Jyväskylä is a nice university city in Central Finland and a sizeable part of the city's 130,000 inhabitants are students. Beautifully set between lakes and ridges, many motorsports fans are familiar with the city as the Finnish Rally of the World Rally Championships series takes place around the city each July.
By carJyväskylä is an important node in the Finnish highway network, and roads from many directions pass through it. These are the major ones:
- Highway 4 comes from Lahti and Helsinki (south) and Oulu and Lapland (north).
- Highway 9 comes from Tampere and Turku (southwest) and from Kuopio (northeast).
- Highway 13 comes from Mikkeli (southeast) and from Kokkola (northwest)
- Highway 18 comes from Vaasa (northwest)
- Highway 23 comes from Pori (southwest) and from Varkaus (east)
By planeJyväskylä has a small , a former military air base, Tikkakoski Airport, situated 20 km from Jyväskylä center. The biggest user of the Tikkakoski airport still today is the Finnish Military Air Force, who host their base nearby. The airport is also base for Military Flight School. For commercial flights, the airport is mostly served by Flybe (Helsinki). There are also some direct charter flights to popular holiday destinations.
From the airport you can travel to the city by airport bus. Tickets cost €8, only cash payment (January 2013). The bus will leave the airport when all passengers have picked up their luggage. Reaching the airport for an outgoing flight is also possible by bus, the bus will leave from the front of the city bus station (Matkakeskus) one hour before the departure time of the flight.
You can also reach the city by taxi in 15–20 minutes. Catching or calling a taxi from the airport it will cost approx. €35 (March 2010) to get to the city center. If you are traveling alone, it's cheaper to order the taxi as a special "Airport-Taxi". Ordering an Airport-Taxi two hours in advance will lower the cost for one person down to €20, and a designated taxi driver with a name sign will be waiting at the airport for you. The service number for taxis in Jyväskylä area is +358 10 06900 (also for Airport-Taxi).
By trainJyväskylä is well connected by railroads to the other Finnish cities, and getting in by train is rather effortless. A train ticket between Helsinki and Jyväskylä for an adult costs around €60. Student discounts are only offered to those studying in Finland.
The (Jyväskylä travel center, or Jyväskylän matkakeskus in Finnish) is open from 06:00 to 22:00 from Friday to Saturday and from 08:00 to 22:00 on Sundays. Train tickets are sold at ticket machines at all opening hours, but the booking office does not sell tickets in the early morning or late night.
By busBuses travel between Jyväskylä and other Finnish cities, as well as smaller destinations. A bus ticket from Helsinki to Jyväskylä with one of the Matkahuolto associated bus companies will usually cost about 50€, and can be bought from the driver. Sometimes cheaper tickets can be found online.
A discount bus operator Onnibus offers significantly cheaper intercity bus travel to and from Jyväskylä, though the tickets must be bought online.
By boatOn Saturday a boat operates between Jyväskylä and Suolahti on the Keitele-Päijänne Canal . You need 4,5 to 6 h, ticket prices are: adult 36,00 € (2013), child under 12 years 18,00 €, child under 4 years is free. Transport of a bicycle 10,00 €, Buffet 21,00 € adults, 10,00 € children.
Jyväskylä has rather nice opportunities for getting around by foot or by bicycle, so if you're not in a hurry, you might want to just consider walking everywhere. Almost 1/3 of the population of Jyväskylä are students who mainly use bicycles to get around in the central area. Roads are also in a good condition, so you can explore the beautiful nature around the city.
By busLocal buses travel between the different parts and suburbs of Jyväskylä. You can use route planner to seek local bus routes between given locations and addresses.
The single tickets are sold by the bus driver and the fares are relatively costly at 3€ per trip. The night fare (23:00-04:00) is 1€ extra, making a taxi possibly a cheaper option when travelling in groups of three or more. If you need to change buses during one trip, you have to show your receipt on the next bus (you have to get on to the next bus within one hour from buying the ticket).
If you plan to stay longer and want to use the bus service regularly, you might want to consider buying a bus card, which will be a bit cheaper (much cheaper if you are a student living in Jyväskylä). A 30-day bus card costs 60 € (without reduction) and it can be used as much as wanted during this 30-day period. No matter which part of Jyväskylä you want to get to, there are approximately three buses leaving each hour (daytime), though during the summer months (June to August) the frequency is reduced to two buses per hour.
You can also buy a one day tourist ticket from the tourist information centre on Asemakatu in the city centre. The cost is 8€ and allows you to travel on an unlimited number of buses within the city area for one day. The ticket is valid from the day it is purchased until 3am the next morning.
By taxiTaxis can be usually be found waiting at the Jyväskylän matkakeskus or other taxi poles in the center of the city. If there are no taxis present, you have to call for one. The taxi service number in Jyväskylä area is +358 10 06900. The starting cost during daytime (Mon - Sat) is 5.10 € and at other times 8.00 € (March 2010). The cost per traveled kilometer varies between 1 - 2 € depending on the number of passengers. The price list is always available in taxis.
