Tampere Festival of Light


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Discover the allure of winter in Finland through the enchanting Tampere Festival of Light. From October 2023 to January 2024, the city of Tampere transforms into a glowing wonderland adorned with twinkling trees, curtain lights, and mesmerizing light exhibitions that celebrate the Christmas season. Perfect for families, couples, and solo adventurers, this guide lays out everything you need to know to make the most of this luminescent extravaganza.

Tampere Festival of Light
Festival highlights

About the Festival

The Tampere Festival of Light is more than just an outdoor lighting event; it’s an annual celebration that unites the symphony of lights with the magic of the holiday season. Imagine a world where cutting-edge technology meets artistic vision, creating a tableau of lights that dance, shimmer, and narrate stories. It’s the perfect confluence of tradition and innovation, designed to dazzle visitors of all ages.

Featured Lighting Displays

  • Light Spheres: Enormous glowing orbs that seem to float in mid-air, adding a celestial vibe to the surroundings.
  • Projection Mapping: Dynamic projections that transform buildings and surfaces into interactive storytelling canvases.
  • Light Art Exhibitions: Specially curated installations from various artists, offering insightful narratives through the medium of light.
  • Curtain Lights: Draped across arches and tunnels, these lights create a dreamy walkway, reminiscent of a star-studded sky.
  • Lamp-Post Illuminations: Even the humble lamp-posts are dressed up, swathed in festive lights that line the streets.
  • Fairy Lights: Delicate strings of lights that weave through trees and bushes, adding a whimsical touch to the natural landscape.
  • Light Figures: Sculptural installations that come alive at night, each one a standalone piece of art.
  • Audiovisual Light Art: A sensory experience where light synchronizes with sound, making the artwork ‘dance’ to the tunes.
  • Dancing Light Fountains: Choreographed water fountains where plumes of water are accentuated by colorful lights, creating a visual symphony.

So whether you’re a light festival aficionado or simply looking to experience something genuinely magical, the Tampere Festival of Light offers a kaleidoscope of visual wonders that are sure to ignite your sense of awe.

Tampere Festival of Light Dates (2023 – 2024)

Mark your calendars, light enthusiasts! The Tampere Festival of Light is scheduled to illuminate your life from October 27, 2023, to January 7, 2024. But that’s not all. The grand opening ceremony, an event not to be missed, will kick off the festival in grandeur at Koskipuisto Park, Tampere.

Trust us, this is the perfect way to officially commence a season of twinkling lights, curtain lights, and the artful elegance of light exhibitions. So, whether you’re a local or planning a winter getaway, these are the dates you’ll want to free up for a magical experience unlike any other.

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

The heart of the spectacle, Tampere City Centre, is where all the luminous magic unfolds. Nestled in Finland’s charming interior, the city center becomes a glowing hub, brimming with light art exhibitions, fairy lights, and more. From Koskipuisto Park to the bustling market square, the festival brings a new dimension to Tampere’s urban landscape.

Getting to Tampere City Centre is easier than finding the switch to turn on your backyard lighting. Tampere-Pirkkala Airport is approximately 13 miles away, making it a convenient gateway for international and domestic visitors alike. From the airport, you have a variety of options to reach the festival location:

  • Taxi: Available 24/7 right outside the airport terminal.
  • Bus: The local bus 1A connects the airport to the city center.
  • Car Rentals: Companies like Avis and Hertz offer rental services at the airport.

How to Reach Tampere by Train from Other Cities

  • From Helsinki: Multiple direct trains are available daily. The journey takes around 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • From Turku: Direct services run every day, and the trip usually lasts about 2 hours.
  • From Oulu: Fewer direct trains are available, and the journey can take around 6 hours.
  • From Jyväskylä: Daily trains run between the cities, taking approximately 2 hours.
  • From Lahti: Regular services are available with a journey time of around 1 hour.
Tampere Festival of Light

If you liked Tampere Festival of Light, you might want to check out these other great lights festivals as well:

Lux Helsinki Lights Festival

Llum BCN Lights Festival

Tampere Festival of Light Hours

The magic starts when the sun bids adieu for the day. Yes, you read that right—the Tampere Festival of Light begins at dusk, adding a special aura to the twilight hours. As soon as the sky starts to dim, the lights start to twinkle, turning the city center into a living, breathing art piece.

