Best Things to See and Do in Jyväskylä, Finland

Jyväskylä is a lively University city in Finland.
Jyväskylä is a lively University city in Finland. | ©Mikko Laitinen / Visit Jyväskylä
Paula Hotti

Known as the “sauna region of the world”, Jyväskylä is a great place to enjoy stunning architecture and great urban city culture with its museums and events. Surrounded by lakes and forests, Jyväskylä’s city centre is dotted with old wooden houses and dominated by straight lines of modern architecture. From a century-old shopping centre to a floating sauna, here are the best things to see and do in Jyväskylä, Finland!

Loved by over 40s

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

Take in the best views over Jyväskylä

Harju hilltop is located in the city centre of Jyvsäkylä, Finland.

For the best view over the city of Jyväskylä, head to Harju, a little hill just off the main shopping street. Harju is a popular spot for joggers, as there is a circular pathway going around the hill. There is also a sports field, a summer theatre, an observation tower, a natural history museum, and a restaurant. The best photo opportunity is at the magnificent stone staircase, Nero Stairs, which starts at the bottom of Harju and goes all the way to the top.

Visit the city’s most beautiful shopping centre

Toivola Old Courtyard in Jyväskylä is the city’s most atmospheric shopping centre.

Toivolan vanha piha, or Toivola Old Courtyard, is a small complex of wooden houses in the city centre of Jyväskylä. Dating back to the 19th century, the Old Courtyard’s selective collection of artisanal boutiques is Jyväskylä’s most beautiful shopping centre. Apart from boutiques selling jewellery, home design, accessories and clothes, Toivola Old Courtyard features a popular coffee shop and restaurant called Muisto. Pretty during summer or winter, Toivola Old Courtyard is a must-see spot in Jyväskylä.

Explore local art and retro rooms

Located along the main shopping street of Jyväskylä, the Jyväskylä Art Museum is a great pit stop to explore the local art scene. For fans of retro, there is also a permanent exhibition called Oravien Aarteita (Treasures of the Orava Family), which is a fictional family’s living quarters from the 1960s. There is a gift shop in the lobby, showcasing local artists’ work such as art prints and earrings, and there’s also a sitting area to rest your feet after taking in Central Finnish art. It’s free to enter on Fridays.

Send a postcard from Finland

Posters, cards and notebooks by Finnish designers in Harjun Paperi shop in Jyväskylä, Finland.

It is time to put down the phone, pick up a pen, and send a postcard from Finland! For sending a memorable postcard, visit the quaint paper shop Harjun Paperi, which sells postcards by Finnish designers as well as cool notebooks, posters and paper for hand-written letters. The little paper shop is located only two blocks away from Jyväskylä’s main shopping street and opposite of Harju hill.

Sail away – in a sauna

A boat sauna floating at Jyväsjärvi in Jyväskylä, Finland.

The best local experience in Jyväskylä is to rent a sauna – and not just any sauna, but a sauna boat. Palsau rents out sauna boats over the summer season to cruise along the city centre’s lake Jyväsjärvi. A captain is on board so you can concentrate on taking in the scenery, relaxing in the sauna, or sipping a beer in a jacuzzi! There is also a barbecue for preparing meals – just remember to bring your own food and beverages!

Stay at a quaint, Scandi-style boutique hotel

Hotel Yöpuu is an award-winning Boutique Hotel in city centre Jyväskylä, Finland.

To get into the cosy and quaint Scandi feel in Jyväskylä, stay at Hotel Yöpuu. This boutique hotel is located in a yellow-stone building dating back to 1928, only two blocks away from Jyväskylä’s main shopping street. Each room has its own style, varying from countryside romance to modern Scandinavian decor, and features brands such as Marimekko and Alvar Aalto. The hotel restaurant is awarded for its cuisine and wine, and the recently refurbished sauna oasis doesn’t leave anyone cold!

Learn about 2,000 years of Finnish craft-making

The Craft Museum of Finland is located in the city centre of Jyväskylä, along the main shopping street called Kauppakatu. Visitors will step into a journey of 2,000 years of craft-making and see samples of Finnish national costumes. An English audio guide is available, where one can listen to a “shoemaker’s journey” as an introduction to the permanent collection. Changing exhibits showcase various themes, from cigar box guitars to Nordic collaborations in crafts. Next door, there is a Finnish craft shop called Taito that’s perfect for souvenirs.

Have some tea inside a wooden house

Tea Room Teeleidi is located in a charming old villa in Jyväskylä, Finland.

Teeleidi – the Tea Lady that is – offers an exquisite cup of tea in a charming, old wooden house in the city centre. Located on a steep hill leading to the University of Jyväskylä campus grounds, Teeleidi welcomes young and old visitors with the light scent of tea lingering inside its salons. There are dozens of tea varieties to choose from, as well as sweet and savoury pastries. Nearby, there are a few art galleries and museums, such as Alvar Aalto Museum and Gallery Becker.

Delve into Alvar Aalto’s architecture and designs

Alvar Aalto Museum in Jyväskylä showcases the architect’s work in big and small scale.

Alvar Aalto is a renowned Finnish architect and designer, and thousands of travellers flock to Finland to study and admire his work. Aalto spent much of his youth in Jyväskylä and he designed the Alvar Aalto Museum, which opened in 1973. Jyväskylä is a bit of an open-air museum too, as Aalto’s works can be found around the city. But when you drop by the Alvar Aalto Museum itself, you can get a solid grasp of it all. Apart from Aalto’s work in architecture, the museum also showcases Aalto’s work in glassware and modern Scandinavian design. There is a lovely café and shop downstairs as well.

Go on a long pub crawl

The Jyväskylä city centre is dominated by one street, Kauppakatu, which runs from the shopping mall Kolmikulma, all the way to the University of Jyväskylä. The best way to start a pub crawl is at Vakiopaine, a popular hangout for the university students crowd. Then head towards the city centre, and on your left-hand side step into a tiny pub called Vihreä Haltiatar or Green Fairy. They sell absinth as well as a good selection of beers and wines. If you wish, you can continue the crawl and check out the dancing scene at Freetime, a popular rock-spirited nightclub located in Jyväskylä’s main shopping area.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.