After living in Tampere for a year and a half I have relocated to Helsinki. While on vacation I have tried to summarize what I have been doing during this time. In a few words, we have had great fun in Tampere! I think this is a unique city that offers lots of opportunities for sports and cultural activities.
It is deeply connected to the history of Finland, in particular to the period of industrialization. Swedish businessmen have built lots of factories there. This is why there is a special dialect of Finnish language in Tampere – people are saying moro which is based on a Swedish good morning. Tampere is a beautiful city with rapids and two lakes – one on the north, another on the south. Boat trips are available on these lakes, for example to a neighbouring island of Viikinsaari. There are several saunas in Tampere – a 100-year old Rajanportin and Rauhaniemi in which you can enjoy ice-swimming. These activities are very refreshing, indeed Finns are saying that you are re-born after attending a sauna.
When I arrived to Tampere I was looking for an apartment near a park. Usually, such areas have better air quality and also I am a long distance runner. There are two big parks in the city – Kauppi and Pyynikki. But I found something better than this. I have rented an apartment in Hervanta – the whole region of the city located in a forest! It is a lot of fun when as soon as you walk out of your apartment you find yourself in a forest where you can jog or ski in the winter. Within walking distance there is a hill suitable for downhill skiing. I enjoyed this so much during weekends in the winter!
Tampere is located closely to Himos – a downhill skiing center, one of the most popular in Finland. During the winter we used to go there in the evenings on the working days. Of course, I spent there almost every Saturday from January to March.
Healthy lifestyle indeed. But culture-wise there are lots of things to do in Tampere. There are great museums of art and industry. There is a museum of Lenin where I learned that Stalin and Lenin met there for the first time. There is an amusement park with aquarium and dolphins. Not far from Tampere there is an old castle Hameenlinna. There are three gorgeous museums in this small town. A few of them deal with Russian history, this is why it is a must see for a Russian.
There are several cathedrals in Tampere including a Russian Orthodox Church. There are organ concerts in Tampere Cathedral which I enjoyed so much.
I have also attended a few ice-hockey games of Finnish SM-league and wholeheartedly wished success to the local teams – Tappara and Ilves. Once I have attended a game of Russian national team against Finnish team. And of course, I have eaten lots of makkara – a traditional Finnish sausage.
Tampere offers great opportunities for living a healthy life while being culturally connected with the rest of the world. I will miss Tampere but I am looking forward to having fun in Helsinki – a European capital. I have never lived in such a big city before. I am already overwhelmed with its beautiful architecture, boat cruises, and I have been to Hartwall arena earlier. Lots of world stars have their concerts on this arena. This is a great time indeed!