Leisure time

Movies, videos and television

Foreign films are subtitled, not dubbed in all cinema theatres and also on TV (except for children's films).

A weekly programme for the cinemas can be found in Friday’s local newspaper, Kaleva and Thursday’s Oululehti, as well as at the cinema theatres.

Ticket prices are around EUR 10 - 15. Cinemas also have special prices for students (with a valid student card) and also cheaper serial tickets are available. The movie theatres (elokuvateatteri) in Oulu concentrate mainly on box-office films.

Films on DVDs or BluRays are not dubbed, either. To rent one overnight costs EUR 2 - 5  depending on the film.

Theatre

The Oulu City Theatre produces approximately eight to ten premiers each year, including operas and musicals. Information on current theatre plays is available from the Ticket Office, and from the Tourist Information Centre/Oulu 10 information point in the city centre. The theatre offers also special ticket prices for students holding a valid student card. In addition to the professional Oulu City Theatre there are also a couple of organisations for amateur dramatics. Theatre plays are performed usually in Finnish.

Music

Oulu is a city of multiple choirs and orchestras. The Oulu Symphony Orchestra is the northernmost professional symphony orchestra within EU and performs regularly in the Madetoja Hall of the Oulu Music Centre, address Leevi Madetojan katu 1 - 3.

The programme at the Music Centre includes all kinds of cultural events ranging from children's music to symphony concerts and from operas to rock and pop concerts together with other events such as fairs, stand up comedy show and many other forms of culture and arts. Further information is available on their own website at www.oulunmusiikkikeskus.fi.

Libraries

The City Library has a large selection of foreign newspapers, magazines and books, as well as a good music department. To borrow books you need to get yourself a library card, which is valid in every library in town, or you may register your Finnish student card to function as your library card, too. N.B. The reading room and reference library in the City Library are open also on Sundays. The main library has also free computers and internet terminals for the public.

The Main City Library (Kaupunginkirjasto) Kaarlenväylä 3 is open: Mon-Fri 9 am - 8 pm, Sat 9 am - 4 pm, Sun 12 noon - 4 pm. Opening hours of the branch libraries and further information is available on the website of the City Library: www.ouka.fi/kirjasto.

Museums and science centre

City-owned and -run museums are nowadays organised under the Museum and Science Centre Luuppi. Local cultural history is presented in the Museum of Northern Ostrobothnia (Pohjois-Pohjanmaan museo) in Ainola Park. Open: Wed - Sun 10 am – 5 pm, On winter Mondays and Tuesdays closed. Entrance fee for students EUR 4, others EUR 6.

Oulu Museum of Art - OMA (Oulun taidemuseo) Kasarmintie 7 showcases Finnish and international fine and modern arts. Open: Wed-Sun 10 am - 5 pm, Fri 12 noon - 6 pm, Mondays and Tuesdays closed. Entrance fee for students EUR 4, others EUR 6. Free entrance for everyone on Fridays at 5 pm - 7 pm.

Science Centre Tietomaa is the first science centre in Finland and it offers fun and excitement for visitors of all ages. The changing theme exhibitions consist of over 150 exhibits, and there is also a magnificent super screen theatre and a glass elevator with a view over Oulu. The science centre is open 10 am - 5 pm on weekdays and 10 am - 6 pm on weekends. There are also a special discounted tickets for students available.

Pubs and clubs

There is a wide range of pubs, bars, restaurants and night clubs in Oulu. The best way to discover the place to your liking is just to walk around the city centre and discover the vast choice of places to go.

In Finland people usually start the evening with their friends at someone's home and continue from there to pubs and clubs in town.

Pubs are usually open until 2 am, night clubs until 4 am and by law all places have to close by this time. The last calls are usually 30 minutes before the closing time. The age limit for serving alcohol (18) is strictly followed in all licenced restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs. Furthermore some places have also their own policy for even higher age limits for access to their venue. On weekends to many clubs the age limits vary between 20 and 22 years of age, while 18 is the absolute minimum. One has to be prepared to prove his/her age at the door with a valid legal form of identification (and ID card or a passport). Without an official ID your access may be refused.

Due to taxation prices of alcoholic drinks are very high in Finland.

Sports

Oulu offers good opportunities for sport enthusiasts. The University Sports of Oulu offers a huge variety of affordable sports and disciplines. You can find further information on their on website www.unisportoulu.fi. A key to the sports services is the sports pass.

LGBT

The Finnish legislation provides equal opportunities for people of sexual minorities and criminalises all kinds of discrimination based on sexual orientation (since 1995). 

Homosexuality has been decriminalised since 1971 and in 1981 it was declassified from being an illness (transvestism in 2011). Since 2002 people of same sex have had the possibility to register their partnership and the bill legalising same-sex marriage has been passed in the Finnish parliament and the law is set to come in force in March 2017.

SETA ry is the Finnish national human rights organisation working for legal equality and social justice for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transpeople. It is the central organisation for sexual minorities, with sections all over Finland - one of which is in Oulu. SETA is a member of ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association) and IGLYO (International Gay and Lesbian Youth). Oulun SETA ry has groups for women, youth (under 29 years) and rainbow families and it also organises many other kinds of activities and parties.

The Oulu Section of SETA: info@oulunseta.fi www.oulunseta.fi

The local gay bar is called Yöhuikka at Mäkelininkatu 13 and it is open usually on Friday and Saturday nights: www.yohuikka.fi