Oulu has been attracting international attention almost since it emerged from beneath the waves thousands of years ago. The largest city in northern Finland and situated where the Oulu River meets the Gulf of Bothnia, it has been a trading site since ancient times. Military minds saw Oulu's location desirable as well; Swedes, Russians and Germans among others have sought to make the city their own.
With a rental car in Finland, you too can make the city your own, and you won't even need an army to back you up. Rental cars are available at the airport and several locations in the city. Browse our large fleet of rental cars to find the ideal car for your trip to Oulu.
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.