Oulu

From Eco Friendly Travels

Eco-friendly travel guide to Oulu advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Oulu, Finland.


  • Air quality: 4 / 5
  • Exploring by foot: 3.9 / 5
  • Exploring by bicycle: 4 / 5
  • Public transportation: 4 / 5
  • Parks: 3.9 / 5
  • Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 3.8 / 5
  • Safety: 4 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$190 - $200
  • Budget per day: US$150 - $180

Responsible Travel

After the Rio Conference in 1990, the topic of responsible traveling became quite significant. Sustainable traveling is necessary since it helps in keeping the areas clean and free from pollution. If you are traveling to any new country or city, then it is better to follow this method. Known as one of the most popular cities in Finland, it is considered as one of the fun cities. From beaches to the enthralling beauty of the monuments, everything will mesmerize you. Millions of tourists from around the world come here to unwind and relax to stay away from stress and anxiety. Oulu is spread across various islands and it connects the pedestrian bridges as cycleways. Besides, it is also known as the technology city, you will find many top-notch universities as well as corporate parks, especially in the city outskirts that hire employees from around the globe. It is a huge city lined with huge buildings as well as parks, which oozes charm in every corner. As a responsible-traveler, it is your responsibility not to harm the property or throw litter here and there in the city. The marvelous beauty, the eye-catchy background is worth cherishing. Above all, you should be aware of the fact that you are not hampering the beauty and surroundings of the city.


Air Quality and Pollution

Even though Oulu is one of the modern cities of Finland, the air quality stays moderate to good throughout the year. Whenever you are traveling to a new location, make sure to find out whether the pollution levels and the air quality is good. Otherwise, if you have breathing troubles, then it is best to check out the pollution levels in any city. Besides, it is also necessary to carry facemasks. Before coming out of your hotel, make sure that you are carrying protection. You must also keep in mind not to take off your protection while you are out. The night is the best time when it comes to exploring the city. If you have respiratory issues or dust allergy issues, then it is best not to have prolonged exposure to pollution. Besides, you must also find out whether there are any nearby hospitals in the city. The government has come up with various pollution control methods that have helped in working on the air quality.


Respect the Culture

You cannot deny the fact that it is the culture that plays a significant role in making a place unique. Finnish habits are quite charming and the locals are friendly. Once you visit Oulu, you will notice that the locals mostly follow European traditions. Besides, Finns share linguistic roots with the Hungarians as well as Estonians. Just like other Nordic cultures, locals in Oulu give importance to organization and punctuality. Besides, the history of the conflict, as well as the climate with the neighboring countries, helps the cities of Finland to enjoy a risk-averse culture. Hence, as a traveler, you will find it quite difficult to persuade the locals when it comes to trying out something new. Apart from that, the Finnish culture does not support unemotional behavior, reticence, and even thoughtfulness. Once you interact with the locals, you will understand that the locals in Oulu are somber, quiet, and seemingly stubborn. Overall, as a traveler, you will enjoy the culture as well as the traditions, which the locals here like to follow.


Top 10 Places to Visit

If you want to feel mesmerized by the stunning views of any place, then Oulu can be the paradise for you. From museums to castles, the city is filled with various mesmerizing spots where you can visit to cherish the beauty of the place. Before traveling to Oulu, make sure to research the different places so that you can explore every corner of the city. Besides, if you want, you can also take the help of any local guides. They have exceptional knowledge regarding the surroundings of the city. Let us check out some of the popular places where you must visit.

