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Europe > Nordic countries > Finland > Southern Finland > Tavastia Proper > Hämeenlinna

Hämeenlinna

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Hämeenlinna (Swedish: Tavastehus) is a city in Tavastia Proper, Southern Finland.

Get in[edit]

Map of Hämeenlinna

By car[edit]

Exactly 100 km north from Helsinki with the motorway 3 E12. The nearest major city (and airport) is Tampere, about 75 km to the north. Road number 10 from Turku to Lahti also passes near the city.

By train[edit]

As Hämeenlinna is situated at the most important railway of Western Finland it's well connected with Helsinki and Tampere as well as cities further north, like Vaasa, Oulu and Rovaniemi.

By bus[edit]

Buses from Helsinki to Tampere stop at Hämeenlinna.

By boat[edit]

Yes, there is a waterway between Tampere and Hämeenlinna. At summer it can be the most enjoyable way to travel, while the views at the lake Vanajavesi are at their best. The trip can be quite long though. Hopealinjat offers cruises, which take 8 hours one way (see Do below). Guest harbours: Vaakunanranta in the centre (+358 20-123-4636) and Virvelinranta a kilometre to the south (+358 400-484-172).

Get around[edit]

You can get around by car, by bus or by foot. For driving around, the city center is quite an irritating experience, with its tight intersections and numerous one-way streets. The services in the city center are within a few minutes walk, so a car is hardly necessary there. All buses stop at the market square while heading west and at the bus station (at Palokunnankatu near market square) while heading east.

Hämeenlinna has a good system of public transport. Information of local transport you can find here. You can ride from one part of the city to another with a single ticket of €2.90, kids €1.40. Kauppatori is the center of Hämeenlinna's public transport system, but be aware that many bus lines go in both directions from Kauppatori. You can use Google Transit interactive route planner to find bus routes.

See[edit]

Häme Castle, the main attraction that has also given the name to the city.
  • 1 Häme castle (Hämeen linna), Hattulantie 334, +358 295-336-931, e-mail: . 1.6–14.8 daily 10:00–17:00, off season Tu–F 10:00–16:00, Sa–Su 11:00–16:00. The symbol and main attraction of Hämeenlinna. A medieval red brick castle, which now serves as a museum and a venue for some events. Guided tours are available. There are also couple of other museums (e.g. prison museum) next to the castle. Between the castle and city centre there is a large park area Linnanpuisto, where the annual Wanaja Festival is held at summer. €9/7/4.50 (children: 7–17 years).
  • 2 [dead link] Parola Tank Museum (Parolan panssarimuseo), Hattulantie 334 (some ten kilometres north-west from the city centre), +358 40-568-1186. May–Sep daily 09:00–18:00, Oct–Apr daily 10:00–15:00, closed Christmas–New Year. For those interested in military equipment. €8/7/5 (children: 6–15 years).
  • 3 Holy Cross Church (Pyhän Ristin Kirkko), Vanhankirkontie 41 (in Hattula, a little north of Hämeenlinna.), +358 3 672-3383. Medieval Gothic church, built mostly of red bricks. Inside there are many paintings and sculptures.
  • 4 The birthplace of Jean Sibelius, Hallituskatu 11. The birthplace of the famous 19th and early 20th century composer is now a museum, telling about the composer's childhood, at Hallituskatu 11. The old wooden house is conserved between bigger modern buildings. The museum is open after renovation.

Do[edit]

Landscape in Aulanko
  • 1 Ahvenisto. Beautiful ridge area in western side of the city. Beach of the lake Ahvenisto, "Appara" is a popular place for hanging out, especially in the summer. The swimming arena, in which some swimming competitions of 1952 olympics took part, isn't in use though. In the ridge area there are also e.g. paths for jogging or skiing and a racing track which is a nuisance among locals and a synonym for Ahvenisto for others, while many motor sport events are held there.
  • 2 Aulanko. Originally a natural park with great sights, equipped in late 18's and early 19's with an observation tower, other buildings of stone, artificial ponds and rare plant species. Today the area offers also plenty of services, including accommodation in the famous hotel and various outdoor activities.
  • 3 Linnagolf, Vanajanlinnantie 485. Another golf course, Linnagolf, next to Vanajanlinna.
  • 4 Lake cruises, +358 10-422-5600, e-mail: . April–December, Tampere route June–August. Cruises on the lake, 2–3 hours, day, afternoon or evening, or route cruises to Tampere or Visavuori with several stops on the way. Optional lunch or dinner on board. "Pirate" cruises for children (lake cruise with programme and lunch included). Check what cruises are available what day of the week. €5–50 for route cruises (one way); lake cruises €12–18 (children 4–17 half price); lake cruise with lunch/dinner €24–32/30–42 (children 4–11 half price, also for the pirate cruise).

