city in the region of Tavastia Proper in Finland

Hämeenlinna (Swedish: Tavastehus) is a city in Tavastia Proper, Southern Finland. Hämeenlinna is the oldest inland city of Finland, and was one of the most important Finnish cities until the 19th century. The medieval Häme Castle is located in the city. The municipality of Hattula, just to the north is also handled in this article.

Understand edit

Get in edit

Map of Hämeenlinna

By car edit

Exactly 100 km north from Helsinki along the road 3 (E12), which is a motorway on this leg (with the parallel older road designated 130). The nearest major city (and airport) is Tampere, about 75 km to the north by the same roads. Road number 10 between Turku and Lahti, adjacent to it the historical Hämeen Härkätie, also passes by the centre.

By train edit

As Hämeenlinna is on the most important railway line of Western Finland, the city is well connected with Helsinki and Tampere as well as cities further north, like Vaasa, Oulu and Rovaniemi.

By bus edit

Buses from Helsinki to Tampere and from Turku to Lahti stop in Hämeenlinna.

The local public transport system extends to Lahti (line 802).

Coming via Tallinn or Stockholm, there may be coach connections from the ports of Helsinki with arranged transfer, mostly via Kamppi. Coming via Turku harbour, there may be a direct service from the ferry terminal to Hämeenlinna.

By boat edit

Yes, there is a waterway between Tampere and Hämeenlinna. In summer it can be the most enjoyable way to travel, while the views on the lake Vanajavesi are at their best. The trip can be quite long though. Hopealinjat offers cruises, which take 8 hours one way (see Do below). Guest harbours: Vaakunanranta in the centre (+358 20-123-4636) and Virvelinranta a kilometre to the south (+358 400-484-172).

Get around edit

You can get around by car, by bus or by foot. For driving around, the city center is quite an irritating experience, with its tight intersections and numerous one-way streets. The services in the city centre are within a few minutes walk, so a car is hardly necessary there.

By bus edit

Hämeenlinna has a good system of public transport, information online in English.

Tickets in 2020 for the city itself (zone A, including to Aulanko) €3.40/1.70, valid for 80 minutes, children 7–16. For a longer stay the smartphone app Waltti is useful, giving reduced adult fares. You can also use NFC payment with Visa, Mastercard or Eurocard (Diners Club and American Express do not work) or a mobile device with Apple Pay, Pivo or Google Pay: the payment card or mobile device is displayed to the reader device, which then says "Lähimaksu hyväksytty" ("Proximity payment accepted").

Many bus lines go in both directions from the centre. You can use an interactive route planner[dead link] to find bus routes.

Matkahuolto Routes and Tickets app is able to first plan the route and after it sell the right ticket for it.

The bus station is the centre of Hämeenlinna's public transport system. Many bus lines go in both directions from bus station.

By scooter edit

See also: Finland#By motorised scooter

You can rent electric kick scooters for use in the centre from American Bird and Finnish Joe Scooter.

By taxi edit

  • Taksi Häme, iTaksi: see Tavastia_Proper#By_taxi
  • Menevä Hämeenlinna, +358 50-471-0470 (head of office), toll-free: 0800-02120 (booking). Also bookable by app or web. Fixed price based on calculated route and time if destination address given when booking by app or web. Flag fall M–Sa 06:00–18:00: €4, other times and holidays: €7; 1–4 persons €0.90/km + €0.90/min, 5–8 persons minimum €20, €1.60/km + €0.90/min (March 2021).
  • Smartphone apps: Valopilkku, 02 Taksi, Uber

See edit

Häme Castle, the main attraction, which has also given the name to the city.
  • 1 Häme castle (Hämeen linna), Hattulantie 334, +358 295-336-931, . 1 Jun–14 Aug: daily 10:00–17:00, off season Tu–F 10:00–16:00, Sa Su 11:00–16:00. The symbol and main attraction of Hämeenlinna. A medieval red brick castle, which now serves as a museum and a venue for some events. Guided tours are available. There are also couple of other museums (e.g. prison museum) next to the castle. Between the castle and city centre there is a large park area Linnanpuisto, where the annual Wanaja Festival is held at summer. €9/7/4.50 (children: 7–17 years).    
  • 2 Parola Tank Museum (Parolan panssarimuseo), Hattulantie 334 (some ten kilometres north-west from the city centre), +358 40-568-1186. May–Sep: daily 09:00–18:00, Oct–Apr: daily 10:00–15:00, closed Christmas–New Year. For those interested in military equipment. €9/7.50/5 (children: 6–15 years).    
  • 3 Holy Cross Church (Pyhän Ristin Kirkko), Vanhankirkontie 41 (in Hattula, a little north of Hämeenlinna), +358 3 672-3383. Medieval Gothic church, built mostly of red bricks. Inside there are many paintings and sculptures.  
  • 4 The birthplace of Jean Sibelius, Hallituskatu 11, +358 3 621-2755. Tu–Su 12:00–16:00. The birthplace of the famous 19th- and early 20th-century composer is now a museum, telling about the composer's childhood, at Hallituskatu 11. The old wooden house is conserved between bigger modern buildings. €8/6/0.  

