Tampere in central Finland is a city often overlooked by tourists, many of which never venture beyond Helsinki. But by spending only a few hours travelling north of Helsinki, visitors can experience a highly different type of Finnish city and many new sites and experiences.
Pyynikki Observation Tower
Next to the water on the western side of Tampere is Pyynikki, a part of the city that sits on the world’s largest esker. What it means for Tampere is a fabulous place for afternoon strolls and unobstructed views of the city and its surrounding lakeland scenery.The Pyynikki Observation Tower was built in 1929, replacing a wooden tower from the late 1800s that took bomb damage in the First World War.You can catch the lift to the top, or try walking, which rewards you with viewing portals as you climb.The other reason to come to Pyynikki is to visit the cafe known for its delicious freshly baked doughnuts made with a secret recipe.
The 20th century heavy industry complex – Vapriikki is a combination of several museums and resides in the former engineering works of Tampella. The museums such as Doll Museum, Postal Museum, Mineral Museum, Natural history museum and Media museum make a fantastic Tampere activity for children and adults alike. This complex is immense in the literal sense as it takes up almost 14,000 square meters also providing space for exhibitions to be hosted. China’s terracotta armies and the Egyptian mummies are the latest arrivals here.
This Lutheran Church dates to the turn of the 20th century and is in the Nordic National Romantic Style, which was an offshoot of art nouveau. What sets Tampere Cathedral apart though is its frescoes, which adorn much of the church’s interior and were painted by the symbolist artist Hugo Simberg in 1905 and 1906. At the time these images didn’t go down well with everyone, and you can see why: The Garden of Death has three creepy figures that look like the Grim Reaper tending to a garden. The Wounded Angel also appears here – this was voted Finland’s national painting in 2006.
Finnish hockey hall of fame
A famous Tampere attraction and part of the Vapriikki complex, Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame preserves the enriching history and legacy of the most popular sports in Finland. Ice Hockey was first introduced in the late 1920s in Finland and wasn’t much popular until an indoor arena was built in 1965. The Finnish National Team has won many awards in the last 50 years from being a World Champion to Olympic medals. Visitors can take a close look at the ice hockey equipment, study about the evolution of training and pay tribute to the stars.
Sarkanniemi Theme Park
Särkänniemi is far more than just an amusement park. It is an entire complex holding days’ worth of entertainment. There is an aquarium, planetarium, carnival game area, the famous Näsinneula observation tower, and a regular calendar of events. The amusement park also contains the world’s first Angry Birds themed land.