Life in Oulu

The Oulu region is home to 215, 000 people, making it the largest urban centre in northern Scandinavia and one of the fastest growing regions in Finland. Oulu is a combination of beautiful, northern nature, vivid cultural life and modern technology. Oulu is also known for its highly-educated people and friendly, easy-going atmosphere.

The Light of the North


  • Average age 39.6 years
  • Every third person has a university degree
  • Over 930 km of bicycle routes
  • English widely spoken everywhere

City of innovation

Oulu values education, research and innovation. The Oulu Region is internationally known for its technology, particularly IT and wellness technology. The establishment of Oulu University in 1958 and the continuous and consistent cooperation between industry and research organisations has played a major role in the hi-tech growth of the region.

Out and about

Oulu’s four seasons allow for a wide range of outdoor activities. The nature is always at your fingertips. Skiing and jogging tracks are never far away and the bicycle network is vast - the city has more than 930 km of roads for bicycle traffic. No wonder biking is the favorite mode of transport for Oulu people! Winter biking is also popular, and Oulu has been ranked as the best winter biking city in the world.

If you're not an outdoor enthusiast, the city of Oulu offers also many indoor activities and sports facilities to choose from. The city has also a rich cultural life. Our numerous theatres, museums, and exhibitions offer an abundance of events throughout the year. There are musical events ranging from classical concerts to rock festivals and club gigs.

Everyday life

Living in Oulu is easy. You are never far away from anywhere. We have a "20-minute-rule" meaning that no matter where you are coming from and where you are going to, you’ll get there in max. 20 minutes!

Oulu is truly a family friendly city. The pace of life is easy and relaxed, and recreational opportunities are close at hand. Not forgetting the high-class public healthcare services and one of the world’s best school systems.