According to Baglib, Oulu, the center of Northern Finland, is located on the shores of the Gulf of Bothnia. Long ago, in the 14th century, the city belonged to Veliky Novgorod. But then a chain of historical events led to the independence of Finland, and now Oulu is known throughout the country as a student city and research center, a concentration of high technology.
Locals consider Oulu the most fun place in Finland. Maybe it’s the notorious student spirit. In any case, for tourists, the city offers a lot of entertainment – from snowmobile racing to “walking on the moon.”
How to get there
Oulu International Airport is the second busiest in the country after Helsinki. It is impossible to get on a plane from Russia directly – you need a transfer in the capital. There are regular flights from Helsinki to Oulu, you can cover the distance in about one hour. The train from the capital will reach you in six hours.
From Moscow or St. Petersburg it is not necessary to go to Helsinki. You can drive to Riihimäki or Lahti, and from there to Oulu. This will be faster and cheaper. It is not difficult to get to Oulu from Murmansk, however, you will have to travel with several transfers through Rovaniemi.
The districts of Oulu are connected by bus routes. It has its own payment system: you purchase a ticket, the cost of which depends on the zone, which is valid for an hour and a half. During this time, you can change buses as much as you like, but then you have to buy a new ticket. In order to save money, local residents buy travel cards for 1 or 3 days. Price: adult – 1.50-10.10 EUR, child – 1.20-5.10 EUR.
Children under 4 years old can ride for free, older ones buy a ticket for 1.20-5.10 EUR.
To get to your destination faster, you can call a taxi. By the way, you will have to pay for the call itself – 5.90 EUR during the daytime. The fare depends on the time of day and route. The road from the airport to the center will cost about 27 EUR.
You can ride a small tourist train through the historical center of the city – it is called “Potna-Pekka”. The train will take you to Hapisaaret Island or Nallikarri Beach.
Adherents of a healthy lifestyle can ride bicycles around Oulu. The city has many special paths that you can ride even in winter – they are well looked after.
The best hotels in Oulu are represented mainly by three- and four-star accommodation facilities. You can stay close to the airport – the hotel is 5 minutes from the airport terminal and 10 minutes from the city center. Or stay in superior rooms.
Most often, hotels offer rooms with a minimum, necessary set of services and breakfasts. Some hotels may offer a jacuzzi, spa, fitness center, saunas. In Oulu, you can easily stay with the whole family.
The cost of living depends on the “star” of the hotel and its location. Finns offer rooms from 60-80 EUR in three-star hotels that are located near the center, and from 85 to 120 EUR for accommodation in four-star hotels.
Restaurants and bars
In Oulu, as in any tourist city, there are many restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes. There are restaurants that operate at hotels, restaurants that offer dishes of any one cuisine, and those who can feed anything, as long as the client is satisfied.
From the thematic ones, one can single out the Spanish “Torero”, “Sokeri-Jussin Kievari”, offering organic products and dishes of Finnish rural cuisine, the Italian “Sassi” and the French “Fransmanni”.
Bars and pubs in Oulu are good because here you can watch football, listen to a rock band concert and taste a couple of dozen varieties of local beer.
Oulu is a favorite place for shopaholics. There are plenty of opportunities to spend all your money and buy a lot of things, both necessary and not so much. Shops here are scattered throughout the city – from the center to the outskirts. In the center of the shops are located very conveniently, close to each other, so you can safely move from one to another. It turns out such a shopping street.
And in the southern part of the city is the Zeppelin shopping center, where more than 100 boutiques are located. Here you can spend the whole day choosing clothes, handbags, shoes, souvenirs and local treats for dinner.
Entertainment and attractions in Oulu
The symbol of the city is the market policeman. His statue is located near the entrance to the Kauppatori market. The policeman is very popular in Oulu, and his figurine can be bought at any souvenir shop.
There are several attractions in Oulu that especially attract tourists. For example, this is a cathedral. Built in the 18th century, it survived the fire and is now considered a religious building. The town hall is almost a century younger than the cathedral. It was built in neoclassical style. Next to it is a famous sculpture called “The Passage of Time”. Its symbolism lies in the fact that the sculpture is reminiscent of the 400-year history of the city.
There is no museum like the Tietomaa Science Museum in all of Finland. There are many fascinating exhibits on display here, some of which are in working condition and you can touch them and check how they work. For example, you can feel like a man on the moon, a tightrope walker, test your strength and endurance.
Unique tropical trees grow in the city botanical garden. How they survive in northern climates is a big mystery. However, they can be found in large numbers in indoor greenhouses, and there are large theme parks in open areas.
Car lovers will appreciate the auto museum – there are more than fifty motorcycles and cars on which you can trace the history of the automotive industry. The oldest exhibit was exchanged for the second hundred years.