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A trip to Hämeenlinna National Urban Park
You can easily enjoy nature and beautiful landscapes on a city break in Häme. There are two national urban parks in Häme; one in Forssa and one in Hämeenlinna. Finland’s first national urban park was established in Hämeenlinna in 2001. In Hämeenlinna National Urban Park, you can enjoy history, beautiful lake scenery and magnificent parks. The area of Hämeenlinna National Urban Park runs along the Vanajavesi lakeside route and its surroundings, as well as in the Aulanko nature reserve.
The Verkatehdas (Finnish for baize factory) area is the heart of Hämeenlinna’s cultural life. Verkatehdas brings together many cultural services, concert venues, and opportunities for cultural activities. The area is home to Vanajasali, the Hämeenlinna Theatre and the Hämeenlinna Art Museum, which are suitable for many different occasions.
The history of Varikonniemi goes back as far as the Iron Age. Many historical objects have been found here, which give clues about the settlements in the area. Today, the Varikonniemi area is a popular outdoor destination full of exciting building ruins to explore as well as lush nature and lake scenery. The board-walk on the shores of Vanajavesi offer wonderful views of the opposite Linnanniemi.
Häme Castle is one of Finland’s three large medieval castles. The Linnanniemi area offers many experiences for people of all ages. A combined ticket allows access to Häme Castle and other museums in the area, the Prison and the Museum Militaria. In addition to exploring interesting historical sites, you can stop for a picnic in Linnanpuisto, which is Hämeenlinna’s own summer oasis. The castle park hosts many events during the summer.
After Linnanniemi and the old barracks area, the coastal route leads to the green and lush Kaupunginpuisto Park. After the mid-19th century, Otto Rehbinder had an idea to convert the former hangman’s hill into a park. Winding trails, walkways and forest paths lined with stone walls meander up and down the urban park. Along the paths you can stop in beautiful pavilions or climb the stone walls of the castle ruins. You can also see the performances of Hämeenlinnan Uusi Kesäteatteri (Hämeenlinna’s New Summer Theatre) in the park.
From the urban park, the shoreline route takes you via a beautiful railway bridge to the Aulanko area, where there is plenty to see. Along the Aulanko route, you can have a rest in the pavilions or grill sausages in the lean-to sheds on man-made islands. The Aulanko Nature Reserve is full of rare plants, several walking trails and old forests framing the forest ponds. In the forest park of Aulanko there are also pavilions and the magnificent Granite Castle and the observation tower of Aulangonvuori, from the top of which a magnificent view of the national landscape opens up. On the other side of Lake Aulangonjärvi you can take a stroll in the Sibelius Forest. This is where our national composer Jean Sibelius was inspired by nature for his compositions.
Aulanko has a wide range of activities. In the area you can cycle, canoe and sup-board with rental equipment from Katajistonranta. In Katajistonranta you can also have a sauna, for example, in the 1952 Olympic-era sauna. Around the hotel you can climb the trees in Hugo Park, play frisbee golf, tennis or mini golf and go horse riding at Aulanko Riding School. In Aulanko, there are also two golf courses with stunning scenery.
Hämeenlinna National Urban Park can be easily reached directly by train. The park can be explored by bike or on foot. If required, various destinations can also be reached by car or city bus. We welcome you for an excursion in Hämeenlinna National Urban Park!