Jyväskylä is a lively university city and the capital of Central Finland. About a third of the city's 143,000 inhabitants are students. Beautifully set between lakes and ridges, many motorsports fans are familiar with the city as the Neste Oil Rally of the World Rally Championships series takes place around the city each July.
Jyväskylä is an important node in the Finnish highway network, and roads from many directions pass through it. These are the major ones:
- Highway 4 comes from Lahti and Helsinki (south) and Oulu and Lapland (north).
- Highway 9 comes from Tampere and Turku (southwest) and from Kuopio (northeast).
- Highway 13 comes from Mikkeli (southeast) and from Kokkola (northwest)
- Highway 18 comes from Vaasa (northwest)
- Highway 23 comes from Pori (southwest) and from Varkaus (east)
1 Tikkakoski Airport is a small airport 20 km from Jyväskylä centre, used by the Finnish air force with a base nearby, and their flight school. There are also some direct charter flights to popular holiday destinations.
You reach the city by taxi in 15–20 minutes. Calling a taxi from the airport is easy as there is a special Taxi Phone. A taxi will cost approx. €50-60 (2021) to get to the city center.
Jyväskylä is connected to the other Finnish cities by railroads. A normal train ticket between Helsinki and Jyväskylä for an adult costs around €50. Student discounts are only offered to those studying in Finland.
The 2 combined bus and train station (Jyväskylä travel center, or Jyväskylän matkakeskus in Finnish) is open from 06:00 to 22:00 from Monday to Saturday and from 08:00 to 22:00 on Sundays. Train tickets are sold at ticket machines at all opening hours or you can buy the tickets online. Since 2021 there is no booking office.
Buses travel between Jyväskylä and other Finnish cities, as well as smaller destinations. A bus ticket from Helsinki to Jyväskylä with one of the Matkahuolto associated bus companies will usually cost about €10-50, and can usually be bought from the driver. Online is recommended.
A discount bus operator Onnibus offers significantly cheaper intercity bus travel to and from Jyväskylä, though the tickets must be bought online.
Päijänne Cruises Hilden operates between Lahti and Jyväskylä and between Jyväskylä and Suolahti through the Keitele-Päijänne Canal .
Jyväskylä has invested in cycle and pedestrian routes. As the town centre is not big you might want to walk or cycle to see the sights. Almost 1/3 of the population of Jyväskylä are students who mainly use bicycles to get around in the central area. Roads are also in good condition. There are bicycle and car rentals in the city.
Single tickets are sold by the bus driver. The basic fare for adults is €3 and for children €1.50 per trip (2021). The night fare (23:00-04:00) is €1 extra, often making a taxi a cheaper option when travelling in groups of three or more. If you need to change buses during the trip you have to show your receipt in the next bus within one hour from buying the ticket. Waltti mobile app can be used for ticket purchase.
If you plan to stay longer and want to use the bus service regularly, you might want to consider buying a bus card, which will be cheaper (much cheaper if you are a student living in Jyväskylä). A basic day ticket costs €8/6/4 (2021). A 30-day bus card costs ca €60 (without reduction) and it can be used as much as wanted during this 30-day period.
No matter which part of Jyväskylä you want to get to, there are approximately three buses leaving each hour during the daytime. However, during the summer months from June to August the frequency is reduced to two buses per hour, in some more remote villages there are no buses at all. You can buy the tickets at the Jyväskylä information centre on Asemakatu in the city centre.
Taxis can be usually be found waiting at the Jyväskylän matkakeskus or other taxi poles in the center of the city. If there are no taxis present, you have to call for one. The taxi service number in Jyväskylä area is ☏(check call tariff). The starting cost in daytime M–Sa is €4 and at other times €7 (2021). The cost per traveled kilometer varies between €1.09 and €1.75 depending on the number of passengers and time of the day. The price list is always available in the taxis.
- Jytaksi, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Smart phone app offers address based routing and calculates price according to them. For price information, see Jytaksi web site.
- Valopilkku (Taksi Helsinki). Taxis ordered by smart phone app. Pricing not told on the web.
- Menevä, ✉ email@example.com. Smart phone app offers address based routing and calculates price according to them. For price information, see Menevä web site.
- iTaksi, ☏ (high cost?), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Smart phone app offers address based routing and calculates price according to them. €4.00/6.00+€0.90/km+€0.85/min.
- Smartphone apps: 02 Taksi
- 1 Harju Ridge, Ihantolantie 5. A pine forest covered sand ridge in the center of the town is a nice place for a stroll or a picnic.
