*Rates shown are per day, based upon a 7-day car rental. Taxes and additional surcharges may apply.
Founded in 1605, Oulu has been the provincial capital since 1776. In the mid-19th century the trade of fur, salmon and tar brought such prosperity to the city that Oulu boasted the largest sailing fleet in Finland. Today technology and wood products have supplanted fish and fur as the major exports and with the rise of alternatives to wood for shipbuilding, the tar trade is long gone. Due to numerous fires, many of the older buildings are now the stuff of legend, although few do survive. The Market Square has some 18th century salt warehouses and the Oulu Cathedral, built in 1777 was rebuilt in 1822 after a fire destroyed the wooden structures.
If you've ever played air guitar (c'mon now, be honest) Oulu is the place for you. Since 1996 Oulu has been the home of the Air Guitar World Championships, so turn your amp up to 11, put on some Hendrix and start practicing. The Championships are part of the Oulu Music and Video Festival held each summer. If gyrating on stage in front of hundreds of people while playing an imaginary instrument is not for you (or if you've thoroughly embarrassed yourself and need to disappear for a while); rent a car and tour the surrounding towns. Oulu has attracted a good number of artisans that live outside the city.