Oulu is a city of parks. Our parks are pleasant oases in the middle of the constructed city environment. Well-kept greenspaces are an integral part of the cityscape and the environment of Oulu. You are welcome to marvel and rest in the parks of Oulu.
Parks and Greenspaces
Students traditionally cap the Franzen statue every year. Poet-bishop Frans Mikael Franzén looks over the citizens year-round in his titular park. The Franzen park used to be an open, grassy church market. The park was renovated in the style of French formal garden in the 1880s a few years after the statue was erected.
Hallituspuisto’s flower beds are elegant year-round. The impressive flower beds are popular subjects for local and tourist photographs. During Tierna time, a beautiful Christmas tree is erected in front of city hall, which is the most beautiful in Finland according to Oulu’s citizens.
The Oulu’s reneissance revival style city hall and the stylish Hallituspuisto are Oulu’s calling card. The city hall was originally built to be Oulu’s social club “Susite” in 1887.
Lines of lime trees and a fountain create a cozy resting spot for travelers and a pleasant playground for children. Back in the day, agricultural exhibitions and other events were held in Heinätori park. In the place of the fountain in the middle of the park used to be a water supply network tank in the early 1900s which was landscaped inside a wooden art nouveau style tower. The high wooden tower was dismantled in 1937. The playground has been updated multiple times over the years, but it has remained in the same spot since the 1960s.
Hollihaka park is a wide totality along the Oulujoki river delta which begins from Meritulli and reaches all the way to Puistokatu, Heinäpää.
The park includes a central playground, skatepark, parkour park, exercise spot, children’s traffic park, and a barbeque site. In the winters, an ice rink is built in the Southern end of Hollihaka park.
Hupisaari City Park
The Hupisaari islands charm the visitors! The city park consists of tens of little islands on the Oulujoki river delta. In the lush islands connected by white bridges you can find constructed parks and almost completely natural fields and groves. A French formal garden style park used to be where Ainola park is located today in 1826. The legacy of a botanical garden that used to be located on Hupisaari islands is flourishing on Paratiisisaari and Kiikkusaari.
On Kiikkusaari there is a central playground, café, the Alakööki building (citizens of Oulu call it piparkakkutalo = gingerbread house), and collection garden open to the public. There is also an architecturally unique summer theatre in the park.
Karjasilta of Oulu used to serve as a livestock pasture for the citizens of Oulu. In Karjasilta park, the the city drain widens into backwater, in the middle of the water stands an artwork made by Martti Tarvainen depicting swans taking flight called Siivet (Wings).
On the Karjasilta side of the drain runs a gravel walkway and usually in the summers an ice cream stands operates by the Leevi Madeojan katu and Suvantokatu.
City Drain Park Area
The hayfields of Plaanaoja were turned into parks after the decades following the 1822 fire. The city drain park area was used to protect the city from the threat of fires. In the city plan prepared by C. L. Engel and J. A. Ehrenström the park area goes diagonally through Oulu city centre.
The city drain park area is considered nationally significant constructed cultural environment (RKY).
The Kiikeli residential region is connected to the Oulujoki landscape by the Kiikeli park. An accessible and modern wooden passageway leads from Kiikeli to the neighboring Elba island. Reijo Hukkanen’s sculpture Kangastus (mirage) decorates the popular picnic park. The white surface of the sculpture consists of small imprints of wooden houses.
The guest harbor of Meritulli is located Kiikeli park. Kiikeli park received the Vuoden Ympäristörakenne Award (Environmental Structure of the Year) in 2002.
Kuusisaari, located near the immediate city centre, is a significant part of Oulu and its history. The island has been the stage of multiple events from the 1600s and a pitch shed was located there only over a hundred years ago. In Tuira’s Koskikeskus plan, Kuusisaari was named a “national park” by Alvar Aalto.
According to Alvar Aalto’s plan, the island was constructed to be a national park. The area is a centre of recreation and leisure activity for all citizens of Oulu where both families and hobbyists enjoy themselves. The renovated event park was finished in September of 2017. The new Kuusisaari includes a beach, Oulu’s best fishing spots, fire pits, and a basketball field among other things. Even bigger events can be organized in Kuusisaari but also smaller cultural events fit the area perfectly.
Kyösti Kallio Park
Oulu city centre’s grid plan’s Southern edge’s park area is four blocks long and it was called New Heinätori in the early 1900s. In the 1950s the park received a playground and earlier there was a sport field on the Eastern edge of the park area where people skated in the winters and a circus visited in the summers.
New Heinätori was renamed after president Kallio in the 70s. Kallio studied in Oulu’s Lyseo school, such as Martti Ahtisaari and K. J. Ståhlberg.