  • Tietomaa- It is one of the popular science museums, which is loved by the locals as well as the foreigners. Mainly, it is a science center where you will find information on exciting science topics. Besides, here you will get a wide range of information on science, for adults as well as kids. If you are interested in finding out about various concepts, then make sure to include Tietomaa in your bucket list.
  • Tukansaaren Ulkomuseo- It is yet another one of the most popular open-air museums located mainly on an island. Run by the Northern Ostrobothnia museum. Hence, you will find a wide range of museum artifacts by the Finns earlier. If you visit the museum, you will find out that the interiors are designed in a traditional Finnish style. Besides, there are various areas in the museum where you will find out about the tar trade that was popular during the 20th century.
  • Nallikari- If you planning for a relaxing vacation in Oulu, then make sure to enjoy a staycation at the Nallikari. It is mainly a seaside resort situated in the Hietasaari district. The best part is the resort is located near the local bus routes. On top of that, the resort remains full throughout the year due to its stunning beach location. You will not only get exclusive hotel rooms but also rentable cottages, seaside restaurants as well as spa and retreat options.
  • The Oulu Museum of Art- It is one of the popular art museums in the Myllytulli neighborhood. Located on the Hupisaaret Islands Park, the museum was opened to highlight the modern art as well as the old culture of the Finns. Apart from that, since its beginning, the museum has also focused on northern Finnish artists. Overall, the locals consider it as the pride and gem of the city.
  • Hupisaaret Island- It is one of the most popular island city parks located in the Myllytulli district. This area was built in 1860 and the first white wooden bridges characterize the park. Small brooks, as well as waterways, divide the park into small and large islands. Make sure to include this in your travel list, you are planning for a vacation in the Oulu.
  • Liminka Bay- Love birdwatching, then the Liminka Bay is one of the best places, which is a must-visit. It is mainly a wetland having eye-soothing beauty. Besides, as it is located amidst nature away from the hustle of the city, you will find the place quite peaceful. If you are planning to Oulu, make sure to include Liminka Bay in your travel list.
  • Koitelinkoski- It is a recreation area situated along the Kiiminkijoki River of the Kiiminki district in Oulu. The area consists of small islands for dividing free-flowing River that flows into rapids as well as small streams. Rapids are yet another one of the most impressive ones of the Kiiminkijoki River.
  • Nallikari Beach- Nallikari Beach is yet another one of the most popular sightseeing places where you must visit. Besides, if you want to relax and stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city, then it is best to visit Nallikari Beach. Even if you come here with your family, you will be able to relax and spend a good time.


Explore

Whenever you are traveling to any new destination, make sure to find out about some of the most popular spots that are worth visiting. Alternatively, you must find out different ways of exploring some of the best tourist attractions in Oulu.


City Parks

  • Ainolan Puisto- Close to the city center, this is one of the most popular city parks that you will come across. Ainolan Puisto is one of the most favorite parks that you will come across in the city. Both local,s as well as the travel enthusiast, come here to cherish the view as well as its peacefulness. The greenery around the place is something that you will love for sure.
  • Pokkinens park- It is yet another one of the famous city parks that you will come across in the city. Both adults, as well as kids, come here to spend some time amidst nature.


National Parks

  • Huutilampi- Although it is a national reserve, you will find a range of birds as well as species here. Besides, as it is close to nature, you will find it extremely peaceful to spend some good time amidst greenery. Apart from that, you will notice that both locals, as well as travel enthusiasts, come here to explore.
  • Sanginjoen Riistapolku- It is yet another one of the most popular national reserves that you will come across. Tourists from around the world come here to indulge in beauty. Make sure to include this in your travel list if you are planning for a vacation in Oulu.


Beaches

  • Nallikari- It is the most popular beach that you will come across in the city. Perfect for the sunbathers and water sports lovers. On top of that, the beach resorts are just the right choice if you want to enjoy the seafront view.


Landmarks

You will come across many landmarks in the city that will help you to reach your destination. Due to this reason, make sure to find out about some of the popular landmarks in the city. Some of the popular landmarks that you will come across in the city are Nallikari, The Oulu Museum of Art, Tietomaa Science Centre, etc.


Museums

  • The Oulu Museum of Art- If you are someone who takes interest in art, then make sure to visit the Oulu Museum of Art. Here you will find out exclusive artwork of some of the popular artists.
  • Tietomaa Science Centre- Yet another one of the most popular museums that you will find in the city. If you love exploring and finding out about science, then this museum will no doubt amaze you.


