August is a perfect time to escape Spain. Days are unbearable at times, very hot and humid, so we decided it was the perfect time to go to Finland!
I hadn’t spent time in Finland during summer in a long time and I can tell that I really missed it. Finland is at its best during summertime and the beauty of the nature is astonishing. The air is fresh and in August you don’t have too many mosquitoes so you can spend a lot of time outside. We were lucky with the weather and we were able to do many things in the nature and bike around my hometown Oulu.
We had a very relaxing holiday, we were mainly sleeping, cycling and of course eating. I wanted to show my boyfriend the best spots in Oulu but also I wanted to spend time with my family as much as I could because we don’t see each other too often. I highly recommend you to travel to Oulu if you enjoy nature and you like to explore places by bike, it’s a very relaxed city. Oulu is wonderful to cycle around: there’s no place you can’t go by bike and if you can’t you don’t need to go there, there’s probably nothing.
I hadn’t even realised how well structured Oulu is until my boyfriend mentioned it. The city center is very compact and it’s easy to walk through. All the shops are nicely located and and whatever you try to look for, you can find it easily. It was really funny to explore Oulu with a person who comes from a city with 20 million people, Oulu is fairly small in comparison, it only has 200 000 inhabitants. He definitely had a different perspective towards things. Also introducing your hometown to someone is a great experience because you see your city from a different perspective. I highly recommend you to introduce your city to someone! 😀
During the summertime you can see that Oulu is much more alive than during winter. What my boyfriend noticed was that sometimes it feels like you are in a ghost town because there are not that many people outside. That was funny because during winter the experience is even more hardcore: there really is no one outside when it’s dark and cold. For the first visit I recommend summertime unless you are a person that enjoys cold and dark weather and likes to be alone. 😀
I put together a list with a few “must do” things in Oulu, so here we go!
- Ride a bicycle, definitely the best way to explore the city and its surroundings. Just by cycling close to “Oulujoki” river you’ll have the best view.
It’s a floating sauna + waffle bar that you can rent. I wouldn’t mind chilling there with my friends enjoying cold drinks and jumping into the river after sauna!
2. Visit the “Ainolan puisto” park in the city center.
It’s just wonderful, I have nothing to add.
When I was little I used to jump on these rocks and of course I had always wet feet after that.
3. Visit the “Nallikarin majakka” lighthouse and the “Nallikari” seashore.
The beach is very beautiful and if you go there in the evening you can see a beautiful sunset! There is also a restaurant and a big spa (not in the lighthouse but close to it).
4. Enjoy nature and roast sausages (the best ones are called “Kabanossi”) over a fire. We went to this place called “Koiteli” which is about 45 min away from Oulu. But there are a lot of places closer to Oulu too. Don’t forget to buy this mustard called “Turun sinappi” which is the best mustard ever made.
5. Head over to “Snooker Time” bar.
Alcohol is very expensive in Finland so in Snooker Time you can get some cheap beer. 0,5 liters is 5 euros, wich is very cheap if you compare to other bars. I remember one time paying 10 euros for a beer in Helsinki city center! Also the toilets are entertaining in Snooker Time because you can find some nice “toilet art” there (love letters and cursing words + many other things, some of them are actually funny). The bar is in two floors and downstairs you can also play pool. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures. 😀
Address: Asemakatu 28, 90100 Oulu
6. Eat a tasty burger at Kauppuri 5 burgerbar.
I really love this comfy place and their burgers, the kitchen closes at 2:00 AM but I recommend going during daytime because the quality of the burgers is better, in my opinion. 😀 My favourite one is the goat cheese burger. Also the fries and the different flavoured mayos are very good.
Address: Kauppurienkatu 5, 90100 Oulu
7. Take a picture with “Toripoliisi” the Market police.
When you go to the city center you can meet there a chubby police officer who takes care of the citizens. He is a very chill guy, when I was younger I saw some young people standing on top of him and drinking and he didn’t mind but then the real police came… So, don’t go too wild with the pictures!
So now you have something to do every day at least for a week if you one day you end up in Oulu. There are a lot of other things to do and explore but those were just my favourite ones. I’m not a holiday expert but I’ve experienced some and I can tell that the best way to keep your holiday nice and relaxed is to only have one activity per day. If you try to do too many things you’ll miss the nice relaxed feeling that Oulu has to offer. People from Oulu are known as laid back nice people that speak a funny Finnish dialect.
So, go to Oulu, it’s a very nice place!
– Eeva –