Tune into art

Oulu has its own frequency – tune into it. Experience the city’s art and history and be somebody else for a while. Serving suggestion: Enjoy with all your senses!

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Musicians in the city centre

Urban Festival Oulu Days

Oulu Days is an urban festival with long-standing traditions – it has been organised since 1962. Oulu Days is a festival which welcomes everyone to arrange an event by offering it to be included in the Oulu Days programme. The festival takes place on the first weekend of September from Friday until Sunday. The concept of Oulu Days is to be a communal event entity in which a range of different communities creates the programme together. The organisers of Oulu Days events includes companies, associations, public sector operators and even private persons. The festival supports new urban culture without forgetting the long traditions.

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90100, Oulu
Louise Bourgeois: Triptych for the Red Room (3)

Dance! Movement in the Visual Arts 1880–2020

Can dance be captured in an artwork? Can bodies in motion be frozen as images?

Dance! invites you to experience a meeting of two art forms: dance and visual art. The works featured convey the spectrum of affect that can be expressed through dance: from passion, bliss and joie de vivre to wistfulness, sorrow and vulnerability. Bodies in motion radiate with life and energy, but they also carry a reminder of our lack of defence to fatigue, illness, and the inexorability of death.

At the heart of the exhibition are collections of Finnish art museums from the 20th century, and how the works in the collections reflect embodiment and motion but also currents in the history of art and culture at large – while at the same time touching on broader social questions. On one hand, dance is associated with the idea of liberating and revolutionary joy, but, on the other hand, with the precise and focused practice of choreographed movement. The exhibition explores how aestheticized movement has been represented in the visual arts as two-dimensional images and three-dimensional forms, and how the moving body has embodied different identities, gender roles and cultural ideals.

The exhibition is based on the original concept of the HAM Helsinki Art Museum, curated by art and cultural historian Hanna-Reetta Schreck and exhibition curator Merimaa. Schreck and chef curator Elina Vieru are responsible for the updated version of the exhibition presented in Oulu and the new selection of works.

Kasarmintie 9
90100, Oulu
Oil painting from 1896.

De Urbe Uloa – Paintings of Oulu

De Urbe Uloa – Paintings of Oulu showcases paintings from the collections of the Northern Ostrobothnia Museum. Most of the approximately 30 works have never been exhibited before.

The selection features oils, watercolours and gouaches of downtown Oulu streets and buildings, some of them still in existence, some of them gone. The paintings have been received to the museum’s collections as part of donations.

Ainolanpolku 1
90130, Oulu
A happy girl is playing that she is fishing.

Playroom Leikkilä

In the playroom called Leikkilä, children can experience what it felt like to be a child more than 100 years ago. Imagine yourself to the role of a market seller, fisher or the child of a merchant family.

The Northern Ostrobothnia Museum has opened a playroom of approximately 30 square meters decorated and furnished in the style of Oulu at the turn of the 19th and the 20th centuries. The exhibition is hands-on and action-based with numerous historical toys.

The exhibition is accompanied by a newspaper that showcases the topical concerns, talking points, travel destinations and – of course – toys of the day.

The playroom has been designed following the principles of sustainable development. Many recycled materials are used, and a number of favourite items from past exhibition have been brought back.

Ainolanpolku 1
90130, Oulu
Orchestra playing in the Rotuaari

Urban Festival Oulu Days

Oulu Days is an urban festival with long-standing traditions – it has been organised since 1962. Oulu Days is a festival which welcomes everyone to arrange an event by offering it to be included in the Oulu Days programme. The festival takes place on the first weekend of September from Friday until Sunday. The concept of Oulu Days is to be a communal event entity in which a range of different communities creates the programme together. The organisers of Oulu Days events includes companies, associations, public sector operators and even private persons. The festival supports new urban culture without forgetting the long traditions.

Hallituskatu 5
90100, Oulu

Arctic Food Lab Pop up

Enjoy early autumn and mornings in a local market hall and step up to Arctic Food Lab pop up to explore arctic food!

Pop up is open between 1st of August until 3rd of September in Oulun Kauppahalli.

There is info about Arctic Food Lab, local food, companies presented and food related theme days.

On Saturdays there is live music.

Come and leave your favourite recipe spiced with Arctic Food Lab touch! Three best recipes – with most fresh touch and best imagination – will published in Arctic Food Lab contents during autumn.

Traditional favourite recipes will be collected in Oulu2026 area aim to publish Arctic Food Lab recipe book before year 2026 – Oulu to be European capital of culture!

Arctic Food Lab – Northern Delicacies to the World
Northern Finland’s short but intensive summer ripens our local ingredients. Arctic Food Lab is one part of Oulu2026-culture programme that brings forth the ingredients that have grown under the Oulu2026 region’s Northern sky, and the uniqueness of traditional food born under arctic circumstances.

Arctic Food Lab brings together those operating in gastronomy and food culture in the Oulu region and celebrates Northern cuisine and gastronomy. You will recognize local tastes and experiences from this trademark.

www.arcticfoodlab.fi

Arctic Food Lab Pop up is a trial point, that is co-financed with Oulu Culture Foundation, Council of Oulu Region and City of Oulu.

Opening hours
From Monday to Friday 8-17 and Saturdays 8-16

See you at Oulun Kauppahalli on August!

Kauppatori
90100, Oulu

Jumpru Patio Live!

Jumpru Patio Live! – club will start at Jumpru Pub Patio on Tuesday June 14th and there will be live music every week from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 pm to 10.30 pm.

