Padasjoki parish is known from the 15th century. The Padasjoki river has been an important waterway since prehistoric times. There are hundreds of lakes in the municipality. Lake Vesijako is a bifurcation, its water flowing both via Kokemäki river to the Gulf of Bothnia and via Päijänne and Kymijoki to the Gulf of Finland.
Buses between Helsinki and Jyväskylä pass Padasjoki mostly once an hour in daytime, via Lahti and Jämsä, where there are railway stations. Many buses 1 stop near Vanha nelostie instead of at the 2 bus station.
The centre of Padasjoki is quite large, with points of interests in a few separate areas: by the bus station, by the shopping centre and by the church. There are commercial services also in Taulu near Vanha nelostie and (summertime) by the harbour (3 Laivaranta).
There is the 1 church, some art exhibitions and a few local museums – and the natural views.
Yachting, boating, kayaking and hiking is by no means restricted to the developed areas, but they may be the easiest destinations, with little need of serious planning.
- 1 Evo National Hiking Area (25 km from Padasjoki, accessible e.g. from road 53 towards Hämeenlinna; sparse coach connections), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 24 hours daily. Evo is one of the largest continuous forested areas in southern Finland. Wildlife includes elk, lynx and beavers, and there are excellent fishing waters. Easy trails, shelters and campfire sites, jetties and beaches, watercourses for canoeing. Free.
- 2 Päijänne National Park (off Padasjoki; some parts of the park accessible by land, M/S Jenni-Maria III has regular services from the harbour, and there is bookable boat service; in winter accessible over the ice). 24 hours daily. Islands and peninsulas in southern Päijänne. Hiking trails, campfire sites and other infrastructure make the area easy to explore. Kayaks, boats, skis and other equipment can be rented from local businesses. Free.
- Skiing event and competition – In February, a 7.5km long annual full moon skiing event and competition occurs on the frozen Lake Päijänne.
- Sahtimarkkinat (Sahti market) – During the first weekend of July Padasjoki hosts a home-brewed beer market.
- Päijännepurjehdus (Päijänne Sailing): 20–22 July 2018. Every two years the Padasjoki Marina is the starting point for a well-known sailing competition. (date needs updating)
- 1 Nakukymppi: 15 June 2018, Vesijaonraitti 141, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 7 PM to 9 PM. A light-hearted sports event where people run or walk 10 km completely nude. Held on a Friday in middle June. Anyone interested in nude sport can participate. Food, drink and live music available at the site. After the event there is a sauna evening at Lomakeskus Telaranta a few kilometres away. Local people usually come to watch and cheer the participants on. Free of charge. (date needs updating)
- 1 Shopping centre (halfway from Vanha nelostie towards the church).
There are numerous cottages for rent in the municipality, some in connection to full-service tourist activities.