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 metamorphosed into one of Finland’s most enjoyable cities, with free outdoor concerts, a healthy nightlife and cracking modern art. Even its old industry is now part of its edgy appeal: check the bars and the boutiques in the former factories and the hipsters hanging out alongside the weirs and canals.
The main streets run off either side of Hämeenkatu. At its western edge, Hämeenpuisto runs north–south. Further west, in undulations of parkland interspersed with churches and grand residential addresses, the isthmus that divides the two lakes of Näsijarvi and Pyhäjärvi stretches away.