There are places to fit winter just incredibly well. As a rule, these places are beautiful in any season, but for some reason they transform in a special way with the onset of December, – the snow begins to fall in large flakes sheltering the trees with white blanket; the morning frost comes with pleasant creak underfoot; the sunset paints everything in tender wintry shades. This is how we've remembered the Finnish city Tampere. On the city’s invitation, we had a little vacation depicted in this post.
Tampere greeted us with the 30°C frost and immersed us in the winter mood at once! That is why our first dinner seemed to be particularly warming and cozy :) However, we didn’t have time to freeze too much on the way to the hotel – the city turned out to be quite compact with the most places to reach within walking distance.
Waking up in the morning at the hotel, we watched the city from the window and the first thing that struck us – the dominance of red in the landscape. The reason for that lies in the city's history. Since the XIX Tampere was known as the intensively growing industrial center and that time red bricks were typical of factory building. Nowadays, almost all the production is taken away from the city and the old factory buildings were reconstructed. The red brick facades of the former factories serve as the integral part of the city’s history: playing an important role in the modern life of Tampere, now they are reinhabited by galleries, museums and municipal libraries.
Haven’t you thought while reading that Tampere is merely industrial environment that has nothing to do with the nature? On the contrary! The city is located between the two large lakes – Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi, and the total number of lakes in the region is about 200! Therefore, having enough pleasure in the rhythm of the central quarters of the red bricks, one can always travel to the outskirts, in a quiet area with traditional Finnish houses, and have a nice walk along the shore of a lake.
Where to accommodate.
Tampere – is a large (by Finnish standards) city, so a hotel won’t be difficult to find there: the local hotels and different network hotels offer accommodation to suit any taste. We just want to name one of them – the one that is worth a special mention – Torni Tampere. Torni means «Tower», so it is the highest hotel in Finland and the stunning views of the city open from its rooms. However, even if you're not going to stop there, you can still admire the panorama, lifting up to the bar on the 25th floor. Yet, the hotel isn’t lacking the main architectural feature of Tampere – red bricks. The entrance is made through the old locomotive depot, so Torni is a perfect place to feel the mood of the city.
Where to dine.
For the ideal steaks go in Huber. Beer lovers are recommended to look into Gastropub Tuulensuu – more than two hundred kinds of the brew await you. Well, if you want to try authentic Finnish cuisine and enjoy the best views – book a table in a rotating restaurant on the top of the tower Näsinneula.
What to do in winter?
No wonder the locals say that the city is particularly interesting in winter – for sure, one will hardly have idle time in the cold season there! In the city suburbs one will find over 80 km of ski slopes, and when the Näsijärvi lake is frozen, there is a skating route to the lighthouse in the middle of the lake. Besides, there are skiing slopes in the city and ski resorts beyond it. We had a great day on the slope of the Sappee resort and spent the evening basking in the open-air hot tub in front of our little wooden house!
So if you've had enough of the outside cold or the weather is unfavorable, you can always choose one of the local museums. In fact, there are a few particularly noteworthy ones: Spy Museum, Hockey Museum, Puppet Museum, Moomin Museum, Police Museum, and even Lenin Museum! As befits museums, most of them are center oriented, but there are interesting places outside the city. One of them is the Manta Vimpulla – the city of arts, which is only an hour drive from Tampere. There, in the middle of the forest you will find a museum of modern and classical Finnish art.
Someone may say that snowdrifts and frost aren’t the best companions for a trip with a loved one. If you love tropical beaches and heat – it is quite possible, but if you are fans of winter and the northern nature, you won’t ever regret this trip! This small holiday made us fall in love with the winter Finland again. Setting off, we couldn’t even imagine how beautiful the winter Tampere would be and how many memories we would bring home! There is only one thing we regret – that we didn’t come there earlier during the Christmas holidays, when the whole city is filled with a festive mood, fairs work in the main squares and streets and whole Christmas Villages open all around the region! During the travel we often talked how it would be great to meet the following New Year in the main square or in a warm house in the middle of a snowy forest. So, there is a good reason to come back :) And the upcoming evenings we will remember this winter’s coziest journey over a cup of hot tea.
All photos are captured with Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II.
Lenses: M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro | M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro | M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.8
This post was brought to you as a result of the blog trip in partnership with Visit Tampere. We want to thank Tampere' tourist board for all help and support provided during our travel.