestic and international performances. The genres and styles presented range from classical drama to contemporary theatre, from physical and visual theatre to dance theatre, from puppet theatre to circus arts, making it a comprehensive and diverse platform for performing arts.
During our visit to the Tampere Theater Festival, we saw a performance called Yé by the acclaimed Guinean troupe Circus Baobab. The exhilarating performance, which combines dizzying acrobatic stunts, human pyramids, and hip-hop is a poetic call to take the environmental issue of water scarcity seriously.
One of the distinctive elements of the festival is the ‘Stage Club’, a hub for night-time festival gatherings. It hosts interviews, discussions, and music, allowing festival-goers to engage in theater discussions or just unwind and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
In addition, the festival organizes workshops, seminars, and networking events, fostering dialogue and collaboration among theatre professionals. Tampere Theater Festival really is a must-visit event for any theater enthusiast.
b. Tammerfest: This popular city festival takes place over the course of 3-5 days across various venues in Tampere, hosting rock, pop, and folk music performances. It’s one of the biggest summer events in the city, attracting tens of thousands of visitors annually.
c. Tampere Film Festival: Celebrated annually in March, it is one of the most significant short film festivals in the world, drawing filmmakers, industry professionals, and film enthusiasts from all corners of the globe. The festival showcases a diverse selection of films, ranging from short films and documentaries to animation and experimental projects.
The festival also endorses the historical and artistic value of cinema, as evidenced by screenings of classic and retrospective films. Alongside the film screenings, the festival also hosts various panel discussions, seminars, and workshops, where filmmakers and cinéastes can engage in stimulating discussions and exchange ideas.
The first Finnish movie, “The Moonshiners,” was filmed in Tampere in 1907.
d. Blockfest: The largest hip-hop festival in Finland takes place annually in mid-August. It showcases both established and upcoming artists and has become a must-visit event for hip-hop fans across Scandinavia.
14. Drop by the Amuri Museum of Workers’ Housing
The Amuri Museum of Workers’ Housing (Amurin Työläismuseokortteli) is a unique open-air museum that offers a captivating look into the everyday life of working-class Finns from the late 19th century to the latter half of the 20th century. Located in a former residential area for factory workers, the museum provides a tangible connection to Tampere’s industrial past.
Originally, Amuri was a district where workers from the nearby Finlayson and Tampella factories lived. The houses were built in the 1880s and 1890s and were organized in the form of a block system, a common setup in industrial areas during the time. The area was inhabited until the 1970s, after which it was converted into a museum.
The museum’s primary attraction is the collection of 19th-century wooden houses, each carefully restored and preserved. Nine houses and 32 individual dwellings are furnished and decorated according to a specific period, ranging from the late 1800s to the 1970s providing a true-to-life depiction of how people lived during these times.
Additionally, the museum includes communal facilities that were shared by the residents of the block, including a bakery, sauna, laundry room, and a shoemaker’s workshop. These areas provide insights into the communal aspects of life in Amuri.
Each year, the Amuri Museum of Workers’ Housing hosts a variety of events and exhibitions, including traditional craft demonstrations and music performances, further bringing the history to life.
For those interested in a deeper understanding of Tampere’s history and the lives of its working-class citizens, this intriguing museum is a must-see when visiting Tampere.
The Amuri Museum of Workers’ Housing is open Tuesday–Sunday from 10:00–18:00 (early May–early September). The entrance costs 9 EUR. Free admission on Fridays from 15:00.
15. Stuff your belly full of Finnish cuisine
Tasting some authentic Finnish cuisine is definitely one of the best things to do in Tampere. Traditional Finnish cuisine is best described as a mélange of European, Scandinavian, and Russian cuisines.
Finnish food is pretty unpretentious and may seem fairly simple compared to some of the more famous world cuisines. However, I think it’s pretty underrated and there are a couple of iconic Finnish dishes that you must try.
