The Ultimate Expat Guide to Living in Tampere

The Ultimate Expat Guide to Living in Tampere

 

Updated: February 2024

 

When talking about Finland, its capital, Helsinki, usually gets all the attention. But up North, surrounded by lakes and beautiful nature, is Tampere - a technological, engineering hub of Finland and all of Europe. The city’s industrial past has contributed to its rapid development and made it what it is now: the perfect place to grow for future engineers.

 

Embark on a tour to this unique spot with extra focus on sustainable growth and green policies, and discover why it should figure on top of your list of potential destinations, if it doesn’t already. 

 

  1. Work in Tampere, Finland
  2. Getting around Tampere, Finland
  3. Housing in Tampere
  4. Living like a local
  5. Fun things to do around the city
  6. Cost of living in Tampere, Finland  

 

  1. Work in Tampere, Finland

 

If you are under 30 and moving to Finland for work, you can count on The One-Stop Guidance Center Ohjaamoo. There are almost 70 of these information points scattered all around the country, and you can easily locate the nearest one using their website. 

 

There, you can access advice regarding finding a job, settling in, housing, and everything in between. It is the safest way to gain verified information about all aspects of life in Finland from qualified professionals. 

 

You can also seek support at International House Tampere. They offer multilingual guidance on various aspects of relocating to Finland, including Talent Advisor Service. You can book an individual appointment or attend their Career Boost Workshops

 

The city of Tampere also supports its job seekers by providing educational videos on the topic of job search and employment. They are created by the Employment and Growth Services of the City of Tampere and contain advice for job seekers, employers, and entrepreneurs.

 

The only catch is that they are all in Finnish, and the default YouTube subtitles aren’t always available. You may want to find a Finnish friend to watch it with you if you don’t speak the language!

 

In general, learning some Finnish will make work and life in Finland, as well as the job search itself, much easier. It is possible to find work in English, but navigating the system will be more manageable if you know the local language. 

 

Interestingly, Swedish is also commonly used in parts of Finland. Many Finns are bilingual and can communicate both in Finnish and Swedish (usually also English), so knowing Finnish and Swedish is highly recommended.


Useful job boards when living in Tampere, Finland

 

There are plenty of resources you can use when looking for a job in Finland. Of course, the perfect place to start is Europe Language Jobs and the attractive jobs in Tampere listed there.

 

There are also numerous local job boards you can use to find your dream job in Tampere:

 

 

*The last two websites are only available in Finnish. But don’t panic! Use the good old trick of clicking on the right mouse button and selecting “Translate to English”. You’re welcome!


 

Sectors and languages in demand

 

Tampere is primarily known as a manufacturing and engineering giant. Don’t worry if you’re not a tech enthusiast, though! There are four main sectors you can find in Tampere:

 

IT - the IT industry stands strong in Tampere, with the main focus on software development, information systems, and telecommunications.

 

Manufacturing and engineering - there are many key international companies operating in this sector in Tampere. Employees are particularly sought after in mechanical engineering, industrial design, automation, and robotics.

 

Health and life sciences - this is a growing sector in Tampere, particularly in the technology, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries. Jobs in demand can be found in medical device development, clinical research, bioinformatics, and healthcare technologies.

 

Cleantech and sustainable solutions - sustainability is an important topic in Finland. For that reason, the development of renewable energy solutions, smart grids, waste management, and sustainable transportation is greatly encouraged. 


 

On our job board, you can observe that the languages in demand in Finland follow the general international trend. The highest numbers of vacancies look for native German, Dutch, and Danish speakers.

 

However, you can also find offers for less popular languages such as Estonian, Croatian, Czech, or even Hebrew. 


 

Working culture

 

The Finnish law states that the working week cannot exceed 40 hours and 8 hours a day. However, the way these hours are distributed during the day is not legally regulated in any way.

 

Workplaces in Finland take advantage of that fact and are increasingly implementing flexible work policies. Many offices allow their employees to come in between 7h and 9h and leave accordingly, at 15h or 17h. It is your responsibility as an employee to make sure you follow your personal schedule and work for the agreed amount of hours every week.

 

It is important to note that when a specific time is set for coming into work or a meeting, the Finns are very strict about following it. It is considered incredibly impolite to be late and force everyone else to wait for you. 

 

If you are required to be somewhere at 10h o’clock sharp, you must be there at 10h o’clock sharp. Coming in a bit early to make sure you are all settled on time is recommended. Rushing in late - even if it is just 5 or 10 minutes - is frowned upon and may come with consequences, depending on how tolerant your boss is. 

 

In case you are running late and know you absolutely can’t make it, always inform your supervisors about it as soon as you can. 

 

Finns are also known to be very committed to their work and have a strong work ethic. Industrial development played a huge part in the history of the country, which finds its reflection in the people’s approach to work. They are diligent, reliable, and put real effort into their tasks.

 

The number of days off you are entitled to is regulated by the Annual Holidays Act and the collective agreement at your workplace. This means that it may vary between employers, so make sure to inquire about that individually. 

 

One thing to remember which may be different from the customs in other European countries is that there is a designated holiday period in Finland. It lasts from the 2nd of May until the 30th of September, and employees are usually required to take their holidays within that time. 

 

Most of them take their leave in July, but remember to discuss it with your employer way in advance. In the end, they are the ones who decide when you can take your annual holidays. 

 

For more detailed information about the legal conditions of employment and the general work culture in Finland, visit Info Finland’s guide


 

Work and residence permit

 

EU citizens

 

Right of residence 

 

Citizens of the European Union do not need to obtain a residence or work permit upon moving to Finland. However, if you intend to stay there for over 3 months, you will need to register your right of residence. This is a standard procedure present in most EU countries.

 

In order to register your right of residence and legally stay in Finland, you must either be employed, have a fully operating business of your own, study, have family ties in the country, or have sufficient funds to support yourself. 

 

The application for the right of residence must be submitted to the Finnish Immigration Service (Maahanmuuttovirasto). You can do it online by using the Enter Finland service. 

 

There, you will fill out the application form and submit the following attachments:

 

  • valid national ID or passport

  • employment contract (if you are employed by someone else)

  • business activities account (if you are an entrepreneur)

 

Please note that the application is subject to a singular fee of €54. You may also be required to visit a branch of the Finnish Immigration Service in person in order to provide the originals of all the documents. 

 

Additionally, you have to visit a Finnish Immigration Service office within 3 months of submitting your application. The appointment needs to be booked online at the official site. It is entirely translated into English, so don’t worry!

 

You will be informed about any updates through your Enter Finland account, so make sure you check it regularly while you wait for your right of residence. Failure to submit any documents or comply with eventual requests may delay the whole process. 

 

Important: the application process is not automatic, even for EU citizens! You must do it manually within 3 months from the day of your arrival in Finland. 


 

Finnish personal identity number (suomalainen henkiltöunnus)

 

Your application for the right of residence as an EU citizen will be processed by the Finnish Immigration Service. However, at the same time, it will also be registered by the Population Information System. 

 

This means that as an EU citizen, you will automatically receive a Finnish personal identity number once your right of residence application is processed. It is a unique series of 11 characters, which may seem random but are actually based on your date of birth and gender. 

 

The number is needed for various elements of everyday life in Finland, such as dealing with the local authorities or setting up a bank account. You should also give it to your employer as soon as you receive it. 


 

non-EU citizens

 

If you move to Finland for work from outside of the European Union, you will need 2 things:

 

  • residence permit for an employed person

  • working visa


 

Contrary to many other European countries, Finland doesn’t require non-EU citizens to obtain a separate work permit. This is included in the special type of residence permit for an employed person (työntekijän oleskelulupa). This is good news, as it means you will basically receive 2 documents with just 1 application. 