The city’s former depot area was reconstructed into a park in the 60s. You can admire Jaakko Pernu’s Vesilasi (glass of water) sculpture made of willow wood and Viljo Savikurki’s Pohjan neito (maiden of the North) statue.
In the summers, the park shines with flowers: mock oranges, Malus Purpurea apple trees, and bird cherry trees.
In the park named in honor of the composer Leevi Madetoja, there is a statue of the composer made by Aarne Aaltonen.
The park used to be called Rantapuisto before and it had playgrounds all the way until the 1980s.
A functionalist-style Shell gas station used to be located in Pokkitörmä which is remembered by many citizens of Oulu. When the station was dismantled in 1965 its plot of land was attached to the park.
The park of blooming flowers and trees was named after marshal Mannerheim on his 75th birthday on 4th of June 1942. The park in the grid plan region was constructed in place of a burnt apartment block. The geometrical shape of the French formal garden style park originates from city gardener Kella Äijälä’s plans. On the Western edge of the park stands Vapaudenpatsas (statue of freedom) designed by Into Saxel, which was erected in honor of South Bothnian heroes of 1918.
The park was expanded into a year-round event park in 2018-2019 where the citizens can spend their free time in many different ways. You can play boules, table tennis, and even chess if you bring your own pieces. The flower beds are adorned with blooming perennial plants and apple trees.
Special lighting and water sprays create a playful atmosphere. In the winters the water sprays are replaced with lit ice blocks. The special lighting is programed to change for different seasons and holidays. The new sound system makes the organization of different events in the park possible. The fittings of the park were renewed, and a specific color theme was followed in their design. There is also a free of charge public toilet in the park.
There is a separate playground also in the park which was renovated in 2016.
Maria Silfvan Park
The art piece Ajan kulku (passage of time) pictures people from different centuries who have brought success to this city with their hard work. The bronze sculpture made by Sanna Koivisto was unveiled to the public in 2005, as a part of Oulu’s 400th anniversary. The art piece is located in the park named after the first Finnish actress Maia Silfvan (1802-1865).
The park emphasizes the city hall’s façade facing Torikatu.
Otto Karhi Park
The area originally known as Appelgren garden became Palokunnanpuisto (fire department park), which leads to the modern nickname Letkunpuisto (hose park). Officially the park is named in honor of the cooperative retail influencer and municipal policy maker Otto Karhi.
The park used to include a burger bar which was removed during the park’s renovation. Today, a park café is located in the park, the terrace of which offers a beautiful view of the perennial plantations.
The city drain flows into the river delta at Pokkinen park. An old marina used to be located at the drain mouth, which was moved to Toppilansalmi in the 1700s.
Pokkinen park was founded in Pokkitörmä in the early 1870s when the road bridges crossing Oulujoki were finished. Gravel walkways, plantations and benches were placed in the park. Osakri Jauhianen’s sculpture Kalasääski ja lohi (osprey and salmon) adorns the park.
In Tuira park protected buildings and almost entirely natural environment come together.
Three hospital complexes have operated in Tuira park in the early 1900s. Maternity, municipal, and nervous disorder hospital. The buildings are protected, and together with wooded surroundings they form a beautifully preserved cultural environment.
The vegetation of Tuira park is diverse and similar to its natural state. In the Northern part of the park is a rosebay park onto which an accessible wooden elevation has been built so that people can walk amongst the rosebay flowers.
You may also see bats in the summers in Tuira park when it’s dark as they enjoy meals in the park.
The playground in the area was renovated in 2017.
he Snellman park was named after the influential merchant family from Oulu. The orange, bridge-like steel sculpture pulls attention among the birches. In addition to Martti Aiha’s Mediator, Jussi Mäntynen’s Kurjet (cranes) sculpture is found in the park. Mediator is an art piece donated to the city by Kaleva – it depicts the shreds of information forming into a newsfeed.
There used to be a lot of aspen trees in the park, and it was known as Haapaplaana (aspen area). Now that the park has been renovated, many cherry trees among other things grow there.
Back in the day the Kakaravaara popularized by the author Teuvo pakkala reached all the way from Vaara park to the railway station. The statue sculpted by Oskari Jauhianen honors the memory of Pakkala. A memorial for jaeger fighters forms a number 27 when looked at from above. It honors the Finnish men in royal Prussia’s 27. jaeger battalion. The summer flower beds in front of the memorial take on a blue hue.
Student parties fill the Åström park on May Days. A magnificent well was located in the spot in the 1700s along with its mineral spring. The silence after the well was broken by commercial counsellor Åström who financed the construction of the park. A beautiful Rauhala is located at the edge of the park, which Åströms had built in the 1890s.