Eat

Well, Finnish foods are one of the most delicious things that you will ever try. From soups and snacks to the main course, you will get a wide range of options to explore. On top of that, if you are a foodie, the uncountable choice will spoil you for sure. Apart from the abundance of lakes and forests, Oulu is blessed with healthy as well as wholesome foods. From berries to root vegetables, you will get everything here. Once you are in Oulu, you will some common dishes that are a must-try. For example, Rye bread is one such dish that you must not miss. It might sound simple; however, it is one of the best bread you will ever try. Made with flax seeds, it is no doubt healthy and is served with homemade butter, cheese or jam. Next is salmon and locals in Oulu are obsessed with having healthy fish since it maintains their health. Fresh and smoked salmon is the best dish that you will try in the city. As the fresh cold water is suitable for salmon to breed, it stays pink and fattier. You will hardly find any place where salmon is not served.


Traditional Local Restaurants

Since the foods available in Oulu are immensely delicious, it is compulsory to try out some of the most popular traditional restaurants. Yes, the traditional restaurants are some of the best places where you can enjoy the authentic taste of Finn dishes.

  • Ravintola Uleaborg 1881- One of the best traditional restaurants that you will find in the city. From snacks to a full course menu along with delicious desserts, you will get everything here. Besides, the staff is friendly and can help you to find the best dishes. Make sure to try out the local delicacies, especially the sweets.
  • Villa Hannala- It is yet another popular restaurant that you must try out if you are traveling to Oulu. The famous dish here is salmon soup and the locals, as well as the travel enthusiasts, rave about the dish. On top of that, it is one of the best choices for having lunch due to the wide range of dishes available.


Vegetarian and Vegan

If you feel experimental and try out the popular vegan dishes in the city, then make sure to explore the vegan restaurants. From delicious sandwiches to vegan cakes, you will get everything. Besides, even if you are a coffee lover, the wide variety of coffee options will blow your mind.

  • Tuokio- One of the most popular began friendly restaurants that you will come across in the city; Tuokio served some of the best quality vegan dishes. Be it for breakfast or lunch and dinner, it is one of the best places to enjoy the best and healthy vegan food. The bakery section in the menu list is worth exploring.
  • Asukastupa Alvari- It is a European vegan restaurant that you must try if you are in Oulu. Among all the other menu options, it is best if you choose the restaurant for lunch. Besides, the international dishes that you will get here are no doubt worth trying.


Street Food

If you want to explore any city properly, then it is necessary not to miss the local delicacies. Yes, the demand for street foods is high in Oulu. Locals as well as travel enthusiasts love enjoying the delicious street foods of Oulu. Let us check out some of the must-try street foods of Oulu.

  • Lihapullat- Also known as the Finnish meatballs, these are one of the most delicious and popular street foods that you must try in Oulu. Made with priceless herbs, Lihapullat is served with cooked or mashed potato, lingonberry jam, and cucumber pickles.
  • Salmiakki- Although black licorice is not used in dishes throughout the world, Finland uses black licorice in their food. Salmaikki is a licorice-flavored with ammonium chloride that gives a salty taste


Drink

Apart from a wide number of dishes and street foods, you will come across a wide number of drinks that are equally mouthwatering as well as delicious. You will come across both non-alcoholic as well as alcoholic drinks. Besides, people here love enjoying drinks along with food. Keeping aside everything, both locals, as well as foreigners, enjoy having drinks. For example, Lakka is one of the popular drinks. It is made by soaking cloudberries in alcohol for at least six months. Laka is a word, which means ‘Cloudberry’ in the Finnish language. Even though it is an alcoholic beverage, it comes with sweetness as well as a sweet aroma. Next, comes Sima, which is yet another traditional alcoholic beverage, which looks like a sparkling mead beverage. Made through the fermentation of dry yeast, sugar, dry raisins, and lemon, it comes with a delicious taste. Just like the traditional foods, the drinks here are immensely popular amongst the locals as well as the travel enthusiast.


Tap-water

Fortunately, Oulu is blessed with clean tap water, which means you can drink it. When traveling to the city, you will find that the locals as the travel enthusiasts here never hesitate to drink tap water. Besides, the pollution levels do not remain high in the city; thus, making it safe for everyone to drink tap water. However, if you do not want to take any risk, it is better to opt for buying packaged drinking water. Although the government came up with various plans to control pollution levels, it is best to avoid taking risks, especially if you are in a different city. As tourism is high in the city, you will come across many small stores selling package drinking water. Alternatively, you can also enjoy soft drinks, which are equally safe. Above all, you will get the drinks in different flavors. These soft drinks are served cold, which means you can enjoy them, especially during the summers. Many households have opted for water purifiers to stay safe.