 

Each of those documents is unique to this country and cannot be used interchangeably. This means that if you have a non-EU passport but have lived and worked in another EU country, those permits and visas are not valid in Finland. You will need to get new ones. 

 

For example, if you come from India and have been employed in Portugal, the work permit, residence permit, and working visa you obtained for your stay in Portugal aren’t valid in Finland (or any country other than Portugal).


 

Residence permit 


 

There are different kinds of residence permits in Finland. In order to apply for a work-based residence permit in Finland (työntekijän oleskelulupa), you must first find a job in Finland. 

 

The decision about granting a residence permit for employed persons may be subject to a labour market evaluation. This means that the employer might have to prove to the Finnish Immigration Service (Maahanmuuttovirasto) that it hadn’t been possible to hire a Finnish or EU citizen for this position within a reasonable time before they agreed to hire someone from outside the EU. 

 

The application for a residence permit for an employed person can be submitted online via Enter Finland or in paper form. The residence permit is granted for a fixed term - usually, it’s 1 year. 

 

If you wish to continue your stay in Finland after your first-time permit expires, you need to apply for an extended residence permit, which will be valid for up to 4 years. 

 

Resident permits come with a fee, depending on how you apply.

 

Online application:

 

  • first-time residence permit for an employed person: €490

  • extended residence permit for an employed person: €160


 

Paper application:

 

  • first-time residence permit for an employed person: €740

  • extended residence permit for an employed person: €430


 

You must include the following documents in your residence permit application:

 

  • valid passport

  • recent passport photo

  • coloured copies of the page of your passport containing your photo and personal data, and all other pages containing any notes/stamps/stickers

  • a document stating your legal stay in Finland

  • MP1 form

 

As we have mentioned, you need to have a solid job offer in Finland before applying for your work-based residence permit. However, you cannot start working before you receive the residence permit for an employed person.

 

This means that you will need to provide an employment contract when submitting your application, so you must have an offer beforehand. You cannot start acting on the employment contract before you have obtained the permit. 

 

According to the official website of the Finnish Immigration Service, the expected processing time for both an electronic and paper application for a first-time and extended residence permit for an employed person is 2 months. 

 

You will be informed about any updates through your Enter Finland account, so make sure you check it regularly while you wait for your right of residence. Failure to submit any documents or comply with eventual requests may delay the whole process. 

 

The residence permit card can only be delivered to a Finnish address. If you don’t yet know your fixed address in Finland by the time you apply, you can use the address of a hotel or Airbnb you will be initially staying at, or the address of your future workplace. 

 

Bear in mind that the card will not be delivered directly to that address. It will be sent to the nearest DB Schenker collection point. You will be informed about the exact location of the point in a notification via email or phone once the card arrives. This is beneficial for you, as you won’t have to worry about being at the given address to collect the card personally and will be able to pick it up at your own convenience. 

 

Important: the employer plays an important role in the application process. They must provide the Finnish Immigration Service with the conditions of your employment. It is done through a special form attached to your application submitted via Enter Finland. 

 

The processing of your application cannot be started before your employer fills out and includes that form, so make sure to remind them to do it! Please note that while their contribution to your residence permit application is crucial, they cannot entirely apply for it in your name. 

 


 

Working visa (D-viisumi)

 

The residence permit for an employed person (työntekijän oleskelulupa) and the D-type visa (D-viisumi) are two different things. As a non-EU citizen, you need both of them to legally live and work in Finland. 

 

You cannot function with one without the other, but the good news is, you can kill two birds with one stone and apply for both at the same time. You can apply for the D-type visa (also known as working visa) through Enter Finland when you submit your residence permit application. 

 

Bear in mind that an in-person appointment will most likely be necessary to obtain the D-type visa. You will have to give your passport to an official who will place the visa sticker inside the document. You may have to leave your passport there for a while for that purpose. 

 

The D-type visa is valid for 100 days, and you must renew it every time it expires if you wish to continue living in Finland. It also gives you the right to travel freely (with your passport containing the visa sticker) around the Schengen zone. 

 

D-type visa application also comes with a fee, depending on how you apply:

 

  • online application via Enter Finland: €95

  • paper application: €120


 

Good to know

 

Your residence permit card will be delivered to an address in Finland. How can you enter the country without the physical document, then?

 

With the D-type visa in your passport.

 

You need to apply for the D-type visa at the same time as you apply for your residence permit. They can also be granted together, as obtaining one is subject to receiving the other. 

 

As a consequence, you can enter Finland without a physical residence permit card. You need to bring your passport with the D visa sticker and proof of a positive decision from the Finnish Immigration Service about granting you the residence permit. You will receive a message informing you about it, so bring a copy of it with you when coming to Finland. 

 

You can arrive in Finland within 100 days before your residence permit becomes valid. The validity period of your D visa must overlap with that of your residence permit for at least 1 day. 


 

EU citizens and non-EU citizens

 

Municipality of residence

 

Finland is divided into 309 administrative regions, called municipalities. They provide various services for their residents (hyvinvointiaule), such as public health care or daycare for children. 

 

You can only access those services if you are granted the municipality of residence (kotikunta). It also allows you to receive a Finnish identity card (henkilökortti) and a Finnish driving license (ajokortti). 

 

You have the right to the municipality of residence if you fulfil the following requirements:

 

  • you have arrived in Finland

  • you are staying in Finland legally

  • you intend to stay in Finland for at least one year


 

If you are an EU citizen, you also need to meet one of the following conditions:

 

  • a positive decision from the Finnish Immigration Service about being granted the right of residence

  • a family member (spouse, guardian, or dependent child) who already has a municipality of residence in Finland 

 

If you are a non-EU citizen, you also need to meet one of the following conditions:

 

  • a continuous or permanent residence permit

  • a residence card issued by the Finnish Immigration Service for a family member of an EU citizen 

  • a family member (spouse, guardian, or dependent child) who already has a municipality of residence in Finland 

 

As a non-EU citizen, you can also be granted the municipality of residence with a temporary residence permit, provided you fulfil additional requirements listed on the page of Digital and Population Data Services Agency. 

 

Receiving a municipality of residence is a good solution for everyone intending to stay in Finland permanently (longer than 1 year), as it gives access to attractive benefits and grants some of the rights of a Finnish citizen. 

 

The municipality of residence is usually the one you live in. In the case of Tampere, the municipality is also called Tampere. 

 

Important: a municipality of residence is not the same as the right of residence or a residence permit! You will need to obtain it separately if you intend to stay in Finland for over a year. 

 

Social Security

 

Social security benefits in Finland are granted by an institution called Kela on the basis of your status as a resident. In order to receive Kela benefits, you need to fulfil one of 3 conditions:

 

  • you permanently live in Finland

  • you are employed in Finland

  • you are married to, or are in another type of a close family relationship, with someone who is already a Finnish resident 

 

The term “permanent residence” is regulated by law, and it means that your main home is in Finland and you spend at least half of your time (more than 6 months a year) there. Kela can also consider you a permanent resident if you have stayed in Finland for 1 year. 

 

If you move to Finland as a non-EU citizen and want to be able to access Kela benefits, you must have a valid residence permit. Finland also signed social security agreements with some non-EU countries - their full list can be found in this official Kela brochure

 

You can also be granted Kela benefits if you do not permanently live in Finland, but are employed there and earn at least €800.15 a month. The number of hours you work doesn’t matter in this case.

 

Kela benefits are granted based on a Kela card. You can apply for it using the OmaKela e-service. The processing time of your application depends on the kind of benefits you apply for. You can use the average processing time calculator tool provided by Kela to evaluate your personal circumstances.

 

Once the decision is made, it will be posted to the Finnish address you provided in your application. As you wait, you can check for any updates on your profile at the Kela e-service.

