Tampere Larp Festival and Solmukohta 2020 are both taking place in Tampere, Finland. If travelling from outside the country, your first likely destinations are Helsinki or Turku; both of which are about 2 hours’ travel to Tampere.
Note that April in Tampere averages a balmy 0-8°C, and while weather shouldn’t cause too many disturbances for transport, you’ll still want good shoes and some warm clothes to get around comfortably.
Nearly everyone you meet will likely speak at least a little English. Customer service culture in Finland isn’t overly friendly or talkative; do not expect bus drivers to smile, or say hello.
Finland uses euros (€), and most cards should be accepted everywhere; card payment is possible in nearly all shops, bars, restaurants, and taxis. Tipping is not customary in bars, restaurants, or taxis.
Trains are operated by VR, and there are multiple coach operators. A good site and app that consolidates all bus and train travel allowing you to search for the best options is Perille. Bus and train tickets are usually readable from your phone. Trains and most coaches have power outlets or USB sockets and free (though not 100% reliable) WiFi.
Getting to Finland
For the majority of participants flying to Finland we recommend flying to Helsinki and continuing from there to Tampere with a train or a bus.
There is an airport in Tampere, the Tampere-Pirkkala airport, that has some direct flights e.g. from Stockholm and Riga. Please, do not fly to Tampere via Helsinki, as that is not only carbon nightmare but also not very convenient; the airport is some distance away from the city proper and it as fast to take the train from Helsinki.
Getting to Helsinki from Tallinn, Estonia is a fast easy 2-hour trip that can cost as little as €10. Ferries from Tallinn arrive in Helsinki throughout the day.
You may also travel from Stockholm, Sweden, either taking a ferry to Helsinki or Turku (Åbo). You can book a cabin with up to 4 people, and if you book when there’s a sale, you can get a ticket for less than €20 per person each way. Ferries from Stockholm arrive in Helsinki the next morning; ferries from Turku sail twice a day, one overnight, which arrives in the morning, and one that sails in the morning to arrive in the evening. Note that WiFi coverage can get spotty on some ferries, so go enjoy the karaoke bar.
Ferries arrive in one of three harbours in Helsinki, but all three have good public transport connections to railway station and bus terminals. The Port of Turku is connected to the long-distance trains (the station is called Turku Satama).
Getting to Tampere
Trains from Helsinki to Tampere run several times per day. The travel time is 1,5-2 hours. When departing straight from the Helsinki airport you need to first take the regional train P to Tikkurila and from there continue on to Tampere.
From Turku the travel time is about 2-3 hours, and the stations are either Turku or Turku Port.
Train tickets must be purchased in advance before getting on the train. You can plan your journey and purchase your tickets from VR’s webpage. We recommend you buy your train tickets several weeks in advance for the best price. Travel cost from Helsinki and Turku to Tampere vary typically between €8,90 and €25.
If you are travelling with a group of friends, you can buy a maximum of 10 individual train tickets at a time from the VR online shop.
There are also numerous bus companies operating between the cities of Helsinki and Tampere, and Turku and Tampere, and the cost of a bus ticket is usually lower than the train option. We recommend checking the timetables and the ticket prices on Matkakeisari that does the search across multiple operators.
Purchasing your ticket in well in advance will ensure the best price. Prices vary from as low as €5 up to €30 depending on the company and how much in advance you buy the ticket. All of these trips are about two to two-and-a-half hours.
If you’re going straight from the Helsinki airport to Tampere, there are a few bus connections with Onnibus or Matkahuolto. In Helsinki city centre, buses depart from the long distance bus terminal in the basement floor of Kamppi mall, a 5-10 minutes walk from the railway station. Kamppi also houses a regional bus terminal on its ground floor so look for the Matkahuolto logo, to get to the long distance terminal.
In Turku, the bus station is in the city centre about 13 minutes’ walk from the central train station. There are also direct buses from Turku port to Tampere.
Getting around in Tampere
The central area of Tampere is very compact and thus very walkable. The distance from the main railway station to the hotel for example is 2,4 km.
You can get around with busses operated by the public transportation system Nysse. The stop next to the hotel is very conveniently named Rosendahl. Getting there:
- from the train station: Walk 450m to Koskipuisto I bus stop. Take bus 25 (destination Tahmela) and ride 6 stops to Rosendahl.
- from the bus station: Walk 200m to Sorinaukio bus stop, take bus 25 (destination Tahmela) and ride 7 stops to Rosendahl.
The Tampere region has a zone based fare system. The Solmukohta venue, Tampere Larp Festival and most of the tourist attractions are located in the A zone. You can purchase a ticket with the Nysse Mobile application or with cash from the bus driver. A single 2-zone ticket costs €3 from the application and €3.50 when purchased from the bus driver. Day tickets can be bought on the mobile app or from customer service points and cost about €7. Check the latest info from the Nysse website.
For journey planning you can use the Nysse journey planner or Google Maps.
When taking a taxi just ask for Scandic Rosendahl. Fare calculators suggest the trip should cost between €10-20. Uber and other rideshares aren’t available in Tampere.
See you there!
- lentokenttä = airport
- satama = port
- rautatieasema = railway station
- linja-autoasema = bus terminal
- lippu / liput = ticket / tickets
- juna = train
- bussi = bus
- taksi = taxi
- olut = beer
- siideri = cider
- punaviini / valkoviini = red wine / white wine
- kuohuviini / “skumppa” = sparkling wine
- alkoholiton = alcohol-free
- gluteeniton = gluten-free
- laktoositon = lactose-free
- kasvis = “veggie”
- vegaani = vegan
- kasvissyöjälle = for vegetarians
- lihaton = meat-free
- myötähäpeä = a shared sense of shame you get when you watch someone embarrass themselves in front of other people