Top ChoiceNotable Building in Jyväskylä

Säynätsalon Kunnantalo

One of Aalto's most admired works, this town hall was conceived as a 'fortress of democracy' and constructed between 1949 and 1952. Its sturdy brick tower references the medieval palazzi communale (town halls)...

Top ChoiceCafe in Jyväskylä

Papu

It would be easy to describe Papu as a hipster haunt, but this laid-back cafe doesn't lend itself to easy categorisation. Yes, its baristas have sleeve tattoos and a preference for pour-over coffee, but the loyal...

Top ChoiceFinnish in Jyväskylä

Pöllöwaari

We're of the view that Hotel Yöpuu's fine-dining restaurant is the best in the region. Its menu places a laudable emphasis on seasonality, and the kitchen's execution is exemplary. Choose one of the set menus...

Top ChoiceTapas in Jyväskylä

Figaro Winebistro

The three-course lunch menu (€25) at this this welcoming wine bar is an excellent deal, but most regulars head here after work or on weekends to graze on tapas and order drinks from the large and top-quality wine...

Top ChoiceVegan in Jyväskylä

Beans & More

Artek furniture, a vaulted ceiling and artfully dangling light fittings provide a stylish setting at this on-trend vegan cafe. The friendly staff serve up burgers, salads piled with kale and other goodies,...

Architecture in Jyväskylä

Muuratsalon Koetalo

Connected to Säynätsalo by bridges, peaceful Muuratsalo islet was the summer retreat of Alvar and Elissa Aalto. Aalto built his Experimental House – a must-see for architecture buffs – on three hectares of forest...

Museum in Jyväskylä

Alvar Aalto Museo

The town's most famous son and the subject of this museum was a giant of 20th-century architecture. Schooled in Jyväskylä, Aalto opened his first offices here, designed many buildings in the town and later spent...

Pub in Jyväskylä

Sohwi

A short walk from the city centre is this excellent bar with a spacious wooden terrace and plenty of lively student and academic discussion lubricated by a range of good bottled and draught beers. It also has a...

Vegetarian in Jyväskylä

Katriinan Kasvisravintola

A couple of blocks west of the Kirkkopuisto, this vegetarian and vegan lunch spot is great value. Seven euros gets you soup and salad bar, eight buys a hot dish instead of the soup, and 10 gets you the lot. The...

Italian in Jyväskylä

Ristorante Rosso

Billing itself as 'the familiar Italian', this branch of a popular Finnish chain serves up decent pizza and pasta in pleasant surroundings (we love the fresh herbs planted in the tomato-paste cans). It's located...

Museum in Jyväskylä

Keski-Suomen Museo

Adjacent to the Alvar Aalto Museo and also designed by him, this museum building was temporarily closed for a major restoration when we last visited. When it reopens in 2019 it will continue to showcase the...

Architecture in Jyväskylä

Administrative and Cultural Centre

Jyväskylä's municipal headquarters are located in the block bounded by Vapaudenkatu, Kilpisenkatu and Hannikaisenkatu. The complex includes three buildings designed by Alvar Aalto: the City Theatre (1964–72),...

Finnish in Jyväskylä

Kissanviikset

The ‘cat’s whiskers’ is an enticing choice. The genteel but cosy upstairs dining room is complemented by an atmospheric cellar space when the restaurant is busy. Dishes are thoughtfully prepared; reindeer fillet...

Art in Jyväskylä

Jyväskylän Kesä

With a strong liberal and radical tradition, this is one of Finland’s most important arts festivals. It offers an international program of concerts, exhibitions, theatre and dance.

Museum in Jyväskylä

Suomen Käsityön Museo

Showcasing the National Costume Centre, which includes regional dress from around Finland, this handicrafts museum has a small permanent collection and also hosts travelling exhibitions. It offers an enjoyable if...

Finnish in Jyväskylä

Figaro

The vibe is upmarket, the surrounds comfortable and the service attentive at this long-established restaurant. Sadly, the food doesn't live up to the setting – it's fine, but nothing special. Most locals head to...

Club in Jyväskylä

London

This massive space has three dance floors where DJs spin disco, Suomi-pop and rock; there are also live bands on weekends. Age limits apply on weekends (Sunday to Thurday 20 years, Friday to Saturday 24). To find...

Sports in Jyväskylä

Neste Oil Rally Finland

Many Finns regard the Finnish leg of the World Rally Championship as summer's most important event. It’s perhaps the most spectacular of all the stages, and draws half a million spectators. Lasting four days, it...

Pub in Jyväskylä

Harry's Old English Pub

In the liveliest part of the pedestrian zone, this warm and welcoming pub has several excellent beers on tap, sports events on TV, occasional live music and an outdoor terrace screened by plastic plants – the...

Architecture in Jyväskylä

Workers' Club Building

This is one of many buildings in Jyväskylä designed by its famous son, Alvar Aalto. Built between 1924 and 25, its a not particularly successful Italian Renaissance–inspired structure with features such as...