 

Once you receive your Kela card, you will be able to access a range of benefits, including:

 

  • reimbursements for prescription medicine

  • benefits for families with children

  • national pension

  • general housing allowance

  • unemployment allowance

  • financial aid for students

 

Please note that access to specific benefits is evaluated by Kela based on every person’s individual circumstances. Depending on your situation and Kela’s decision, you may not be able to receive all the benefits listed above. 

 

Benefits such as housing allowance, maternity grant, basic unemployment allowance, or Kela’s pensions are only granted to people who have lived in Finland for a certain time before applying for those benefits. 

 

For example, parents can only be eligible for a parenthood allowance if they can prove they have lived in Finland for at least 180 days directly leading up to the expected delivery date of their child. 

 

Once you are granted Kela benefits, you will receive them for as long as you remain a permanent resident in Finland or for the duration of your Finnish employment contract. If you leave Finland for more than 6 months at a time or start working somewhere else, your right to Kela benefits might be revoked. 

  1. Getting around Tampere, Finland 


 

Public transport

 

Tampere uses an integrated ticket system which allows you to use the same ticket or card on all trams, buses, and commuter trains. Public transport cards are recommended due to their convenience. You can top them up regularly or purchase them for a specific duration, depending on your preference. 


 

Buses

 

Buses are a common choice for getting around Tampere due to their efficiency, reliability, and accessibility. 

 

Bus tickets are also quite affordable and can be purchased online. Their prices vary depending on the number of zones you intend to travel across - there are 6 zones, and the price increases the further you go. Discounts for students and children are available. You can choose between a single, day, or seasonal ticket.

 

You can also use your public transport card or access the Nysse Mobiili app. The Nysse website is very easy to navigate and provides all information about fees and schedules, as well as live updates about alternations in schedules or bus stops being moved or closed. 


 

Trams

 

Trams are another common choice for getting around the city quickly and efficiently. They are said to run on time and eliminate the risk of getting stuck in traffic. The tram network is called Tampereen Ratikka and consists of two lines. There are plans for further expansion in the future. 

 

Have a look at the comprehensive map of Tampere outlining the tram routes on the official website to get an idea of where you can get by tram and how. 


 

Trains

 

Tampere doesn’t have a city train network. All the commute within the city is done by buses and trams. Trains are mostly used for travel outside of the city and can be taken from the Tampere train station

 

Finland is generally well-connected by an efficient train network called VR. Ticket prices increase the closer you get to the date, so it is recommended to book your trips in advance. 

 

You can travel from Tampere to the capital, Helsinki, for as little as €6 if you purchase your tickets well enough in advance (about 1.5 - 2 months). It’s not bad at all for a 2-hour trip!


 

Bikes

 

Tampere is well-connected by bike lanes, both in the city centre and on the outskirts. They provide safe cycling conditions, being clearly marked and well-maintained. They also usually run separately from regular roads.

 

Cycling is further encouraged by the numerous bike rental services operating in Tampere. Rental stations are scattered all around the city, allowing you to conveniently hop on and off your bike as you wish. The fares are affordable and available to both permanent residents and temporary visitors. 

 

The general public transport system, Nysse, offers bike rental services. This goes to show how much the local government supports cycling. Pyöräpiste and Föllärit are other estimated private providers.


 

Scooters

 

Just like in most European cities, scooters are becoming an increasingly popular mode of transport among citizens in Tampere. They are electric, so just like bicycles, they are an environmentally-friendly choice. 

 

Scooters are sometimes favoured over bikes because, in many instances, you don’t have to find a station to return them. You can simply leave your ride in a safe spot on the side of the road once you reach your destination or the time runs out. 

 

There are several options available for renting scooters in Tampere, including Voi, Lime, Ryde, or Tier


 

Taxis

 

In Tampere, you can use both traditional taxis and taxi apps. Local taxi providers include Tampereen Aluetaksi, Taksikeskus, and Tampereen Taksidata. You can find contact details for all of them through the Taksi Tampere portal. The website also provides information about fares, and even allows you to access a taxi fare calculator

 

Apps additionally let you track the arrival of your driver in real-time. They also usually state a set fee upon booking, so you won’t have to stress about how much money you are going to pay at the end of your ride. Another helpful feature is access to ratings for each driver, which can increase your safety - especially if you travel alone. 

 

Popular taxi apps in Tampere include 02 Taksi, Menevä, and Valopilkku


 

Driving

 

If you want to drive in Tampere, double-check if you need an international driving license next to your regular permit. Prepare for difficult driving conditions in winter - especially if you’re not used to dealing with snow on the roads where you come from.

 

Winter tyres are mandatory in the winter period between the 1st of December and the 1st of March. Purchasing two sets of tyres and having them replaced twice a year comes with additional costs, so calculate that into the general car maintenance. You may even be required to use studded tires in the Northern part of the country.



 

Tampere Airport

 

The Tampere-Pirkkala Airport is located approximately 17 kilometres southwest of the city centre. 

 

It can be reached by public bus. Line 103 connects the airport with the very centre of Tampere, passing through the train and bus station. The Tampere city centre is located in Zone A, while the airport is in Zone C, so you will need an ABC ticket for that trip. The journey will take approximately 30-40 minutes. 

 

It’s quicker to go to the airport by driving or taking a taxi. It will be more expensive, but the trip will last about 20-25 minutes, depending on traffic. 



  1. Housing in Tampere, Finland


 

Flat hunt

 

About ¼ of Finns live in rented properties, while ⅔ own their homes. In the long run, it is often cheaper to invest in a house in Finland than rent long-term. This is especially true if you live in the centres of big cities, where the rates are the highest.

 

Approximately ½ of Finns live in detached or semi-detached houses. About ⅓ live in blocks of flats. It is, therefore, more common to live in a house than in a flat in Finland. Blocks of flats are mostly popular in bigger cities. 

 

Only ⅖ of residents in Finland live on their own. The majority of households consist of 2 people, and the average space per person in a home is 40m2. The average cost of rent is usually €15 per m2.*

 

Many buildings in Finland were constructed between the 1950s and 1970s. Modern buildings are most prominent in large cities, such as Tempere. However, living in traditional houses Finland is known for does have its charm. 

 

Bills are calculated on top of rent. The biggest expense is usually heating - especially in winter. Properties in Finland are equipped with efficient heating systems and triple-glazed windows, designed to keep the chill out even in the coldest months. 

 

If you live in a block of flats, it is likely there won’t be a washing machine in your flat. There are communal laundry rooms in most buildings, usually located in the basement. They can only be accessed by tenants of that particular building. All tenants can use the laundry rooms for a small fee. 

 

Fun fact: houses in Finland usually come with a private sauna. Even if you live in a block of flats, there are chances they will come with a sauna if they are new! In older complexes, a communal sauna will usually be found on the premises of the housing company. Tenants can access it by bookings and contributing a monthly fee. 

 

*All the statistics are taken from research by Info Finland


 

Renting property in Finland

 

The term you should use when looking for a flat to rent in Finland is vuokra-asunto. Hiring an agent isn’t necessary to find a flat. You can flat-hunt yourself online or in newspapers to avoid the commission fee (välityspalkkio). 

 

Property showings are usually organised in groups, for all people interested in renting the flat at the same time. The time and date of the viewing will be stated in the classified ad of the property.

 

You will be handed an application form during the viewing. If you decide to apply for the flat and are chosen by the landlord, you will need to pay a security deposit before you are handed the keys. 

 

There are 2 kinds of tenancy agreements in Finland:

 

  • valid under further notice (toistaiseksi voimassa oleva vuokrasopimus) - expires when the landlord or tenant decides to terminate it.

  • fixed-term (määräaikainen vuokrasopimus) - has a deadline previously stated by the landlord and agreed upon by the tenant. This kind of tenancy cannot be terminated during its period of validity - neither by the tenant, nor by the landlord. Bear that in mind when choosing a flat for a specific amount of time.