Do edit

Landscape in Aulanko
  • 1 Ahvenisto (bus 4, 14). Beautiful ridge area in western side of the city. Beach of the lake Ahvenisto, "Appara" is a popular place for hanging out, especially in the summer. The swimming arena, in which some swimming competitions of 1952 Olympics took part, isn't in use though. In the ridge area there are also paths for jogging or skiing, and a racing track which is a nuisance among locals and a synonym for Ahvenisto for others, while many motor sport events are held there.
  • 2 Aulanko (bus 2). This natural park with great sights was equipped in late 1800s and early 1900s with an observation tower, other buildings of stone, artificial ponds and rare plant species. Today the area offers also plenty of services, including accommodation in the famous hotel and various outdoor activities.
  • 3Evo Hiking Area (Evon retkeilyalue/Evois), Saarelantie 1 (bus 868, stop "Evon metsäopisto"), +358 20-639-4000. The waterways are clean. The Evokeskus offers café and accommodation services. There are camping sites, lodges and campfire sites.
  • 4 Hopealinjat, +358 10-422-5600, . April–December, Tampere route June–August. Cruises on the lake, 2–3 hours, day, afternoon or evening, or route cruises to Tampere or Visavuori with several stops on the way. Optional lunch or dinner on board. "Pirate" cruises for children (lake cruise with programme and lunch included). Check what cruises are available what day of the week. €5–50 for route cruises (one way); lake cruises €12–18 (children 4–17 half price); lake cruise with lunch/dinner €24–32/30–42 (children 4–11 half price, also for the pirate cruise).
  • 5 Linnagolf, Vanajanlinnantie 485. Another golf course, Linnagolf, next to Vanajanlinna.
  • 6 Cafe & Rent Mahlia, Hämeentie Mahlian puisto, +358 400-175-721, . Rental of water jets, electric kick bikes and SUP boards.

Festivals edit

  • Linnajazz: . A jazz festival in the Castle Park of Hämeenlinna each July. (date needs fixing)
  • Wanaja Festival: . Wanaja Festival is held in the Castle Park in Hämeenlinna in early July. (date needs fixing)

Buy edit

  • 1 Kauppakeskus Goodman, Kaivokatu 7. A large mall opened in late 2014. It features an Anttila department store plus smaller stores and eateries. Architectonically the mall is a bit unusual as it's built on the top of the Helsinki-Tampere freeway, with the road passing under the mall in a tunnel.
  • 2 SA-Kauppa, Harvialantie 2B, +358 40 315 7777, . The SA store sells products decommissioned and abandoned by the Defense Forces, from hats to laptop computers. All the money received from the sale is paid to the Defence Forces in full.
  • 3 Suomen Kasarmin Aarteet, Suomen Kasarmin katu, +358 44 9683705, . M 12:00-18:00, Tu W closed, Th 12:00-18:00, F-Su 12:00-16:00. A flea market.

Eat edit

Budget edit

There aren't many regional specialities available, if one doesn't count hotsi, a local version of hot dog, which is sold in grill kiosks. For cheap meal (€10 or less for one person, even as low as €5 in the lunchtime) you can always find some fast food. In city centre you can hardly miss a pizza/kebab place. There are also Subway, McDonalds, and Hesburger outlets. Golden Rax pizzabuffet offers its megabuffet for €8. There is a list of lunch offers for each day.

Mid-range edit

Splurge edit

  • 10 Piparkakkutalo, Kirkkorinne 2 (next to the church), +358 3 648-040, . "The gingerbread house" is easily recognisable of its white "scaled" wall. With a beautiful view to the church this is one of the finer places in town. €20–30, lunch €10.
  • 11 Himalaya Kitchen Ravintola, Linnankatu 3 (corner of Hallituskatu, next to the market square), +358442394300, . 11:00-21:00. Himalayan cuisine; mainly, tandoori-grilled chicken and lamb, with many options for vegetarian and vegans as well. Lunch from €8.9, dinner from €14.
  • 12 [dead link] Rosso, Sibeliuksenkatu 3. A restaurant of a Finnish chain, with some Italian influence, serving slightly upscale pizzas and other Italian dishes.
  • 13 Steak House, Sibeliuksenkatu 5.
  • 14 Coyote bar & grill, Hallituskatu 20. Another chain restaurant with nice looking menu but not exactly cheap prices.

Drink edit

Cafés edit

Bars and pubs edit

You might not want to go bar-hopping in the suburbs, though it's not necessary, as most of pubs, rock-bars, nightclubs etc. are located around market square area.

  • 2 Olutravintola Birger, Raatihuoneenkatu 5. Su–Th 16:00–24:00, F Sa 16:00–02:00. A "beer restaurant" where you can choose between 80 beers. They also serve food. Thursday night is "Tapas night".
  • 3 Pub Vanha Nalle, Turuntie 10, +358 3 6533 600, . Su–Th 11:00–24:00, F Sa 11:00–02:00. A friendly pub near the center of Hämeenlinna with a comprehensive selection of drinks. On bar, it is possible to play billiards, pinball and slot machines, and play your favorite music on the jukebox. Karaoke traditionally every weekend.

Sleep edit

Budget edit

Mid-range edit

Splurge edit

Go next edit

  • 7 Puuhamaa (in Tervakoski, about 20 km south of Hämeenlinna). An amusement park (or maybe rather a giant playground). Much of fun for kids, though everyone must pay the €17 entrance fee, which grants you all the activities: waterpark with steam sauna, boats, racetracks with small cars, and various places for jumping, sliding, climbing and playing. Having a picnic is also possible.
Routes through Hämeenlinna
VaasaAkaa  N   S  RiihimäkiHelsinki
TurkuForssa  SW   NE  → Tuulos → END

This city travel guide to Hämeenlinna is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.