HarjuA ridge just next to the center of the town, has a park on its slopes. Good for picnics and such.
address: Ihantolantie 5Building on the top of the ridge Harju. Free entry to the observation tower which gives a wonderful view of the city. The Natural History Museum of Central Finland is also in this building, as well as a restaurant.
Jyväskylä has many buildings by the famous architect Alvar Aalto. These include kaupunginteatteri (the town theater), some buildings in the main campus of the university and the Alvar Aalto Museum.
MuseumsExhibitions and art museums:
Admission is free for all on Fridays to Jyväskylä Art Museum, Craft Museum of Finland and Museum of Central Finland. Ask for a student discount in the museums and galleries, though often a Finnish student card is necessary. The national Museum Card gives free admission in some museums.
address: Kauppakatu 23
address: Kauppakatu 25
address: Alvar Aallon katu 7
address: Alvar Aallon katu 7
Natural History Museum of Central FinlandThe Natural History Museum of Central Finland is located in the tower on the top of the Harju ridge in the city centre.
address: Tikkakoskentie 125Army aeroplanes, scale models about general aviation history, photographs. Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Fouga Magister simulators (available Saturdays or by agreement; book in advance on the net).
Nature trailsThere are several recreational 'nature paths' in Jyväskylä. They are mainly situated in forest areas.
TourujokiA nature preservation area just a few hundred meters off the city center. The 700 meters long trail goes along river Tourujoki.
Kangasvuori nature trailThe path can be entried in the back of the school Huhtasuon koulu. (trail map)
The city's web site has an event calendar for current and upcoming events.
Ice skating and skiing on Lake JyväsjärviThese are available and maintained in the winter once the ice is thick enough. The ice skating track is 2.5 km long, and the ski trail is 8 km long.
address: Laajavuorentie 15When there is snow. A small ski centre for downhill skiing and snowboarding with an extensive network of crosscountry skiing tracks in the vicinity.
HiihtomaaMultiple ski tracks for traditional and skate skiing. Ski tracks connecting to Halssila, Huhtasuo and Vaajakoski. Sled hill for children.
Ladunmajaaddress: Ronsuntaipaleentie 279Multiple ski tracks for traditional and skate skiing. Ski tracks connecting to Keltinmäki and Etelä-Keljo.
Swimming and Beaches
Jyväskylä has plenty of lakes and these provide nice opportunities for swimming and general beach activities during the warm summer months. Some of them offer ice swimming during the winter.
VuorilampiA small pond with usually relatively warm water. Swimming is possible also during the winter.
TuomiojärviMaybe the most popular beach in town and has two beach volleyball fields.
KolmisoppinenRelatively small lake with a beach somewhat secluded compared to those nearer the town centre.
KöhniönjärviA popular beach among the inhabitants of Köhniö and the nearby neighbourhoods. Buses 1 and 2 stop here.
AaltoAlvari Aquatic Centeraddress: Pitkäkatu 2Swimming hall and gym.
address: Ahjokatu 14Indoor climbing without ropes.
Festivals and events
You'll definitely want to look for shopping opportunities at the Jyväskylä pedestrian precinct, which is located at the other end of Kauppakatu. There is several small boutiques and few shopping malls.
address: Kauppakatu 20–22 and Vapaudenkatu 49–51
address: Kauppakatu 29-31
address: Yliopistonkatu 36-38
phone: +358 207918600address: Asematie 2, VaajakoskiPanda was founded in 1920 and is known for its liquorice and chocolate products. It is not possible to tour the factory itself.
Second-hand bookshopsThree antiquarian bookstores are situated in Kauppakatu.
address: Kauppakatu 16The books are clearly categorized in a relatively large boutique. There is also books written in English.
Jyväskylän Vanha Antikvariaattiaddress: Kauppakatu 2
address: Kauppakatu 17
Flea marketsThere is also a few flea markets worth visiting in Jyväskylä.
address: Sorastajantie 1The biggest flea market of Jyväskylä.
SPR-kirppisaddress: Kirrinpolku 5Charity flea market situated in Palokka about 8 km from city center to north. They sell clothes, books, dishes and furniture.
address: Kirrinkuja 1Self-service flea market, there you may find clothes, books etc. goods.
address: Sorastajantie 4Flea market sells furniture, books and clothes.
address: Sorastajantie 1 ASecondhand products by Finnish Military.
Ilokiviaddress: Keskussairaalantie 2Vegan food is served every day.
address: Keskussairaalantie 4
address: Mattilanniemi 2
address: Survontie 9
address: Ahlmaninkatu 2
There are many pizzerias offering large pizzas for as cheap as 4-5 €, guaranteed to fill your belly.
Kasvisravintola Katriinaaddress: Kauppakatu 11The only vegetarian restaurant in Jyväskylä. Unfortunately, it is open only for lunch between 11AM and 2PM.
