Here is a detailed article about the best attractions of Oulu, Finland for those of you who like to travel.
A peaceful city with breathtaking views, Oulu is located in northern Finland, along the Gulf of Bothnia, at the mouth of the Olujöki River, an ancient trading center. The city of Oulu is named after the Oulujoki River, which originates from Lake Oulujärvi in its geographical location.
Oulu is the most populous city in Northern Finland and the fourth largest urban area in the country. Due to its geographical and economic importance, Oulu is known as the “Capital of Northern Finland”.
Not only that, Oulu is also considered one of Europe’s “living laboratories”. Residents of Oulu are experimenting with new technology on a large scale. The University of Oulu is regionally renowned in the field of IT.
This is why Oulu has evolved into a major high-tech center, especially IT and wellness technology. Other leading industries include wood processing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paper and steel. Additionally, wood production, tar and salmon production are prominent among the major economic activities found in this city.
The city of Oulu has been chosen as the European Capital of Culture in the coming year 2026. Oulu also has Finland’s second largest airline in terms of passenger traffic. So you can easily reach this city. So, keeping in mind all the points mentioned above, now let’s see what are the best attractions of Oulu and fun things to do.
01) Pikisaari Island – Ancient Wooden City
Pikisaari is a quiet and beautiful island with a culture of ancient woodwork and carpentry. If you want to reach this island, you can use the modern bridge built across the river from Oulu market square.
During the last Crimean War, the majority of this city was obliterated. A significant boathouse and several of the original wooden cottages can still be seen today.
Docks, a sawmill, a distillery, a woolen mill, and a machine shop may be found on Pikisaari Island. Today many artists and crafters are living in this Island. The Sailor’s House Museum is housed in Oulu’s oldest wooden structure. There are also excellent cafes, restaurants serving fine cuisine, parks, beaches, and bike routes that go down the riverfront.
The stunning 1880s-era office of the neighborhood machine shop is another structure that is well worth a visit. It features a tower that is a notable landmark on the island and exhibits the Neo-Renaissance architectural style.
02) The Nallikari Beach & Seaside Resort
Nallikari is a coastal resort located on an island in the Hietasaari district of Oulu, Finland. The resort can be accessed on foot or by public bus service throughout the year and during summers with a trackless train called Potnapekka. The beach in Nallikari is about half a kilometer long.
This beach is well-known for enjoying the pleasant weather, playing beach volleyball, cycling, and other leisurely outdoor pursuits in the summer. You may stroll on the sea ice, go ice fishing, and take pictures of the stunning scenery because the sea is thickly coated in ice during the winter.
The accommodations on this stunning white beach are of the highest caliber, and those looking for some adventure can test their mettle on the playground or the enormous climbing net on the sand.
03) The Tietomaa Science Centre
For many years, one of the best attractions of Oulu is the Tietomaa Science Center. This is Finland’s first science center. The Brothers Ostrom Tannery’s former steam plant has served as the Taitoma Science Center’s home since it first opened its doors in 1988. The 35-meter-tall Taitoma Tower, which served as the tannery’s water tower, is also housed in the science center. This tower, a well-known local symbol of the Oulu cityscape, provides a stunning perspective of the estuary and the entire city.
There are more than 150 themed exhibitions in Tietomaa. The science center’s large-screen theater plays well-made 3D movies. In Finland, it is the second-largest screen. Further, The sea-themed exhibit M.O.B. lets you experience the salty air and incredible speed. Try out the speedboat simulator, sail in a competition, and explore the magical beach landscapes.
04) The Hupisaaret Island’s City Park
In the Myllytulli area of central Oulu, Finland, there is a public urban park called Hupisaaret Islands City Park. The park is situated on a number of tiny islands in the Oulu River delta. These white wooden bridges in the park were built in the 1860s.
In the summer, this expansive garden area resembles a green sanctuary. A lovely landscape is created when there is snow on the ground. You can discover entertainment, excitement, recreation, and tranquility here.
The Oulu River even has native sea trout that were introduced there, and the sound of the park’s streams adds to its allure. The longest fish ladder in Finland is located at the park’s northernmost corner, where you can observe migratory fish from May until the end of October.
Additionally, there is a fantastic summer theater, and the gazebos and gorgeous bridges that connect the little islands make for relaxing spots.
05) The Northern Ostrobothnia Museum
The museum is located in the Myllytulli neighborhood of Oulu in the Hupisaaret Islands Park, Finland. This provincial museum is a cultural and historical museum. The region of Northern Ostrobothnia and the city of Oulu are the main subjects of the Museum of Northern Ostrobothnia.
Through artefacts, phenomena, celebrities and regular people, the past comes amazingly to life at the Museum of Northern Ostrobothnia. Visit the Old Port District to experience working class life, learn about high seas adventures and smell the tar. Exhibits throughout the building’s four floors.
06) The Northern Lights In Oulu
The northern lights are frequently visible in Oulu, and in the autumn, they can produce stunning reflections on the river. A natural occurrence, the Northern Lights are heavily reliant on solar activity and cloud cover.
The greatest spots to view the Aurora lights are in areas free of “light pollution,” and fortunately Oulu has a lot of them. Popular auroral seeing locations include the Lapland Hotel and the Hupisaaret Islands City Park.
From late September until mid-April, Oulu experiences its aurora season. It’s too bright in Oulu the rest of the year to view the Northern Lights. However the Northern Lights are never predictable. Having a knowledgeable tour guide who has expertise with the top photographers is the best way to explore the exhibits.
