Four different hobbies to try out in Tampere

Tampere is home to thousands of students so naturally there are a lot of things you can occupy your free time with. However, it might be overwhelming and hard to choose at first. To help you navigate through hundreds of possibilities, I have interviewed four students about their hobbies and passions to give you some new ideas.

Erkki: “Tampere can offer a lot for people who love music”

Erkki playing guitar
Erkki enjoying his favorite hobby.

“One of my hobbies is playing guitar. It all started when one day I heard a rock song on the radio and thought to myself: “It would be nice to learn to play that intro”. Soon I realised that many of my favorite songs used the same four, five chords, so it won’t be hard to learn all of them.

Tampere can offer a lot for people who love music. You can try out different instruments for free in the “Metso” library. There are a couple of “music” rooms that are available for booking filled with equipment and instruments for you to try. Moreover, there is recording equipment in there, so you can record your own songs and maybe even your first album.

If you do want to buy yourself a guitar or any other instrument there are a couple of music stores around Tampere. However, if you want to save money you can always pick up used guitars from I bought two of my guitars from there and saved quite a lot of money. And remember, you don’t need a teacher to learn to play. I have taught myself by watching videos and asking friends who already play to give me advice. If, however, you feel that you need help, there are courses on music in Tampere and some of the teachers offer lessons in English, so don’t be afraid to ask around.”


Kari: “Ingress brought me a lot of fun over the years”

“My hobby is an AR (augmented reality) mobile game called “Ingress”. I like to describe it as a mixture of “capture the flag” and orienteering. Using your smart phone as a map of your surroundings, you need to walk, cycle or somehow travel from one point to another. These points are called “portals” and your objective is to “capture” them.

There is an element of competition to the game, two factions “Resistance” and “Enlightened” want to control the portals and when starting the game, you will have to choose which one do you want to represent. There is plot in the game and you can dive into it if you want, but it’s completely unnecessary if just want to enjoy the gameplay.

I have covered around 9 000 kilometers playing the game since I started in 2014.

What appealed to me in this game the most is the fact that you need to walk a lot in order to play. I have covered around 9 000 kilometers playing the game since I started in 2014. And it’s a great way to explore the city, too. All of the “portals” are points with some cultural meaning to them whether it’s a fountain, a statue or a plaque, so you can learn a lot about Tampere just by playing for half an hour in the evening.

There is also a social aspect to the game. You can find large and very friendly communities of players from both factions in Tampere, so if you want to meet new people you can contact your faction’s group by clicking one the links below. The game is free and has brought me a lot of fun over the years, so I recommend you try it out for yourself. “

Download Ingress

Factions Websites:


Kristina: “Mahjong caught my interest really fast”

“My hobby is Japanese Mahjong. Mahjong is a four-player board game that involves strategy and planning. It has some similarities to poker, only instead of cards you have a hand of tiles with different drawings on them.  Your goal is to collect certain sets of them in to win.

Mahjong table
“Mahjong has some similarities to poker, only instead of cards you have a hand of tiles with different drawings on them”, Kristina says.

I have started playing back in high school, because there was a Mahjong Club organised by former students. It caught my interest really fast, since it was easy to learn but hard to master. Once you know the basic rules, there is so much depth and strategy to the game that it does not get repetitive even after numerous sessions.

In total I have been playing Mahjong for 10 years and to this day enjoy it a lot. I even participated in tournaments abroad and once represented Finland in the European Championship. I almost came in to the top 10 and it was a great experience overall!

If you are interested in trying out the game for yourself, we have a Mahjong club here in Tampere called “Tenpai”. You are always welcome to join us every Tuesday in the boardgame café “Taverna” at 17:00. The first game is free so come and get to know our wonderful community!”

Tenpai Club


Braden: “Ice hockey is an important part of Finnish culture”

“I love ice hockey. It is something that has been with me through my entire life. My dad has put me on skates as soon as I could basically stand. It was something that was coming from the family. Three of my brothers also played hockey and eventually we decided to travel, and I have ended up here in Finland.

Tampere is a great city for those who want to experience hockey.

Tampere is a great city for those who want to experience hockey. There are two teams here both of which are playing in the top-tier Finnish league, so I recommend you watch hockey at the stadium. Ticket prices start around 6 euros per ticket and there a couple of games every week.

It is a nice way to experience the atmosphere and because ice hockey is an important part of Finnish culture. It is also a good way to get to know the country you are studying in. If you don’t want to pay for the ticket, there are also outdoor public skating rinks, so you just need to have a pair of skates and you will be good to go!“


Student Ambassador Nikolai Sladkov standing next to a wall
About the interviewer and writer: “I am an 18-year-old Environmental Engineering student from Russia. I always wanted to study in Finland, so right after graduating high school I applied for a study place in TAMK and I was accepted. Now I am learning how to make the world around me a better place, while enjoying beautiful Finnish nature.”

Cover photo: Amanda Aho