Meeri: Tampere on a student budget

7.12.2016

Winter is here! The lovely time of the year when it’s normal to feel like retiring from the world and sleeping 16 hours a day. Spending the next 4 months exclusively on your couch with Netflix and a cup of tea might sound like a great idea but after a while you might feel like doing something else for a change. Unfortunately the study grant tends to disappear from your account before you even notice its presence, so the amount of alternative activities is limited.

I guess I’m not the only one with the described problem. But no worries, there are ways to beat the winter depression even on a student budget. Here’s a few tips.

Go to cinema. Yes, I know that Finnkino tickets cost an arm and a leg. Good news: Niagara in Kehräsaari is cheaper, and on Tuesdays all shows are just 6 euros. Bonus points for the international film selection that gives you more to think than those generic Hollywood action films. (That said, the last film I watched was the newest Marvel in a Finnkino theater. Do as I say, not as I do…)
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Get sophisticated in museums and galleries. Even notorious students can enjoy high culture – especially when it’s for free. For example Vapriikki and Tampere Art Museum are free of charge on Friday afternoons and the finnish labour museum Werstas doesn’t cost anything ever. In other places the entrance fees for students are quite decent too.
(Btw, I highly recommend the Essi Renvall exhibition in Tampere Art Museum. It’s even worth the remarkable 3 euro entrance fee.)

Feel the shopping spree in flea markets. There are surprisingly many flea markets full of fantastic bargains in Tampere. Whether you’re sticking to your old style or trying out something new, it’s nice to buy things without getting broke for it. Dozens of my favourite clothes are from Bonus Kirppis and UFF in Hervanta. Fida shops and Radiokirppis in Laukontori aren’t that bad either.

How about some fresh air? Make the most of the days when it’s not pouring cats, dogs and who knows what – you never know when you get those the next time. You can double the advantage by inviting a friend for a walk: gossiping in the fresh air is just as great as in a hip café except that you avoid getting ripped off for that cafe latte. Pyynikki, Kauppi and the Hatanpää arboretum are worth the visit for starters.

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Don’t forget the sauna! Tampere is the mecca of public saunas. Rajaportti sauna in Pispala is the oldest one still in use and honestly one of the best saunas I’ve ever been in. The sauna in Rauhaniemi is another pearl, especially in the winter when you can combine with ice swimming. Passionate sauna lovers should consider investing on the 10-entrance serial card (35-36 euros for students). Trust me, the weekly electric sauna in your housing cooperative just isn’t the same.

Be creatively social. Why grab a beer with a mate when you can organize a professional cheap beer tasting instead? Cooking a fancy dinner from scratch is much funnier together than eating macaroni alone. How about some crazy theme party? Trying out new things with friends is refreshing and sharing the costs saves a ton of money. Win-win!