Due to incendiarism and insurance fraud, only a few of Oulu's wooden houses are left in the centre. Many others burnt down in the 1990s because the space they stood on was worth a lot of money and the old houses were not to be demolished.
Some of them are still found along the market square - but imagine Oulu's centre being full of houses like these! They are typical for Finland and Scandinavia and always make up a good photo motive.
Oulujoki is the river flowing through the town of Oulu. It's divided into several arms in the town and along it's shores there are nice opportunities to go for a walk. While in winter you can enjoy nice views on the frozen river, in summer the atmosphere must be really friendly with many events going on near the river. Time to re-visit Oulu in summer, I'd say!
Oulu's market hall is a wonderful old brick building with all the atmosphere that makes a market hall a special place - old-fashioned food stalls, vendors selling reindeer meat and arctic honey, locals enjoying a beer at one of the small cafes. While it is only very small with two aisles where food and other stuff is sold, it is well worth a visit. Look out for photo opportunities!
Pikisaari is one of a few islands in Oulu River (Oulujoki). It's the most famous one because an active artists' community settles there and does art. This is visible in the old houses which already have a special atmosphere, and even more in some museums and galleries located there. Unfortunately, these were closed when I was there in February so all I could do was trying to find some nice corners of Pikisaari. Nevertheless, I guess it is a very nice place for a stroll during warmer times of the year.
This is probably the best-known sight in Oulu: The statue of the Fat Policeman in the centre of town. It's a nice bronze (?) statue with a sad looking fat policeman. Why he's looking so sad is only subject to guessing - maybe he doesn't enjoy standing in the cold air of winter or the hot air of summer forever....
The Championships is part of Oulu Music Video festival. The first time it was organised was in 1996 and since then, it has grown every year. The national competition winners from various countries will directly go to the final, others who wish to show their talent can take part in the qualifying round in 45 Special Club on the night before the final.
The Air Guitar World Championships attracts 15000 to 20000 visitors, which is a lot for Oulu, and it's heaps of fun! Definitely a must-see event, if you happen to be in Oulu in late August!
If you go to Oulu during the ice hockey season and are lucky to be there for a home game, don't miss the chance! It's said Oulun Karpat has the best home audience and it can't be far off being the truth! And they WON the Finnish CHAMPIONSHIP in 2004!!
If you're after some original and traditional Finnish souveniers, the best place to go are the little blue and red wooden shops on the market square. The products they have are mostly hand made in Lapland.
Lovely and lively place to enjoy a pint or two on a warm sunny evening! Lots of unique 'aittapubs' or just bring your own drinks!
The Radisson SAS is perfect with its location in the centre just by the sea. However, service might...more
You can either book a room in their recently built hotel or the holiday apartments. The hotel is...more
Besides Holiday Club Katinkulta this is one of the best accomodation places in Vuokatti. Good...more