- 2 Vesilinna Water Tower (Vesilinna Observation Tower), Ihantolantie 5 (By foot from all directions, by car from the back side of the ridge.). The observation tower is open when the Vesilinna Restaurant is open.. The water tower on top of the Harju Ridge gives you a wonderful view over the city. Free entry. The tower is open when the Vesilinna Restaurant is open. The Natural History Museum of Central Finland is also situated in this building. It is well worth a visit! Free entry. The observation tower is free..
- 3 Jyväskylä harbour (Jyväskylän satama), Satamakatu 8. The harbour is a busy place in a sunny summer day. It is the base of the lake and canal cruises. The old harbour cafe, restaurant boats and other places offer something to eat and drink for everybody. Lake Jyväsjärvi has an outdoor route and outdoor gyms around it calling for sports enthusiasts. Swimming beaches, equipment rentals, water jets, floating saunas and summer cottages...all add to the character of the place. In winter there is a skating route on the ice and a typical Finnish kota acting as a winter cafe during the weekends.
- 4 Toivola Old Courtyard (Toivolan Vanha Piha), Cygnaeuksenkatu 2, ☏ . M-F 10:00-17:00, Sa 10:00-15:00. Toivola gives you a glimpse of what Jyväskylä used to look like in the early days. It is an old town dwelling consisting of the yard surrounded by traditional wooden craftsmen’s houses. Nowadays it houses a cafe and restaurant, craft boutiques, museum cottages and events.
- 5 Kuokkala Church, Syöttäjänkatu 4. The Kuokkala church is a modern church with an award-winning design. The outside is dark with an angular bell tower, while the inside is primarily light wood.
- 6 Ysitien Lemmikki Zoo, Palvaniementie 4-6 (Located 18km from the Jyväskylä centre). Open only in the summer. A small zoo with mainly domestic animals in Leppälahti near Jyväskylä. Adult €10.
Jyväskylä has many buildings by the famous architect Alvar Aalto. These include kaupunginteatteri (the town theater), some buildings in the main campus of the university and the Alvar Aalto Museum.
Exhibitions and art museums: Admission is free on winter Fridays to Jyväskylä Art Museum, Craft Museum of Finland and Museum of Central Finland. Ask for a student discount, though often a Finnish student card is necessary. The national Museum Card gives free admission in most museums.
- 7 Jyväskylä Art Museum, Kauppakatu 23.
- 8 Craft Museum of Finland (Suomen käsityön museo), Kauppakatu 25. A national museum and conservation centre. Both old and new crafts. Downstairs a good exhibion about the traditional Finnish costumes and handicrafts. A good museum shop, and next to it Aivia, a handicraft shop.
- 9 Museum of Central Finland (Keski-Suomen museo), Alvar Aallon katu 7. A brand new permanent exhibition about the history and development of Central Finland. Changing historical and art exhibitions. The building has been designed by Alvar Aalto. €8/6/4/free.
- 10 Alvar Aalto Museum, Alvar Aallon katu 7. The museum will be thoroughly renovated 2021-2022. At the same time it will be connected with the nearby Museum of Central Finland, also an Alvar Aalto building. During this period the museum will be closed. However, the museum shop and some parts of the exhibition may be found somewhere in the city, and Alvar Aalto buildings including the university campus, the Säynätsalo Town Hall and Muuratsalo Experimental House are open.
- 11 Natural History Museum of Central Finland. The Natural History Museum of Central Finland is located in the tower on the top of the Harju ridge in the city centre. Free entry.
- 12 Finnish Air Force Museum (Suomen Ilmavoimamuseo), Tikkakoskentie 125 (Tikkakoski district, 20 km from Jyväskylä to north; buses number 22, 22M and 36). All year round. Aircraft, engines and aircrew equipment which has been used by the Finnish Air Force. The Air Force Signals Museum. A large collection of scale models, photos etc.. Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Fouga Magister simulators (book in advance). Cafe. Museum shop. Adults €10, children 7–16, students, pensioners and military €5, children under 7 free; simulators €40–70 for 30–60 minutes (2021). Free with a Museum Card..
There are several recreational 'nature paths' in Jyväskylä. They are mainly situated in forest areas.
- 13 Tourujoki. A nature preservation area just a few hundred meters off the city center. The 700-m-long trail goes along river Tourujoki.
- 14 Kangasvuori nature trail. The path can be entried in the back of the school Huhtasuon koulu. (trail map)
- Laajavuori nature trail and other trails for hiking, cycling, riding etc. Part of the Laajavuori area is protected.
