Seinäjoki is a city in Southern Ostrobothnia. Seinäjoki is the biggest city and the center of the Region of South Ostrobothnia, in western Finland. It is in the junction of five railways, at the intersection of several main roads and has good flight connections.
Seinäjoki has an airport that used to have flights to Helsinki, however currently it is used only for some charter flights .
Seinäjoki is small enough that most of the things to see are easily reached by foot. When you exit the station, you will be facing the center of town.
- Alvar Aalto Center, Kauppakatu 17, ☎ . 15.5.–31.8. Wed 12–18, Thu-Sun 12–16 1.9.–14.5. Wed 12–18, Thu, Fri, Sun 12–16. This center is the administrative and cultural center of Seinäjoki. The center was designed by Alvar Aalto, a renowned Finnish architect and designer of the 20th century and one of the most important architects in the world. His work includes outstanding architecture, furniture, textiles and glassware. The Aalto Centre is composed of six buildings which were mainly completed between 1960 and 1968. The first building created was the church, Lakeuden Risti ("Cross on the Plain") and the last one, the theatre, in 1987.
- Lakeuden Risti Church (1957-1960) and Parish Centre (1965-1966) (Cross of the Plain), Koulukatu 24, ☎ . Mon–Fri 14–18 During summer: Mon–Sun 10–20. There was a competition for the design of Seinäjoki church which took place in 1951. There was no agreement because Aalto’s design did not follow some patterns required. Finally the construction took place until 1957-1960. The adjacent congregational center was constructed during 1965-1966. The church seats 1200 people, the gallery another 124 and the small chapel 50 people. Everything, even in the interior, was designed by Alvar Aalto. It is absolutely a fascinating and impressive to see how perfect the measurements and details in the inside are. As part of the church there is a cross bell tower, which is 65 m, Seinäjoki’s highest building, which is possible to visit as well. There is an elevator and 36 more steps to get to the top of the tower; if you ask one of the church wardens you can ride the elevator to the top of the church tower for 1 €.
- City Hall (1961-1962), Kirkkokatu 6, ☎ . Mon–Fri 9–15. The competition for the City Hall design took place during 1958-1959. It was finally constructed during 1961-1962. The Council´s meeting chamber is also used for concerts. The façade of the City Hall is clad with special blue porcelain rods. The whole interior of the building is characterized with Aalto’s singular style and design.
- City Library - Regional Library (1964-1965), Koulukatu 21, ☎ . Mon–Fri 10–19, Sat 11–15, During summer: Mon–Thu 10–19, Fri 10–17, Sat closed. The City Library - Regional Library, the architectural pearl of the Aalto Centre, was constructed in 1964-1965. The open book shaped building is a very unique design.
- State Office Building (1966-1968), Alvar Aallonkatu 12. This building constructed during 1966-1968 holds many city and state offices in Seinäjoki. Its most significant feature in the interior is the court room.
- City Theatre (1986-1987), Alvar Aallonkatu 12, ☎ . Alvar Aalto presented his plans for the theatre building as early as 1969, but its construction was not carried out until 1986-1987 under Elissa Aalto´s supervision. The theatre seats 429 people and the small stage 120. In the lobby there are famous wooden reliefs and Aalto’s biggest glass designs exhibition.
- Kyrkösjärvi. One of the few artificial lakes in Finland.
- Törnävä Church (Törnävän kirkko). The old, idyllic church of Seinäjoki.
- Törnävä mansion area (Törnävän kartano). Old mansion built in 1806. Features a beautiful old garden.
- Provinssirock. One of the biggest rock festivals in Finland in the middle of June.
- Vauhtiajot. Motorsport and rock festival in July.
The Tango Festival in Seinäjoki takes place every year since 1985, on one week during the month of July, usually from Wednesday to Sunday. This is a great month for a celebration like this because the weather is the best of the year and most of the people are enjoying their summer holidays. It attracts over 100,000 people every time.
This is the Tango event with the most tickets sold in the world. Participants have the choice of staying at one of Seinäjokis hotels or, as the majority does, bring a camper and park at the camping sites near Seinäjoki centre and just enjoy the whole day and night this spectacle. It is incredible to see thousands of people dancing in the streets, especially at the Tango Street (Tangokatu). The energy comes from the enthusiasm of people about Tango. Most of them start dancing at around 5pm until 3am.
There are different tango dance floors around the festival area, either in front of the stages or in some karaoke bars, as well as several events to please different kinds of tastes. There is even a “Tango-free Zone”, with rock and jazz concerts. People can enjoy every day the Tango parade, the Tango Street, tango shows in the theater and in the Seinäjoki Arena. There is no one minute without something going on. People have to schedule what they want to see so they can make the best of it.
The coronation of the Tango King and Queen is one of the most important and emotional parts of the event. These figures receive much domestic media attention and often recording contracts as well and they also perform their own shows at the tango Festival the following years.
Besides the opportunity for dancing and the Tango Royalty contest, another purpose of this Festival is to show new ways to do Tango and to erase the idea that Tango has only one style, the traditional style. Tango specialists say that this rehearsal can certainly have many other ways and many innovations, such us combining Finnish Folk and Tango, or Jazz and Tango, electronic Tango and so on. It is for sure an evolutionary art that changes with time and all the surrounding influences. It is impossible to ever get bored of it because of its infinitive ways of creating it. In addition, it is not just Finnish but it also a lot of international connections that are created in this event.
Many artists from around the world come also to perform in this festival. Most of the times Argentinean Tango artists come to show the distinctive Argentinean tango style.
It is a great experience to be in the Tango Street and feel the excitement of people. They are dancing from 5pm until 3am. Couples have the chance to be reunited, beginners to learn and practice the basic steps and friends to have a lot of fun. It is even hard to get tired because even the sun goes down after 11pm, the day light stay all night long, so when people less expect it is 2 or 3 in the morning. During the Tango Festival, people, especially the youth, can attend different bars and nightclubs in the evening with different rock and jazz shows. Ilona Night Club and Karma Bar are some of the options that young ones chose to explore and enjoy the Seinäjoki Night life.
- Musiikki Järvenpää, Alvar Aallon katu 1. Music store with guitars, drums, other instruments and accessories.
- Karma, Kauppatori 3. Rock bar and nightclub.
- Cafe & Bar Palaveri, Koulukatu 22. Located downtown, has a fairly decent beer selection.
- Minibaari, Torikatu 9. Located opposite to the church, sells locally brewed beer "Mallaskoski" on tap.
- Bar 15 (Warttibaari), Kauppakatu 15. Features cheap beer and heavy music.
- Perhehotelli Nurmela, Kalevankatu 29, ☎ . from Euro 35/55.
- Omena Hotel, Kalevankatu 2, ☎ . from 45€
- Hotelli Fooninki, Kaarretie 4 (in Hyllykallio district), ☎ . from 65€
- Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, Kauppatori 1-3, ☎ . Very nice hotel in a central location. Fine sauna and meeting facilities.
- Sokos Hotel Lakeus, Torikatu 2, ☎ . Another Sokos Hotel.
From Seinäjoki there are easy train connections to the rest of Finland.