The Jumpru X OMJ Jazzpatio club is always on our menu on Tuesdays, soulful and rhythmic Soul Kitchen club on Wednesdays and a Rytmipatio club will take turns on Thursdays with weekly changing themes. On Fridays and Saturdays everyone gets to sing when the popular Allsång På Jumpru club take its turn.

Clubs have an age limit of 20 and free admission.

Websites unfortunately only in Finnish at the moment!

Kauppurienkatu 6
90100, Oulu

Oulu Music Video Festival

Oulu Music Video Festival is a four-day spectacle of music and moving pictures that brings together young and youthful people, both music and film professionals, enthusiasts and consumers on the last warm evenings of the summer.

The Festival presents hundreds of music videos, movies, documentaries and special screenings. In addition, the authors of the videos express their own views from different perspectives in some of the screenings. The best Finnish music videos and video makers are rewarded at the prestigious Pumpeli Gala.

The festival organizes also live clubs and other music video related activities in local bars.

The artistic director of the festival is Anna-Mari Nousiainen. The event is produced by the Oulu Music Video Festivals Association.

Hallituskatu 7
90100, Oulu

Oulu Arts Night

Oulu Arts Night is a magical night full of culture!

Oulu Arts Night lets musicians, actors, dancers, writers, and artists take over the streets and parks and offer unique experiences for everyone. The festival lasts for only one night but the number of visitors takes up to 30 000!

The goal is to make arts and culture easy to reach and thus most of the events and performances are free of charge. Professionals and amateurs alike can bring their performances to the Arts Night.

Hallituskatu 7
90100, Oulu

Literary Art Festival Muusajuhlat

Literary Art Festival Muusajuhlat (Muse Festival) is the most notable literary happening in Oulu area. The festival brings together poets, writers, musicians, and artists from all around Finland. The versatile programme offers something for literary enthusiasts of all ages.

The programme is mostly in Finnish but there are also events that include multiple art forms and are suitable for non-Finnish speakers.

The events take place in restaurants, libraries and nearby municipalities in Oulu. Most events are free of charge.

The nine poems or muses of antiquity have inspired humanity since ancient times. Now the muses are calling us to the world of reading and writing once again. The books delight, enchant and captivate. When reading them you can empathize, be charmed, reminisce, stray and linger – the books have all our stories and countless worlds.

The festival is produced by Huutomerkki ry.

Kaarlenväylä 3
90100, Oulu

Air Gui­tar World Cham­pions­hips

Incredible performances, international love and big emotions – welcome to the airiest competition in the world!

The Air Guitar World Championships is a celebration of love and peace. Since 1996, the semi absurd performance art has grown into a favourite of international audiences and media, spreading its message around the world.

The year of air guitar culminates in August in Oulu, where national champions and black horses arrive to compete for the world championship title. The official Air Guitar World Championships network includes over 10 countries from almost all continents.

The AGWC Finals offers performances from the world’s best air guitarists and a magnificent show for old and new friends of air guitar. In the Black Horses Qualifying Round the night before, the prize is an instant place to the world finals. In addition to the contest events, Air Guitar World Championships offer air guitar-themed events for tourists.

The next Air Guitar World Championship competition takes place 23–25 August 2023. The Air Guitar World Championships are organized by Airnest Productions Oy.

Kirkkokatu 17
90100, Oulu
tyttö soittaa viulua, taustalla taulu

Ou­lun­sa­lo Soi Cham­ber Music Fes­ti­val

Oulunsalo Soi is a versatile, intimate and high-class chamber music festival that brings great pieces, premieres and musical delights to the Oulu region. The festival’s concerts and events are surprising, touching, and sometimes a bit whimsical too.

Oulunsalo Soi presents both international and domestic top names and rising stars. The concerts invite you to more traditional concert halls as well as new venues.

The artistic director of the festival is pianist Mika Rännäli. The festival is produced by the Oulu Cultural Events Association.

Hallituskatu 7
90100, Oulu
A girl moving the light tubes.

Science Centre Tietomaa

Finland’s first science centre is the perfect place for learning, enjoying yourself, putting your brain and body at test or simply spending some time engaging in entertaining exploration. Science Centre Tietomaa is a household name in Oulu and the entire Northern Finland. It has been one of the best-known attractions in Oulu for years.

The themed exhibitions of the science centre feature more than 150 hands-on attractions and demonstrations. New exhibitions are opened every year, and the highlights of past exhibitions become part of the permanent exhibition. Our exhibitions explore different fields of science and technology and give food for thought for all audiences.

The Science Centre’s giant screen cinema shows fabulous 3D films that take the audience to the depths of oceans, the darkest jungles, the infinite reaches of space, or back in time to see the dinosaurs. Our giant screen theatre has the second-largest screen in Finland.

The Science Centre’s 45-meter tower, completed in 1920 to serve as the water tower of the tanning plant, is one of the key landmarks of the Oulu cityscape. The glass-walled elevator of the tower takes you up 35 metres to the top floor with fabulous views over the city.

Nahkatehtaankatu 6
90100, Oulu
Farmyard. A red log building in the background.

Turkansaari Open Air Museum

The idyllic Turkansaari Open Air Museum takes you on a time trip to the past. Turkansaari’s historical countryside setting and beautiful natural environment are fully preserved, yet close to the city centre. Step into the past and listen to the stories of Northern heritage, everyday life and celebration in the countryside.

