Hämeenlinna is a traditional and vibrant educational and cultural town at the junction of a nationally important rail, road and waterway network.
Living up to its vision, Hämeenlinna is a lively, beautiful and pleasant beach town in Southern Finland, which strives for sustainable development and offers visitors and citizens a variety of experiences to choose from.
Hämeenlinna has had plenty of practice over the centuries to make itself a real treasure, both for adventurers and for those who simply want to relax and enjoy everything the region has to offer. This includes its impressive castles, charming attractions and fascinating museums, in addition to its birdsong, the crunch of white snow under your step and unforgettably beautiful landscapes.
Foreign nationals: 2.2%
Total area: 1,785 km2
Warmest month: July
Coldest month: February
The largest sand castle in Finland: over 3 million kilograms of sand
Hämeenlinna is located in the heart of the historical province of Häme in the south of Finland. It is the oldest inland city of Finland and was one of the most important Finnish cities until the 19th century. It still remains an important regional center.
Nearby cities include the capital Helsinki, which is about 98 km away, Tampere, a student city only 73 km away, and Lahti, 72 km away.
Climate and weather
Hämeenlinna is located quite south in Finland, which makes it a bit warmer. The warmest month is July, where temperatures average on 22C°, and the coldest month is February, with an average temperature of -10C°.
Hämeenlinna has a number of shops and malls to choose from, all of which offer their customers a great shopping experiences, and often, great bargain deals.
- Shopping Center Goodman is easy to reach and, once there, it is easy to move around. The trendy and laid-back lounge of the inhabitants of Hämeenlinna contains a wide selection of fashion and leisure time shops, department stores and small shops as well as many cosy cafés and restaurants. Daily grocery shopping can also be done here.
- Tiiriö Shopping Complex in the north of town offers hypermarkets, dozens of boutiques and other irresistible shops.
- Tuulonen in Tuulos – a plaza that’s bright and cheery – is overflowing with health and beauty products, interior decorating, specialty shops, relaxing cafés and fast food places. It’s open every day.
- Internationally renowned Finnish glass+maker Iittala will charm you with its enchanting milieu.
There’s also many retail outlets and shopping centres provided in the centre of Hämeenlinna. In the summer, happenings are arranged there weekly, and on the first Tuesday each month a popular local attraction is the special market event.
Food and drink
The city’s restaurant and cafe scene is rich and vibrant, offering many different flavors and atmospheres to the people. There’s dozens of dining venues to choose from. If you’re looking for local food, go no further than Hämeenlinna. The restaurants offer a plethora of traditional dishes. There’s also an abundance of international cuisine restaurants, ranging from European choices to Asian dishes.
Hämeenlinna also has numerous bars, pubs and clubs to offer to its youth. Usually, the student parties are thrown on Thursdays, but oftentimes there are student discounts on drinks and entrance fees.
Hämeenlinna is located only about 90 km from Helsinki and the airport, and it takes about 60 minutes to reach the Helsinki Metropolitan-area from Hämeenlinna. Given the fact that the first railway ever in Finland was the Hämeenlinna-Helsinki route, it’s safe to say that the train connections are also quite good to surrounding regions.
Hämeenlinna, like the rest of Finland, is extremely safe.
The Hämeenlinna Student Housing Foundation has provided the Hämeenlinna area with housing services for students of various educational facilities since 1987. Most student houses are situated next to University Center, which is located about 2 km from the city centre.
The most typical type of housing available from the foundation is a double-room flat, which is suitable for two people sharing or a small family. Most of the apartments come with basic furniture. All residences have access to washing-, sauna- and recreational facilities, which the foundation has equipped according to the wishes of the residents.
You get a 30 % student discount on Basic tickets when travelling on long-distance trains, as well as on 10 and 30 journey multi-tickets. You are also entitled to a 50 % student discount when travelling on commuter trains in commuter train services area on single tickets and on 10 journey multi-tickets.
