Rauma (Finnish) or Raumo (Swedish) is a town in Western Finland. The wooden houses in the center of the old town are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Rauma is the third oldest town in Finland, and currently houses approximately 40,000 inhabitants. It is a historic seafaring town but in the 20th century its main industry became paper milling. In recent years, significant employment has also been contributed by the nearby Olkiluoto area which houses two of Finland's nuclear power plants and is currently constructing a third.
Rauma has a lot of seafaring history. During past centuries it also developed a reputation for high quality lace. Both of these traditions are actively being marketed by the tourism industry, though in day to day life they are no longer mainstream (except for the port operations, as Rauma is still a major port in Finland). Folk culture, tourism and older people try to preserve much of Rauma tradition, but as everywhere, Finland is gradually becoming homogenized due to the influence of mass media. Younger generations in Rauma these days hardly differ from those in most other Finnish cities.
The post-WWII years were mainly driven by pulp and paper milling, which cast its ugly (and sometimes smelly) shadow on the town. However, the wood industry also brought prosperity and compared to many other similarly sized towns, Rauma has done pretty well. Environmental impact (including the abovementioned smell) is nowadays rather small due to modern technology. Most of the 'smoke' you see coming from the factory area (tucked into the outskirts of the town) is actually water vapour.
In its heyday, Rauma had two competing shipyards, which have now been consolidated into one and owned by STX (from S-Korea). Combined with the wood industry and other metal industry companies, Rauma really has a blue-collar history.
Recently, due to the construction of the new nuclear power plant by a Franco-German company, there has been an influx of engineers and their families from Central Europe. This has contributed positively not only to the economy but also to the offerings of restaurants and cafés. As of this writing (in early 2007), it is probable that the project and a possible continuation will stretch on for some time, keeping the foreign clientele in the town and thus invigorating it.
The neighboring county of Lappi merged into Rauma in 2009.
The locals are mainly Finnish speaking. As in most of Finland, you'll find that teenagers and twentysomethings almost always know at least some English. Rauma has a dialect of its own which is often said to be a language of its own. Rauma giäl ("Rauman kieli", or the language of Rauma) is characterized by a slightly more guttural intonation than standard Finnish. Its most extreme form is, however, mostly reserved only for traditional folk events or touristic marketing. The day to day language of Rauma inhabitants is mostly standard Finnish mixed with some Rauma idioms, words and pronunciation. If you know Finnish, you'll understand practically everything; it's only the occasional word here or there that might leave you confused. However, you may have to ask your interlocutor to speak slower, because the way of speech is also quicker and more verbose than in many other Finnish dialects.
The nearest airport, Pori airport is located in the neighboring city of Pori. Another option is Turku airport (IATA: TKU),which may have slightly better connections abroad. If you fly in from abroad, it may be quicker to fly to Helsinki (IATA: HEL) and continue by bus or train than to wait for a connecting flight to Turku. Tampere also has some international flights, most of them operated by Ryanair.
Rauma is well connected to other cities by bus and most tourists arrive this way. The long-distance bus station (Linja-autoasema) is located in the city centre. Buses go every 1-3 hours except during the night. Destinations include Helsinki (3,5 h), Turku (1,5 h), Tampere (2,5 h). Timetables can be found on the website of Matkahuolto.
There is no passenger rail traffic directly to Rauma. However, you can buy a train ticket to Rauma from VR. The train takes you as far as Kokemäki, where you'll change to a bus (included in the price) for the rest of the way. This is convenient for example if you are Interrailing. From Helsinki it takes about four hours to reach Rauma by train. You should also consider taking an alternative route of taking a train to Turku and then a northbound bus to Rauma. This may also be faster than taking a direct bus, depending on the time of day, but the Turku-Rauma bus is not included in the train ticket.
There are easy road connections to Helsinki (south via Huittinen, 242 km), Tampere (east via Huittinen, 145 km), Turku (south, 94 km) and Pori (north, 49 km). There are no roads going west since that way lies the sea.
There is no commercial passenger traffic by sea but many tourists, especially Finns, arrive in Rauma with their private yachts. There are a few guest harbours around Rauma.
Bringing your own car or bicycle would be convenient. The bus system is extremely limited and services only the handful of most important routes. You'll find the main bus stop near the old town, at Savila. This is not the same as the intercity bus terminal which services the buses that go in and out of Rauma; there are a couple of blocks between the two bus stations.