Organic Cafés

It is true that people are becoming accustomed to saving the environment; still, many countries are there, learning about the importance of organic cafeterias. The demand for the organic cafeteria is increasing every day since these are different from the others. Organic cafeterias make foods made out of organic fruits and vegetables. Due to this reason, they are safe and hygienic. Besides, organic foods are available at much less cost compared to normal food. Above all, the ambiance of the organic cafeteria is different. The decorations of the organic cafeteria are made using recyclable products. Thus, you can understand that an organic cafeteria is always a sustainable option when it comes to responsible-traveling.


Breweries

Love enjoying craft beer in different cities, then breweries can be the best place for you. You will come across a handful of breweries in the city that sells delicious craft beers. Apart from that, here you will get some scrumptious appetizers that are worth trying. Let us check out some of the popular breweries pop in Oulu.

  • Sonnisaari Panimo Oy- Here you will get some best quality craft beer that is both homemade as well as imported. Besides, you will meet some best crowd here. Be it the locals or the fellow travelers, they are quite interesting to hang out with. If you are lucky, you will get additional discounts.
  • Maistilla- Yet another one of the most popular breweries that you will come across in the city. Here you will get the best quality craft beer along with other exotic cocktails that are equally delicious.


Activities

Plan for your next trip here and you will be blown away by the plethora of activities that you can try. Besides, when it comes to traveling to any new destination, it is necessary to explore some of the best activities that you must try while in the city or the countries. Oulu is one such destination, which is filled with some enthralling activities that are worth trying. Let us check out some of the must-try activities in Oulu.

  • Visit Nallikari Beach- Nallikari is one of the popular beaches where thousands of tourists, as well as locals, come here to spend some relaxing time with their family or friends. Similarly, tourists from around the world come here to explore the sandy beaches as well as clear waters. If you want, you can stay in the beachfront resorts in Nallikari beach so that you can enjoy the stunning view.
  • Spend a day at the Kauppahalli- Located in the city center; Kauppahalli is one of the most popular flea markets you will come across. As it is a flea market, you will get some outstanding souvenirs or food and clothing items at an affordable rate. Besides, the ambiance of the market is quite good.
  • Explore the Ainolan Puisto- Want to spend some good time amidst nature? This place is no doubt the best. Lush nature, as well as flowing water, makes Ainolan Puisto one of the idyllic places to spend some good time with your family. Besides, you will find a children’s playground here as well.
  • Visit the Oulu Cathedral- Built-in 1777, Oulu Cathedral is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. The church was built to pay tribute to the Kind of Sweden Gustav III. The layout of the cathedral is quite interesting and this something that makes it one of the top attractions of the city.
  • Explore the Hupisaaret Park- One of the best features and tourist attractions that you will come across. The soothing atmosphere is something that makes Hupisaaret Park one of the best places to spend some good time amidst nature. Apart from that, here you will get a playground for kids and a cafeteria.


Yoga and Retreats

You will come across many yoga and retreats in Oulu that will help you to relax and stay away from stress. Make sure to enroll yourself in these yoga classes.


Accommodation

Good accommodation is important to enjoy a relaxing holiday. Due to this reason, when you are traveling to an unknown place, make sure to book the best accommodation; otherwise, you will not be able to enjoy your vacation. Oulu is filled with some good hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. From five-star hotels to budget hostels and guesthouses, you will get everything. Even if you want to stay with the locals, you can stay with them in apartments. Make sure to book your hotels in advance so that you do not have to pay high charges. As tourists are gradually becoming aware of the exceptional tourist attraction places in Oulu, the tourist influx is gradually rising. Hence, you can understand that the demand for accommodation will remain high. Thus, make sure to book them in advance. Besides, while booking the hotels, you will notice that the rates are varying depending on the locations. The hotels that are located in the city center have high rates than those, which are away.