- 15 Struve Geodetic Arc: Oravivuori Arc Point (Oravivuori is a hill in Korpilahti; parking 10 km from road E63, a total of 45 km from central Jyväskylä, then a 1-km hike to the hilltop). Always open. One of the station points on the world heritage listed Struve Geodetic Arc is situated in Jyväskylä (administratively). A spectacular view over the Lake Päijänne from the observation tower on top of the Oravivuori hill. Free.
The city's web site has an event calendar for current and upcoming events.
The second-hand equipment for winter sports (ice-skates and skis) may be bought for example from SPR fleemarket in Palokka or Jyväskylä Sportti-Divari. Rental for winter sports in Laajis, Laajavuori.[formerly dead link]
- 1 Ice skating and skiing on Lake Jyväsjärvi (Between the Kuokkala bridge and Ylistö bridge). These are available and maintained in the winter once the ice is thick enough. The ice skating track is 2.5 km long, and the ski trail is 8 km long.
- 2 Skiing and snowboarding in Laajavuori, Laajavuorentie 15, ✉ email@example.com. When there is snow. A small ski centre for downhill skiing and snowboarding with an extensive network of crosscountry skiing tracks in the vicinity.
- 3 Hiihtomaa. Multiple ski tracks for traditional and skate skiing. Ski tracks connecting to Halssila, Huhtasuo and Vaajakoski. Sled hill for children.
- 4 Ladunmaja, Ronsuntaipaleentie 279. Multiple ski tracks for traditional and skate skiing. Ski tracks connecting to Keltinmäki and Etelä-Keljo.
Swimming and beaches
Jyväskylä has plenty of lakes and these provide nice opportunities for swimming and general beach activities during the warm summer months. Some of them offer ice swimming during the winter.
- 5 Vuorilampi (Laajavuori, close by to the ski centre). A small pond with usually relatively warm water. Swimming is possible also during the winter.
- 6 Tuomiojärvi (north from the centre). Maybe the most popular beach in town and has two beach volleyball fields.
- 7 Alban ranta (next to Hotel Alba and one of the university campuses).
- 8 Kolmisoppinen (or Korloppinen on Google Maps) (couple of kilometers southwest from the town, off Ronsuntaipaleentie road). Relatively small lake with a beach somewhat secluded compared to those nearer the town centre.
- 9 Köhniönjärvi. A popular beach among the inhabitants of Köhniö and the nearby neighbourhoods. Buses 1 and 2 stop here.
- 10 AaltoAlvari Aquatic Center, Pitkäkatu 2, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Swimming hall and gym.
- 11 Boulderpaja, Ahjokatu 14, ✉ email@example.com. Indoor climbing without ropes. Single payment €10 + €3 climbing shoes rental (also series tickets available).
Festivals and events
- Suomipop-festivaali: July. A hugely popular music festival organized by the Suomipop radio channel in Oulu and Jyväskylä.
- Neste Rally Finland: July-August. One of the most prominent events in the World Rally Championship, this rally was first held in 1951. The special stages are held in the countryside around Jyväskylä and a few even in the city. Held in late July every year, it is the biggest yearly public event in the Nordic countries. (date needs fixing)
During the summer, the marketplace (Yliopistonkatu 15) is a good place to visit if you want fresh vegetables or fish, flowers or craft items.
You'll definitely want to look for shopping opportunities at the Jyväskylä pedestrian street Kauppakatu.
- 1 Forum, Kauppakatu 20–22 and Vapaudenkatu 49–51.
- 2 Jyväskeskus, Kauppakatu 29-31.
- 3 Torikeskus, Yliopistonkatu 36-38.
- 4 Kärkkäinen, Sammontie 1. Independent shopping centre.
- 5 Panda factory shop, Asematie 2, Vaajakoski (Located 8 km east from Jyväskylä in Vaajakoski. Buses 2, 2M and 3.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 09:00-20:00, Sat 09:00-18:00; in summer open also Sundays. Panda was founded in 1920 and is known for its liquorice and chocolate products. It is not possible to tour the factory itself. free.
Three antiquarian bookstores are situated in Kauppakatu.
- 6 Päijänne antikvariaatti Oy, Kauppakatu 16, ✉ email@example.com. The books are clearly categorized in a relatively large boutique. There is also books written in English.
- 7 Jyväskylän Vanha Antikvariaatti, Kauppakatu 2, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 8 Antikvariaatti Lukuhetki, Kauppakatu 17, ✉ email@example.com.
There is also a few flea markets worth visiting in Jyväskylä.
- 9 kirpparilla.fi, Sorastajantie 1 (6 km from centre). The biggest flea market in Jyväskylä.