Taxis operate widely around the city and you can flag a cab when you see one or call +358 2 106 400. As everywhere else in Finland taxis are rather expensive. Also, since Rauma is a small town, walking around the city, and especially the Old Town, is easy.
Most of Rauma's sights are conveniently located within a walking distance of the centre.
Old Rauma (Vanha Rauma) is the largest uniform wooden town in the Nordic Countries, and it was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List on the eve of the 550th anniversary of the city. The oldest inhabited buildings date back even to the 17th century.
Archipelago of Rauma
The archipelago is not very extensive, although sailing south will get you to Turku archipelago, largest archipelago of the Baltic Sea. However, in summer when the weather is fine, the islands provide a nice day trip.
- Kylmäpihlaja. Is an island with a lighthouse that operates as a hotel.
- Kuuskajaskari. Was previously a military area and still has old 152-millimetre coastal artillery cannons.
- Reksaari. Island groves can be seen here.
In peak tourist season, there are regular boat connections to each of these islands. In most winters, it is also possible to walk, ski or skate over the frozen sea. Be sure to ask locals if the ice is thick enough, never embark alone, and avoid shipping routes with potentially thinner ice. Obviously there are little or no tourist services available on the islands during winter.
- Church of the Holy Cross (Pyhän ristin kirkko). Originally a Franciscan monastery, now a Lutheran church, built in the 15th century. Medieval wall and ceiling paintings.
- The Ruins of the Church of the Holy Trinity. Built in the 15th century as the parish church, it was destroyed in a fire in 1640. Nowadays it is a peaceful setting amidst a park.
Museums & galleries
- Marela, Kauppakatu 24, ☎ +358 2 834 3528. A beautiful museum presenting the home of a ship-owner from the turn of the 20th century, at the culmination of Rauma seafaring skill.
- Kirsti’s house, Pohjankatu 3, ☎ +358 2 834 3529. A typical building in Old Rauma built in the 18th century. It presents the living conditions and life of the 19th and 20th century. Inhabitants have included sailors, bobbin lace makers, a blacksmith and a firefighter.
- Rauma Maritime Museum, Kalliokatu 34, ☎ +358 2 822 4911. Exhibitions about the history of seafaring.
- Rauma Art Museum, Kuninkaankatu 37, ☎ +358 2 822 4346. Exhibitions focusing on the Rauma region and the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea.
- Former Town Hall & Lönnström Art Museum, Valtakatu 7, ☎ +358 2 838 74700. In the Center of Old Rauma, the Town Hall now hosts exhibitions of fine art, design, photography, architecture and environmental art.
- The potter's workshop, Nummenkatu 12, ☎ +358 2 533 5526. The workroom and home of a stove tile maker from the early 20th century.
- Tammela, Eteläpitkäkatu 17. Shows how an old, culturally significant log house is renovated and maintained.
- Alfred Kordelin’s Burial Chapel & the Old Cemetery. This beautiful chapel was built by Kordelin's family and donated to the parish. It is situated in a very peaceful setting in the middle of the Old Cemetery.
- The Observation tower. Also functioning as the city's water tower, has a beautiful manufactured waterfall on its grounds, and the view from the observation level cafe up on the water tower is likewise beautiful. Rauma souvenirs are sold at the water tower (as well as in the town centre). There is a small entrance fee.
- Kiikartorni. A wooden tower overlooking the Syväraumanlahti bay with a Tourist Information Centre offering info about island cruises.
- Sammallahdenmäki. A Bronze Age burial site in the village of Kivikylä, well signposted off Highway 12 between Rauma and Tampere. While a UNESCO World Heritage Site of great archaeological significance, it's not all that much to look at, being composed of just 36 piles of stone of varying shapes and sizes. Guided tours starting from the parking lot are available Mon-Fri in the summer peak season (June-August) for a token €2/person.
- Olkiluoto nuclear power plant, Olkiluodon Vierailukeskus, Olkiluoto, Eurajoki, ☎ +358 2 8381 5221, e-mail: email@example.com. Daily 10AM to 8PM. Olkiluoto nuclear power plant is located near Rauma. The visitor centre of the power plant is open practically every day, and at times there is also free bus transport to and from Rauma to the visitor centre. Visitors must present a passport or an identity card for access. Entrance free.
Despite its small size, Rauma hosts numerous festivals, mostly during summertime. For exact dates and program, check the City of Rauma website.
- Rauma Lace Week (Pitsiviikko). perhaps the best time to visit Rauma if you want to see something special. The usual time for Lace Week is at the end of July. You should check the dates from City of Rauma website.