Festivals[edit]

  • Linnajazz: 12–15 July 2018. A jazz festival in the Castle Park of Hämeenlinna. (date needs updating)
  • Wanaja Festival: 6–7 June 2018. Wanaja Festival is held in the Castle Park in Hämeenlinna (date needs updating)

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Kauppakeskus Goodman, Kaivokatu 7. A large mall opened in late 2014. It features an Anttila department store plus smaller stores and eateries. Architectonically the mall is a bit unusual as it's built on the top of the Helsinki-Tampere freeway, with the road passing under the mall in a tunnel.

Eat[edit]

Budget[edit]

There aren't many regional specialities available, if one doesn't count hotsi, a local version of hot dog, which is sold in grill kiosks. For cheap meal (€10 or less for one person, even as low as €5 in the lunchtime) you can always find some fast food. In city centre you can hardly miss a pizza/kebab place. There are also Subway, McDonalds, and Hesburger outlets. Golden Rax pizzabuffet offers it's megabuffet for €8.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 1 Popino, Raatihuoneenkatu 11, +358 3 653-2555, e-mail: . M–Sa 11:00–22:00, Su 11:00–20:00. Popino is located at Keskustalo, a grim building with a set of stairs, which connect Raatihuoneenkatu (opposite of the church) to Palokunnankatu. Popino serves large, quite special pizzas, but also e.g. steaks and fish. €20–30, pizza €15–17, lunch of the day €10.
  • 2 Georgios (Zante), Linnankatu 3, +358 400-676-144, e-mail: . M–F 08:00–14:00. Georgios serves food from Greece and is also located near market square. lunch €10.
  • 3 Huviretki, Raatihuoneenkatu 18. A chain restaurant, which operates next to hotel Cumulus.
  • 4 Pancho Villa, Sibeliuksenkatu 11, +358 50-434-1888, e-mail: . M–Th 11:00–20:30, F 11:00–22:30, Sa 12:00–22:30, Su 13:00–20:30. Mexican restaurant.
  • For some ethnic food, other than kebab, you can go to the first blocks of Raatihuoneenkatu (from market square to the church's direction and on) and find couple of Chinese restaurants.

Splurge[edit]

  • 5 Piparkakkutalo, Kirkkorinne 2 (next to the church), +358 3 648-040, e-mail: . "The gingerbread house" is easily recognisable of its white "scaled" wall. With a beautiful view to the church this is one of the finer places in town. €20–30, lunch €10.
  • 6 Himalaya Kitchen Ravintola, Linnankatu 3 (corner of Hallituskatu). This restaurant in the centre of town serves the delicious dishes of the Himalayan region with many options for vegetarian and vegans as well.
  • 7 Rosso, Sibeliuksenkatu 3. A restaurant of a Finnish chain, with some Italian influence, serving slightly upscale pizzas and other Italian dishes.
  • 8 Steak House, Sibeliuksenkatu 5.
  • 9 Coyote bar & grill, Hallituskatu 20. Another chain restaurant with nice looking menu but not exactly cheap prices.

Drink[edit]

You might not want to go bar-hopping in the suburbs, though it's not necessary, as most of pubs, rock-bars, nightclubs etc. are located around market square area.

  • 1 Olutravintola Birger, Raatihuoneenkatu 5. Su–Th 16:00–24:00, F–Sa 16:00–02:00. A "beer restaurant" where you can choose between 80 different beers. They also serve food. Thursday night is "Tapas night".

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Hotelli Emilia, Raatihuoneenkatu 23, +358 3 612-2106, fax: +358 3 616-5289. Small hotel right in the centre at the Reska promenade street. €122, weekends €100.
  • 2 Hämeen Hostelli, Turuntie 22. Nice budget hostel in Turuntie 1 kilometre away from city center. €85.

Mid-range[edit]

Splurge[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • 5 Puuhamaa (in Tervakoski, about 20 km south of Hämeenlinna). An amusement park (or maybe rather a giant playground). Much of fun for kids, though everyone must pay the €17 entrance fee, which grants you all the activities: waterpark with steam sauna, boats, racetracks with small cars, and various places for jumping, sliding, climbing and playing. Having a picnic is also possible.
  • Tampere to north-west
  • Forssa to west
  • Lahti to east
  • Akaa to north-northwest
Routes through Hämeenlinna
VaasaAkaa  N European route E12.svg S  HyvinkääHelsinki


This city travel guide to Hämeenlinna is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.