Jyväskylä is the youthful and lively center of Central Finland. Green Jyväskylä is located on the shores of Lake Jyväsjärvi, and nature is always close by.
Jyväskylä, which has gained a reputation as a student city in Central Finland, is full of events and people. Thanks to the university and the university of applied sciences, the population structure of Jyväskylä is quite young, which can be seen not only in the street scene, but also as an active cultural life.
For tourists, Jyväskylä’s offer is diverse: Laajavuori Spa and Adventure Park, excellent shopping opportunities and a diverse restaurant and especially bar offer guarantee things to do for the whole weekend. Kirkkopuisto and Lounaispuisto bring greenery to the city, and in the summer they serve as hangouts for the city from morning to night.
A city full of life
Located in the heart of three waterways, Jyväskylä is a sympathetic combination of a bustling student city and old rural life. The city of almost 138,000 inhabitants is the seventh largest in Finland, and is best known as a student and congress center. However, the city is constantly changing into an even more urban and vibrant city of culture.
Jyväskylä’s summer, Yläkaupung’s night and the City of Light are Jyväskylä’s annual events and concepts for the locals. The busiest time in Jyväskylä, like many other cities, is not summer, but autumn and spring. The students are a loud, enthusiastic and visible part of the city, and in the summer the hustle and bustle of the city subsides as the students return to their hometowns after summer jobs.
However, the city doesn’t just revolve around student hoaxes, but events can be found for every age group from children to seniors. Compact Jyväskylä quickly becomes familiar, but a city living in constant change can surprise even the locals.
The atmospheric Jyväskylä is at its best during the summer months.
Compact shopping city
The heart of Jyväskylä’s city center is the pedestrian street Kauppakatu, the core of which is Kompassiaukio. The compass is also a popular meeting place, providing an arena for many events as well. Especially in summer, along the promenade there is often the opportunity to hear live music and participate in various public events.
There are many shopping malls and smaller shops on the award-winning shopping street. The most typical chain stores and a well-stocked grocery store Mestari delicacy are located on the shopping street. The café and restaurant offer on Kauppakatu is plentiful, and in summer the street is filled with terraces. Unfortunately, however, the architecture of the city causes only a few of these terraces to shine in the sun.
Despite the abundant offer on the promenade, you can find the best gifts by going to the adjacent Yliopistonkatu. Here you will find Harju Paper, a tiny paper shop with the most beautiful cards, posters and other beauties you didn’t know you needed. The store has served the people of Jyväskylä since 1954, and the customer service is always friendly and knowledgeable.
At the corner of Yliopistonkatu and Kilpisenkatu is the Small Chamber, a cramped small shop whose objects can be admired for hours. As the name implies, Kamari has a lot of toys for the little ones in the family, but it is also difficult for adult friends of playful design to leave the store empty-handed.
Restaurants to suit all tastes
Jyväskylä’s restaurant and especially bar table setting is diverse. Students also fill the cups and nightclubs on weekdays, and quiet in the city is rare. You don’t have to be hungry in Jyväskylä, because there are restaurants in the city center on every corner. However, most belong to nationwide chains and in that sense do not reflect the nature of the city.
There is also a high turnover in the Jyväskylä restaurant field, but there are a few permanent restaurants in Jyväskylä that have almost reached the classic status. Fine dining is offered by Pöllövaari and the award-winning Figaro wine restaurant. The Cat Mustache restaurant, on the other hand, has been feeding the people of Jyväskylä for 50 years in its unique grandmother-like environment.
In the upper town, opposite the university library, is the rock-inspired Sohwi, which is the third oldest operating restaurant in Jyväskylä. Thanks to its location, Sohwi is especially popular with university staff and students, but the restaurant’s chicken bread is also a classic for other Jyväskylä residents. Those who crave fast food, on the other hand, will not be disappointed if they grab their fins from a magician in a funny glass cube.
Café culture in Central Finland
Should there be a cup of freshly roasted and ground organic coffee? Yliopistonkatu Roastery Papu helps here. Papu is a roastery and café from Jyväskylä, founded in 2014. Among the beans in the background are a couple who treat coffee with a relevant passion. Buy a packet of coffee as a gift with your desired degree of roasting or order a cup from the counter. There is no fear of a stump here, as the coffees are brewed to order. Best of all, a cup of Bean coffee is one of the cheapest in town!
If, in addition to the coffee tooth, you also have a delicious tooth, you should head to the best café-confectioneries in Jyväskylä. The café-pastry shop Miriam’s also serves lunch, but is better known for its impressive cake display case. In addition to Miriam’s, Wilhelmiina pastry pastries also have an almost cult reputation, so at least one of these charming cafés in the city center is worth experiencing on the Jyväskylä trip.
Especially in autumn and spring, Jyväskylä’s nightlife is lively thanks to numerous student parties. In addition to the coveralls, there are also many other partygoers in the bars and nightclubs. Roughly speaking, the upper city of Jyväskylä focuses on the most bohemian cupolas, of which Sohwi, Constant Pressure and the Green Haltiatar beer hall are the best known. The lower town, on the other hand, is headed when the intention is to dance to the comma. Freetime nightclub offers the best cross-section of Jyväskylä’s nightclubs.
An active mover does not have to get bored in Jyväskylä, because there is plenty to do for a brawl. The city’s lakes offer things to do in both summer and winter. In winter, Lake Jyväsjärvi becomes a ski and ice rink, while in summer it offers a wide range of other activities. The best water sports opportunities can be found outside the city center in Lake Tuomiojärvi. The lake offers the opportunity to go on SUP boards, paddle and play kayak or beach volleyball.
Non-water predators, on the other hand, are worth exploring Laajavuori’s sports opportunities. Laajavuori Adventure Park offers a challenge and excitement for the whole family. The Adventure Park in the middle of the forest, which consists of cable cars of different levels, is worth experiencing – although it is worth staying on the ground or on the easiest tracks. They also provide experiences of success and self-transcendence. The park is easily accessible for several hours, and climbing is also an exercise.
In addition to the adventure park, Laajis also offers opportunities for downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, frisbee golf and downhill cycling. In addition, Laajavuori also has a summer theater, a swimming area and accommodation services such as a spa hotel and campsite, as well as restaurants. Right in the heart of the city, there are opportunities for bowling and curling.
City of events
Many summer events are organized in Jyväskylä, of which the Jyväskylä Summer Festival is the best known. This oldest city festival in Finland offers a wide range of theater and music performances as well as much more for all ages. The festival offers a lot of free things to see and do, but some of the events are chargeable.
In July, Jyväskylä will dance to the beat of Finnish music at SuomiPop festivals, and in August, rally English will be spoken, as Neste Oil Rally will fill the city with the rally people. During the rallies, the city’s accommodation capacity is extremely full, and many locals rent their own homes for rally guests to use. Rallies are seen and heard all over the city, many locals think too much.
During the rallies, side events are also organized, such as various concerts. However, if you are not interested in motorsports, you should head to Jyväskylä for another, less congested summer weekend.
Lounaispuisto Yläkaupung also offers a wide range of programs from festivals to open-air films during the summer. In the spring, festival-goers are pampered at the Jyrock Festival, Finland’s oldest indoor festival, and the free Yökaupungin Yö city festival.