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The largest inland city in the Nordic states. Tampere is Finland’s second largest city with 280,000 people living in the city and another 100,000 in the greater region.
A relatively young city; Tampere was founded in 1775 by King Gustav III of Sweden. It became a major economic centre following the Industrial Revolution. The city was a major player in early 20th Century Finnish history with 1905’s Red Declaration and 1918’s Battle of Tampere causing upheaval.
Today, Tampere is a hub for mechanical engineering, IT technologies, and health and bio-technologies. There are 4 higher education institutions here, producing a highly skilled labour force. Visitors will be rewarded with fantastic culture, stunning natural landscapes and a warm welcome.
For information about gay rights in Finland, please check out our Gay Helsinki City Guide page.
The oldest Gay Bar in Finland is in Tampere, although it appears to be the only gay venue in the city. That being said, like most of the Nordic Countries, LGBT people are more than welcome here. June’s gay Pride festival is one of the largest in Finland.
Tampere-Pirkkala Airport (TMP) is located 17 km south west of the city. It has direct connections to Helsinki via Finnair however it is Ryanair’s main destination in Finland meaning there are cheap short-haul connections available from Terminal 2.
A local bus (1A) will take you into the city centre for €5. Ryanair offers its own service from Terminal 2 which costs €6 and takes you directly to the central rail station. Both of these services take around 30 minutes.
Taxis can be hailed from outside of the terminal building. A private taxi will cost around €25-40, but you can cut costs by almost half by taking a shared taxi. Car hire companies are available at the airport. The drive will take you around 20 minutes.
Alternatively, Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL) is an international hub and most people arrive in Finland here. Take a train from the airport to Tikkurila Train Station. From here you can get a train to Tampere in around 75-115 minutes, depending on service.
The Finnish rail company VR operates services that cover the length and breadth of Finland from Tampere Central Railway Station. There are no international routes.
The most convenient way to get around the city is by foot. There are many prominent landmarks situated around Tampere which help you get your bearings.
By public transport
Buses provide public transport in Tampere. It works in a zone system but if you are staying in the city centre A and B are probably the only zones you will travel in. A single journey will cost €3 and allows unlimited travel for an hour. Day tickets cost €8 but €4 gets added to the cost for additional days. There are night bus services from midnight.
Taxis in Finland are clean, safe and expensive. They charge you more if there are more people in the car. They can be hailed if the roof light is on or you can catch them at taxi ranks. Staff in restaurants and hotels will be happy to order you a cab.
For a list of recommended hotels in Tampere, please check out our recommended hotels in Tampere page.
Vapriikki – the largest museum in Tampere. Here you can learn about everything from natural history to the civil war to the history of Finnish ice hockey.
Kaleva Church – a striking example of concrete modernist architecture. Since its construction in 1966 this place of worship has continued to divide opinion.
Pyynikki Observation Tower – from the top of this observation tower you will get excellent views of the city. It is surrounded by a forested area on ground level which makes the walk to the tower equally pleasant.
Stockmann – one of Tampere’s few high-end department stores. Here you can buy excellent examples of Finnish glassware.
The Lenin Museum – a small and quirky museum full of artefacts with loose connections to one of the fathers of the Soviet Union.
Rajaportin Sauna – the oldest still-running sauna in Finland. Please note that this is not the place to go to pick up guys.
Duck Park – a great park for a romantic stroll or picnic close to the city centre. There is also a menagerie of exotic birds here.
Tampere Art Museum – a great collection of classical and modern art. To unleash the inner-child in you, why not take in the Moomin Valley exhibit based on the best-loved characters of Tove Jansson.
Tampere gets a lot of snow in the winter months and temperatures stay around zero. The weather is at its most pleasant from June to early September, although don’t expect a heatwave. Tampere does not get too busy with tourists (unlike Helsinki) and is good to visit any time of year (depending on if you like the cold).
Throughout the year, Tampere has many festivals and events that attract visitors. The May Day celebrations start the night before and continue the next day. The New Year’s Day celebrations culminate with a large firework display in Ratina Stadium. Music festivals here include Tammerfest, Lost in Music and Blockfest.
Finland is within the European Schengen visa area. If travelling from outside Europe, check to see if you require a Schengen visa.
Finland is a member of the Eurozone. Cash dispensers are widely available. You may be asked for photo ID if paying with a credit or debit card in a shop.
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