This post shows you the Tampere winter and what sunny January weather can be like in Finland. We finally got snow and in some places a lot of it. Extreme Finnish winter temperatures and sunny winter days are finally here!
I went for a walk in the cold Tampere winter weather. I walked to the bridges of Tammerkoski rapids and to the slopes of Pispala Ridge outside Tampere city center.
We Finns are used to cold weather and most of us love winter days. So do I. I’m prepared for the snow, ice and the extreme weather. Green and rainy winters that have become more common are not for us Finns.
With these photos of the amazing Tampere winter you can see what winter Finland can be like in the beginning January.
The cover photo shows a (frozen) lake seen from Pispala ridge, Tampere. The Tampere area is the second biggest of the cities of Finland located two hours north of Helsinki, the capital. You can travel from Helsinki to Tampere by train, bus or car or even by plane.
Tampere is located between two inland lakes and a there is a short river called Tammerkoski rapids where water from the upper lake runs to the lower. All lakes in Finland freeze in the winter but Tammerkoski doesn’t. There is a strong current that makes that the rapids never freeze.
Here are some more photos of the downtown Tampere winter.
There are old factories on both sides of the rapids that now contain offices, restaurants, museums and a big cinema. Some of the museums are the Museum Center Vapriikki, the Finnish Labour Museum Werstas, Rupriikki Media Museum and the Museum of Textile Industry .
Like bridges everywhere in the world, also some of the Tampere bridges have locks, and the Tammerkoski walking bridge has a lot of them. But even if you owned the key you couldn’t open these locks. The locks are deeply frozen and they maybe won’t open until the spring takes over.
But let’s do some more sightseeing in the beautiful Tampere winter.
Tampere Winter Walk: Pispala
Pispala is an old neigborhood where wooden homes were built for the needs of factory workers. So Pispala slopes are full of colourful small wooden houses that climb up both sides of the ridge.
There is a lake on both sides so the houses look out onto two lakes, Lake Näsijärvi in the north and Lake Pyhäjärvi in the south.
Pispala is widely considered the most beautiful area of Tampere. At least it’s an area like no other.
The Pispala ridge is just a couple of kilometers from the city center, bordering the beautiful forest park of Pyynikki.
If it’s too cold to walk, just take a regular Tampere bus. Pispala is a must-see place if you are visiting Tampere. The bus brings you to this street, Pispalanharju at the absolute top of the hill.
At the end of Pispalanharju is a small park with a lookout from where you get stunning views south, towards Lake Pyhäjärvi.
These photos are from that lookout. As you can see views from the top of the hill are amazing! And the scene is as beautiful at all times of the year, not only in the winter. So don’t only visit Tampere in winter, the summer is as beautiful.
It’s a cold January afternoon, -20 degrees C, and it’s hard to touch the screen to catch more photos. This is Tampere weather at its best, but my fingers get ice cold! Yet the view keeps me here since you don’t get tired of this view.
The sun goes down after 4 p.m. so you better come here early to get the view in daylight.
Pispala is famous for its staircases, the Pispala stairs. This one is the longest of them all and sports teams use these stairs for their training. The staircase leads down to a sheltered valley, to the residential area of Tahmela that has a pretty beach. In the winter you can skate and ski on the frozen lake.
There are many more staircases than this one, you’ll find them if you walk around a bit. Another one leads straight down on the opposite side starting where this one ends.
Take the stairs down and have some warming coffee at the cozy Cafe Pispala that you can find on Pispankatu. Pispankatu is one of the principal roads in Pispala, half way the southern slope.
I can see that someone has been skating on the lake. If you look closer at the ice on the lake, you can see that it’s not snow. The lake is covered by ice flowers, as long as you can see.
Have a look at this frozen willow twig before returning to downtown Tampere. It’s still winter but the spring will be here at any time.
Tampere is my favorite city since it’s where I live. For more information on Tampere check out the official Tampere website Visit Tampere.