Whether you’re strolling beneath the curtain lights or marveling at the intricate light art exhibitions, you’ll find that the festival offers a unique experience that synchronizes perfectly with the natural cycles of day and night. So when the sun sets, you know it’s time to head out and bask in the glow of this extraordinary festival of lights.

Cost to Visit the Festival

Get ready for some radiant news—the Tampere Festival of Light is a free event! Yes, you can meander through the dancing light fountains, marvel at the audiovisual light art, and take a whimsical walk under the fairy lights without spending a dime.

The festival organizers believe that the joy and wonder of light should be accessible to everyone, which is why there are no ticket prices or entry fees. So, save your euros for some delightful Finnish treats or souvenirs, and bask in the glow of this wallet-friendly festival of lights.

Weather and What to Wear

When you’re considering attending the Tampere Festival of Light, it’s crucial to factor in Finland’s weather from October to January. While the lights are warm and inviting, the climate is anything but. Expect temperatures to vary between 32°F (0°C) and -4°F (-20°C), depending on the month and time of day. Snow is frequent, so imagine the glow of twinkling lights bouncing off a blanket of fresh, powdery snow—talk about a winter wonderland!

Recommended Clothing

To ensure that you’re comfortable while enjoying the various light art exhibitions and other luminous wonders, here’s a list of clothing items you might consider wearing:

  • Thermal Underwear: A base layer is essential to keep your core warm.
  • Insulated Jacket: Go for something waterproof and windproof.
  • Snow Boots: Make sure they have excellent grip and are waterproof.
  • Gloves: Opt for thermal gloves that allow dexterity—important for those hot cocoa moments!
  • Beanie Hat: A good hat is essential to keep your head and ears warm.
  • Scarf or Neck Gaiter: To protect your neck from the chilly winds.
  • Woolen Socks: Keeps your feet toasty and wick away moisture.

Given that the festival kicks off at dusk, you’ll also want to ensure your clothing has some reflective elements for safety. After all, it’s easier to enjoy the curtain lights, light figures, and fairy lights when you’re snug and warm!

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

After a magical night of basking in the glow of the festival of lights, you’ll want a cozy spot to lay your head—so here are some hotel options that shine almost as bright as the event itself.

Lapland Hotels Tampere

Location: Just a 15-minute walk from the Tampere City Centre.
Description: If you’re seeking an authentic Finnish experience, Lapland Hotels Tampere is your go-to. Designed to bring the magic of Lapland to Tampere, this hotel is a blend of traditional and modern Finnish aesthetics.
Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, an in-house restaurant serving Finnish cuisine, a sauna, and even a Lapland-themed gift shop.

Holiday Inn Tampere

Location: A stone’s throw away from the festival venue, located right in the Tampere City Centre.
Description: Convenience meets comfort at the Holiday Inn Tampere. With its central location, you can step out right into the festival or take a short stroll to nearby museums and restaurants.
Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, a 24-hour business center, and a restaurant offering a mix of local and international dishes.

Scandic Tampere Station

Location: Situated near Tampere train station, about a 10-minute walk to the festival site.
Description: If you’re watching your wallet but don’t want to compromise on comfort, the Scandic Tampere Station is an excellent pick. The rooms are modern and airy, with all the essentials for a cozy stay.
Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, a sauna, and a small gym for those who don’t want to skip their workout routine.

What to Eat

The Tampere Festival of Light isn’t just a feast for the eyes; it’s also an excellent excuse to indulge in some delicious Finnish cuisine, and we’ve got some must-visit spots for you.