 

Municipal housing

 

In Finland, you can apply for rental housing subsidised by the state. They are properties owned by the municipality called ARA housing. Rent in these homes is usually cheaper than in properties rented from private landlords.

 

You don’t have to be a Finnish citizen to be eligible for ARA housing. You can access this service if you have registered your right of residence as an EU citizen, or obtained a residence permit valid for at least 1 year as a non-EU citizen.

 

You can apply for ARA housing at a housing agency in your municipality. Sometimes online forms are also available on the municipality’s website. Whether you will be allocated ARA housing depends on several factors, such as your financial situation and housing requirements. 

 

Because housing provided by ARA is cheaper than private rentals, the demand for this type of accommodation is high. In bigger cities such as Helsinki and Tempere, there is usually a waiting list. It is possible to find vacancies in smaller towns, so sometimes, it might be beneficial to look for municipal housing in the surrounding areas, rather than the city itself.

 

M2 Kodit is a non-profit organisation listing classified ads for municipal housing in various parts of Finland. Rather than looking directly at your municipality’s website or housing agency, you can enter the name of your city and look for available properties.

 

The homes you can find on M2 Kodit’s website follow ARA’s cost principle, which means they are affordable. However, this also means they have to follow the same rules ARA does when choosing tenants, so your financial circumstances and housing requirements will play a role in whether you are chosen as a tenant. 

 

Buying property in Finland 

 

If you plan to buy a home in Finland, set aside several months for doing so. Always participate in viewings, which can be organised in 2 ways:

 

  • directly, through a booking by email or phone call

  • as a collective viewing, during a date and time stated in the advert

 

When looking at classified ads, you may see 2 different prices. One of them is the sales price, the other is the debt-free price. The latter is always the actual price of the property.

 

This may seem like an unnecessary complication of things, but it has its justification. The sales price equals the sum the property can be purchased for. We can say it expresses its raw value.

 

However, when you purchase a house or a flat in Finland, you are required to pay a maintenance charge on top of the sales price. That fee can reach very high amounts, so the actual price of the property can change greatly. Always pay attention to the debt-free sum. 

 

The amount of the maintenance charge is not a set number. It depends on multiple factors such as the size and the state of the property, its location, and whether the housing company selling it is the owner of the land it stands on. 

 

Important: EU citizens are free to buy property in Finland after obtaining their right of residence. Non-EU citizens have to apply for a special permit at the Ministry of Defense which will allow them to purchase real estate in Finland. 


 

Right of occupancy

 

Finland also offers a 3rd option next to renting and buying. It combines both options and is known as the “right of occupancy”. In this scenario, you make one payment at the beginning, which equals approximately 15% of the total price of the property. You then continue to make payments called käyttövastike every month for the “right of occupancy”.

 

The payments are not literally called rent, as you have already partially invested in the house. They are simply compensation for your living in the house paid to the true owner. The amount, just like rent, varies depending on the property’s state and location. 


 

Shared ownership

 

Shared ownership is a concept similar to the right of occupancy. You pay 10-20% of the property’s entire value at the beginning and continue to make payments for living there every month. The tenancy period normally lasts between 5 and 12 years.

 

The only difference is, during your tenancy, you are allowed to gradually purchase the “rest” of the house. Depending on the agreement you reach with the constructor, you can systematically make payments until you have paid off the entire price of the house. When that happens, you become its legal owner. 


 

Helpful websites for finding accommodation in Tampere:

 

  • TVA

  • VTS

  • Oikotie

  • Vuokraovi

  • Etuovi

  • Lumo

  • Sato

  • Rentola

  • Habita

  • M2 Kodit (municipality housing)

  • Forenom (corporate accommodation for temporary short and long-term stays of people coming to the Nordic countries to work on a fixed-term contract)

  • Unity (facilities combining accommodation with access to co-working spaces for professionals coming to the Nordic countries for working purposes and networking)



 

Where to live? Districts in Tampere

 

In Tampere, everyone will find a neighbourhood that matches their needs. When choosing where to live, take into consideration the price range of a given district and your personal needs, such as proximity to good schools in the area, green zones, or entertainment opportunities.

 

Below, you can find descriptions of just a few parts of Tampere. Each of them offers something different. 

 

Hämeenkatu - located near the city centre, it is a lively area with lots of options for entertainment. You can find multiple shops, bars, and bustling cafés and restaurants. It is a great option if you enjoy going out and appreciate a well-developed dining scene and nightlife.

 

Tammela - a residential area South of the city centre. It’s very central but has a suburban feel to it at the same time. Imagine tree-lined streets, parks, and charming wooden houses. Next to that, the Tammela Stadium and Tammela Market Hall are some other attractions this neighbourhood has to offer.

 

Kauppi - a green neighbourhood in the Western part of Tampere. Living there, you can enjoy walks in the nearby Kauppi Forest or frequent trips to the Kauppi Sports Park. It is the perfect choice for everyone wanting to pair peaceful everyday life with adventurous outdoor activities.

 

Pyynikki - just like Kauppi, Pynnikki is known for its beautiful nature. You can admire the greenery from the nearby Pynnikki Observation Tower offering panoramic views of the city, or during a stroll in the Pyynikki Park. 

 

Hervanta - as home to the Tampere University of Technology and many tech companies, Hervanta is an educational and technological hub of the city. If you wish to live close to where important breakthroughs happen every day, the neighbourhood offers numerous housing options! 

 

 

  1. Living like a local

 

People 

 

Finns are sometimes perceived as a little bit reserved by visitors from other countries. The nature of people from the Northern nations is often very different from those coming from the South. Those differences stem from disparities in culture, customs, and upbringing. 

 

However, once you make a Finnish friend, they will be warm, kind, and helpful. You can always count on them to support you and have your back when it really matters.

 

People in Finland are often said to be quite straightforward. They prefer an open communication style, rather than beating around the bush. Finns appreciate honesty and value your opinion. You can look forward to deep, meaningful conversations where you won’t have to hold back your views. 

 

You might get along well if you enjoy a little bit of sarcasm. Witty, playful banter is something Finnish people are definitely into, so be prepared to have a good laugh while living in Finland and making friends with the locals. 

 

Due to the many recreational opportunities the country has to offer, Finns are also quite an active nation. If you are into jogging, long walks in forests or parks, or any other form of physical activity, you shouldn’t have trouble finding a workout buddy among your Finnish friends. 


 

Useful resources to make friends in Tampere:

 



The LGBTQ+ Community in Tampere

 

The Finnish law recognises same-sex relationships and supports equality for all genders in terms of marriage and registered partnerships. 

 

Finland has its own organisation promoting and protecting the rights of the LGBTQ+ community called Seta. It has divisions in several Finnish cities, including Tampere. Everyone can contact them for support and advice regarding LGBTQ+ rights. They also organise events, such as the annual Manse Pride Week, celebrated in June. 


 

Language

 

We won’t lie to you. Finnish is a difficult language. Mostly because it is not at all similar to most of the other European languages. 

 

Swedish is also spoken in some parts of Finland. For that reason, many Finns are bilingual - some even trilingual, including English. 

 

Therefore, you should be fine getting by with English, especially living in a big city such as Tampere. However, we do recommend making the effort to learn the local language, as it would simply make your life easier.

 

Here are some basic everyday phrases in Finnish to start with:

 

  • Good morning - Hyvää huomenta.

  • Good afternoon - Hyvää iltapäivää.

  • Good evening - Hyvää iltaa.

  • Hello - Hei

  • Goodbye - Hyvästi

  • Goodnight - Hyvää yötä.

  • How are you? - Mitä kuuluu?

  • Thank you, I’m okay. HBU? - Kiitos, olen kunnossa. Entä sinä?

