Journey into the Sunlit North: Exploring Oulu and Beyond in Summer

Just three hours away from Munich by direct Lufthansa flight lies this gem of Northern Finland nestled by the sea. Oulu, Finland’s fifth-largest city and European Capital of Culture 2026, welcomes visitors to a captivating blend of maritime charm and urban vibrancy. With excellent road trip opportunities and a summer calendar bursting with events, there’s something for everyone, including family-friendly attractions such as a children’s amusement park, water park, and the scenic Turkansaari island. In Oulu, you can indulge in a myriad of activities including cycling and kayaking along the river delta, explore an array of summer cafes and restaurants, and immerse yourself in the perfect fusion of nature and city life.

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Summer Roadtrip to the Arctic Seaside: 10+ Exciting Destinations Nearby

Oulu is located on the Pohjola Route, with 11 different destinations in the Northern Finland, making it an ideal summer roadtrip destination. Get to know the shores and the fells, wetlands and forests, lakes, rivers, the Bothnian Bay and national park sceneries. Experience the authentic culture sculpted by local nature, history and people. You can travel the Pohjola Route by car, caravan, bicycle, or by utilizing public transportation.

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Strolling Through the City of Oulu: River Delta, City Parks & Summer Cafés

Nestled amidst nature, Oulu is a compact city that invites exploration on foot, bike, or even by kayak. With its river and sea embracing the landscape, Oulu’s greenery offers a serene backdrop for outdoor adventures. Oulu’s relaxed atmosphere and laid-back vibes ensure there’s never a rush. Here, it’s easy to take things slow and savor the moment. Plus, with an abundance of excellent restaurants, foodies will find themselves spoiled for choice. In summer, cyclists can traverse the city’s excellent bike paths, winding through parks and along waterfronts. Quaint summer cafes scattered throughout the city provide perfect spots to relax with a coffee or sweet treat. For a unique perspective, rent a canoe/kayak or SUP board to glide along the river, discovering hidden corners of the city. And when it’s time to unwind, Oulu’s inviting parks offer ideal settings for picnics under the sun. In Oulu, nature and urban life harmonize, promising memorable experiences amidst the city’s picturesque scenery.

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Nallikari by the Sea: Everything You Could Want From a Holiday

Nallikari Beach, just a stone’s throw away from the heart of Oulu, is often dubbed as the “Riviera of the North”. From cozy campsites to stylish villas and the brand-new Nallikari Aalto Apartment Hotel boasting captivating sea views, accommodations cater to every taste. Indulge in a variety of dining options at Nallikari, ranging from Scandinavian cuisine at the Nallikari Restaurant to Italian delicacies at the newly opened Bistoria Patio. For those seeking adventure, Nallikari Safaris provides kayaking and biking tours, while nature enthusiasts can explore the area’s scenic trails. Top off your active day with Osfysio massage and wellness services! Traditional Finnish Jopo bikes and canoes are available for rent by Oulu Safaris in Nallikari. The beach also boasts family-friendly attractions such as the Vauhtipuisto kids’ amusement park and Potnapekka city train, starting from Nallikari, and taking you on a journey through the summery city. Renowned for its stunning sunsets and picturesque waterfront promenade, Nallikari is a beloved destination, cherished by locals and visitors alike. Nallikari is just a short walk or bike ride away from the city center and various attractions, including city parks and museums.

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Unveiling Oulu's Summer Charms: From Floating Saunas to River Taxi

Summer in Oulu and its surroundings is a playground of quirky delights. Picture floating saunas, like Koivurannan Saunalautta floating sauna raft, gently bobbing along the river, offering a uniquely Finnish way to relax amidst nature’s beauty. Meanwhile, the Sea Oulu river taxi provides a novel mode of transportation, ferrying passengers to bustling summer terraces and offering stunning views of the river delta landscapes. You can also explore the cityscape from a unique perspective aboard the beloved Potnapekka miniature train, a favorite among both children and adults. Don’t miss out on the Hailuoto Brewery (Hailuodon Panimo), nestled on the picturesque island of Hailuoto. Renowned for its craft beers and housed in a beautifully restored building, it’s acclaimed as Finland’s most beautiful brewery restaurant. They also have another venue located in the charming Pikisaari island, just a short walk from Oulu Market Square. Known as Mallassauna, this pub offers cozy outdoors saunas for guests to enjoy.

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Fun-Filled Adventures: From Kids' Amusement Parks to Experiences in the Nature

Summer in Oulu is packed with kid-friendly activities, guaranteeing endless fun for the whole family. Nallikari Beach is a top pick, with its safe shallow waters perfect for young swimmers. Nearby, there’s also Vauhtipuisto Kids’ Amusement Park. For a unique water adventure, Lappis Floating Water Park features inflatable slides and trampolines. Alpaca Farm Linnunradan tila offers forest walks with adorable alpacas. History comes to life at Kierikki Stone Age Center and Turkansaari Open-Air Museum, where interactive exhibits immerse visitors in the rich heritage of the Oulu region. From traditional farmhouses to grazing sheep, children can explore the past while enjoying the picturesque surroundings. On rainy days, you can dive into adventure at the indoor activity park Superpark or scale new heights at the Oulu Climbing Centre. With family-friendly restaurants and accommodations scattered throughout the city, Oulu makes it easy for parents to plan stress-free outings with their little ones in town.

Events & Festivals: Is Your Air Guitar Ready to Rock?

Oulu’s summer is packed with fun events and festivals for everyone. One highlight is the Air Guitar World Championships in August, where people from all over the world come to show off their imaginary guitar skills. But that’s just the start. There’s food festivals, music concerts, art shows, sports events, and more. Oulu buzzes with energy and excitement, offering something enjoyable for all. With its rich cultural scene and diverse array of activities, it’s no wonder Oulu has been chosen as the European Capital of Culture for 2026. So, grab your air guitar and join the fun in Oulu’s dynamic events and festivals!

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Come see Finland like you’ve never seen her before.

Here's a quick overview of Oulu, Finland!

  • Just a 3-hour direct flight from Munich to Oulu with Lufthansa
  • Finland’s fifth-largest city with a population of about 212,000 residents
  • University city, known for high technology (the home of Nokia and Oura)
  • Close to the Arctic Circle: offering enchanting nights without darkness, with the midnight sun
  • Near the Swedish border and on the Bothnian Coastal Route
  • Nominated as the European Capital of Culture in 2026
  • Home to unique, creative events like the Air Guitar World Championship and Polar Bear Pitching
  • Located amidst stunning natural beauty: two national parks nearby!

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