Turkansaari Open Air Museum is located on three islands in the Oulujoki River 12 kilometres upstream from downtown Oulu. The museum is Finland’s second-oldest open air museum. It was officially established in 1925 when the island’s wooden church dating back to 1694 was restored to its original location.

In addition to the historical buildings and setting, the museum offers summertime work demonstrations in the Northern Ostobothnian tradition, such as tar pit burning during the Midsummer Week. The main themes of the museum are traditional agriculture and forestry, fishing and Oulu’s history of tar. The main events of the year are Tar Week, Midsummer celebration, Tradition Week, the Jaakko Days and the Autumn Market.

Turkansaarentie 165
90310, Oulu
A smiling girl dressed in an old-fashioned role costume. In the background is the Museum of Northern Ostrobothnia.

Northern Ostrobothnia Museum

The Northern Ostrobothnia Museum focuses on the history of the city of Oulu, Northern Ostrobothnia and Finland. Our exhibitions captivate kindergarten groups, teenagers and seniors alike.

In the Northern Ostrobothnia Museum, years gone by come alive in an unforgettable way through objects, phenomena, famous persons and common people. Smell the tar, learn of adventures in the high seas and get to know working-class life in the Vaara district of old. This and much more is what makes the history of our fair city. The eye-catcher of our exhibition is a large miniature of the White City of the North as it was before the Second World War in 1938.

The cultural-historical provincial museum is located in the beautiful river delta of the Oulujoki River. All four floors of the building house exhibitions. Oulu’s cultural cradle is located at the heart of the city in the Ainola Park and the Hupisaaret Islands.

Ainolanpolku 1
90130, Oulu

Jarkko Martikainen ja Luotetut miehet | Voimala 1889

Jarkko Martikainen ja Luotetut miehet performing on Friday 22nd of July at Voimala 1889’s patio!

Kasarmintie 1
90130, Oulu

Aknestik | Voimala 1889

Aknestik performing on Saturday 23rd of July at Voimala 1889’s patio!

Kasarmintie 1
90130, Oulu

Edu Kettunen | Voimala 1889

Edu Kettunen performing on Thursday 21st of July at Voimala 1889’s patio!

Kasarmintie 1
90130, Oulu

Wednesday Flea Market @Voimala 1889's patio

Every Wednesday in July there is a flea market at Voimala 1889’s patio.
You can come as a seller and buy your sales table at Tiketti or just come to shop as a customer! Sales table for one person costs 15€ for one night.

We also sell refreshments and food at the patio!

Kasarmintie 1
90130, Oulu

Elojazz

Elojazz is an intimate jazz and rhythm music festival in the heart of Oulu. The sweet melodies of Elojazz have been heard in Oulu for more than three decades. The festival takes place on the first weekend of August and includes main concerts as well free club gigs.

The artistic director of Elojazz is Jukka Eskola, one of the most recognized jazz musicians in Finland. The festival is produced by Jazz-20 Association.

Kasarmintie 13
90100, Oulu
Rantakortteli block in winter.

Historical Rantakortteli blocks of Oulu

The most central blocks of wooden buildings in Oulu – with national significance – are the Rantakortteli ones adjacent to the Market Square. They are a window to the era of wealth in Oulu due to trade and seafaring in the 1870s and 1880s, when many trade-educated businessmen worked in Oulu. After the third and final Oulu Fire, handsome houses were built on Rantakatu, Ojakatu, and Hallituskatu streets in the spirit of neo-renaissance and art nouveau. Some stone buildings are included.

If you stand back-to-back with the plump Market Square Policeman’s statue, you will see the pink House Höckert across Rantakatu street as well as the pastel green House Jurvelius on the left. Together they constitute a significant and recognisable part of the Oulu cityscape around the Market Square. House Jurvelius was built in the empire style and is the oldest wooden building (1828–1945) on Rantakatu street. Nowadays it is used as a student residence. The first ever electrical lighting system for a private home in Oulu was installed in the house in the year 1900! House Höckert dates to 1838.

Also the Ojakatu and Hallituskatu streets still have some of the construction milieu built after the Oulu Fire in 1882. The single-floor wooden neo-renaissance building of the Oulu Trade Society was built in 1884.

Rantakatu
90100, Oulu
Oulu city reflection in the water at the night time.

The reflecting pools of Oulu

The cultural landscape of the Oulu River estuary also offers plenty of activities for photography lovers. The historical Market Square area, the handsome trees in the parks, pedestrian bridges lighted by architects, and the monumental dam bridge of Oulu look wonderful from the waters and create beautiful reflections on the surface. When paddling, you can see the reflecting pools of Oulu in all their glory as the cultural landscape is drawn onto the water surface in front of you. When admiring them on land in Hupisaaret, Linnansaari, or the Rautasilta steel bridge crossing the Oulu River, the pools look amazing, and you can capture the stunning view in pictures.

Kauppatori 2
90100, Oulu
Row of pastel colored houses in Raksila with autumn foliage.

Pastel-coloured wooden Raksila

The wooden district of Raksila is a nationally valuable cultural environment of multi-coloured wooden houses. The construction of the area dates mainly back to the 1930s and 1940s. The houses represent the classical wooden architecture of the time. Some apartment buildings have functionalist features.

As you walk around in the colourful Wooden Raksila, you will notice that the wooden apartment buildings have been designed meticulously in six large grid plan blocks. The regular method of construction makes it a uniform residential district, and the design has been based on a unified city image. The lush courtyards are spacious, and you can see small outhouses at the back of them. Wooden Raksila has its very own, unique atmosphere.