Finns are very fond of soups, the most popular ones being mushy pea soup (hernekeitto) and salmon soup (lohikeitto). Some of the most popular fish dishes to try in Tampere are smoked salmon (graavilohi), marinated herring (silli), and tiny fried vendace (muikku).
Game meat is often found on menus in many Finnish restaurants in Tampere. I highly recommend trying sautéed reindeer (poronkäristys) which is served with mashed potatoes, cranberries, or lingonberry sauce.
Popular Finnish pastries and desserts worth trying are Karelian pies (karjalanpiirakka), bilberry pie (mustikkapiirakka), cinnamon buns (korvapuusti), and star-shaped plum tarts (joulutorttu).
16. Survey the Tampere Main Square
The Tampere Main Square, also known as Central Square or Keskustori, is the beating heart of Tampere. Situated in the center of the city, the square is a vibrant hub of activity and a focal point for city life.
The square is bordered by several key city landmarks, including the Tampere Theater, the Tampere City Hall (Tampereen Raatihuone), an elegant Neoclassical building dating back to 1890, and the Old Church (Vanha Kirkko), an enchanting wooden structure from the 19th century.
Regular market days at the Tampere Main Square see vendors setting up stalls selling fresh flowers, fruits, vegetables, local handicrafts, and more. The square is a great place to experience local life, enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the many surrounding cafes, or simply people-watch.
The square also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, becoming a venue for celebrations, concerts, and gatherings. In winter, it transforms into a magical winter wonderland, featuring a large Christmas tree and a festive market.
17. Chill in some of Tampere’s green spaces
Tampere, while renowned for its industrial history and buzzing urban center, is also home to a range of beautiful green spaces that provide a peaceful retreat from city life.
My favorite park in Tampere is Hatanpää Arboretum and Park. Located south of the city center, it is a tranquil oasis that offers a harmonious blend of meticulously maintained gardens and natural Finnish landscapes.
Established in the early 20th century, Hatanpää spans a considerable area adjacent to the shimmering Lake Pyhäjärvi, providing picturesque water views.
With its well-maintained pathways and verdant lushness, the park provides a picturesque setting for joggers and fitness enthusiasts.
Hatanpää’s Rose Garden is a sensory delight. From classical breeds to newer hybrids, the roses bloom in a riot of colors, ranging from pure whites and delicate pinks to deep reds and sunny yellows.
Other notable green spaces in Tampere are Duck Park (Sorsapuisto), Eteläpuisto, Koskipuisto, and Näsinpuisto. These green areas provide a chance to connect with Tampere’s beautiful natural landscape.
18. Get an adrenaline rush at Särkänniemi Adventure Park
Särkänniemi Adventure Park in Tampere is one of Finland’s most popular attractions and an ideal destination for families, thrill-seekers, and animal lovers alike. Located on the picturesque shore of Lake Näsijärvi, the park complex is a diverse entertainment complex that offers a host of activities and attractions to suit all ages and interests.
Amusement Park: The heart of Särkänniemi is its amusement park, home to more than 30 rides ranging from pulse-pounding roller coasters to more relaxed, family-friendly attractions. Highlights include the towering Hype rollercoaster, the exhilarating Tornado inverted coaster, and the classic Half Pipe. There’s also a range of attractions for younger visitors, such as the Angry Birds-themed activity park.
Näsinneula Observation Tower: The Näsinneula Tower is an iconic part of Tampere’s skyline. Standing at 168 meters, it’s the second tallest observation tower in the Nordic countries. You can ride the elevator to the top for stunning panoramic views of Tampere and the surrounding area. The tower also hosts a rotating restaurant, offering fine dining with a fantastic vista.
Planetarium: Särkänniemi’s Planetarium invites you to explore the universe without leaving Tampere. Through immersive projection technology, you can journey to the farthest corners of space and learn about celestial bodies and phenomena.