Green Hotels

The demand for green hotels is increasing throughout the world and the reason behind this is due to the increasing amount of pollution. However, not many countries have still adopted the trend of green hotels. Green hotels are made to protect the environment and the practices that are followed are eco-friendly. Hence, whenever you are traveling to any destination, it is best to find out green hotels since they are within budget and you can enjoy a great vacation over there. However, you will not find any green hotels in Oulu.


Hostels and Guest Houses

Want to stay on a budget and enjoy a comfortable stay, then opt for the hostels and guesthouses. Most travel enthusiasts opt for investing in exploring the corners of the city and like to spend a minimum on accommodation. Moreover, you will get some outstanding facilities as well as amenities that will make your vacation comfortable. Let us check out some of the popular hostels and guesthouses in Oulu.

  • Pikisaari Guesthouse- A cozy and comfortable guesthouses that you will come across in Oulu, Pikisaari Guesthouse is one of the best choices that you can make if you want to stay in guesthouses. Located near the main city, it is quite hygienic for spending at least five to six days. Although you will not get included-breakfast you will get an option for cereals and coffee.


Apartments

If you are traveling with your friends, then make sure that you are looking for apartments. The best part is you have to rent the apartments and you can stay for as long as you want. Similarly, if you want to stay with the locals, you ask them for offering the opportunity to stay with them. But, you have to keep in mind that you might face difficulties with booking them. Unlike, the hostels, guesthouses, or hotels, you will not get the amenities. Renting apartments will offer you some of the basic amenities. Hence, if you want to enjoy some of the best amenities, make sure to book your rooms through Airbnb. Here, you will get the best and verified rooms along with exciting amenities. Besides, the rooms that you will get here are completely verified. On top of that, if you have coupons, you will get additional discounts.


Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is quite safe in Oulu and you can certainly opt for experiencing it. However, since you will be experiencing it in a new city, it is best to stay safe and check the references before opting for Couchsurfing. Make sure to complete your profile before sending any request to the Couchsurfing communities. It is necessary to read the host profile and then you must send personalized mail on if they want to host you. If you search online, many travel communities are there made by surfers and hosts. Most hotels enlist the spaces so that you can enjoy a hassle-free stay. Once they accept your request, you will be able to enjoy the trip with other fellow travelers.


Camping

Nothing can be exciting ongoing on camping. If you want to make your trip interesting, then it is best to arrange for camping. These days, almost everyone opts for camping. While booking hotels, make sure to find out about some of the popular camping spots in the city. A holiday is all about relaxing and unwinding. Above all, if you want to make it interesting, then it is better to include camping in your bucket list. It is not only adventurous but also far away from the cost of the five-star hotels. You will come across multiple locations in Oulu for camping where you can stay two to three days for camping.


How to Get There

If you are planning for a vacation in Oulu, then the most important thing that you should be aware of is some of the best ways of traveling to the city. Almost every big or small country has a direct flight to Oulu. Thus, you can relax about the fact that Oulu is quite easy to reach. If you leave in any nearby cities, then you can always opt for opting for a private car or even public buses to reach.


Air

As already mentioned, Oulu is easy to reach if you opt for the flight route. Almost every country or city has direct flights to Oulu. If not, then you can opt for a break journey to Finland and then take any connecting flight to Oulu. However, make sure to check the flight tickets for any discounts. Also, it is better if you book the tickets in advance to avoid paying higher rates.


Bus

You can even opt for the bus routes to travel to Oulu. However, make sure that you are staying in any nearby cities as it will help you to avail the bus route. Although the public buses are easily available in Oulu; however, when traveling from other cities, you might not get buses easily.


Train

The train route is also quite popular in the city. If you are traveling from any adjacent cities, then you can always opt for the train route. Moreover, public transports never remain too crowded.


Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking is also a good idea to opt for when you are traveling to Oulu. Finns are quite friendly and they always offer you a lift when in need. But, make sure to stay aware, especially if you have luggage with you. Oulu is safe and you can relax that the locals will drop you at the right location. Besides, you must find out the hitchhiking spots in the city where the vehicles stop for picking up tourists.