  • What’s your name? - Mikä sinun nimesi on?

  • My name is… - Nimeni on...

  • Nice to meet you! - Hauska tavata!

  • Cheers! - Kippis!

  • Have a nice day - Hyvää päivänjatkoa

  • Enjoy your meal! - Nauttikaa ateriastanne!

  • Yes - Kyllä

  • No - Ei 

  • Maybe - Ehkä

  • I don’t know - En tiedä

  • I don’t understand - En ymmärrä

  • Please - Kiitos (Please/thank you)

  • Excuse me - Anteeksi

  • Thank you - Kiitos

  • You’re welcome - Ole hyvä

  • Do you speak English? - Puhutko englantia?

  • How much is it? - Paljonko se maksaa?

  • Where is the toilet? - Missä on vessa?

  • Help! - Apua!

 

 

Save the date

 

National holidays in Finland

 

Most bank holidays in Finland correspond with holidays common in other European countries following the Christian calendar, such as New Year’s Day, Easter, Ascension Day, and Christmas.

 

Below, you can find the list of special days unique to Finland:

 

Laskiainen (February) - in other countries known as Fat Thursday, Shrove Tuesday, or simply Pancake Day. It is the Tuesday exactly 7 weeks before Easter.

Finns celebrate it in a very unique way - by hopping on sleighs and zipping down the slopes! It is a day full of sledge riding and replacing the burnt calories by eating special buns called laskiaispulla, filled with jam, whipped cream, or almond paste. What a better way to spend this holiday!

 

Ystävänpäivä (February 14th) - most countries know this day as Valentine’s Day. Not Finland! Finns know it as “Friend’s Day” and don’t limit it to celebrating love for the significant other. Everyone is included - be it a friend, housemate, colleague, classmate, neighbour, or family member.

 

Vappu (May 1st) - Walpurgis’ Night. Celebratory parades are organised all across the country, featuring students and former students wearing their graduation caps. Special cakes are consumed, and politicians give species acknowledging Labour Day. It is, above all else, a joyful celebration of the upcoming summer. 

 

Midsommar / Juhannus (June) - the summer solstice is a significant day in Finland. You may have heard about the “white nights” the Northern part of Europe is known for. It is basically a period of time when, due to its geographical orientation, the Nordic countries experience eternal day. 

The night of the summer solstice is the brightest one of all, and Finns fittingly celebrate it with festive bonfires. It also marks the beginning of the summer holidays, so many people use that opportunity to retreat to summer cottages by the lake or other remote places where they can enjoy nature.

Historically, Midsommar was the time to cast fertility spells and organise weddings. Now, Finns celebrate by fishing, relaxing in saunas, organising barbecues and boating. 

 

Itsenäisyyspäivä (December 6th) - Finland’s Independence Day. Finns commemorate the victory and all the lives lost in the Winter and Continuation Wars which took place during World War II by placing candles on windowsills. They also pay their respects by visiting the soldiers’ graves or participating in torchlight processions. 

It is also customary to watch the Presidential Independence Day reception broadcast on TV. To finish the day, families and friends gather for a homemade dinner or go to a restaurant for a nice meal. 

 

Celebrations of writers - Finns are committed to paying tribute to their national poets and writers. Many of them have been given their own day, which commemorates their life and works. 

The most prominent example is J.L Rutenberg’s Day on the 5th of February. Aside from receiving his own holiday, he also had a dessert created in his name! Runebergintorttu is a small, rum-soaked muffin with a little bit of icing and jam on top. They usually line the shelves of every pastry shop in Finland on February 5th.


 

Events in Tampere

 

Tampere Music Festival (Tampereen elokuvajuhlat) - one of the oldest and most renowned short-film festivals in Northern Europe. During the event, you can watch various short films, animations, and documentaries created by Finnish and international producers. The festival also offers a range of thematic workshops and seminars.

The next edition of the festival will take place between the 6th and 10th of March 2024. 


Tampere Floral Festival (Tampereen Kukkaisviikot) - organised in Tampere every second year over the summer. The entire city is decorated with floral displays in vibrant colours, turning it into a huge garden. 

The beautiful sights are accompanied by thematic workshops, exhibitions, guided tours, and concerts. 

  1. Fun things to do around the city 

 

Finnish cuisine

 

Traditional Finnish dishes were mostly designed to help people survive harsh winters and prepared from whatever could be harvested in the unforgiving climate of the North. 

 

Therefore, the star ingredients include different kinds of meat, potatoes and other root vegetables, bread, grains, and fish. 

 

Interestingly, 12% of Finns are vegan or vegetarian, so there are increasingly more plant-based options available across the country. Finland specialises in oats, so an example of a vegan alternative originating from this country is the “pulled oats” replacing the classic pulled pork. 

 

Soups

 

Finland is definitely a soup country. No wonder, given how a bowl of hot soup is the perfect way to chase away the winter chill. Here are some - but not all! - of the most popular (and delicious) Finnish soups:

 

Hernekkeito - pea soup. It is a thick, hearty dish containing pea, pork, and root vegetables. A true Finnish classic - traditionally often enjoyed on Thursdays, although nowadays, Finns are happy to consume it on any day of the week. 

 

Kesäkeitto - soup with all kinds of vegetables: potatoes, carrots, spinach, cauliflower, peas, and green beans. Thickened with flour and milk and garnished with dill. 

 

Salmon soup - creamy, with chunks of salmon and vegetables such as onions, carrots, and potatoes. Often served with a pinch of dill. 

 

Kanttarellikeitto - chantarelle soup. This kind of mushroom commonly grows in the Finnish forests and is featured in many dishes. One of them is this creamy soup, based on vegetable broth and thickened with cream and butter.



 

Stews

 

Finns appreciate the complexity of a stew - the liquidy magic of a soup mixed with the solidity of the abundance of ingredients. Have a look at some of Finland’s favourite stews:

 

Poronkäristys - reindeer stew. Reindeer meat has been part of the national cuisine for ages. The limited availability of vegetables, which can only grow in certain months due to the generally harsh conditions of the North, drew Finns to turn to other sources of food. 

Although many might associate reinders with the cute assistants of Santa, remember that various countries include all kinds of ingredients in their cuisines due to differences in climate, culture, and customs. 

There are many ways to prepare this dish, but in all its versions, it is very rich and designed to help Finns survive harsh winters. Usually served with mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce.

 

Rössypottu - another kind of stew - this one featuring pork, black pudding, smoked bacon, onions, and potatoes.  

 

Nakkikastike - a stew of nakki sausages (similar to the German wiener) in a thick, brown sauce. There are controversies around adding tomato paste to the dish - some claim it’s what adds the flavour, others that the traditional recipe doesn’t contain it. Without a doubt, though, both versions are delicious!


 

Bread 

 

Bread plays a crucial part in the Finnish cuisine. It is not only perceived as a side dish, but as a meal on its own. Finns have turned breadmaking into true art, and here are just some of the examples of the wonders you can sample in this bread-loving country:

 

Karjalanpiirakka - traditional pastry originating from the Eastern region of Finland called Karelia. The crispy rye crust contrasts with the creamy stuffing of rice, carrots, and potatoes. 

 

Kalakukko - a special kind of fish pie. Rye bread with a hearty filling of fish, bacon, and pork. The juices from different kinds of meat stew in the oven for hours, giving the dish an incredibly rich flavour. 

 

Rieska - flatbread. It comes in many varieties, depending on the region. 

 

Ruisleipä - Ruisleipä is the Finnish word for rye bread, which plays a main role in the local cuisine. It comes in all forms and shapes, such as reikäleipä (round bread with a hole in the middle, reminiscent of a giant donut), or näkkileipä (rye crackers). 