The rides at the Särkänniemi Amusement Park are open from mid-May–August whereas indoor attractions stay open year-round. Opening hours of Särkänniemi are complex so check the website before you go.
19. Sample some local craft beer
While Finns are known for their love of beer, don’t expect any of the country’s mass-produced supermarket beers to be any good. Sure, you can try popular Finnish beers like Karhu, Karjala, Koff, and Olvi but speaking from personal experience they are pretty piss poor and you’ll most likely be disappointed.
Instead, if you’re a beer lover like myself, I highly recommend sampling some local craft brews. Tampere has emerged as a major hub for craft beer in Finland and you’ll find a broad range of styles on offer, including traditional lagers, IPAs, stouts, wild ales, and even experimental beers.
Popular local microbreweries in Tampere are Koskipanimo, Mad Finn LAB, Kaleva Brewing Company, and Pyynikin Brewing Company.
Of course, you can also sample beer from microbreweries from other regions of Finland. Some of my favorite Finnish craft breweries are Salama Brewing Company, Olarin Panimo, and CoolHead Brew.
Some of the best places to enjoy or purchase craft beer in Tampere are Plevna Brewery Pub & Restaurant, Pyynikin Brewhouse, Mad Finn Brewpub, Beer Restaurant Konttori, Beer Shop & Bar Kuja, and the government-run Alko stores.
Finnish supermarkets carry a good selection of craft beer too. However, due to the country’s stringent alcohol laws, beers with an alcohol content of 5.5% or less can be sold in regular supermarkets.
You can only buy alcohol in Finland from 09:00–21:00. Following this, the sole option to acquire alcohol is at an authorized bar or eatery. This is due to the Finnish government’s public health objectives and the desire to control and reduce alcohol consumption and its associated harms.
20. Explore the bohemian Pispala neighborhood
To get better acquainted with Tampere, it’s worthwhile to check out some of the city’s neighborhoods. Pispala is my favorite one and the combination of the neighborhood’s rich history, unique architecture, stunning natural surroundings, and vibrant cultural life make it a must-visit Tampere destination.
Pispala has deep roots in Tampere’s industrial history and was originally a housing area for factory workers in the early 20th century. Over time, it became a haven for artists, musicians, and writers, who have contributed to its eclectic, bohemian vibe. Pispala still retains a strong sense of community and an atmosphere of artistic creativity.
Pispala is famous for its quaint wooden houses. Colorful, varied, and built in different styles, these houses lend the area a uniquely picturesque and appealing aesthetic. They follow the contours of the ridge, creating a visually delightful hodgepodge that’s characteristic of Pispala’s charm.
Perched on the highest esker ridge in Finland, Pispala offers stunning panoramic vistas of the surrounding lakes and forests, as well as Tampere itself. The steep streets and staircases winding their way up the ridge are an essential part of the Pispala experience.
One of the most popular attractions in Pispala is the Pispala Shot Tower, the only remaining shot tower in Finland. The tower was built in 1908 by the Tampereen Luoti Oy factory, which was a lead shot manufacturing company.
It rises to a height of 55 meters, making it one of the most noticeable structures in the Tampere skyline. Though no longer operational nor open to the public, the Shot Tower is a vital part of Pispala’s cultural heritage.
21. Get your inner art lover on at the Sara Hildén Art Museum
The Sara Hildén Art Museum (Sara Hildénin Taidemuseo) is one of Finland’s premier art destinations, offering a unique blend of contemporary and modern art from Finland and around the world.
Designed by Pekka Ilveskoski, the museum’s modernist building harmoniously integrates with the natural surroundings, providing a serene backdrop for the works on display. The spacious, bright interiors offer a tranquil and inviting atmosphere that enhances the viewing experience.
The core of the museum’s collection comes from the personal collection of Sara Hildén, a Finnish entrepreneur and art collector. The collection features both Finnish and international contemporary and modern paintings, sculptures, drawings, and graphic works, with a focus on works from the second half of the 20th century.
