The theme park “Särkänniemi” offers countless attractions. This place has anything it takes to spend some fun time.
Those looking for that extra bit of adrenalin, may jump into the speedboat to experience a hell of a ride. Built in New Zealand, that boat is powered by 2 propellers, one at each side. Due to the fact that each propeller can be operated separately, the boat can be instantly turned through 180 degrees at a speed of maximum 84 km/h (52 mph). Thanks to its unique engines, the boat is more environmentally friendly and so much quieter than other boats of comparable size. It has a capacity for 21 persons. You find the jetty located close to the Pizzeria Pelle.
At Särkänniemi, more than 30 attractions wait to take you to another level of thrill. Try out the wild Tornado rollercoaster and you'll see what we mean. The Double Looping is nothing for the faint-hearted. Other attractions will either make you wet or give you the chance to snowboard in a halfpipe or enjoy a ride on a motorbike.
As children are not allowed to access regular attractions, we have created the fabulous Angry Birds Land (which is by the way also fun for adults). The adventure track is the heart of the area. It's equipped with tunnels, stairs and secret passages. There's plenty to explore at any corner of the park. Can you find the eggs that were hidden by green pigs? As the name already implies, this particular section of the park is modelled on the famous game, all held in the style of red angry birds.
The Aquarium offers a kaleidoscope of maritime wonders, presenting more than 200 fish species and maritime creatures from all around the world. Of course, Finland's endemic fish species are shown here, too. Which one is your favourite? The highlight of the Aquarium can be found downstairs. This is where you find the Paludarium, marshland that is haunted by a storm every half an hour. During the simulation, the lights are switched off and a breathtaking natural spectacle will take place just in front of your eyes. You additionally find two new terrariums down here, presenting both a ball python and a chameleon.
Have you ever thought of dolphins to be special animals? Well, in that case you should check out the Dolphinarium and get to know our lovely dolphins Veera, Delfi, Näsi, Leevi and Eevertti.
The Planetarium offers a fantastic view and various perspectives on the universe we live in. The building is not merely used for exploring the stars, but also as venue for music events and theatre productions. In addition, you can rent the building for presentations, business meetings and seminars.
One of the major highlights at Särkänniemi is Doghill. This section of the theme park is modelled on the books of Finnish author Mauri Kunnas, creating a 19th century atmosphere with its town and farm. The town has a special flair thanks to all those beautiful houses one can look at. By exploring Doghill, you explore Kunnas. Alternatively, you may just take a seat in one of the cafés and relax before you continue discovering this particular area.
Apart from the shows delivered by the Paw Theatre, the Pawhill section offers Dracula's castle that will surely scare you to death. Promised!
At the farm of Doghill, you find a petting zoo, which is home to donkey ladies Mimmi, Sanni and Zikita. Also, get to know the horses Lissu, Wallu, Olle, Muffe, Pixie, Cindy and Ransu. Learn more about sheep, goats, alpacas and other animals. Or just fall in love with one of the puppies and take one of them back home with you.
In order to get a nice view over the park, the same-named island and the city, you should get on the Näsinneula Observation Tower. It is also the landmark of Tampere and the second-highest observation tower located in the northern European countries. You get straight to the top by taking the speed lift, which up to 15 people fit in at once. For the distance of 130 m (426 ft), the lift needs approximately 32 seconds. Once you're up there, mind that the tower sways and vibrates occasionally (in case of winds). After an exciting day, you can come up here to relax and have yourself culinary-wise indulged at Restaurant Näsinneula. The restaurant is in the tower and features a special highlight by constantly rotating so that visitors may enjoy a 360 degrees view. It has an ever-changing menu, offering seasonal specialities.
If you haven't had enough after all that action, go on and delve into the world of art by visiting the Sara Hildén Art Museum. Artworks exhibited widely range from classic work to contemporary art.
Before you leave the park again, you have the ultimate chance to buy some souvenirs. Come on, get yourself a nice one and never forget this place again.
