Jyväskylä, a city of the young and active
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Jyväskylä, a city of the young and active

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Jyväskylä is a lively university town where the largest age group is aged between 20 and 25. As many as 12% of all residents belong to this group. It’s small wonder, then, that the city offers plenty of activities and hot spots for young adults.

Born in Jyväskylä, 26-year-old Mirko Lehtinen is the bassist of Lost Society, a band that has gained fame abroad as well. The whole band is from Jyväskylä, and it rose to fame after winning the Finnish national final of GBOB (Global Battle of Bands) in 2012. The band didn’t bring home the win from the Grand Final held in London, but it helped the metal band land a recording contract with the German Nuclear Blast Records.

Lehtinen’s number one favourite, both as a performer and as a customer, is Tanssisali Lutakko.
Lehtinen’s number one favourite, both as a performer and as a customer, is Tanssisali Lutakko.

Lutakko and other hot spots

Who better, then, to evaluate the hot spots and music scene of Jyväskylä than Lehtinen, whose entire life revolves around music?

Lehtinen’s number one favourite, both as a performer and as a customer, is definitely Tanssisali Lutakko.

There are such great people at Lutakko and the team spirit is good.
There are such great people at Lutakko and the team spirit is good.

– There are such great people there and the team spirit is good. Most of the employees are volunteers, and I performed a part of my own civil service at Lutakko as well.

Lutakko is managed by Jelmu, the association of live music in Jyväskylä, and the venue holds more than 500 people. In addition to concerts without age restrictions, Lutakko also holds 18+ events where the bar area extends to the whole venue.

– Lutakko has a good kitchen. I also have great respect for the environmental values that Lutakko follows in everything that they do, Lehtinen says.

Jelmu also organises gigs at the Musta Kynnys restaurant located in an old railway station building. Besides these, Lehtinen names the cosy pub/restaurant Revolution and the Freetime nightclub as his favourites.

– Revolution has a really easygoing atmosphere. Dancing on the tables is more than encouraged there!

Hanging out in Harju

Mirko Lehtinen spent his childhood near the Harju ridge in Jyväskylä. In his opinion, Harju and its observation tower are among the greatest places in Jyväskylä.

Mirko Lehtinen spent his childhood near the Harju ridge in Jyväskylä.
Mirko Lehtinen spent his childhood near the Harju ridge in Jyväskylä.

– The jogging paths and the park in Harju are good for both jogging and hanging out with friends. The evening song played from the tower on summer nights is also a nice tradition.

Another good place for outdoor activities is the Rantaraitti route circling Lake Jyväsjärvi.

– The pedestrian and cycle route that circles Lake Jyväsjärvi is surrounded by beautiful nature and historically valuable buildings and courtyards.

Lost Society’s fourth album will be released on 21 February 2020. See the band’s upcoming gigs: https://lostsocietyfinland.com.

Nice bars, a city feel and beautiful nature

Matilda Saarikoski, 23, thinks that the best thing about Jyväskylä is the big city feel. There is always something to do in the university town.

“Big town with heaps of hills and a lot of young people who all look different.” This is how Matilda Saarikoski, 23, would have described her new hometown Jyväskylä a few years ago. Saarikoski moved to Jyväskylä from Joensuu right before she began upper secondary school.

She got to know the city and started to enjoy living there.

– I’m now in my fourth year at the University of Jyväskylä. I just changed majors from art history to journalism, and I’m currently doing my master’s degree.

In Saarikoski’s opinion, the best thing about Jyväskylä is the urban feel. Still, everything is fairly close by.

– At first I thought I was in a really big city and often got lost. Nonetheless, the atmosphere was really different to that in Joensuu, and I think the city feel is exclusively a good thing, Saarikoski adds.

Matilda’s favourites in Jyväskylä

  • Bar Vakiopaine.My number one favourite is Bar Vakiopaine, also known as Vakkari, located on Kauppakatu. Vakkari always has a cosy feel, which makes it a nice place to meet friends and maybe drink some glögg in winter. Various events are organised in Vakkari, and the bar has art on the walls.
  • Lounaispuisto park. Located opposite the university, the Lounaispuisto park is an enjoyable place especially in summer. The park is a good picnic spot, but concerts and various events are also organised there. You can also get food from the grill in the park.
  • Tourujoki nature trail. The Tourujoki nature trail located next to the city centre is a really beautiful place. It’s not very long, but there is great scenery and a fun boardwalk along the trail. You can get to the trail by the stairs near the Tourujoki bridge and the dirt road.
  • University campus area. The campus area of the University of Jyväskylä is beautiful and fascinating. The main campus of the university of located on a high slope, and it’s sometimes jokingly called the humanist hill. There are many beautiful old buildings here, but also modern architecture and design by Alvar Aalto.

Newcomer in Jyväskylä cycles everywhere

New students from all over Finland arrive in Jyväskylä every year. One of this autumn’s new town residents is first year student Panu Salokanto, 21, who felt at home in Jyväskylä right away.

Salokanto studies economics at the Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics. He was drawn to the field by its versatile nature.

– Economics will provide a lot of different opportunities in the future, he says.

Jyväskylä is good for students to live in. Many people have moved into the city to study, and it boasts a good choice of sports and culture and well-functioning healthcare services for the future professionals. New friendships are formed in the active student life – in organisational activities, for example. The compact city makes it easier for communities to form.

– All the buildings at the university are close together, and even on campus you’re bound to run into students of not only economics but other fields too, Salokanto says.

Of course, student groups have also established their regular hangout spots around the city where familiar faces can be found almost anytime.

Demand for rental housing is at its highest in summer when student selection is confirmed at universities and new students start preparing for the academic year. Salokanto found a functional studio flat in the Jyväskylä city centre shortly after accepting his place at the university.

– The Jyväskylä city centre is good to live in because everything is nearby: home, work and the university are all easy to reach by bike.

Indeed, moving around the city is easy and affordable for those living in the city centre. Thanks to the reasonable distances, you can get anywhere by foot or bike. The trip across the city centre to the university takes 15 minutes.

– I haven’t even felt the need to try public transport yet.

Since Salokoski is originally from Helsinki, living near the railway station is an advantage for him – organising activities in the two cities is easier when moving between them goes smoothly.

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