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Finland Weekend Breaks with Latebreaks.

Tampere, from Tammerfors (Swedish), is a city located in southern Finland specifically between the lakes Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi. Because of the 18-meter difference between the two lakes, the Tammerkoski rapids that links both lakes has served as a vital source of the city’s power throughout its history. Tampere serves as a main railway junction as a large number of railway tracks from many parts of the country merge here.

Founded as a marketplace in 1775 by Gustav III of Sweden, Tampere was granted township status only four years after that. What started as a small town with only a few square kilometers of land surrounding the famous Tammerkoski rapids grew as a major industrial center and marketplace in the nineteenth century. Tampere’s industrial condition in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries made it possible for the country to earn the name “Manchester of the North” or Manse for short.

The city is easily accessed by Tampere-Pirkkala Airport, which is only seventeen kilometers from the city. Aside from Finnair’s route to Helsinki, there are also available flights to Copenhagen and Stockholm. Ryanair likewise offers daily budget flights to Frankfurt (Hahn), Riga, London (Stansted), and Liverpool. It is good to note that Ryanair will have routes to Dublin and Bremen starting December 2006 and April 2007 respectively. Also available from the airport are bus services to Tampere, which usually take approximately forty minutes, while taxi rides from the same place, about twenty minutes.

Among the city’s main attractions is the Särkänniemi Amusement Park that has a dolphinarium and is home to the landmark Näsinneula tower with a revolving restaurant atop, where during summer the views of the forests and the lakes are expectedly breathtaking. Also, a visit to Kaleva Church and Tampere City Library Metso, which were both the brainchild of Reima Pietilä, the Tampere Market Hall, and the Tampere Hall will surely give every visitor a memorable experience.

And of course, one shouldn’t miss to drop by at the last museum in the whole world built to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s name. Another historical must-see place at Tampere is the ridge between Lake Pyhäjärvi and Lake Näsijärvi—Pispala. What used to house majority of the nineteenth and early twentieth-century industrial labor is now a popular residential area.

Tampere is famous for its dynamic cultural life. Writers such as Kalle Päätalo or Hannu Salama and Väinö Linna who were popularly known for depicting the everyday lives of the working-class people come from Tampere. Another famous poet with a working class background is Lauri Viita from the Pispala district.

For a magical experience and great shots, one needs to get his camera ready for never-ending clicks at  Tampere’s old theater institutions like Tampereen Teatteri, Tampereen Työväen Teatteri, and the Pyynikin Kesäteatteri, an open-air theater and with Europe’s oldest revolving auditorium. Luckily if you come in August, you will be able to witness Tampere Theatre Festival or Tampereen Teatterikesä, an international theater festival held annually in the city. Every March, the feast to see is the Tampere Film Festival, the city’s international short film festival; and in July, Tammerfest is Tampere’s must –see rock festival.    To experience Finnish countryside, one must take part in the city’s farm holiday where farms and cottages are made available for tourists and locals alike. It is strongly recommended though to make necessary arrangements and reservations to get you and your family the most favorable farm or cottage accommodations.
During a typical sunny midwinter day in March, locals and tourists both enjoy going on an ice walk. People walk about a kilometer to the island of Siilinkari on Näsijärvi and enjoy a lazy afternoon with a picnic. When summer days come, people are surely to be found on terraces of restaurants enjoying a couple of beers. Outdoor sets of tables and chairs are almost always readily set up at the first signs of the sunny and warm spring days.

Because the midnight sun doesn’t normally reach Tampere, summer nights are pleasantly bright, which is nice to spend summer nights outdoors.

The grandeur of Tampere and the numerous sights and things to see and do there makes it one of the world’s top tourist destinations. So if you happen to be one of those who want to get the most of everything, plan a trip to Tampere now and you’ll know that you’d have the best of everything.

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