Hämeenlinna – a historic town surrounded by beautiful lakes

The Finnish city of Hämeenlinna is a lively cultural and commercial center surrounded by countless beautiful lakes. Thanks to the numerous popular destinations in the surrounding area and the convenient location in terms of transport, the city has turned into a paradise for Finland lovers!


  • Population: 67,848
  • Location: Southern Finland in the Häme region
  • Area: 2,031.6 km2
  • Currency: Euro

Hämeenlinna – Finnish cultural history in the lake landscape

Hämeenlinna has been inhabited since the Iron Age. The carved stone “Uhrikivenkadun kuppikivi”, which shows this, can be seen on Matintie Street.

In order to consolidate Swedish rule after a crusade to Häme, Häme Castle was built in the 13th century. In 1639 the castle was completed by a Swedish governor general. The latter then founded the town of Hämeenlinna north of the castle.

Today, the core city is located on Saarinen Hill on the shore of Lake Vanajavesi. Helsinki is 98 kilometers away in the southern direction and Tampere 75 kilometers away in the northern direction. Overall, the area of the city is slightly smaller than that of Luxembourg, with most of Hämeenlinna being rural.

By the way, there are 339 lakes in the city area! The largest are Lake Vanajavesi, Lake Kukkia and Lake Kuohijärvi.

Aerial view of Hämeenlinna, Finland
Source: Ranlan / bigstockphoto.com

5 top varied activities in Hämeenlinna

Sibelius Museum

The famous Finnish composer Jean Sibelius was born in Hämeenlinna in 1865 and spent the first 20 years of his life in the city. Today, the museum in his birthplace commemorates him. Here, among the original furnishings, you can immerse yourself in the life of the young composer and relax with his music.

Sibelius Museum in Hämeenlinna, Finland
Source: markovskiy / depositphotos.com

Castle Häme

The castle on the shore of Lake Vanajavesi is a rare example of medieval brick Gothic in Finland. Today the castle is a museum. By the way, the tower offers a wonderful view of the surrounding area.

By the way, on the grounds of Häme Castle there are also the town’s Historical Museum, a prison museum and an artillery museum. So if you are interested in the history of the region, this is the place to be!

The opening hours and entrance fees of the different buildings can be seen on the castle’s website.

Häme Castle, Finland
Source: sikaraha / depositphotos.com

Motorsport circuit Ahveniston Moottorirata

The famous race track hosts both national and international car races and motorcycle championships. Due to some altitude differences and fast curves, it is considered one of the most challenging race tracks in Finland. There is also an exciting automobile museum here.

Hämeenlinna city church

The main church of the city was built on the model of the Pantheon in Rome at the end of the 18th century. According to a legend, the church was built in this shape only so that it could be easily changed into a theater in case of disuse. The king considered the inhabitants to be very pagan. However, due to some reconstructions the church looks different today.

Hämeenlinna City Church, Finland
Source: Estea-Estea / depositphotos.com

Aulanko Nature Reserve

The region around the present nature reserve has been inhabited for over 10,000 years. The landscape in the area has been shaped by the inhabitants and has not been in its natural state for a long time.

Aulanko Nature Reserve, Finland
Source: Wirestock / depositphotos.com

At the beginning of the 20th century, a large project was completed to transform the land into an English-style park. For this purpose, artificial ponds were created, about 14 kilometers of new roads were built, and an observation tower was erected on the site of an old fortress on the hill Aulankovuori . This is 33 meters high and you have a fantastic view of Lake Vanajavesi, there is also a café here.

Most of the trees from the park originate from large plantings in the 1930s, after the city of Hämeenlinna acquired the land. The area has been protected by law since 1991.

Hämeenlinna – easy connection in any direction

The Hämeenlinna train station in the Keinusaari district is very busy due to the through traffic between Helsinki and Tampere busy traffic.

The city is also easily accessible by car from, among others, Helsinki and Tampere in one hour.

The nearest airport is in the capital Helsinki. There is a direct bus connection between the airport and Hämeenlinna. Alternatively, you can take the train that goes to Hämeenlinna with a change in Tikkurila.

One night in Hämeenlinna

AccommodationAddress Description
Scandic AulankoAulangontie 93, 13220 Hämeenlinna3 star hotelConference and spa hotelPool and training room
Hotel VanajanlinnaVanajanlinnantie 476, 13330 Harviala4-star hotelPredominant mansionSauna, beach access to Lake Katumajärvi, golf course.
Matin ja Maijan MajataloEteläkatu 5, 13100 HämeenlinnaSmall cozy Bed & Breakfast Central location, 4 minutes walk from the beachThree rooms with balcony, the other three with fireplace

In Hämeenlinna you can indulge yourself deliciously!

Ravintola Uoma €€-€€

This restaurant has perfected the concept “the eye eats with you“! Ravintola Uoma attracts with attractive Scandinavian dishes and extremely friendly service.

If you want to enjoy Finnish cuisine, it is best to make a reservation. This is easily done online on the restaurant’s website.

Himalaya Kitchen Ravintola €€-€€

Hämeenlinna can also be Asian! The traditional Nepalese cuisine of Himalaya Kitchen Ravintola is also suitable for vegetarians and vegans. The restaurant is centrally located in the middle of the city.

Birger €€-€€

The Birger is a must for every beer connoisseur! Here is a wide range of products with over 80 different varieties. In addition, the bar tempts you with a hearty and regional dinner in a relaxed atmosphere. By the way, once a month there is also live music at Birger.

The shopping paradise Raatihuoneenkatu in Hämeenlinna

Raatihuoneenkatu street has been partially converted into a pedestrian zone and functions as the main shopping street in Hämeenlinna city center. In the numerous stores and boutiques you can find Finnish brands like Aarikka or Kultakesku.

In 2014, the Goodman Shopping Center was also built on the street, which means that no shopping wishes remain unfulfilled!


If you want to spend a varied vacation in Finland, Hämeenlinna is the place to be! Surrounded by a gorgeous natural landscape full of lakes and peppered with numerous artifacts of Finnish cultural history, the city stands out as an ideal vacation destination!

The most frequent questions from travelers

What is the best time to visit Hämeenlinna in Finland?

The ideal time to travel is between May and September, as this is when the mildest and most pleasant temperatures prevail and the least rainfall occurs.

What is the easiest way to get to Hämeenlinna?

The city has a convenient location, as it lies between the major cities of Helsinki and Tampere. Therefore, many roads and railroads pass through the city. Hämeenlinna is about an hour away from Helsinki by car. The nearest airport is also located there.

What is typically Finnish?

Probably the most famous Finnish invention is and remains the sauna! By the way, many hotels and apartments are equipped with one or more saunas.

Other cities in Finland

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Ich bin absoluter Skandinavien-Fan und reise schon seit über 12 Jahren in die schönen Länder Skandinaviens. Hier teile ich meine Erfahrungen und Tipps zu den skandinavischen Ländern und der Ostsee-Region.