- Keskustan Kirppis, Vapaudenkatu 40-42. A popular self-service flea market right in the centre of the city.
- 10 SPR-kirppis, Kirrinpolku 5. Charity flea market situated in Palokka about 8 km from city center to north. They sell clothes, books, dishes and furniture.
- 11 Kirpputori Silinteri, Kirrinkuja 1 (Palokka district). Self-service flea market, there you may find clothes, books etc. goods.
- 12 [dead link] Kierrätyskauppa, Sorastajantie 4, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Flea market sells furniture, books and clothes.
- 13 SA-kauppa, Sorastajantie 1 A. Secondhand products by Finnish Military. The Jyväskylä shop will be closed in June 2021.
It's cheap to have lunch at the student restaurants. They are situated all over the university buildings. With a Finnish student card it costs about €2.6. Without the card it costs about €5.5. Some student restaurants:
- 1 Ilokivi, Keskussairaalantie 2. Vegan food is served every day.
- 2 Lozzi, Keskussairaalantie 4.
- 3 Piato, Mattilanniemi 2.
- 4 Ylistö, Survontie 9.
- 5 Maija, Ahlmaninkatu 2.
There are many pizzerias offering large pizzas for as cheap as €5, guaranteed to fill your belly.
- 6 Kasvisravintola Katriina, Kauppakatu 11 (near the city center). The only vegetarian restaurant in Jyväskylä. It is open only for lunch between 11:00 and 14:00.
- 7 Hong Kong City, Kauppakatu 12 (across the street from Katrina). Serves up pretty decent Chinese cuisine every day until 11PM
- 8 Grilli 21, Puistokatu 21. Located near the university, serves high quality traditional Finnish street food. Try the Taxari, deep fried french fries and sausages, with your choice of condiments. Especially tasty after an evening of drinking. Open until 5AM weekends.
- 9 Restaurant Pöllöwaari, Yliopistonkatu 23 (In the same building as Hotel Yöpuu). Finnish gourmet restaurant, more expencive than most restaurants in Jyväskylä. Serves excellent lunch between 11:00 - 14:00.
- 10 Pizzeria Maria. For less than 10 euro: selection from the salad bar, pizza, pasta, kebab, fallafel, and coffee. The pasta vegeteriana is excellent.
- 11 Figaro Restaurant and Bar, Asemakatu 4. One of the best restaurants in the city. Lunch, a la carte, winebistro, bar. In the restaurant starters €12-15, mains €25-35, desserts 4-13. In the bar bar menu..
Alko shop (wine, strong beer and spirits) e.g. in the Sokos department store on Kauppakatu.
Pubs, Bars and Nightclubs
Nightlife is centered in the downtown part of Kauppakatu and cross streets, some also in the uptown part of Kauppakatu, near the University. As most of the bars are situated on Kauppakatu or very close to it, pub crawls can be easily arranged in Jyväskylä. Start from Yläkaupunki and work your way down to the clubs in Alakaupunki!
A large number of bars, restaurants and nightclubs are located around the pedestrian district. Cheaper places in this area include Bar Explosive and Bar Passion. Suggested establishments:
- 1 Bar Bra, Kauppakatu 35. The newest club in town offers the same as the others plus a beach section with hammocks. Open Tu-Su to 04:00, with age limit of 20 on Fridays and 22 on Saturdays. Cover charge €5.
- 2 Giggling Marlin, Kauppakatu 32. This club is easily recognizable by the long queue during weekends. As a part of a night club chain, this venue offers the same blend of danceable music and beautiful people you might have seen in the other SK bars. Cover charge €5.
- 3 ESCAPE, Väinönkatu 32. This club can also be recognized of having a long queue during weekends. A big nightclub located in an old cinema with the normal blend of danceable music and beautiful people. Cover charge €2.5-5 depending on the night. Students can get some discounts.
- 4 Old Brick's Inn, Kauppakatu 41. Situated in Vanha Tiilitalo (The Old Brick Building) is a pub with probably the biggest selection of beer in town.
- 5 Shaker, Yliopistonkatu 38. The one and only cocktail bar in Jyväskylä. This bar was established in 2004 and it has been since twice nominated as one of the top 20 bars in Finland. The bartender is among the best flairtenders in Finland, so don't be surprised to see some neat tricks behind and over the counter.
If you prefer a more laid-back night scene than euro-disco hell, walk uphill along Kauppakatu until you are past the church. This is where Yläkaupunki begins. Suggested establishments:
- 6 Sohwi, Vaasankatu 21. This pub has been around for a while and has still managed to stay fresh. Many students come here, maybe because the university is just next door or maybe because of the "rock hours". Food is also served. Open every day and until 02:00 on weekends.