Artists represented in the collection include significant Finnish names like Juhana Blomstedt, Erik Enroth (Hilden’s one-time husband), Kain Tapper, and Sam Vanni. The museum is also home to pieces by renowned international artists such as Joan Miró, Francis Bacon, Paul Klee, Yves Tanguy, Giorgio de Chirico, and David Hockney.
The Sara Hildén Art Museum organizes several temporary exhibitions each year, showcasing a wide variety of modern and contemporary artists.
One of the things we liked about the museum is its sculpture garden. Here, amidst the pristine Finnish landscape, visitors can enjoy an array of modern sculptures, integrating art and nature in a unique and harmonious way.
The Sara Hildén Art Museum is open daily from 11:00–18:00 (June–August) and Tuesday–Sunday from 10:00–17:00 (September–May). The entrance costs 15 EUR.
22. Munch on some hot wings
Every city has its share of oddities and Tampere is no different. Hot wings, or “siipiweikot” as they are colloquially called in Finnish, have an interesting and strong standing in Tampere’s food culture, largely due to the city’s love for American-style comfort food and its flair for creating local traditions.
The popularity of hot wings in Tampere can be attributed to the local ice hockey culture. Many Finnish ice hockey players returning from the United States brought back their love of hot wings to the city. Who knew?
The most famous place to get hot wings in Tampere is the SiipiWeikot restaurant, which opened its doors in 1993. It was one of the first in Finland to specialize in American-style buffalo wings and has several locations over town.
Other popular places to eat hot wings in Tampere are Ravintola Speakeasy and Sticky Wingers.
23. Visit the Spy Museum
One of the more offbeat Tampere attractions is the Spy Museum (Vakoilumuseo), one of the few museums worldwide dedicated to the intriguing world of espionage. Opened in 1988, it was in fact the first spy museum in the world.
The Spy Museum houses a wealth of fascinating exhibits, providing insights into the hidden world of espionage. The artifacts on display range from clandestine communication devices and disguised weapons to various surveillance equipment and ingenious disguises used by spies throughout history.
The exhibits cover various periods, from the Cold War era to more contemporary intelligence operations, highlighting the evolution of spying techniques over time. All descriptions are in Finnish, but you can have the printed papers in several languages if you want.
The Spy Museum dives into real-life spy stories, bringing to life the captivating and often dangerous lives of secret agents.
One of the museum’s highlights is its hands-on approach. Visitors can participate in interactive tasks and puzzles, such as cracking codes, navigating laser security systems, or using a variety of spy gadgets. You can even take a lie detector test (advance booking required).
The Spy Museum is open daily from 12:00–18:00 (September–May); Monday–Saturday from 10:00–18:00 and Sunday from 12:00–18:00 (June–August). The entrance costs 10 EUR. No photos allowed.
24. Gawk at the street art
Tampere’s street art scene is dynamic and reflective of the city’s evolution as a modern cultural hub in Finland. Tampere boasts several large-scale murals and installations that are interspersed throughout the city.
Reflecting the global nature of street art, Tampere’s scene showcases an assortment of styles—from abstract to hyper-realistic—and themes ranging from societal issues to whimsical and fantastical subjects.
One of Tampere’s emerging cultural hubs, the Hiedanranta district, is home to numerous street art pieces. As part of Hiedanranta’s urban regeneration project, several large-scale murals have been painted on the district’s old factory walls and buildings.
These works have been created by local and international artists, adding a global flair to this unique Finnish neighborhood. The art varies in style and subject matter, from abstract and surreal images to more traditional and folk-inspired designs, highlighting the diversity and versatility of the Tampere street art scene.
Whether you’re a passionate art lover or a merely casual observer, street art is worth checking out when visiting Tampere.
25. Snap selfies and enjoy the views atop the Moro Sky Bar
The Moro Sky Bar is a trendy and popular spot located on the top floor of the Solo Sokos Hotel Torni Tampere—the tallest hotel in Finland.
