Credits: Julia Kivelä

Jyväskylä – a cultural hub where Lakeland's nature meets Alvar Aalto's architecture masterpieces

Jyväskylä is a vibrant university city in Central Lakeland offering a blend of tranquil national parks and urban culture. This region is home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites and proudly boasts the world's largest collection of Alvar Aalto architecture.

Best reasons to visit Jyväskylä in a nutshell

Jyväskylä is known for its dynamic atmosphere; almost a third of its population are students. This creates a dynamic backbeat to this approachable Lakeland hub.  

The city is always abuzz with activity – from the thunderous engines of the FIA World Rally Championships in the summer to the captivating City of Lights event held in the autumn. Explore pop-up events, discover architecture seamlessly melding modern influences with traditional Finnish design, and step into a local restaurant or café to enjoy some of Lakeland's best tastes. 

Jyväskylä is renowned among architecture enthusiasts for its many buildings designed by Alvar Aalto, perhaps the most famous Finnish architect. Aalto's unique style can be seen in several sites across the city, including the Jyväskylä University campus, the Alvar Aalto Museum, and the Säynätsalo Town Hall.

The city is situated around a lake – one of thousands in the Lakeland region – making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Go canoeing, swimming, or ice skating to start the day fresh depending on the time of the year. Or hike one of the four nearby national parks. Finish the day relaxing in one of the floating saunas sailing across Lake Jyväsjärvi!

Explore Finland's UNESCO World Heritage sites

Petäjävesi Church, located near Jyväskylä, is one of Finland's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It features a unique, 18th-century wooden church. It is one of the best-preserved examples of traditional Finnish church architecture from the 18th century.

Credits: Tero Takalo-Eskola

Tour Alvar Aalto's destinations in Southern Finland

A visit to Jyväskylä is incomplete without taking a tour of Alvar Aalto's beautiful structures, which are now considered some of the most significant examples of mid-century modern architecture in the world.

Credits: Alvar Aalto Foundation, Maija Holma

Get to know the public sauna culture in Finland

Sauna culture is an important tradition deeply ingrained in Finnish life. This region boasts an abundance of cottages, lakeside cabins, and resorts that offer visitors a chance to experience the Finnish sauna. There are also many not-to-miss public saunas to visit, like Sataman Viilu in Jyväskylä.

Credits: Sataman Viilu

Five must-see events in Lakeland

Lakeland is filled with fun summer events, including the Finnish round of the FIA World Rally Championships held every summer in Jyväskylä. The rally is one of the most popular events in Finland, attracting thousands of spectators from every corner of the world.

Credits: Julia Kivelä

Useful things to know about Jyväskylä

Where is Jyväskylä? 

Jyväskylä sits right in the middle of the southern half of Finland. Thanks to its central location, it has good connections with other Lakeland cities, such as Tampere and Mikkeli.  

How can I get to Jyväskylä from Helsinki? 

Jyväskylä is a three-hour drive via the E75 highway from Helsinki. Simply head north from the capital. Opting for the train is recommended: it's a more environmentally friendly mode of travel and allows you to fully immerse yourself in the stunning nature. The train journey takes approximately three hours. Advance booking is advised, especially during the summer months. For schedules and additional information, please visit  

Additionally, buses operate numerous times daily from Helsinki to Jyväskylä, with travel durations ranging from three to four hours depending on the connection. The flight from Helsinki is slightly less than an hour. Visit our travelling to and within Finland section for more information. 

What to do in Jyväskylä? 

Jyväskylä offers a range of activities from budget-friendly to more high-end. If you are a student, bring your student card and enjoy a numerous discounts on activities, coffee shops and restaurants. The most popular free activities are the City of Lights Route in the autumn, and hiking in the Päijänne National Park across the year. In the summer, locals gather for picnics in the Kirkkopuisto Park. Throughout the year, you can anticipate a diverse range of smaller, free pop-up events. To stay updated on current things, explore Visit Jyväskylä’s events page

How can I get around in Jyväskylä? 

You can effortlessly navigate the city either on foot or by bike, or rely on the city’s public transport system. The Jyväskylä Travel Centre serves as the central hub, offering easy access to both buses and trains that can transport you to more distant destinations around the region. Consider renting a bike or a car – both are excellent choices for exploring the area. And remember that you are in Lakeland: Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the waterways as well. Embark on a canal boat or a scenic lake cruise to see the city from another angle.

What is Jyväskylä most famous for?

Jyväskylä is renowned for lakes and four national parks: Leivonmäki, Konnevesi, Pyhä-Häkki, and Salamajärvi. The area has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Petäjävesi Old Church and the Struve Geodetic Arc at Oravuori, which offers stunning views of Lake Päijänne. The internationally acclaimed architect and designer Alvar Aalto has left a significant impact on the city's architecture. Despite its relatively modest size, Jyväskylä provides a wide array of festivals, events, and cultural experiences. 

What is the population of Jyväskylä?

With a population of approximately 146,000 residents, Jyväskylä ranks as the sixth-largest city in Finland. 

Fun fact!

Laukaa, near Jyväskylä, is home to the world's largest smoke sauna. The Tupaswilla sauna can accommodate up to 150 guests. 

Must-see sights in Jyväskylä

Here's a map of some of the most popular sights and locations to visit in Jyväskylä.

Sustainable things to do in Jyväskylä

Here are some highlights of sustainable things to do, see, and experience in this part of Finland.


Guided 3-hour Excursion to Muuratsalo's versatile Nature

3 hours

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Credits: Tero Takalo-Eskola