Founded in 1779 on the banks of the Tammerkoski Rapids (one of Finland's official national scenic areas) Tampere evolved into the most highly industrialized locality in Finland during the 19th century and became nowadays the most populous inland city in the Nordic countries. It is also a centre for Finnish cultural life with its theatres and events focusing on music, literature, arts and architecture. The main tourist attraction is the Sarkanniemi amusement park, which includes a dolphinarium and the landmark Nasinneula tower, topped by a nice restaurant. Other well worth visiting sites are Tampere Cathedral, Tampere City Library Metso ("wood grouse"), Kaleva Church, the Tampere Hall for conferences and the Tampere Market Hall. Tampere is also home to one of the, if not the, last museum in the world dedicated to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
Surrounded by water on three sides and fringed by islands, Helsinki grew up around a natural harbor overlooking the Gulf of Finland. A city of wide streets, squares, and parks, adorned with sculpture, Helsinki was one of the world's first planned municipalities and is noted for its 19th-century neoclassical architecture. It is a city of bustling, colorful market squares and halls, of outdoor summer concerts and sports events, of seaside parks, of excellent cafes and restaurants and cutting-edge art in fine museums. It is also a pleasantly compact city, with many of the attractions in the central districts, within easy reach of one another.
All the hotels were extremely nice, except for Cumulus in Turku, which I would not recommend for anyone. The room was rundown, the breakfast was skimpy, and the staff was definitely not helpful. We appreciated the fact that we were able to have early ...
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