Looking to visit Tampere, Finland? In this guide, I share all of the top things to do in Tampere, plus where to eat, where to sleep, and all of our top tips for visiting.
Tampere is a hidden gem in Finland – a cool, culturally rich city that still feels undiscovered.
Nestled in the middle of two vast lakes, Tampere is the perfect combination of nature and city. Its natural surroundings are stunning, and the city boasts a vibrant cultural scene.
Spend your days in Tampere wandering the historic streets, immersing yourself in its cultural hotspots, and enjoying local experiences like a traditional Finnish sauna.
This is Tampere, Finland, and here is a list of the best things to see and do. Let’s get to it.
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Tampere, Finland at a Glance
There is a lot to cover in this Tampere Travel Guide. So, for those with limited time to read, here is a taste of the best things to do in Tampere, Finland.
- Finnish Sauna
- Tampere Lakes
- Nature Reserves
- Pynikkii Tower
- Tampere Museums
- Finlayson Area
- Tallipiha Stables
- Market Hall
- Pispala Area
- Foodie Scene
- Bars & Breweries
- Tampere Churches
- Light Festival
Things to do in Tampere, Finland
Historical landmarks, stunning nature areas, and superb restaurants make up the best things to do in Tampere. Here are 15 ideas to help you plan your trip.
1. Traditional Finnish Sauna
Tampere is known as the ‘Sauna Capital of the World’, home to the most public saunas in all of Finland. There are almost 60 public saunas in Tampere alone.
If you’re new to Finnish culture, saunas are an integral part of the local lifestyle. Most households have a sauna, which provides great health benefits for both body and mind.
We visited two public saunas in Tampere—Saunaravintola Kuuma, which is also a restaurant and Rauhaniemi, one of the oldest saunas in the city.
Both are set on the lakeside, where a traditional Finnish sauna involves time in the steamy sauna, followed by a dip in the cold lake. It’s a must-try when visiting Tampere.
2. Tampere Lakes
I mentioned earlier that Tampere is situated between two vast lakes, Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi. Time spent walking along the lakeside or marvelling the views is time well spent.
From the city centre, you can make your way to Laukontori Marina, where you can enjoy a pleasant stroll along the water’s edge.
Alternatively, you can head to one of the local nature reserves for beautiful beaches, scenic lakeside walking trails, or water activities like canoeing or paddle boarding.
There is a beautiful lakeside area at Rauhaniemi – the public sauna I mentioned above. I also recommend heading to Pynikki Ridge, Pyhäjärvi Beach, and Pyykkimetta Park.
3. Nature Reserves
If you enjoy spending time in nature, you’ll love how accessible beautiful nature spots are from the city.
I already mentioned the stunning lakeside beaches and views, but there are also various nature trails close to the city, as well as four national parks in the local region.
We headed to Pynikki Park with Adventure Apes during our time in Tampere, home to the world’s largest gravel ridge and one of the most popular things to see in Tampere.
We enjoyed a relaxing walk in the forest and discovered some breathtaking viewpoints overlooking the lake, including the Pyynikki Observation Tower, but more on that next.
4. Pyynikki Observation Tower
The Pyynikki Observation Tower is a 26-metre tower offering a fantastic view of Pynikki Park, the two lakes and the entire city of Tampere.
Take the elevator to the top, where you can enjoy the best views from 150 metres above sea level—followed by the infamous ‘munkki’ doughnuts at the ground floor cafe.
OR, if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try abseiling off the tower instead? We did this with Kelo&Kallio, which was certainly an experience we won’t forget in a hurry.
26 meters may not sound high, but the vast surrounding views add to the sense of height and excitement. For adrenaline junkies, it’s a must!
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5. Moomin Museum
The Moomins are iconic to Finland—a family of charming and whimsical white trolls created by Finnish author and illustrator Tove Jansson.
The Moomin stories are timeless, appealing to children and adults alike. Although written between 1945 and 1977, the tales cover modern topics such as inclusion, equality, and queer themes.
Tampere is home to the only Moomin Museum in the world. It features a stunning collection of original drawings, scripts, paintings and structures that Tove and her partner created.
I highly recommend a visit where you can learn all about Tove and her inspiration behind the Moomin stories. We did a guided tour, and it was one of our favourite things to do in Tampere.
6. Explore the Finlayson Area
Tampere has an industrial history. The city actually developed as a result of the Finlayson factory – a large cotton mill founded in the 1820s by a Scotsman named James Finlayson.
Today, the Finlayson area is a cultural and recreational hotspot in the city. It’s home to galleries, museums, restaurants, bars, and entertainment centres.
The industrial architecture adds to the overall vibe, and it’s just a really cool place to walk around and discover.
Did you know that Tampere is known as the ‘Manchester of Finland’?
7. Tallipiha Stables
Another of our favourite places to visit in Tampere is Tallipiha Stable Yards. These were also part of the Finlayson factory community where the owner kept their horses.
The cottages and stables have been restored to their original charm and are now home to a range of local stores, gift shops, and a café. The area also hosts various seasonal events.
I recommend stopping by Tallipiha Chocolate Shop for delicious local treats.
8. Tampere Museums
If you love museums, you will be in your element when visiting Tampere. The city is home to many fascinating museums, such as the Spy Museum and The Lenin Museum.