In Puistikkokatu street in the middle of the district, there are houses formerly used for business. Teuvo Pakkala School at the end of the street was built in 1950 as an integral part of the composition and intended particularly for use by residents of the Karjasilta district.

Syrjäkatu
90130, Oulu
Kuusiluoto presents heritage of wood building in Finland.

Many layers of history in Kuusiluoto

The Kuusiluoto District with its beautiful wooden houses lies right next to the city centre by the Oulu River estuary. A pedestrian bridge leads you forward to currently uninhabited Sonnisaari Island to enjoy its peaceful atmosphere. In the 18th century, Kuusiluoto was still an island just like Sonnisaari, and locals used them both as pastures for sheep. Since then, upthrust, soil brought in by the river, and landfill have connected Kuusiluoto to the continent.

According to the city plan made after the Oulu Fire in 1822, construction turned Kuusiluoto into a traditional 19th-century Finnish wooden town district that attracted sailors and artisans as residents. A third of the houses in the area date back to the 19th century and another third to 1900–1920. Stone houses built in early 1950s as replacements for wooden ones destroyed in Second World War bombings represent the third layer of construction in Kuusiluoto.

Also the Sonnisaari Island used to be inhabited in the last decades of the 19th century, housing for example a hospital for epidemic diseases since 1982 and the first municipal maternity hospital in Oulu between 1903–1925. Now the island is a nature destination for discovering the flora of coastal meadows and wetland dells as well as grove woods.

Merikatu
90100, Oulu
Old wooden houses in Karjasilta.

Wooden Karjasilta from the reconstruction era

Karjasilta is a wood-governed residential district selected as the best city district in Finland in the 2000s. Built in the 1940s and 50s, the dimensions, plot setting, and materials of the houses are consistent, and the aim is to maintain the mood of the era in the district as well as possible. In Karjasilta, there are about 200 detached houses built after the Second World War for the families of soldiers who returned from the front.

This residential district of the reconstruction era has remained exceptionally large and unified, and its value as a constructed cultural environment has been assessed as nationally significant. However, renovations and expansions transforming the appearance of the houses have been done since the 1960s. Nowadays there are some renovation or expansion methods to be seen that are alien to the identity or unity of the district. In addition to houses, on the west side of the district there are some apartment buildings built in the 1950s and 60s, a school, a library, a music centre, two churches, and a grocery store.

Karjasilta (in English: Cattle Bridge) was named after its history as grazing ground for cows owned by the locals. The street names of the district still echo this period. On the northern edge of Karjasilta flows the Kaupunginoja brook, across which the cattle had to be led along a bridge. Another section of the street names here refers to battle locations of the Second World War.

Nokelantie
90140, Oulu
Perinteisiä muruhuiskia luonnonmateriaaleista

Crumb Brushes and Pot Scrubbers Workshop

In this workshop we will teach you how to make useful brushes and scrubbers for your home from natural materials. Fiber bundles are assembled into durable home tools using traditional brush tying techniques.
During the course you´ll have time to make three tools and the price of the course includes guidance for learning traditional brush making and a material fee to make 2 pot scrubbers and 1 crumb brush.
Price 37 € / member price 32 €.
Non-stop workshop Thu 7.7.2022 or Tue 19.7. between 12 and 5 PM. Please arrive no later than 3:30 PM. No pre-registration!

Rautatienkatu 11 b
90100, Oulu
Purkkivärjäyksessä käytettävät materiaalit ja värjätty lankavyyhti.

Dye yarn in a jar

Dye a surprising skein of yarn with plants or organic waste!
Jar dyeing is a fun and easy technique, and we welcome you to join us in a journey of experiments. In this workshop you will learn how to dye yarn in a glass jar using natural dyes.
You don`t need any material of your own, we provide all supplies.
Workshop Fri June  8th  from 12pm to 5 pm or
Workshop Fri June 22nd from 12pm to 5 pm
Workshop is non-stop, so you can attend at a time that is suitable for you.
No prior notice – attend 4 pm at the latest.
Price: 25€/attendant (the price contains 100 grams of wool yarn, a glass jar, mordants and guiding)
Our maximum group size is 12 attendants at the same time.

Rautatienkatu 11 B
90100, Oulu
Lapsi piirtää narureppuun kangasliiduilla kesäisen kuvan.

A summer adventurer's backpack workshop for children

Come and create your own memory on a backpack, in our summer adventurer’s workshop.
In the finished backpack you will carry all the goods needed for a summer adventure and the treasures and memories that you grabbed from a summer trip.
Would you draw the ocean and the Nallikari beach, the beautiful flowers in the garden of Kiikkusaari or a happy moment eating icecream?
In the workshop, a summer picture is drawn on a cotton string backpack with fabric chalks, and the picture is attached to the fabric by ironing.
Non-stop workshop Fri June  8th  between 12 PM and 5 PM or Fri June 22nd between 12 PM and 5 PM.
Price 20 €/attendant (the price contains all material for one backpack and the guidance in the workshop).
No pre-registration – please arrive no later than 4 PM.
No pre-registration. Workshop duration less than an hour.

Rautatienkatu 11 B
90100, Oulu
Walking tour with a local guide

Guided walking tours in Oulu

Guided walking tours are available during the summer with varied themes. Guaranteed departures on Tuesdays and Fridays between 13.6.-19.8.2022. Guiding in Finnish only.

