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TOP 10 places to visit in Hämeenlinna region
What fun there is to do in the Hämeenlinna region? Hämeenlinna, Hattula and Janakkala offer a lot to see and experience! Region’s rich history, cultural attractions, sights and activities charm families, the elderly, couples as well as lone travellers. We collected 10 of the most interesting places to visit in the Hämeenlinna region.
1. Hame castle
Häme Castle is one of the three largest medieval castles in Finland. The thick walls of the castle, narrow passageways and magnificent halls hide a huge amount of history and stories inside. On the walls of the castle you can see traces of different eras and in the castle you can hear exciting stories. Take a peek into the old well or visit the dungeon. Check out various exhibitions. Many events take place in and around the castle. You can also take part in workshops as well as special guided tours. It is also possible to organize your own party in the halls of the castle. In the area of castle peninsula, you can visit not only the castle but also the Prison and the Museum Militaria with a combined ticket.
2. Iittala Village
In the Iittala Village, you’ll spend the whole day with different experiences. You can admire design, art and craftsmanship in the village. From the viewing balcony at the Iittala Glassworks, you can watch how skilled glassblowers make popular Aalto vases and a variety of magnificent glassware. In the Kultasuklaa factory, mouth-watering chocolate treats are created handcrafted. There are also many wonderful artisan boutiques in the area. A naivist art exhibition brings joy with its colourful paintings. Design Museum Iittala tells the history of both glassblowing and the glassware themselves. At Iittala Outlet, you can shop wonderful dishes, glassware and popular Moomin mugs for yourself or as a gift!
Hugo Standertskjöld established a park forest on Aulanko in the late 19th century. There are many outdoor trails in the area, with pavilions and forest ponds. You can visit the the lookout platform or climb the observation tower to view the beautiful national landscape and the glittering Lake Aulangonjärvi down below. Across the lake is the Sibelius Forest and its interesting nature trail. There are many fun activities in the Aulanko area. For golfers there are two really nice golf courses. There are a climbing park Hugo park, Aulanko spa, as well as minigolf and frisbeegolf. Nature activities throughout the year are provided by Aulanko Outdoors both in the waters and in the forests of Aulanko. In Katajistonranta you can rent sauna on the lake shore.
4. Birthplace of Jean Sibelius
Born in Hämeenlinna on 8 December 1865, Jean Sibelius, the Finnish national composer, lived in the city during his childhood and youth. He studied at the Hämeenlinna Normal Lyceum and wandered in the forests of Aulanko as well as the shores of Vanajavesi. From nature he got inspiration for composing. You can explore the Birthplace of Jean Sibelius in the centre of Hämeenlinna. The old house is a museum today showcasing furnishings, artifacts, documents and photographs from the times of Sibelius’s childhood. In addition to a guided tour, you can participate in concerts held at the museum.
5. Medieval churches
There are several magnificent medieval stone churches in the Hämeenlinna region. The most famous of them is the Holy Cross Church in Hattula with its historic murals. Renko Church was a popular pilgrimage destination in the Middle Ages and a specialty due to its octagonal exterior. Vanaja Church in Hämeenlinna is famous for its rare external pulpit, which has once been used for preaching to the people standing outside. The medieval atmosphere can also be sensed in the Church of St Lawrence in Janakkala, the small Church of St Bridget in Tuulos, the Church of Hauho and the Church of Lammi.
6. Tee Valley
In Hämeenlinna you’ll find the Tee valley of Finland! Hämeenlinna has four different level golf courses right next to each other and about 20 minutes’ drive from these you’ll find the courses of Hattula and Lepaa. Two of the golf courses in Hämeenlinna can be found in the spectacular scenery of Aulanko, the 9-hole Hugo course and the 18-hole Eversti course. In the landscapes of Lake Katumajärvi, you can find Tawast golf’s 18-hole varied and interesting golf course. Next to Vanajanlinna is one of Finland’s best golf courses, Linnagolf, which is a part of the valued European Tour Destinations chain. There is a common Tee Valley pass for these courses. The Hattula and Lepaa golf courses are both 9-hole courses and they are located in the beautiful rural scenery.
The Laurinmäki Nature and Culture Area in Janakkala is full of interesting history. On the grounds of the Crofter’s museum, you can explore various buildings of the late 19th century, like windmill, Smith’s workshop and smoke sauna. On the marked nature trails of Laurinmäki, you can explore the sacrificial grove and the sacrificial spring od St. Lawrence as well as the iron-age cupstones and the oldest pine in Janakkala. Cultural café Yellow House is a great place to rest and enjoy delicacies. In Laurinmäki area you can also meet virtual AR characters!
There are many things to do and see in Lepaa village in Hattula! The Lepaa Manor may have been established as early as the 13th century, although the oldest parts of the current main building are built in the 16th-1700s fold. In addition to the magnificent manor area, there is a Garden college with its beautiful gardens, a Garden museum and a winery, which manufactures and sells wines from the products of its own garden. A golf course as well as a pottery can also be found in the area. If you’re lucky, you might see the ghost of Lepaa’s Anna!
The Ahvenisto Olympic Park is a popular outdoor recreation area in Hämeenlinna. There are many marked hiking trails and forest paths in the area. Lake Ahvenisto is a popular swimming spot, and during the winter you can also experience ice swimming. The Ahvenisto sauna can be rented by anyone and there are also general sauna shifts. Ahvenisto has a open air pool, wich was built for the swimming section of the modern pentathlon at the 1952 Olympics. The other sports of the pentathlon were also competed in Ahvenisto. In addition to swimming and jogging, you can play beach volleyball, rent a SUP board or climb in the tree tracks at Flow Park. There’s a hut near the beach where you can light up a campfire. During summer time a café serves ice cream and refreshing drinks. In winter, Ahvenisto has great skiing tracks and the best toboggan slides in Hämeenlinna.
Fredrika Wetterhoff dedicated her life to helping underprivileged girls. She founded the craft school of Wetterhoff in Hämeenlinna in 1885. The school received permanent facilities on the shore of Vanajavesi in 1890. Today, the Wetterhoff House is a hub for businesses in the creative industries, where Fredrika’s heritage still lives on. The Wetterhoff House is a fascinating destination for exploring the historic building and its stories, have a coffee in an idyllic cafe or shop at a craft store. Various workshops are also held for groups on issues such as making a small rya. You can also meet craftsmen and entrepreneurs from creative fields in Wetterhoff