 

Leipäjuusto - literally, the word means “cheese bread”, although it’s also commonly known as “squeaky cheese”. It is a special kind of cheese made of curdled cow milk, which is then baked in the oven. This interesting method gives it a consistency halfway between cheese and bread.

It can be enjoyed on its own, served with cloudberry jam, or - most interestingly - dipped in strong black coffee! A definite must-try when you visit Finland. 


 

Others

 

Some elements of the Finnish cuisine just can’t be categorised. Their lack of labels doesn’t make them any less worthy of a mention, so here is a list of delicacies which are beyond being locked in a specific food group:

 

Mustamakkara - black pudding. Formed into thin, long sausages, usually served hot with lingonberry sauce. 

 

Merimiespata - a casserole consisting of potatoes, beef, onions, and - are you ready for it - beer. The alcohol evaporates during the baking process leaving behind the sweet-ish flavour of beer, which intensifies and brings together all the other flavours of the dish. 

 

Kaalilaatikko - another casserole made of cabbage, rice, and ground pork, seasoned with rich herbs. Often served with lingonberry sauce. 

 

New potatoes - Finns love them. They can accompany literally any dish - meat, fish, or other vegetables. Even served with nothing more than a spoonful of butter, a little bit of dill, and a pinch of salt, they can constitute a meal of their own. 

As they only grow in late spring and over the summer, Finns associate them with the few precious hot months.

 

Graavilohi - smoked salmon. A staple in both Finnish and Norwegian cuisine. The thinly sliced salmon is cured in a rich marinade of salt, sugar, and dill. Typically served with - you guessed it - bread, mustard, or potatoes.


 

Desserts

 

Sugar is essential to surviving long winters. Finns are aware of that more than anyone, so their national cuisine includes its fair share of tasty desserts to tickle the palates and warm up the hearts:

 

Korvapuusti - cinnamon buns. Usually enjoyed with a cup of strong coffee the Finns are crazy for. 

 

Laskiaispulla - puffy, cardamon-flavoured buns. They are filled with jam, whipped cream, or a special kind of almond paste. Their size guarantees it is no fickle dessert but a serious feast. Traditionally eaten on Laskiainen - the Finnish equivalent of Shrove Tuesday. 

 

Tippaleipä - deep-fried funnel cakes with a delicate lemon flavour and dusted with powdered sugar. Commonly eaten on Vappu - the Finnish May Day holiday. 

 

Mannapuuro - a creamy, sticky porridge made of semolina and milk. It is served hot and eaten for either breakfast or dessert. Best served drizzled with butter and garnished with fresh fruit.

 

Mustikkapiirakka - bilberry pie. Bilberries commonly grow in Finnish forests, and people like picking them to eat fresh or turn them into a delicious pie filling. 

 

Salmiaki - black liquorice is a controversial subject. You either love it or hate it - there is no in-between. Finns find themselves on the former side of the spectrum. 

They also like playing with fire, because the beloved candy is additionally flavoured with ammonium chloride. This gives the liquorice a specific salty flavour. 

Love it or hate it - it is the Finnish equivalent of the American saltwater taffy, so bear in mind there are other nations who like blurring the lines between sweet and savoury!


 

Beverages 

 

Non-alcoholic 

 

Finns don’t need alcohol to enjoy a good drink. They have a variety of hot and cold beverages with the alcohol content of exactly 0%.

 

Hot drinks

 

A necessary fixture in a generally cold country. Long winter nights become shorter with a mug of delicious, steaming-hit liquid:

 

Kahvi - Finns are crazy about coffee. According to Her Finland, the average Finnish person consumes 8 to 9 cups of coffee daily! It shouldn’t come as a surprise, though. Hot, strong coffee is a surefire way to get through a freezing winter day.

 

Glögi - this hot beverage originates from Sweden, but is popular in all of Scandinavia. Unlike the central European mulled wine, glögi is usually non-alcoholic. You can make it an alcoholic drink by adding wine or another kind of spirit to it. 


 

Cold drinks

 

Winters in Finland are long, but they don’t last forever! Eventually, the summer finally comes, and Finns are thrilled to enjoy an array of cold, refreshing drinks:

 

Pommac - a non-alcoholic alternative to wine. Its recipe has been held a secret for the entire century since the drink was introduced in 1919, but it is generally known that it’s made of fermented fruit, including berries. Originally from Sweden, but equally loved in Finland. 

 

Piimä - sour/curdled milk. Don’t knock it till you try it! It is a delicacy in many European countries, and it only sounds weird at the beginning. If so many people like it, there has got to be some truth to it.


 

Alcoholic

 

In Finland, you can only buy strong spirits in special shops with a license called Alko. You probably associate the country with Finlandia Vodka, but in truth, Finland has a lot more to offer in the alcoholic department:

 

Sahti and kotikalja - 2 kinds of Finnish farmhouse ale. Sahti is much stronger than kotikalja - the latter has very little to no alcohol content, to the point it is sometimes safe to serve it to children.

 

Sima - sparkling mead. Just like kotikalja, the very low alcohol content (or none at all in some cases) makes it suitable for children. Made of yeast, lemon, and raisins. 

 

Koskenkorva viina - a clear spirit, very similar to vodka. It is described as a little beet sweeter than the famous Finlandia, despite the fact that it has no added sugar. 

 

Jaloviina - brandy-based liquor. It proudly constitutes the majority of alcohol sales in Finland. 

 

Lakkalikööri - cloudberry liquor. Very sweet, but also quite strong. 

 

Lonkero - the alcoholic drink of gin and grapefruit soda. Nowadays, multiple flavours are available (lime, cranberry, orange, lemon, cassis) and lonkero has become Finland’s favourite. 


 

Tampere’s best food places

 

The culinary scene is very well-developed in Tampere. The price of eating out varies and depends on the place, but tipping is generally not as common in Finland as it is in some other European countries.

 

Restaurants

 

Tampere is a crib for fine dining. Fans of high-quality dining experiences will feel at home here, as the city has a lot of gourmet restaurants to offer. 

 

Näsinneula Restaurant - this revolving restaurant takes its name from being located on top of the Näsinneula Tower. It is on the pricey side, but the gourmet food paired with stunning views is worth every cent!

 

Bertha - the essence of fine dining. Bertha offers four and six-course menus, which change almost every day. The selection of dishes depends on the availability of fresh ingredients on that day and the chef’s mood. 

It is definitely not a budget option, but there is a reason it has figured among the top 50 best restaurants in Finland for years now! Not to mention, it is a verified favourite among the locals.

 

4 Vuodenaikaa - one of the restaurants located in Tampere’s famous market hall, Tampereen Kauppahalli. The menu offers both Finnish and French cuisines - an interesting combination, but one you surely cannot miss. 

 

Myllärit - located in a brick mill that is over a century old, this restaurant offers a unique atmosphere paired with a good meal. It is located in the very heart of the city, right in front of the city hall, and close to the Tullintori shopping centre and the train station, so it will always be on your way!

 

Muusa - a vegan and vegetarian-friendly place combining the flavours of Mediterranean, North African, and Middle-Eastern cuisines. Sounds like an interesting mix? Many people think so, because this trendy restaurant located in the Olympia quarter of Tampere is a real hit!

 

Kajo - this one simply couldn’t be missing from the list of the best restaurants in Tampere. The chefs at Kajo do not only serve food - they celebrate it. Located close to Bertha, Kajo also hasn’t lost the title of one of Finland’s best restaurants since day one.

This unique restaurant celebrates food, honours nature, and encourages its guest to enjoy the meals in groups and share the experience. 


 

Cafés

 

Finns are crazy about their coffee. For that reason, you can be sure to stumble upon your fair share of cute cafés and cosy coffee shops when strolling around Tampere:

 

Pyynikin Munkkikahvila - this family-owned business located in the Pynikki Observational Tower has grown to the size of a true legend. They are mostly famous for their doughnuts, and a special kind of coffee created to go with the doughnuts. Rumour has it, their doughnuts are the best in all of Finland. 