You can also book a guide for your own group! More information in the web page!

Kirkkokatu 3
90100, Oulu
Luotolainen tikkuri on kaunis perinneneule

Luotolainen Tikkuri - exhibition

Luotolainen is an old traditional sweater knitted by finnish sheep wool. It has many special details that you can not find other knit wears. The first Luotolainen was found in Hailuoto island near Oulu. Now that knitted sweater is more famous than ever! In the exhibition you see all the versions of this awesome sweater. Can you use a spinning wheel and make yarn? Now you have a change to try!

The legend of Luotolainen
On the island of Hailuoto, in the far north of the Baltic Sea, lived a boy and a girl. As they grew older, their paths led them apart; he went off to war, and she married another man. As a token of their deep affection, she knit the Luotolainen sweater for him. The sweater was his most prized treasure. He lived in solitude for the rest of his life, but his Luotolainen sweater he never gave up. It was worn and mended for over 45 years—worn until the day he died. The Luotolainen is the island’s story of love and longing.
the man got several other sweaters over the years, but he never wore them. instead he took pieces from the new ones to mend the sweater from his unrequited love. the orginal sweater from this legend is located in the handicraft museum in Jyväskylä. (Käsityön museo). This sweater is about 100 years old.

Significance of the ribbing: not unusual, goes through whole sweater, easy to adapt when making larger or smaller. ribbing also makes it warmer, better insulator. Inteded to be kept and mended even through multiple generations. If the sweater is gifted to a specific person, the knitter can add the wearers, personalized initials or other personal emblem, so that if the fisher died or was lost at sea, the person could be recognized by the sweater. If it happened in late fall or winter you couldn’t find the person, but the sweater.

This exhibition is to be seen in Taito Shop Pop up room all the july. This exhibition is not guided.

Rautatienkatu 11 B
90100, Oulu

Oulu Museum of Art

In today’s world, images, looking and visual self-expression play a key role. Even though images surround us, art museums are still the next level. Relatively few of us acquire large collections of visual art to our homes, but in an art exhibition, everything there is yours and for you: experiences, interpretations, questions, insights, emotions. There is no sphere of life that art would not be able to speak of – and matters of taste are always subject to debate.

Art is often said to be difficult, but it is no more difficult than life in general. You live and you see. The more you are exposed to art, the more it gives back. Becoming curious about art is at least recommended as becoming an art expert.

Oulu has a long tradition of visual arts. Numerous professional artists work in the city, and it is home to many artists of international renown. Many of the surrounding towns, such as Liminka, Hailuoto, Ii, Tyrnävä and Pudasjärvi, are active in various arts – thanks to the artists and other individuals and organisations working in the field of art. The art museum is different from other Luuppi destinations because it has, in addition to a recording and researching role, an identity as an art body. It collaborates closely with the artists of the region. The exhibitions of the Oulu Museum of Art provide a thorough cross-section of the visual arts of the region, explore different themes and collections, and showcase highlights from Finnish and international art. Touring exhibitions are arranged to the surrounding region, and children learn about art in kindergarten art exhibitions. You don’t always have to go far: you can learn a lot about contemporary art and art of all eras and periods by visiting the art museum of your hometown.

The building that houses the art museum is also quite attractive and charming. It is the glorious second life of the old Brothers Åström factory building 22 that used to house the tanning factory’s offices and the canteen.

Kasarmintie 9
90100, Oulu
Kierikkikeskus.

Kierikki Stone Age Center

The Kierikki Stone Age Centre takes you back in time thousands of years into the distant past of the North. The Kierikki Centre is located along the Iijoki River on a Stone Age dwelling site that has been studied since the 1960s. Guests of all ages enjoy the archaeological exhibition in the main building and the Stone Age village.

Pahkalantie 447
91200, Oulu
Polliisi in the winter.

Oulu Market Square Policeman statue

Over centuries, Oulu Market Square has offered its visitors a year-round, lively meeting and trading place which has also required guarding. A peculiar feature in the local policing history were the Market Square policemen who kept an eye on the Market Square and maintained order there. Through them, the townspeople and those who came from the province became acquainted first-hand with the authorities and the police.

The era of Market Square policemen in Oulu lasted from 1934 until 1979. After the patrolling ended, the policemen were commemorated through a citizen’s fundraiser for erecting a bronze statue in front of the Market Hall. The Market Square Policeman’s statue was designed by sculptor Kaarlo Mikkonen.

Standing at 2.2 metres, the robust policeman with his cap and Sam Browne belt has become a symbol of Oulu over the years and is a popular choice for selfie buddies. So go ahead and snap a friendsie with the jolly Policeman and prove you were really in Oulu!

Kauppatori
90100, Oulu
Market hall in winter.

Oulu Market Hall

One of the most important buildings in Oulu by cultural history standards is the Market Hall which has served its customers since 1901. The building was designed in neo-Gothic fashion by Karl Lindhal and Valter Thomé, and a massive reconstruction finished in 2020 restored its old-time glory.

Some of the current merchants have operated in the Market Hall for decades. They stock a multitude of products for gifts and souvenirs, including beautiful and unique handicraft products, clothes, and other lovely gift shop items. This is also a great place for buying high-quality local food produce and organic ingredients for festive or everyday occasions. Popping in for breakfast of a hearty bowl of salmon soup is not a bad idea either!

Web page only in Finnish at the moment!