Hong Kong Cityaddress: Kauppakatu 12Serves up pretty decent Chinese cuisine every day until 11PM
address: Puistokatu 21Located near the university, serves high quality traditional Finnish street food. Try the Taxari, deep fried french fries and sausages, with your choice of condiments, 4,5 €. Especially tasty after an evening of drinking. Open until 5AM weekends.
Restaurant Pöllöwaariaddress: Yliopistonkatu 23Serves excellent lunch between 11AM - 2PM
Pizzeria MariaFor less than 10 euro: selection from the salad bar, pizza, pasta, kebab, fallafel, and coffee. The pasta vegeteriana is excellent.
address: Asemakatu 4A good small restaurant located a bit off from city center, however it only servers lunch between 11AM to 3PM
Pubs, Bars and NightclubsNightlife is centered in the downtown part of Kauppakatu and cross streets, some also in the uptown part of Kauppakatu, near the University. As most of the bars are situated on Kauppakatu or very close to it, pub crawls can be easily arranged in Jyväskylä. Start from Yläkaupunki and work your way down to the clubs in Alakaupunki!
Alakaupunki (Downtown)A large number of bars, restaurants and nightclubs is located around the pedestrian district. Cheaper places in this area include Bar Explosive, Pub Anneli and Bar Passion. Suggested establishments:
address: Kauppakatu 35The newest club in town offers the same as the others plus a beach section with hammocks. Open Tue-Sun to 4AM. with age limit of 20 on Fridays and 22 on Saturdays. Cover charge 5 €.
Giggling Marlinaddress: Kauppakatu 32This club is easily recognizable by the long queue during weekends. As a part of a night club chain, this venue offers the same blend of danceable music and beautiful people you might have seen in the other SK bars. Cover charge €5.
address: Väinönkatu 32This club can also be recognized of having a long queue during weekends. A big nightclub located in an old cinema with the normal blend of danceable music and beautiful people. Cover charge €2,5-5 depending on the night. Students can get some discounts.
address: Kauppakatu 41Situated in Vanha Tiilitalo (The Old Brick Building), is a pub with probably the biggest selection of beer in town.
address: Yliopistonkatu 38The one and only cocktail bar in Jyväskylä. This bar was established in 2004 and it has been since twice nominated as one of the top 20 bars in Finland. The bartender is among the best flairtenders in Finland, so don't be surprised to see some neat tricks behind and over the counter.
Yläkaupunki (Uptown)If you prefer a more laid-back night scene than euro-disco hell, walk uphill along Kauppakatu until you are past the church. This is where Yläkaupunki begins. Suggested establishments:
address: Vaasankatu 21This pub has been around for a while and has still managed to stay fresh. Many students come here, maybe because the university is just next door or maybe because of the "rock hours". Food is also served. Open every day and until 2AM on weekends.
address: Kauppakatu 6Definitely the coolest spot in town to have a beer, afternoon or evening (happy hour is 9PM till 11PM every day. 4 liter tap for 2€). Art shows on the walls change every 20 days or so. Live music occasionally. Theater in the cellar. Lots of board games available for play. Wireless internet.
Vihreä Haltiataraddress: Kauppakatu 13A quality establishment with over 100 beers to choose from. Friendly knowledgeable staff. Wireless internet. Awesome jukebox packed with an eclectic collection of old 45s. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.
address: Seminaarinkatu 19Just a block further from Vakiopaine. A true Finnish drinking experience, you'll hear the word "perkele" several times before your first beer is gone!
phone: +358 14 338 1400address: Kauppakatu 11 A 4
phone: +358 10 279 2006address: Taitoniekantie 9This is situated in the student village of Kortepohja, about 2 km from the city center.
address: Sepänkatu 3
address: Vapaudenkatu 57
phone: +358 14-636311address: Ahlmaninkatu 4A nice, mid-range budget hotel. Half of the rooms face the lake, while the other half face the city.
phone: +358 14-333-900address: Yliopistonkatu 23A small, beautiful boutique hotel (but expensive one!)
address: Lutakonaukio 10
address: Kauppakatu 35
address: Hannikaisenkatu 35
address: KauppakatuThe Forum shopping centre in the centre of the city has a free wifi connection.
address: KauppakatuThe Jyväskeskus shopping centre in the centre of the city has a free wifi connection.
address: Corner of Vapaudenkatu and UrhonkatuThe TE-palvelut unemployment office has free wifi and free toilets.
Every library in the city has both computers with internet access and free wifi. Usually the wifi password is written on a sign somewhere, but you can ask a librarian, as they all speak English. The main library in Jyväskylä city centre also has free toilets.
Restaurants and bars also have wifi connections for customers, but a password is usually needed and must specifically be asked for.
Keep in mind that in the winter time the streets might be slippery and that it is mandatory by traffic law to wear a reflector during the dark period.