Oulu is a city built over water, with a network of breezy pedestrian bridges connecting the islets that comprise the city. In the summer, it’s a lovely place for walking and cycling, and locals turn out in great numbers to savor the daylight. Comfortable hotels in Oulu city center place visitors in prime position to take it all in. The city is served by Oulu Airport, which is one of the busiest hubs in Finland and connects Oulu with Helsinki, Kemi, and several other cities across Scandinavia.
Kauppahalli, the city’s lakeside market square, teems with shoppers from the early morning onward. It hinges on a food and produce market, where merchants sell everything from Arctic berries to reindeer meat. Flanking the square is a rambling collection of wooden houses that sells souvenirs and handicrafts.
Sightseeing attractions in central Oulu include the city’s 19th-century cathedral and Oulu castle, locally known as Oulunlinna. The castle was built in the 16th century and although it met an unfortunate fate during a freak accident, it was never rebuilt, though the café located on the grounds is still a popular draw for visitors.
Oulu has plenty to offer on the modern front as well. It’s a booming research and development hub for the IT industry, and everyone enjoys wide-ranging Internet access thanks to the publicly funded wireless network in the city center.
Most of the nicer hotels in Oulu stick close to the waterfront near the marina and Tuira Beach, offering beautiful water views and swimming opportunities for those willing to brave the cold. On the other hand, the city center allows for impromptu visits to art galleries, museums, and fine-dining restaurants.
There’s a lot more to see and do in Oulu, and the best way to discover what else this city has to offer in terms of attractions, landmarks, and hotels is by exploring the interactive map on this page.