More information: https://www.vr.fi/cs/vr/en/students_new
For single trips exceeding 60 kilometres, Matkahuolto grants a 50% discount for normal adult tickets. For shorter trips, the discount is smaller. The tickets are always cheaper when purchased online in advance. There is also a five-trip travel card available for students, that entitles the card holder for five travel times in the specified route. To receive the student discount, you must a full-time student at a Finnish institution, and have a student ID with Matkahuolto stamp on it. Alternatively, you can get a Matkahuolto and VR student ID from any bus terminal.
More information: https://www.matkahuolto.fi/en/
Bus routes in Hämeenlinna are operated by several companies. Bus tickets are available as single tickets or for various periods. A single ticket costs around €3-4, and a one-month bus pass in the centre costs around €54.
There’s a couple libraries located around the city centre of Hämeenlinna, where you can borrow books, DVDs, CDs, and other materials.
In Finland, the meals for students are state supported, and thus healthy, nutritious, and very affordable.
With a student card or meal subsidy card, you can buy affordable food in HAMK’s student restaurants and cafes. The price per meal is €2.60 if you show your student card to the cashier.
It is also possible to see the weekly menu online.
In Finland, the health care of students is organised by Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS, in Finnish: Ylioppilaiden terveydenhoitosäätiö, YTHS). The FSHS services are available for all students studying on Bachelor’s or Master’s level at universities and have paid their student union membership fee to a student union that is affiliated with the FSHS. Those studying for a Licentiate of Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine degree are also entitled to use the FSHS’s services. The health services are not available for Doctoral students, so if you are admitted to Doctoral level studies, please contact your university for advice and options on local health care.
If you are studying at a university of applied sciences (UAS), the health care services are usually provided through municipal health care providers. You can find more information on your health care arrangements from your UAS directly.
Please note that even when your student status makes you eligible to access the student health care services, this does not replace the need for a valid insurance.
You can find more information from FSHS website: http://www.yths.fi/en/
Or directly from your own UAS or university.
Hämeenlinna has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing and experiencing the city.
The Castle Peninsula
It is located about half a kilometer from the city centre. While you are here, you may visit the Häme Castle and Museo Militaria – The Artillery, Engineer and Signals Museum of Finland and the Prison Museum are all in this same area.
Häme Castle is one of Finland’s medieval royal castles. It is believed to have been built at the end of the 13th century, following the crusade by Swedish Earl Birger to Häme region. During the Middle Ages the original fortified camp was built into a residential castle for its commandant. In the 18th century a third storey was built and curtain wall buildings partly replaced the original outer walls. The castle and its surroundings were in prison use from 1837 to 1972. The main castle is now presented as a historical monument.
It is a culture and congress center situated in the centre of Hämeenlinna. The red brick milieu breathes the culture on offer at the complex. Among others, Hämeenlinna Theatre and Hämeenlinna Art Museum are located in the building.
The Birthplace of Jean Sibelius
In the centre of Hämeenlinna, in the 8th of December in the year of 1865, a son was born to the town doctor. The child was named Johan Christian Julius Sibelius. Today the world knows him as Finland’s beloved national composer; Jean Sibelius. The Birthplace of Jean Sibelius is a small, cozy museum where pictures, Sibelius´s belongings and music tell the colorful story of the different phases in the composer´s life.
Skogster Museum is the new main location of Hämeenlinna City Museum next to the market place. The downstairs holds a museum shop and reference library, as well as the Ooh, Hämeenlinna! exhibition, which features funny stories and extraordinary truths about Hämeenlinna. The downstairs of the museum has free admission.
Palander House presents the lifestyle of a bourgeois Hämeenlinna family 100 years ago. The museum showcases a variety of room ensembles, ranging from the elegant drawing room the servant´s kitchen. The museum is located in the north-east corner of the city centre in an area with lots of period houses.
Iittala Lasimäki’s “Glass Hill” provides visitors with various opportunities to learn about the history of glass as well as modern design. The glass museum features interesting exhibitions, and there is free access to the viewing balcony of the Iittala Glass Factory weekdays from 9 am to 8 pm. The factory is closed 22nd June – 30th July. In the factory shop you can find all Iittala Group´s products from the classics by Iittala, Arabia and Hackman to the products in the modern lines.