Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:20
Asphalt and grass, hand in hand
Text: Laura Myllykoski Photos: The City of Oulu
There are too many things to mention you can go for in Oulu from sports activities to cultural experiences. However, Oulu also offers opportunities for those who just like being outdoors, observing other people and nature - and doing all this as economically as possible.
Oulu is known for its parks and sightseeings. The lively city centre is near everything and offers everything for both tourists and locals.
One of the best things in Oulu is how the big city is joined together with the nature so seamlessly. The parks offer refreshment in between shopping sprees. If you want to go further, there are always the surrounding areas that contain some unique nature of the area.
The nature part
Hupisaaret is one of Oulu's prides. It has can be regarded as the lungs of the city since it is a large park located in the city centre. Hupisaaret is actually a group of small islands brought together by white bridges.
The area is basically one big park that is very popular during the summer. People come there for picnics and to spend some quality time with each other. The park is located by the Oulujoki River and thus the water is also always present. Each spring the river floods into the park as the melt waters from up river are released through the dam.
Hupisaaret isn't the only park by the city centre. Other parks are for example Otto Karhin puisto, Hollihaan puisto and Mannerheimin puisto, just to mention a few.
The parks of Oulu allow people to take walks, jog, cycle and for example rollerblade. Oulu has also a great network of cycle paths that can take you anywhere in the city.
If you want something closer to nature then you can head to Pilpasuo. It is a large area of swamps that is protected by nature conservation programmes. Pilpasuo is located in the eastern part of Oulu. It has a hiking trail of 7 kilometrs and a lean-to for resting and staying the night.
Because Pilpasuo is protected people can't for example make fire outside marked spots. The nature has to be left alone and people are there only to observe.
The city part
The centre of Oulu is spread around the promenade called Rotuaari. Alongside Rotuaari you can find department stores such as Stockmann and Anttila.
The city centre is also filled with stores that sell trendy clothes, decorations, food and all kinds of accessories. The refreshing coffee shops and bars will give a well-deserved rest for a tired shopper and are a great place to spot and meet friends passing by.
The sights of Oulu are also located at the centre of the city. You can spot the Toripolliisi statue watching the market place and the sea. The old market hall that is still active is right next to it.
When you continue your journey towards the sea you'll find a bridge that will take you to Pikisaari. Pikisaari is an island. Once it was a place to produce for example wool and enamel. It also had an engineering workshop, a foundry and a sawmill.
Nowadays the old factory buildings have been turned into high class apartments. The island also has some old wooden quarters still left and is known as the home of the local artist community.