07) The Oulu Museum of Art
The Oulu Art Museum is located in building 22 of the former Brothers Ostrom factory noted in number 03 above, at a lovely location on the outskirts of Ainola Park, about a kilometer from Oulu’s downtown. The fact that this museum’s identity is as an institution dedicated to the study and preservation of art sets it apart from other tourist attractions. It maintains tight relationships with local artists.
The museum has a sizable collection, with a concentration on art from Northern Ostrobothnia and Oulu in particular. The Oulu Art Museum’s shows offer a comprehensive overview of the visual arts in the area. Highlights of Finnish and worldwide art while exploring a variety of themes and collections.
08) Oulu Castle
The Oulu Castle, which is often one of the oldest structures in the nation, is one of the city’s distinctive landmarks. Oulu Castle is a late defensive fortification that was constructed around 1590 on an island in the Oulu River delta. Wood and soil make up the majority of the fort.
Oulu Castle was constructed in 1590 as a bastion for Swedish troops heading to battle in Russian Karelia. There may have been a fort there in the middle ages. The old wooden components of the castle were destroyed in 1605 and a new stone wall was constructed to surround Castle Island.
In this fort, the Oulu School of Sea Captains has constructed their observatory today. Since 1912, the structure has been a cafe, and it also houses a modest exhibition on the castle’s past.
09) The Historic Oulu Market Hall & Bobby
The Market Square in the heart of Oulu, Finland, is home to the historic Oulu Market Hall. In 1901, the market hall was inaugurated. Although the old market hall has been refurbished, tourists won’t detect any differences. The Oulu Trade Hall will commemorate its 120th birthday on May 1, 2021.
Visit this historically and culturally significant market hall for lunch, coffee, or shopping.
Bobby in Oulu’s Market Place
In Finnish, this statue is known as Toripolliisi. The monument is situated immediately opposite to the market hall’s entrance in the market square of Oulu, close to the shore and looking out toward the water and the tiny island of Kiikelj.
The 1987 bronze sculpture was created by Carlo Mikkonen and was dedicated to the bobbies, or police officers, who used to patrol the market square. Not taking a selfie with this adorable little statue would be a loss.
10) Nightlife in Oulu
When considering things to do in Oulu, you can’t forget its nightlife…
Oulu locals frequently enjoy themselves at pubs and taverns during both the brief summer and winter seasons. You won’t even want to spend the evening with entertaining foreigners.
able to converse with the locals until the sun rise while enjoying the ideal cocktail in a cozy setting. Or to unwind in a comfortable setting while sipping a cool beer… There is something for everyone in Oulu’s nightlife.
Here are a few of the most well-liked spots in Oulu’s many exciting pubs, clubs, and cocktail lounges. A chic little wine bar with a wide selection and a cozy atmosphere ideal for conversation is called Viinibaari Vox. In addition, Cafe Kuluma is well known for its scalding Rammstein beverage. The three-floor Mango Nightclub and Peppers Karaoke are also not to be missed.
11) The traditional Nordic food in Oulu
The traditional Nordic food, which is unique to the northern parts of the Scandinavian peninsula, is available for travelers to learn about in Oulu. Fish and game dishes predominate in this cuisine.
Vegetables and fruits are particularly difficult to cultivate in this area, however there are numerous types of unusual sea fish. Additionally, several restaurants in Oulu still offer dishes made with venison and wildfowl due to the abundance of wildlife in the surrounding forests. The majority of meats are often served bled and gently fried. The two most popular spices are salt and black pepper. Spices are nearly never added.
The most well-liked local specialties are now offered in vibrant stalls, with fish and dishes made from it serving as the main product. Fish dishes that are prepared already look and taste fantastic. Salmon cutlets, a variety of fish-filled pies, fish cheesecakes, smoked and fried fish, and more are all available at the counters. Additionally, tourists frequently purchase canned fish, which is popular in the area, as presents for loved ones.
12) Husky Adventure in Oulu
One of the best things to do in Oulu is to go on a sled husky dog tour or visit a kennel because huskies are indisputable cute, cuddly, and strong runners. In Oulu, husky sledding is undoubtedly a wintertime highlight. Riding a team of husky dogs allows one to take in the peace and beauty of the natural world.
You should attempt this one-of-a-kind and uncommon experience in Oulu. Alternately, you can tap to take pictures of yourself with all of these cute creatures. Loihakka, who has fifteen years of expertise leading husky safaris throughout Northern Finland and in the Oulu area is one of the best place for husky excursions.
13) Discover The Best Of Nature
Finland is a land of flawless natural beauty. Rent a car in Oulu and spend a few days driving about to get the full experience. In the vicinity of Oulu, Finland, where trees occupy 70% of the area, there are several options. There is always water around, and there are always lush trees.
If you’re up for an adventure, a world of stark seasonal contrasts is waiting for you. Swimming holes become ice rinks in nature, woodlands transition from lush green to deep orange, and beaches and oceans become surreal ice floes.
14) The River Oulujoki
One of Finland’s biggest rivers is the Oulujoki. It travels more than 100 km from Lake Oulujärvi to Oulu and the Gulf of Bothnia. For thousands of years, the Oulujoki river has served as a vital trading and transportation route for the local populace. It was also the most well-known route for delivering tar in Finland and throughout Europe.
Today, the river generates enough fish for recreational fishing demands as well as significant amounts of hydroelectric power, even on a national scale. The river valley’s fertile soil and advantageous microclimate make it a significant agricultural region as well. Some of the biggest tributaries join the Oulujoki river are Kutujoki, Utosjoki, Muhosjoki and Sanginjoki.
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