Pikkubistro Kattila

Location: Located in the heart of the city, a 10-minute walk from the festival venue.
Description: Pikkubistro Kattila is a cozy, intimate restaurant with an atmosphere as warm as its dishes.
Foods Served: While it’s most famous for its Finnish meatballs, the menu also features other traditional dishes like salmon soup and rye bread.

Ravintola C

Location: Situated closer to the lake, about a 15-minute walk from the festival site.
Description: Ravintola C is the epitome of fine dining, offering a modern twist on local cuisine in a chic setting.
Foods Served: Expect dishes like reindeer carpaccio and foraged mushroom risotto, where innovation meets tradition.


Location: Conveniently located in the city center, just a 5-minute walk from where the festival takes place.
Description: 2h+k offers a homey atmosphere that perfectly complements its hearty menu, making it the ideal place for comfort food seekers.
Foods Served: Dig into classics like Karelian pasty, Finnish-style macaroni casserole, and a variety of fish dishes.

More Things to Do in the Area

If you think the festival of lights is the only shining star in Tampere, think again; the city offers a range of activities that promise to make your visit even more illuminating.

Särkänniemi Amusement Park

Location: Just a 10-minute drive from the Tampere City Centre.
Description: Looking to add some thrills to your visit? Särkänniemi Amusement Park has got you covered.
Activities to Explore: With roller coasters, water rides, and an aquarium, it’s an adrenaline-pumping diversion that perfectly complements the more serene festival experience.

Tampere Art Museum

Location: Located in the Pyynikki district, a 20-minute walk or a quick bus ride from the festival.
Description: This museum offers a deep dive into Finnish art, housing works that range from classic to contemporary.
Activities to Explore: Wander through galleries featuring Finnish painters, sculptors, and multimedia artists, and maybe even catch a temporary exhibition or two.

Vapriikki Museum Center

Location: Situated along the Tammerkoski rapids, roughly a 15-minute walk from the festival site.
Description: Housed in a converted factory, Vapriikki is a sprawling complex that offers something for every kind of history enthusiast.
Activities to Explore: From a natural history museum to exhibitions on Tampere’s industrial past and a comprehensive collection on the Finnish Civil War, this is a place where you can easily lose track of time.

Tampere Festival of Light

A Final Sparkle: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Visit to Tampere Festival of Light

As the nights grow longer, the Tampere Festival of Light serves as a luminous beacon, proving that even the darkest months can be filled with color, wonder, and community spirit. Whether you’re entranced by the twinkle lights trees, the intricate light art exhibitions, or simply the joyous atmosphere, this Finnish festival offers something to light up every soul. Don’t miss the chance to make this winter unforgettable—immerse yourself in Tampere’s radiant glow, and let the festival of lights turn your darkest nights into a canvas of brilliance.


1. Is parking available near the festival site?

Yes, there are multiple parking facilities near the Tampere City Centre. However, they can fill up quickly, so consider arriving early or using public transport.

2. Is smoking allowed?

Smoking is generally not allowed in public areas where crowds are gathered, including the festival site. Designated smoking areas may be available.

3. Can I bring my pets to the festival?

Pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash at all times. Please be considerate of other festival-goers and clean up after your pet.

4. Is the festival wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the festival takes place in Tampere City Centre, which is designed to be accessible for everyone, including those using wheelchairs or mobility aids.

5. What happens in case of bad weather?

The festival is a rain-or-shine event. However, certain installations or activities might be canceled or rescheduled due to extreme weather conditions. It’s best to check the festival’s official website or social media channels for updates.

6. Are there food and beverages available?

There are various food stalls and restaurants around the festival site where you can purchase food and drinks. You’ll even find spots famous for their Finnish meatballs and other local delicacies.

7. Are there any age restrictions?

The Tampere Festival of Light is a family-friendly event with no age restrictions. There’s something for visitors of all ages to enjoy, from twinkling fairy lights to more sophisticated light art exhibitions.

8. Can I take photographs or videos?

Absolutely! Photography and videography are encouraged, as long as you are respectful of other visitors and any specific guidelines set by individual installations.




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