Situated on the 25th floor of the hotel, the Moro Sky Bar provides breathtaking 360-degree views of Tampere’s cityscape. The modern decor with floor-to-ceiling windows, plush seating, and ambient lighting sets the mood for a relaxed and luxurious experience.
Alongside an impressive range of international wines and spirits, the Moro Sky Bar is particularly known for its innovative cocktails.
The Moro Sky Bar is open from 11:00–01:00 (Monday–Thursday & Sunday) and from 11:00–02:00 (Friday–Saturday). The entrance to the bar is free, and you aren’t obliged to order anything to enjoy the views. Reserve a table if you’re planning to visit on the weekend.
26. Visit the Tampere Art Museum
The Tampere Art Museum (Tampereen taidemuseo) is a cornerstone of Finland’s cultural scene. Opened in 1931 in a lovely redbrick building designed by renowned German architect CL Engel (of Helsinki Cathedral fame), it is Finland’s third-oldest art museum.
The museum is renowned for its annual Young Artist of the Year exhibition, whose purpose is to draw attention to the evolution of contemporary Finnish art by highlighting talented visual artists under the age of 35.
During our visit, the Young Artist of the Year was sculptor Eetu Huhtala. His large-scale metal sculptures were thought-provoking and interesting to see.
In addition, the museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. These vary greatly, featuring everything from paintings, sculptures, and graphic art to photographs, installations, and media art.
Tampere Art Museum is open from 09:00–17:00 (Tuesday–Thursday) and 10:00–18:00 (Friday–Sunday). The entrance costs 13 EUR. Free admission on Fridays from 15:00.
27. Check out Tampere Orthodox Church
Tampere Cathedral isn’t the only church in Tampere worth visiting. Tampere Orthodox Church, also known as the Church of Alexander Nevsky and Nicholas (Pyhän Aleksanteri Nevalaisen ja pyhän Nikolaoksen kirkko), is a stunning display of Eastern Orthodox architectural style in the heart of Tampere.
Tampere Orthodox Church was consecrated in 1899 when Finland was a part of the Russian Empire, serving the needs of the local Orthodox Christian community. It was named in honor of two revered saints in Russian Orthodoxy, Alexander Nevsky and Nicholas.
The church building is a captivating example of Byzantine Revival architecture, reflecting the characteristics typical of traditional Orthodox churches. The main structure of the church is capped with five onion-domed towers, each adorned with a golden cross.
The interior of the church is loaded with an abundance of religious iconography, typically a feature of Orthodox churches. The iconostasis – the ornately decorated partition covered with icons and religious paintings – is one of the primary focal points.
Tampere Orthodox Church keeps rather complex opening hours. Check the church website for up-to-date details. The entrance is free.
28. Go on a day trip
Tampere’s central location in Finland makes it a fantastic base for a variety of exciting day trips, whether it be history, nature, culture, or relaxation that you’re after. Some of the most popular day trips from Tampere are –
a. Hämeenlinna: Just an hour’s drive from Tampere, Hämeenlinna offers a plethora of attractions including the impressive Häme Castle, the Aulanko nature reserve with its scenic lookout tower, and the birthplace museum of composer Jean Sibelius.
b. Pori: Famous for its annual jazz festival, Pori is about an hour and a half from Tampere. It’s home to the beautiful Yyteri beach, one of the longest sandy beaches in the Nordic countries. Pori National Urban Park and the historical old town district of Reposaari are also worth exploring.
c. Lahti: Around two hours away by car, Lahti is known for its ski jumping arena and the stunning Sibelius Hall. Lahti also offers a number of interesting museums, such as the Lahti Ski Museum and the Motorcycle Museum of Finland.
d. Seitseminen National Park: Finland is a hiker’s paradise and the Seitseminen National Park is no different. Located about an hour’s drive from Tampere, the verdant park spans over 45 square kilometers and showcases the diverse beauty of Finnish nature with its ancient forests, pristine swamps, and beautiful ridges. Visitors can spot a variety of wildlife and explore the park’s numerous well-marked trails.
e. Turku: Finland’s oldest city and Tampere’s eternal rival, Turku, is a couple of hours away by train or car. Visit the historic Turku Castle, the beautiful Turku Cathedral, and the intriguing Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum. Don’t miss out on a leisurely stroll along the Aura River!