The same-named park lies on the Särkänniemi peninsula, located in west Finnish Tampere, Finland's third largest city. The theme park was opened in 1975 and is wholly owned by the city. Apart from having the most northern located Dolphinarium in the world, the park offers more attractions, such as rollercoasters, the Aquarium, the Planetarium, the Zoo, the Näsinneula Observation Tower and the Sara Hildén Art Museum.
More information about each attraction...
The Dolphinarium was opened in 1985 and extended in 2007 so that the total surface of the building and the pool was doubled.
The Aquarium was built in 1969. It has two floors. Accommodating more than 200 species, there are in fact more than 3,000 animals living here. The water amount of the pool amounts to 550,000 litres altogether.
Näsinneula Observation Tower
Näsinneula is the second-largest observation tower in northern Europe, the best known landmark of Tampere. If the weather is clear, you have a view reaching up to 20 km (12 mi) to all directions. The tower was built within 33 days. 4 m (13 ft) were built each day so that the tower ended up being 130 m (426 ft) high. The foundation of the tower is placed 110 m (361 ft) above sea level and 35 m (115 ft) above the Näsijärvi lake. There are two viewing platforms. The first one is open and on a height of 111 m (364 ft), while the other is placed at a height of 120 m (393 ft) and covered. The restaurant is at a height of 124 m (407 ft). Contrary to the park, the tower can be visited throughout the year.
Sara Hildén Art Museum
The museum was designed and built by architects Pekka Ilveskoski and others. The building complex covers a total surface of 2,500 km² (0.25 ha), out of which around 1,500 km² (0.15 ha) are used as exhibition space. The building is located in the north of Särkänniemi peninsula.
How to get there
Tampere-Pirkkala Airport is located in western Finland and serves both international and national flights. From Helsinki or the northern parts of Finland, one can easily catch a national flight to Tampere-Pirkkala Airport. Unfortunately, international direct flights to Tampere are only operated by Ryanair. Flying directly here from abroad narrows down the choices of airports. Depending where you wish to fly from, the airports of choice might be: Alicante, Bremen, Budapest, Edinburgh, Frankfurt Hahn, Kaunas, London Stansted, Málaga, Milan Bergamo, Palma, Rome Ciampino and Trapani. If you don't mind changing flights, you may also fly to Helsinki Airport and then continue to Tampere by choosing another means of transport.
In Finland, you have the possibility to travel to Tampere from any bigger city by train. As soon as you arrive in Tampere, have a look for bus line 3, taking you directly to Särkänniemi. But you may just as well organise your entire trip to Finland by train.
By bus/ coach
You may opt for taking a bus to travel the vast lands of Finland. Travelling by bus, you may of course get to Tampere as well this way. Start in Helsinki, for example, and then continue further to Tampere. In Finland's capital, you have many express buses taking you to Tampere. Once you are in Tampere, take bus line 3 directly leading to Särkänniemi.
If you'd rather travel more independently, rent a car at the airport and here you go exploring the beautiful landscapes of Finland.
Let's say you're in Helsinki and head westwards on the federal highway 50E/ 18. At the junction, you change to E12 driving further north. The road leads directly to Tampere. Approximately 1.0 km (0.6 mi) after spotting a park with lake on your right-hand side, you take a left turn into “Tampereen valtatie”, which then turns to Hämeenpuisto. When you get to the point where the road does no longer lead straight forward, you keep to the left on Näsijärvenkatu and follow the road leading over the train tracks. Turn left into Paasikiventie and take the second exit on your right-hand side. From here the park is only a few metres away.
If you are already at Tampere-Pirkkala, get on street 308 to leave the airport. Turn left, entering the E12. Cross the water, get on Porintie (12) and continue eastwards to Tampere. You stay on the 12, even though the road forks and changes its name to Paasikiventie. Turn right and follow the road. After a few kilometres, you pass a road leading towards Laiturikatu. A few metres further on your left-hand side, you'll finally spot the theme park.
Mind that the majority of roads in Tampere tend to be one-way streets.