There’s also the Vapriikki Museum Centre where you can explore over ten exhibitions, from history and technology to modern sciences.
Art lovers may want to check out the Tampere Art Museum and visit the Amuri, Lauri Viita and Labour Museums for cultural exhibitions.
9. Tampere Market Hall
Set in a stunning art nouveau building, Tampere Market Hall is the biggest indoor market in the Nordic countries.
Opened in 1901, it’s one of the most important landmarks in the city, home to over 30 local vendors, speciality stores, and restaurants.
If you find yourself here around lunchtime, I recommend you try 4vuodenaikaa (4 seasons) for delicious French/Finnish fusion food.
10. Explore Pispala Area
Pispala is probably the most beautiful area in the city and certainly one of the top places to visit while you’re in Tampere.
The neighbourhood is scattered along a steep ridge with traditional colourful wooden houses, narrow roads, and hidden stairways that snake in between.
The views from the ridge are absolutely magnificent, with vistas of both lakes on either side of Tampere. We found the best view at Pyykkimettä Park.
Rajaportti, the oldest public sauna still in use, is also in Pispala, and Café Pispala is a favoured spot to eat amongst locals.
11. Tampere 'Foodie' Scene
While on the topic of food, I must take this opportunity to rave about the local food scene. We enjoyed fantastic food in the city. Here are some of our favourite restaurants in Tampere:
- Kuuma – A restaurant/sauna on the marina with delicious comfort food and great cocktails.
- Bistro Eloisa – A trendy, atmospheric venue with a simple yet divine, locally inspired menu.
- Muusa – Famous in Tampere for their exquisite vegan and vegetarian meal options.
- Villit ja Viinit – Cosy wine bar big on sustainability. A unique food and wine pairing experience.
- Pella’s Cafe – A cute spot for coffee or brunch. Healthy salads, freshly baked cakes, and coffee.
12. Bars & Breweries
Tampere is a university city, so as you can imagine, the bar and nightlife scene is pretty wild and diverse.
We were only in the city for a couple of days, so we didn’t get to experience much of the ‘scene’; however, here are some venues we did discover.
13. Churches and Cathedrals
I wouldn’t consider myself a religious person, but I did enjoy seeing the various churches and cathedrals while exploring Tampere.
I find churches in the Nordics to be very different from those I’m used to seeing in the UK. They are much newer, I suppose, and have quite a modern feel to them.
The Tampere Cathedral, Tampere Old Church, and Church of Alexander are the three that stood out most.
14. Tampere Festival of Light
If you find yourself in Tampere during winter, you may be fortunate to catch the annual light festival. The festival runs between October and January and celebrates the dark season in Finland.
The festival of light sees the city centre illuminated with magical lights, street projections and exciting light art. I love the meaning behind the event: even in darkness, there can always be light.
15. Särkänniemi Amusement Park
Fun for all the family, Särkänniemi Amusement Park boasts thrilling rides, an aquarium, a planetarium, and a dolphinarium.
It’s an excellent choice for anyone looking for something unique to do in Tampere, providing a fun-filled day of nostalgic entertainment.
Where to Stay in Tampere
Tampere is a small and compact city with an excellent public transport network, so you needn’t worry too much about where to stay.
Of course, if you’re only visiting the city for a few days, you may prefer to stay in the city centre, so you’re close to all the bars, restaurants, and things to do in Tampere.
We stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Tampere city centre on our recent visit. The location was excellent, and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there.
Tips for Visiting Tampere, Finland
Here are some valuable tips that I hope will enhance your travel experience when enjoying all the things to do in Tampere.
Getting to Tampere
The closest airport to Tampere is Tampere-Pirkkala Airport, just 7 miles from the city centre. Direct flights are available from several European cities, such as London, Amsterdam, and Munich.
If flying direct isn’t an option, getting to Tampere from Helsinki is very easy. You could spend a day or 2 in Helsinki, then catch a direct train to Tampere. The journey is around 90 minutes and very picturesque.
Getting Around in Tampere
If you ask me, the best way to get around any new city is on foot. This way, you absorb the local culture while experiencing things you might never have seen otherwise.
Thankfully, Tampere is a small city, so walking around is easy. But, when walking isn’t an option, the public transport network is reliable and easy to use.
Fun Fact: The Tampere tram network is just two years old!
How Long to Spend in Tampere
We recommend spending at least 3 days in Tampere to explore all that there is to see and do. This will allow you to see all of the attractions in the city centre as well as explore the local neighbourhoods and nature reserves.
Best Time to Visit Tampere
There is no right or wrong time to visit Tampere. All seasons bring a unique charm to the city. However, the summer is naturally much warmer and drier, meaning better conditions for sightseeing and exploring local nature spots.
Autumn is also a great time to visit when the local forests transform into a plethora of red, orange and yellow hues. We visited Tampere in November, and it was already very cold (3°). But with the proper clothing, exploring in winter can also be a lot of fun with the snow and frozen lakes.
Enjoy These Things To Do In Tampere!
So there you have it, our ultimate guide to visiting Tampere in Finland. I hope it’s got you excited about your trip.
If you have any questions or anything to add, please drop us a comment below. We love hearing from you!
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.