Kauppatori
90100, Oulu
Pikisaari scenery in winter.

Wooden old town in Pikisaari Island

An idyllic wooden district, old industrial milieu and unique artists’ community awaits travellers who cross the pedestrian bridge from the Market Square to Pikisaari Island. Pikisaari (in English: Pitch Island) got its name from an old pitch works founded in the 17th century. Besides that, the island has housed shipyards, a sawmill, a distillery, a wool mill, and a machine workshop. Nowadays the island is the home and studio for many artists and artisans.

Pikisaari Island has residential and industrial buildings as well as granaries from the 18th and 19th centuries as well as the early 20th century. Many of the original wooden houses remain standing, although several fires have tested the island. The oldest wooden building in Oulu accommodates the Sailor’s Home Museum. Another building worth seeing is the old, decorative office of the local machine workshop from the 1880s, nowadays used as a residential house. It represents the neo-renaissance style with a tower that is a notable landmark among the houses on the island. Unique accommodation businesses have also found home at the heart of the island, and there are charming restaurants, too.

Pikisaarentie
90100, Oulu
Tähtitorni cafe winter.

Tähtitorni Observation Tower

Just a stone’s throw from Oulu Market Square, you can find the lovely, pastel-coloured Tähtitorni Café, which has served as a summer café since 1912. The idyllic setting invites you to experience an interesting piece of history while enjoying a nice cup of coffee – you are sitting on top of the renovated foundations of Oulu Castle which was destroyed in 1793 when the gunpowder storage blew up. From the observation tower, you have a nice view of Pikisaari Island where a stone from the castle landed in the explosion. The stone is still there.

Finished in 1875 according to a design by Wolmar Westling, the building with its observation tower originally belonged to Oulu Maritime School. More than 200 sea captains graduated from the school.

In the summer, the castle cellar is home to an exhibition about the history of the castle. For centuries, people have tried to find a rumoured, secret passage from Linnansaari Island to the city. Can you find it?

Linnansaari 1
90100, Oulu
Varjakka island fire station.

Varjakka industrial heritage site and nature trail

Varjakka has a colourful history full of local stories. The island houses an old sawmill that is important for reasons of both cultural history and architecture. The collection of buildings around the sawmill is an intact entity and rare by international standards. It has also been declared a nationally significant cultural environment. Varjakka is located just over 20 kilometres from Oulu city centre.

The island of Varjakka was a ship and renovation dock in the 19th century, before seeing its golden age in the early 20th century when the largest sawmill in the Nordic countries operated on the island. The island and the Varjakka area on the continent constituted a sawmill community that used to employ as many as 700 people.

Nowadays, the island is a forested destination of natural beauty. You can reach it in the summertime with your own boat, a kayak, a SUP board, or a hand-winched block ferry – an unforgettable experience especially if you are travelling with children. You can explore the island on your own or hire a guide. The Varjakka area also has a beach, the all-year Warjakka Art Trail, and a B&B accommodation.

South of Varjakka Island, there is the 263-hectare nature reserve of Akionlahti, a popular resting place for migrating birds. The area has a nature trail, a tower for birdwatching, and a campfire site.

Varjakantie 223
90470, Oulu
Kuusisaari recreation park in winter.

Kuusisaari Recreation Park

Just a ten-minute walk from the city centre, Kuusisaari Island offers a variety of recreational opportunities and an active day out in a wonderful setting by the river. The island’s campfire sites are regularly used throughout the year, and plenty of fishing spots are available, too. The spacious lawns provide a great setting for enjoying a sunny summer day on a relaxed picnic, for example.

For those in search of active leisure activities, street basketball is the best way to get fit! At the end of the day, you can take a dip in the river or watch the local football club play at the nearby stadium. By the way, Kuusisaari is also the number one location to watch in Oulu’s lively summer calendar. Festivals, concerts, and other events will take you to holiday mood with rock, pop, and metal music every summer.

Raatintie
90100, Oulu
Northern lights abowe the Nallikari lighthouse.

Nallikari Lighthouse

With its splendid sunsets, Nallikari is home to a lighthouse – actually, a lookout tower – that is a must for countless holiday photos and a landmark loved by locals. The unique landmark was completed in 1988 and designed by architects of the Oulu School of Architecture. The tower offers excellent opportunities for taking photos, enjoying the sea view, or staring at stars late in late evening. This is a popular spot for taking unhurried promenades, snapping selfies, or just spending quiet time by the calm sea. Romantics find their way to the lighthouse for summer sunsets.

In the summer, the lookout tower offers a view over the pearly Nallikari Beach as sunbathers crowd the Riviera of the North. In wintertime, you can watch locals spend hours ice-fishing, skiing, fatbiking, or kite skiing. When darkness falls, you may also be lucky enough to spot the Northern Lights flickering across the night sky.

Nallikarinranta
90500, Oulu
Letonniemi nature trail.

Letonniemi protected area and nature trail

The protected area of Letonniemi is an important destination for education and research of post-glacial rebound, showcasing seaside nature and how areas like this turn from sea into forest. It is located only six kilometres from the city centre. A 2.7-kilometre nature trail provides a great opportunity to discover the lush and versatile vegetation. Along the trail, there is an old seafaring navigation device, now standing on solid ground 150 metres from the shore in the middle of the woods. The small lighthouse was built in the 1940s to guide ships to Toppila harbour. In those days, sea level was much higher than today, and Piispanletto in the middle of the area was still an island – the word “letto” means a small, bare island in the local dialect.