- 7 Vakiopaine, Kauppakatu 6. Definitely the coolest spot in town to have a beer, afternoon or evening (happy hour is 21:00 till 23:00 every day. 4-litre tap for €2). Art shows on the walls change every 20 days or so. Live music occasionally. Theater in the cellar. Lots of board games available for play. Wireless internet.
- 8 Vihreä Haltiatar, Kauppakatu 13. A quality establishment with over 100 beers to choose from. Friendly knowledgeable staff. Wireless internet. Awesome jukebox packed with an eclectic collection of old 45s. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.
- 9 Ylä-Ruth, Seminaarinkatu 19. Just a block further from Vakiopaine. A true Finnish drinking experience, you'll hear the word "perkele" several times before your first beer is gone!
There are a few hotels in the vicinity of the train station. All the major hotel chains (Scandic, Cumulus, Sokos) can also be found in the city.
- 1 Hotel Pension Kampus, Kauppakatu 11 A 4 (in central Jyväskylä), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Single weekday €58, weekend €53; double weekday €72, weekend €66.
- Time Hostel, Vaasankatu 29, Jyväskylä. All year round.. The Best Hostel of the Year 2021 in Finland! A small, stylish family owned hostel in the centre of Jyväskylä, a member of the Hostelling International. ca €30 onwards pp. Time Hostel
- 2 Summer hotel Rentukka, Taitoniekantie 9, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. In the student village of Kortepohja, about 2 km from the city center. Single €42, double €54.
- 3 Summer hotel Harju, Sepänkatu 3, ✉ email@example.com.
- 4 Hotel Omena, Vapaudenkatu 57.
- 5 Hotel Alba, Ahlmaninkatu 4 (near the University campus), ☏ . A nice, mid-range budget hotel. Half of the rooms face the lake, while the other half face the city.
- GreenStar Hotel Jyväskylä, Heikinkatu 3, Jyväskylä. A rather new green hotel near the Travel Centre Jyväskylä. A short walk to the city centre, restaurants and shopping.
- 6 Hotel Yöpuu, Yliopistonkatu 23 (near city center, at same place as Restaurant Pöllöwaari), ☏ . A small, beautiful boutique hotel (but expensive one!)
- 7 Sokos Hotel Paviljonki, Lutakonaukio 10, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 8 Hotelli Verso, Kauppakatu 35. A new stylish private hotel, bar and restaurant in the very centre of the city. Verso is owned by the same family that owns Hotelli Yöpuu, listed among the 10 best boutique hotels in Finland.
- 9 Sokos Hotel Alexandra, Hannikaisenkatu 35, ✉ email@example.com.
The city of Jyväskylä does not offer a free wifi as such. However, e.g. every library in the city has both computers with internet access free, and free wifi. Usually the wifi password is written on a sign somewhere but you can ask any librarian, as they all speak English. Many companies offer free wifi.
- Forum, Kauppakatu. M-F 09:00-21:00, Sa 09:00-18:00, Su 12:00-18:00. The Forum shopping centre in the centre of the city has a free wifi connection.
- Jyväskeskus, Kauppakatu. M-Sa 07:00-22:00, Su 12:00-22:00. The Jyväskeskus shopping centre in the centre of the city has a free wifi connection.
- TE-palvelut, Corner of Vapaudenkatu and Urhonkatu. M-F 09:00-16:15. The TE-palvelut unemployment office has free wifi and free toilets.
Restaurants and bars also have wifi connections for customers, but a password is usually needed and must specifically be asked for.
The crime rate in Jyväskylä is generally low. However, it's best to avoid obviously drunk people during weekend nights after the bars close. Long queuing for taxis or late night snack sometimes frustrate some partygoers to seek fighting opponents. Sometimes this results to a temporary conversion from a pedestrian district to fighting arena, but the common sight of patrolling police makes the occurrences more rare. Despite this, walking on the streets at night (or any time of day) is safe.
In the winter time the streets might be slippery and that it is mandatory by traffic law to wear a reflector during the dark period.
- Petäjävesi — in this town 40km to the west you can visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the magnificient example of rural building skills and peasant art in the old Petäjävesi church.
|Routes through Jyväskylä|
|Rovaniemi ← Äänekoski ←||N S||→ Leivonmäki National Park → Helsinki|
|Sodankylä ← Kuopio ←||N S||→ Muurame → Turku|