Scandinavia’s largest inland city, Tampere is a leafy place of cobbled avenues, sculpture-filled parks and two sizeable, placid lakes. It was long a manufacturing centre, but thanks to an impressive arts patronage, it has become one of Finland’s most enjoyable cities, with free outdoor concerts, a healthy nightlife and one of the best modern art collections in the country.
The main streets run off either side of Hämeenkatu. To the left, up slender Hämeenpuisto, the Lenin Museum at no. 28 commemorates the revolutionary’s ties with Finland and his life in general; the absorbing exhibition has a devoted, trainspotter feel. Moomin fans shouldn’t miss the adorable Moomin Museum in the basement of the city library at Hämeenpuisto 20, a respectful and exhaustive overview of Tove Jansson’s creations. Nearby, at Puutarhakatu 34, the Art Museum of Tampere holds temporary art exhibitions, but if you’re looking for Finnish art you might be better off visiting the Hiekka Art Gallery, a few minutes’ walk away at Pirkankatu 6. Better still is the tremendous Sara Hildén Art Museum, built on the shores of Näsijärvi, a quirky collection of Finnish and foreign modern works.