 

Pella’s Café - more than just a café - Pella’s is a meeting spot. Their motto is “always fresh, always best", and their 3 main points of focus are: speed, smoothness, and friendliness. Their freshly-baked pastries are to die for, and the relaxed atmosphere will quickly make it your new favourite place in Tampere. 

 

Vohvelikahvila - The Waffle Café has both sweet and savoury options on the menu. Have you ever tried tacos in the form of a waffle? If not, you can find this original dish here! The café is located in the very heart of Tampere, tempting you to stop by every time you pass by.

 

Fazer - the name may sound familiar. This is because it is also Finland’s most famous chocolate brand! They have now opened cosy cafés in several locations across the country, inviting over for dessert or brunch. 

 

Puisto - this classy place is a blend between a café and a restaurant. We recommend a visit for a light but filling brunch consisting of fresh fruit, waffles, salads, or yoghurt. If you come in the summer, make sure to sit out on the sunny terrace. 


Nightlife

 

Long winters make for long nights. Regardless of whether they are actually dark, or they are tinted white during the “eternal day” period, the people of Tampere have a lot of options to choose from to spend their nights in a fun way:

 

Ilona - known for its energetic atmosphere and late-night parties, Ilona is located in the heart of the city. It offers multiple dance floors - each one playing a different genre of music, so everyone will find something for themselves!

 

Ilves - stylish and classy, Ilves is not the type of club where the crowd gets rowdy. The establishment keeps a strict dress code, which is a bit more formal than most clubs. That’s not where the entry requirements end - you need to be a bit older to be let in than in most clubs, as the minimum age of entry is 22. 

 

Bar Passion - proudly calls itself “The King of Bars”. The title is splashed right across the top of their website, and for a good reason! You can enjoy a drink and have fun inside, or out on the breezy terrace. 

 

Galaxie Center - something out of the ordinary. Next to being a bar, this place is primarily a billiard centre! There are 20 billiard and 3 snooker tables available to the patrons, and plenty of board games you can play free of charge. Your level of proficiency in billiards doesn’t matter - being able to hold the cue is enough to have fun! 

 

Tullikamari - the place to be for live music lovers. Every evening, you can stop by to watch a gig or see a band perform live. Visit their website for the full list of upcoming events. You can also rent out the entire venue for a special occasion!

 

Bar K - a classy hangout spot with good music, good alcohol, and a nice atmosphere. Hop over for themed evenings, a broad selection of board games, and reasonably priced drinks. 


 

Places to go / Things to do

 

The culinary scene of Tampere is impressive, but good food is not all the city has to offer. You can spend a lifetime in Tampere and never get bored, duo to the wide array of entertainment of all kind you can find here:

 

Parks

 

Finland places a lot of importance on preserving the natural environment and maintaining sustainable growth. Finnish citizens appreciate contact with nature, and seek it out regularly. The proximity of Tampere to a wide array of hiking trails, parks, and natural reserves, makes is easy:

 

Pyynikki Park - although the name suggests it is a park, it is more reminiscent of a small forest. You can enjoy a walk along a scenic route, then have lunch at one of the picnic tables. The park is also home to the famous Pyynikki Observational Tower, offering panoramic views of the city.

 

Viinikanpuisto - a historic park pleasing the eye with a variety of landscaped gardens, manicured lawns, and various trees and flowers. It is often frequented by students due to its proximity to the Tampere University area. It is especially breathtaking in autumn, when the ancient trees turn all shades of yellow, red, orange, and brown. 

 

Halimasjärvi Nature Reserve - a serene, scenic spot between districts Atala, Kumpula, and Risso. Enjoy a peaceful walk along the trail leading around the beautiful lake and reset from everyday city life. Although this idyllic place feels so removed from civilisation, it is actually accessible by a city bus, so you can easily visit it as often as you wish. 

 

Pyykkimettä Park - one of the most frequently photographed spots in Tampere. You can admire the glittering lake stretching out below the trail, and appreciate the charming traditional wooden houses scattered around. The park’s location, just a few kilometres away from the city centre, makes it a very accessible hangout spot. 

 

There is so much nature to see in and around Tampere, we couldn’t possibly mention them all! If you are a fan of hiking, long walks in the parks, and reconnecting with nature in nature reserves, head over to Visit Tampere’s guide!



 

Museums 

 

Tampere is a city with its eyes set on the future - but it surely does not forget about its past. There are numerous museums in the city you can enjoy, both as a temporary visitor and a permanent resident:

 

Vapriikki - an entire museum complex located in an old factory building. It hosts approximately a dozen exhibitions across different areas every year: technology, history, industry, art, and culture. 

Apart from the rotating exhibitions, the premises of Vapriikki host 5 separate museums:

 

It is an inspiring place suitable for multiple visits!


 

Tampere Art Museum - features exhibitions of both historical and contemporary art, from both Finnish and international artists. The museum and the awe-inspiring building itself are the 3rd oldest in Finland. 

The museum is also known for its annual exhibition, Young Artist of the Year. The event is focused on promoting rising artists in all domains. This year, it celebrates Eetu Huhtala - a sculptor operating within the multisensory area, creating mechanical and large-scale metal sculptures. 


 

Moomin Museum - the world’s only Moomin Museum! This establishment located in Tampere Hall features an entire collection dedicated just to Moomins. The cherry on top of this unique experience is the real-life blue five-storey Moomin House. A definite must-see!


 

Finnish Labour Museum Werstas - educates about the working life and social history of Finland. The country is proud of its largely industrial heritage, so this spot is an important one to visit in Tampere. All the better - the entry is always free!

 

Spy Museum - the world’s first museum of this kind. Not many people are aware of it, but thanks to its geopolitical status and technological advancement, espionage has been prominent in Finland. Seems fitting that it would be the first country to open such an establishment!


 

Other spots

 

If you have been to all the parks and visited all the museums (if it’s even possible to see all of them!), don’t worry! There are plenty of other activities you can enjoy in Tampere:

 

Särkänniemi Theme Park - an amusement park with a very attractive location on a peninsula-like piece of land jutting out into the lake, close to the city centre. The park is literally surrounded by water, which makes for fantastic views from the numerous carousels and rollercoasters. 

 

Rauhaniemi beach - located by the Näsijärvi Lake, it is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying picnics with family and friends. 

 

Tampere city cathedral (Tampereen tuomiokirkko) - a beautiful Lutheran church in the heart of the city. It is worth a visit for its stunning interior decor and its status as one of the main landmarks of Tampere.

 

Näsinneula Tower - Tampere’s iconic landmark. It offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding lakes from an impressive height of 168 metres. It is located right next to the Särkänniemi Theme Park and sports a rotating restaurant on the very top. 


 

Sports

 

Finland’s number one sport is undoubtedly ice hockey. The most-known teams in Tampere are Tappara and Ilves. Both of them play in the top-tier Finnish Liiga and compete in the “Tampere Derby” matches, which receive a lot of attention from fans.

 

Finns are also football enthusiasts - in Tampere, they can support either Ilves or Tampere United. Both also compete in the Finnish football league system, attracting fans from in and outside of the city.

 

As we have mentioned, the citizens of Finland are quite active. Not only do they watch sports and support their favourite teams, but they happily participate in a variety of outdoor activities. Hiking is made easy by the numerous hiking trails surrounding Tampere. 

 

Sports which are popular in Finland but may not be as well-known in other countries include floorball (salibandy) and Finnish baseball (pesäpallo). 