In Piispanletto, you will find a resting shelter with a campfire site and a birdwatching tower for the best view of the coast and the sea. Taking and harming of plants and plant parts is forbidden in Letonniemi protected area. Picking berries and mushrooms is allowed, however.

Rajahaudantie 19
90580, Oulu
Old granaries of the market square during winter.

Oulu Market Square

When you reach the Market Square and its landmarks – the Market Hall, the old granaries, and the Market Square Policeman’s statue keeping the peace – you know you have arrived in the local people’s summertime living room.

From early morning on, the summery Market Square bustles with travellers and local residents, along with vegetable and food vendors as well restaurant keepers serving customers till late evening. The old, multi-coloured granaries house not only restaurants but also tiny, charming boutiques selling handicraft products, clothes, and decoration items.

Patrolling in front of the Market Hall and keeping a watchful eye on the visitors is the Market Square Policeman, a plump statue as a reminder of the times when real policemen were guarding the area. The vibrant harbour and export hub of the 18th century gradually became less busy, and the market area became a meeting place for city folk and visitors from the countryside. The policement were needed for upholding law and order.

Kauppatori
90100, Oulu
Tietomaa science center in winter.

Tietomaa Science Centre Tower

A walking distance from the city centre, you will find the historical industrial complex of Brothers Åstrom tannery. Since 1988, the former steam power plant of the tannery has housed the first science centre in Finland – Tietomaa Science Centre. The tower standing next to the centre was designed by Birger Federley and completed in 1921. Originally it served as the tannery’s water tower. Now the tower offers a wonderful view of the estuary and over the city of Oulu.

You can reach the top observation deck at 35 metres easily with a panoramic lift. When descending along the staircase, you can enjoy the tower’s exhibitions and a Northern Lights presentation. You can a buy ticket to the tower at the counter of the Science Centre.

Nahkatehtaankatu 6
90130, Oulu
Cruises to Raahe Archipelago leave from the harbor next to the Packhouse Museum.

Day Trip from Oulu to Raahe

Raahe is full of history and maritime experiences!

Take a day trip from Oulu to Raahe for a full day of experiences! In Raahe, you can stroll through the atmospheric quarters of Old Town Raahe, stop at cafés and museums, shop in boutiques or enjoy a maritime experience on an archipelago cruise, by paddling or stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). Bicycle rental is also possible.

The Saaga Travel day trip bus to Raahe runs on Thursdays from 30 June to 4 August 2022 as a guaranteed departure. The trip is organized if there is at least one participant. The bus leaves from Kaarlenväylä street next to Oulu Market Square at 10.00.We will be back in the center of Oulu at 6 p.m.

We organize also private tours from Oulu to Raahe on request – ask for a quote!

Kaarlenväylä
90100, Oulu
Stone Age dwellings can be visited in the Kierikki Stone Age Village.

Day Trip from Oulu to Kierikki Stone Age Centre

Experience the lively atmosphere of the Stone Age at Kierikki Stone Age village on a day trip from Oulu!

Kierikki Stone Age Centre is beautifully located on the banks of the Iijoki River, less than an hour’s drive from Oulu. Kierikki is a combination of an archeological museum and modern log architecture. The Kierikki main building is one of the most magnificent and largest log buildings in Europe and it has won several awards and host to an archeological exhibition.

You can explore the outdoor area in Stone Age village on your own. There is a guide in the Stone Age village and nice things to do for the whole family. Guests can also explore the archeological excavations.

The café-restaurant in the main building offers a selection of refreshments, hot and cold drinks, as well as sweet and savory items. In the museum shop you will find personal souvenirs.

The Saaga Travel day trip from Oulu to Kierikki is organized on Saturdays from July 2 to August 6, 2022 as a guaranteed departure. If there is one participant, the tour is organized.

We organize also private tours from Oulu to Kierikki on request – ask for a quote!

Kaarlenväylä
90100, Oulu
View from Oulu City Hall to Cathedral.

Guided bike tour from Nallikari to Oulu city center

Welcome to guided bike tour from Nallikari to Oulu city center! We drive cycleways trough Pikisaari to city center. We visit Market Place, City Hall and Catherdral from outside. The tour ends in Nallikari. Guide will tell you information and stories from Oulu and Oulu region. You will get tips for shopping and events. You can rent bikes from Nallikari holiday village. Rental is not included in the price of tour. For families, small groups and companies.

Leiritie 10
90510, Oulu
Cathedral in Oulu.

Oulu quickly

Welcome to Oulu! Guided city walking tour.

History and present shortly told by an authorized tourist guide: Market Place, City Hall, Cathedral. Tips for places to visit, shopping and events.

Paimenpolku 16
90140, Oulu
Old lighthouse in Marjaniemi.

Minivan trip to Hailuoto

Welcome to a minivan trip to Hailuoto. We pick you up from Oulu city center and bring you back after the trip. Guide will be with you troughout the trip. You hear stories and information from Hailuoto, Oulu and Oulu region. We visit Hailuoto Organum, wich is a concrete piece of spatial art by Hai Art in Ulkokarvo. The piece was designed by a distinguished acoustic artist, Lukas Kühne. We can enjoy snacks, in the nearby Petsamo hut, on an open fire. Then we drive to Marjaniemi, where you can get to know the area with guide or independently. Possibility for shopping also. If you like to have a meal in restaurant in Hailuoto, it is better to book advance. It is also possible to visit Hailuoto Brewery, when it is open. For companies, groups and families.