Where To Stay In Tampere?
The best place to stay in Tampere would be in the city center and in the vicinity. Virtually all the must–see Tampere attractions can be found here, so it’s a perfect base for sightseeing.
In general, hotels in Finland have a well-deserved reputation for cleanliness, a wide range of facilities, and good service. Finland doesn’t use official hotel ratings, but the vast majority of hotels would be considered to be in the three- or four-star class.
Hostel: Dream Hostel & Hotel Tampere, a popular choice for budget-minded travelers looking for someplace close to the city center. With its contemporary Nordic design and handy facilities, this is one of Finland’s best hostels
Budget: Omena Hotel, this centrally-located hotel is one of the best value-for-money hotels in Tampere. Just 200 meters away from Tampere Central Station, there are plenty of shopping and dining options nearby.
Mid-Range: Hotel Kauppi, a great mid-range choice about 1 km (0.62 mi) from Tampere Central Station. Pool and sauna facilities are available.
Luxury: Lapland Hotels Tampere, nestled in the heart of the city, this hotel is within walking distance from major attractions. It offers a unique blend of modern comfort and a taste of the enchanting Lappish culture. This place has a spiffy ground-floor lounge bar, a sauna, and extremely comfortable rooms.
The hotel’s interior reflects the ethereal beauty of Finnish Lapland, with decor inspired by nature and the Northern Lights. The hotel’s restaurant, Dabbal, serves a generous and delicious Nordic-style buffet breakfast and Nordic cuisine with an emphasis focus on Lappish ingredients. We had a thoroughly enjoyable stay there and would highly recommend it!
What Is The Best Time To Visit Tampere?
The best time to visit Tampere depends largely on your personal preferences and what activities and experiences you’re seeking. Each season in Tampere offers a unique perspective of the city.
Summer (June–August) is undoubtedly the most popular time to visit Tampere. The weather is warm (averaging 15–25°C), the days are long, and the city is vibrant with outdoor activities. The city’s parks, lake beaches, and outdoor cafes are bustling, and there are many festivals going on.
Autumn (September–November) and spring (March–May) can be beautiful, especially in the city’s parks and around the lakes. The weather is cooler and can vary quite a bit. It’s a great time to visit local museums and indoor attractions.
Winter (December–February) in Tampere is often bitterly cold and snow with days being very short. Avoid visiting Tampere in winter if you have a lot of outdoor sightseeing on your agenda. However, there’s nothing quite like the experience of a Finnish sauna in winter.
How Many Days Are Enough To See Tampere?
Tampere’s compact size allows you to see the main sights in 1–2 full, busy days. To get a comprehensive view of Tampere and enjoy its varied attractions at a leisurely pace, a stay of 3 to 4 days would be ideal.
More Information About Finland
Do you agree with our list? What are some of the best things to do in Tampere? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Hello there, fellow globetrotters! I’m Mihir, a passionate travel blogger with an insatiable wanderlust. My journey across the world is fueled by curiosity and a hunger for unique experiences. As a travel writer, photographer, and adventurer, I’ve explored more than 35 countries, aiming to provide readers with a distinctive glimpse of our diverse world. Join me as I blend captivating storytelling with stunning visuals, guiding you through hidden gems and cultural treasures. Besides traveling, my other loves are my beloved cats, architecture, art, craft beer, classic movies, history, and Australian Rules Football (Go Dons!).