 

Shopping in Tampere

 

Tampere offers a wide array of shopping opportunities of all kinds - be it traditional market halls with rich history, or modern commercial centres featuring both shops and entertainment venues:

 

Tampere Market Hall (Tampereen Kauppahali) - this market located in a stunning art nouveau building has been supplying the citizens of Tampere since 1901. Many visit just for the multiple food stalls and cafés offering delicious cuisines from all around the world.

Others come for fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, and even aromatic spices. You can also get a haircut or new shoes. It’s all inclusive!

 

Ratina - one of the largest shopping centres in Tampere, located in the heart of the city. Next to a variety of shops of all kinds, it also features a supermarket, a food court, and a cinema complex. 

 

Tullintori - another major shopping centre, known for its easy accessibility by public transport. Pop in for a shopping spree accompanied by a nice meal in one of the numerous restaurants. 


 

  1. Cost of living in Tampere, Finland

 

The cost of living in Finland as a whole slightly exceeds the European average. According to Info Finland, you can expect to pay up to 20% more for food and non-alcoholic beverages, and around 23% more for goods and services. 

 

Alcohol is quite expensive in all Northern countries, and Finland is no exception. You can only purchase strong alcohol in special licensed shops across the country, and you should prepare to pay for it approximately 40% more than the European average. 

 

Bear in mind that the prices vary depending on the location - they will be higher in big cities, such as Tampere. However, services funded by tax revenue are cheaper than in many other European countries. 


 

Food / Grocery shopping

 

As mentioned above, food in Finland can cost about ¼ more than the European average. K-Market, Lidl, and Alepa (mostly in the area of Helsinki) are some of the most popular supermarket chains in Finland. 

 

Below, you can find an estimate of how much buying some of the products you need every day will cost you in Tampere:
 

 

Other expenses

 

When planning your expenses in Finland, you also need to include the cost of your data and mobile plan, as well as the TV. 

 

Some of the most common telecommunications companies in Finland include:

 


 

When it comes to clothes, some cheap retail chains common in other European countries are not available in Finland. Because of that, prices of clothing also slightly exceed the European average. 

 

When calculating clothing into your cost of living, remember that you will need different clothes for every season. Expats from warmer regions often forget to take into account that living in a country with prominent winters, you are going to need two different wardrobes - one for the summer, and a whole other one for the winter.

 

It is also worth noting that winter clothes are often quite expensive. However, if you invest in a thick winter coat or solid boots of good quality, they will last you for a few solid seasons. Spending so much money on brand winter clothing won’t be pleasant, but approach it as an investment. 


 

Taxes

 

Finland adopts a progressive tax system. This means that how much tax you pay depends on how much money you make. Taxes are paid from both earned income and capital income (income coming from assets). Both types of income are taxed differently.

 

If you come to Finland from abroad, how much tax you pay depends on the duration of your stay in the country and whether your employer is Finnish or not.

 

Taxes are deducted directly from your salary by the employer. The amount of tax you have paid is evaluated by the Tax Administration every year. If you have paid too much tax, you will be given a refund. If you haven’t paid enough, you will be asked to pay the missing amount. 

 

If you live in Finland for more than 6 months every year, you will usually have to pay tax from all your income (including all income from abroad) in Finland. Find more detailed guidance on the dedicated page by the Finnish Tax Administration. 

 

The standard VAT rate in Finland is 24%, but a reduced rate of 14% applies to certain goods and services. 

 

Tax card

 

In order to have your tax deducted from your salary, you must provide your employer with your tax card. It is a document stating your tax rate. If you don’t show it to them, they will automatically deduct 60% of your salary as taxes!

 

You will receive the tax card from the tax office when you move to Finland. In order to obtain it, you will have to give an estimated income you expect to earn over the whole year. You will also need a Finnish personal identity number. 

 

If you live in Finland permanently, you will receive a new tax card every December or January. 



 

Medical care 

 

You can access Finland’s public health services if you have a municipality of residence in Finland. You may also be entitled to some healthcare features on the grounds of your Kela benefits. 

 

You can also opt for private insurance, but private health care in Finland is considerably more expensive than the public system. Public healthcare services are more affordable because they are funded by taxes. You do not need a municipality of residence to access private health services. 

 

If you are an EU citizen, you can get access to the healthcare services Finnish citizens benefit from on the basis of owning an EHIC card. Apply for the card in your home country, and make sure you renew it every time it expires!

 

Finland’s public health care is managed by the well-being services countries (hyvinvointialue). Each of them runs their own regional health and social services centres (sosiaali- ja terveyskeskus). They can function under different names under various well-being services counties: the ones in Tampere are called terveysasema. 

 

They are located all around the city and offer a range of primary healthcare services, such as:

 

  • general check-ups

  • treatment of minor illnesses and injuries

  • preventative care

  • vaccinations. 

 

The centres are open Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM. In order to make an appointment, you can call (preferably as soon as they open in the morning) or use the appointment system specific to each healthcare centre.

 

Depending on your situation, you will be told whether you will be seen by a doctor or a nurse. Nurses are legally qualified to treat various illnesses in Finland. In more serious or complex cases, the nurse will refer you to a doctor. 

 

Similarly, if you wish to see a specialist, make an appointment with a general doctor first. They will assess the situation and refer you to a relevant specialist if necessary. Always bring your Kela card with you when attending medical appointments.

 

In case of emergencies, the largest hospitals in Tampere include:

 

  • Tampere University Hospital (TAYS)

  • Tampere Central Hospital

 

The emergency phone number in Finland is 112. In Finland doctors working at public health service points do not offer home visits. Some private healthcare institutions offer this service. 


Films and books set in Tampere

 

Movies 


 

  • The Unknown Soldier (Tuntematon sotilas) (1955)

 

A Finnish war movie based on the famous novel by a well-renown Finnish author Väinö Linna. It depicts the experiences of a platoon of Finnish soldiers during World War II. It has been acclaimed as the most successful domestic film in Finland. Ever since the year 2000, it is shown on national television every year on Independence Day (December 6th). Some of the scenes of the film feature Tampere.


 

  • Bad Boys (Pahat pojat) (2003)

 

When their father is placed in a mental health institution, four brothers begin committing petty crimes. The story is based on a real story of a crime family known as “the Daltons of Eura”. It showcases the gritty environment of urban Tampere. Directed by Aleksi Mäkel.


 

  • The Other Side of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen) (2017)

 

Although the main setting of the film is Helsinki, Tampere is also featured in some scenes. This recent film tells the story of a former salesman, now a restaurateur whose guilty pleasure is poker, who meets and befriends a group of refugees who have recently arrived to Finland. Directed by Aki Kaurismäki.



 

Books

 

  • Under the North Star (Täällä Pohjantähden alla) by Väinö Linna

 

A trilogy of novels by a famous Finnish author, published between 1959 and 1962. The books tell the story of the Finnish working-class people from the late 19th century to the end of World War II. Throughout the novels, you will find references to Tampere and its industrial history. It is a very important work for Tampere and all of Finland, given the impact of the country’s industrial past on its present.


 

  • Trench Road (Tienhaara) by Matti Rönkä

 

A more recent work, published in 2013. It is primarily set in Tampere and gives the city a mysterious tinge, as it follows a journalist investigating a murder case. The investigation turns out to be his pass into the criminal underworld of Tampere. The book is a real page-turner, but we promise the city itself is very safe!

 

Tampere playlist

 

Tampere has its own, unique vibe. We tried to capture it by creating a playlist inspired by the city. We recommend giving it a listen before you make the move to get a feel of Tampere:


Tampere lures you in with its undeniable charm. Because it is still an underrated destination among expats, it is the perfect place for those wanting to avoid big international crowds and who wish nothing more than to re-connect with nature, while at the same time, living in the heart of a well-developed, urban city.

 

We hope we have managed to highlight all the reasons why Tampere is a great place to live and work in, and are certain that relocating there will be one of the best decisions you have ever made.

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