Toripolliisi
90100, Oulu
Tar boat in Turkansaari.

Minivan trip to Turkansaari Open Air Museum

Welcome to a minivan trip to Turkansaari Open Air Museum. The museum is located in three island in Oulujoki. The main themes of the museum are traditional agriculture and forestry, fishing and Oulu’s history of tar. We pick you up from Oulu city center and bring you back after the trip. The guide will be with you throughout the trip. From the guide you hear stories and information of Turkansaari, Oulu and Oulu region. Turkansaari Open Air Museum is open 6.6.-29.8. Mon-Sun from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m. In the museum area is Café, where you could have traditional salmon soup for lunch from 11 a.m. to 15 p.m. Tickets 10 € adult, children under 18 years free. Museum tickets and lunch are not included in the price of the trip. For Companies, groups and families.

Toripolliisi
90100, Oulu
The Old Hamina district in Ii is a tight-knit neighbourhood that has managed to keep its own unique historical spirit.

Day Trip from Oulu to Ii

Experience charming Ii on a day trip from Oulu!

The tour starts from the historic district of Ii with a short introduction to the homeland museum exhibition, after which there is time to explore the old Ii historic district (Iin Wanha Hamina) on your own. Visit also the Ii Church and enjoy refreshments at Café Wanha Hamina.

Next, our trip continues to the Art Center KulttuuriKauppila, where we have a guided art exhibition tour.

At the end of the tour, we will visit the new suspension bridge in Jakkukylä. Completed in December 2021, the longest suspension bridge in northern Europe crosses the Iijoki River, which is almost 200 meters wide. The bridge has quickly become one of Ii’s most popular attractions.

The Saaga Travel day trip from Oulu to Ii is organized on Tuesdays 5.7., 12.7. and 19.7.2022 as a guaranteed departure. If there is one participant, the tour is organized. Duration of the trip is five hours.

We organize also private tours from Oulu to Ii on request.

Kaarlenväylä
90100, Oulu
Inside Oulujoki church.

Oulujoki Church

The national romantic spirit of the twentieth century was brought to life in the architecture of Oulujoki church, completed in 1908. The church was designed by the architect Viktor J. Sucksdorff of Oulu province, and it also contains Karelian influences. The atmospheric church is the only preserved wooden church in the art nouveau style in Northern Finland.

In 1984, as a result of the restoration work planned by Anna-Kaisa Ylimaula, the church was restored as closely as possible to its original appearance. Visitors to the church can see how the roof and the bell tower in particular reach upwards. On the second clock of the tower, an inscription has been made asking for a blessing for the Finnish people.

This church is part of the Oulujoki Pilgrimage route. Read more from the web page!

Oulujoentie 69
90650, Oulu
Turkansaari museum church.

Turkansaari Museum Church

The oldest wooden church in the Oulu urban area serves as a summer church and is located in Madekoski, in the Turkansaari open-air museum area. Nowadays it functions as a beautiful wedding venue for many summer weddings. In the Middle Ages, the island was the westernmost marketplace for Russians and Karelians. As was typical of the time, the church was built in connection with the marketplace. The fishing industry also had an important role on the island.

When the days of trade and fishing were over, the church was demolished and transferred to Raati island, where it served for years as a storehouse until Östen Elfving, founder of the Turkansaari open-air museum, bought it and returned it to original location in 1922.

This church is part of the Oulujoki Pilgrimage route. Read more from the web page!

Turkansaarentie 165
90310, Oulu
Ilmakitaransoiton MM-kisat

Oulu August Festival

Oulu August Festival is an event entity of six festivals and additional program, which attracts approximately 60,000 visitors annually. A month-long celebration of culture features hundreds of events in the city of Oulu and its surroundings, ranging from music and cinema to literature and performance arts.

The members of Oulu August Festival are Elojazz, Oulunsalo Soi Chamber Music Festival, Literary Art Festival Muusajuhlat, Oulu Arts Night, Oulu Music Video Festival, Air Guitar World Championships and Flow Productions. The members organize high-quality cultural events in August.

Oulu August Festival also offers other events, such as macro concerts, Oulu August Festival Presents event series (rotating every other year), Choir Day and silent films.

Oulu August Festival has the EcoCompass environmental certificate.

Hallituskatu 7
90100, Oulu
Oulu cathedral in Oulu city.

Oulu Cathedral

The beautiful Oulu Cathedral stands in Oulu’s monumental centre, on the same site where several church buildings were located over the centuries, with the oldest dating back to the late sixteenth century. The wooden church that was built on the site in the 1610s was replaced by a cathedral designed by Daniel Hagman of Sweden and completed in 1777. The cathedral, built of natural stone, was so big that all the 2,400 inhabitants of Oulu could fit in it at the same time!

Throughout the centuries, densely built wooden towns were vulnerable to urban fires. The Oulu fire of 1822 completely destroyed the wooden structures of the cathedral. The movable property was saved in time, and the fire left only the stone walls standing. The current stone cathedral was completed in 1832 according to the neoclassical designs of C. L. Engel. The most notable work of art in the cathedral is the portrait of Johannes Messenius, painted in 1611.

Among the cloud cherry trees in the garden is the Pikku-Sofia church for children. It is a model of Oulu’s very first wooden church from the late sixteenth century.

This church is part of the Oulujoki Pilgrimage route. Read more from the web page!

Kirkkokatu 3 A
90100, Oulu