Others

You can travel to other adjacent places in and around Oulu through various transport options available. From local buses to e-cars, you will get everything. Besides, these are quite a convenient option when it comes to moving around the city. Local buses are one of the best options since they are comparatively cheap than rent taxis.


Moving Around

Since Oulu is one of the most popular cities in Finland, you will get uncountable options when it comes to exploring. From historical attractions to forts and markets, you will get everything here to explore. Foot walking is one of the best options, especially if you want to explore every corner of the city.


Walk

As the weather remains quite pleasant throughout the year, you can always opt for foot walking. Even though you can explore the city throughout the day, it is best to explore Oulu during the evening. The beautiful ambiance of the city is no doubt mesmerizing. If you plan for exploring the markets, then make sure to avoid any transport options since most of the markets are close to the city center.


Bicycle

As a responsible traveler, it is your responsibility to opt for such transportation options that are not only affordable but also is an eco-friendly option. Due to this reason, opting for bicycles is the best idea. Besides, you can rent them from the local shops.


Electronic Vehicles

Although you might not see many people driving e-cars here. Locals here are quite concerned about maintaining a healthy environment. Due to this reason, people are opting for electronic vehicles, especially buses and personal cars. As the pollution-level is increasing every day, so the government is coming up with new initiatives every time to boycott petrol-driven cars and buses.


Public Bus

Public buses are famous in the city and are a good option if you want to explore the city. Since most of the tourist spots are far away from the city, it is best to opt for public buses. You will find many e-bus as well as petro driven cars. Besides, if you want to explore the city on a budget, then it is best to opt for public buses.


Tram, Train and Subway

The train route is quite popular in the city. Locals as well as travel enthusiasts, opt for the train route for traveling to adjacent cities.


Sustainable Shopping

The trend of sustainable shopping is quite popular in Oulu and the only reason is due to the rising population in the city. From organic clothing to food items, you will get almost everything here. Once you do sustainable shopping in Oulu, you will fall in love with the concept of sustainable shopping. All you have to do is show the things that you want to buy and the shopkeepers will help you with the things you have been looking for. Shopkeepers here are quite helpful here and always show the customers something bespoke which you will love. Let us check out some of the popular stores in Oulu.


Food Markets

Food markets in the city are quite popular. Here you will get some of the best quality souvenirs that you can take as a gifting option. Moreover, from spices to delicious food items that you will get is quite good. If you want, you can take them to your house. Some of the popular food markets in the city are K-Supermarket Pekuri, Aasia Market, etc.


Flea Markets

Every city has numerous flea markets and the specialty of these markets is you will get all of your favorite items, be it clothing or food at a cheap rate. From fashion items to home decoration, you will get almost everything in the flea markets. Visit the narrow blocks and maze of the city and you will find some amazing flea markets. If you visit the market, the massive stock, as well as the variety, will no doubt amaze you.


Second Hand Stores

Apart from the flea markets, Oulu has some outstanding second-hand stores. If you are not aware of the fact, then the second store stocks some outstanding fashion staples, household decoration items, and much more.


Eco-Fashion

People in Oulu are quite concerned about maintaining a good environment in the city. Due to this reason, you will find many eco-fashion stores. Here you will get exclusive fashion items like dresses, accessories, and other items.


Recycling

As already mentioned, people are concerned about environmental conditions, it is quite obvious that people here support recycling. Many companies are there that take old items and recycle them to come up with new things.


Waste

The amount of waste generation is quite high in the city and owing to this; the government took various initiatives to keep the city clean and free from wastes. This has also resulted in less pollution levels.


Work and Study Abroad

Students and candidates from around the world come here both for continuing their studies as well as employment opportunities. Due to this reason, you will come across many prestigious institutions as well as companies.


Exchange Student

Students from around the world come here to take admission in some of the reputed colleges and universities. Apart from that, the colleges and universities also offer scholarship programs to scholar students.


Au Pair

It is one of the best choices if you want to earn money, then enrolling in the Au Pair service is the best option. Au Pair is a good option where you have to take care of the family who is hiring you.


Volunteering

Since the city upholds dignity through its rich culture and heritage, many volunteering societies are there who help in preserving dignity. Many NGOs are there in the city who are responsible for preserving the culture.


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