One of the nights is themed the Night of Black Lace (mustan pitsin yö), which starts as a cultural happening and usually degrades very quickly into a massive (on local scale) bar-crawling exercise.
- Rauma Blues. A small blues festival, often with some world-class artists, in July.
- Rauma Summer Jazz. A small jazz festival with bands from around Finland, in August.
- Festivo. Classical music, in August.
- Klustermus. Finnish underground rock, free entrance, in June.
- Blue Sea Film Festival. An annual film festival, in August.
- Rauma Biennale Balticum. A biennial showcase of art around the Baltic Sea, in June-September, every even-numbered year.
The Culture and Leisure Centre operates an information service called Fyyr which helps to find things to do and see, and may be able to help with more information about any of these opportunities. Their service is available in Finnish and English, at Nortamonkatu 5, tel. +358 2-8343510, and on their website at .
Rauma Regional Tourist Office will also be able to help especially with the more touristy services. Their office is at Valtakatu 2, tel. +358 2-83787730 and +358 2-83787731.
- Otanlahti Beach, Suvitie. This is fairly long stretch of sandy beach located a few kilometres out of town. Beach volleyball and swimming are popular. Also, this is where the annual RMJ festival was held until 2007, after which it was moved to Pori.
- Golf. There's an 18-hole golf course (Ala-Pomppustentie 20).
- Movies, Savilankatu 4. On those rainy days you can catch a movie at Iso-Hannu Cinema.
- Ice hockey, Nortamonkatu 23. Rauma's ice hockey team Lukko is in Finland's top league. Home games are played in winter at the Äijänsuo arena (Kivikylän tuhtitupa). Tickets from Lippupalvelu. The traditional arch-enemy is Ässät, a team from Pori.
- Ice skating. An indoor rink is available for ice skating about twice a week, except in the summer. In winter, there are also a dozen outdoor rinks of various quality levels. You need to bring your own skates. More information from the town website,
- Swimming, Hankkarintie 8, ☎ +358 2-8343572. A visit to a swimming hall (25 metre lanes, sauna) will cost a few euros. In the summertime, open-air swimming pool at Otanlahti Sports Centre (Otanlahti Beach), Suvitie.
- Sauna. Free seaside public saunas a couple of times a week from June to August.
- Skiing, Kodisjoentie 91. Cross-country skiing in winter at Lähdepelto. Cross-country skiing routes of up to 6 km in winter, lighted until 22. In summer, a nice place to go for a run in a forest.
- Theater, Alfredinkatu 2, ☎ +358 2-83769900. Rauma City Theater is a Finnish-language theater. For program, see the home pages.
In Old Rauma you can still find plenty of traditional lace on sale and at the main square you will find the seafarers' museum containing some impressive stuff.
- Rauman Pellava ja Pitsi, Kuninkaankatu 15. You can buy original and famous Rauma Lace in Rauman Pellava ja Pitsi and there are also other genuine Rauma handicrafts, textiles and handicrafts available.
There are a couple of local foods which are borne of the seafaring past: lapskoussi (mashed potatoes and salted meat) and topseilvellinki (raisin soup, usually served with pancakes).
Budget choices are largely limited to fast food. In addition to McDonald's and its Finnish imitator Hesburger, Rauma has a bunch of pizza and kebab places, where a meal typically costs around 4,5-8 €.
- Antalya Kebab-Pizza, Valtakatu 4, ☎ +358 2 821 2161.
- Deniss Kebab & Pizza, Valtakatu 10, ☎ +358 2 823 5770.
- Snack House, Valtakatu 9-11, ☎ +358 2 8226 336. Also servers steaks and pasta.
- Eti Kebab & Pizzeria, Nortamonkatu 16, ☎ +358 2 824 1719.
- Damla, Syväraumankatu 5A, ☎ +358 2 823 3163. Mo-Sa 10:30-22:00, Su 10:30-22:00.
- Kebab Kioski, Nortamonkatu 18, ☎ +358 2 822 9459.
- Jubu-Pizza, ☎ +358 2 533 6121. Rauma's youngest pizzeria
For self-caterers, Rauma offers several options. You can buy fresh and smoked fish and fruits and vegetables at the market, in the heart of Old Rauma. Also, Rauma has many supermarkets. The biggest (and cheapest) two are Citymarket (Karjalankatu 5) and Prisma (Porintie 4). They both are within a five minutes walk northwards from the Church of the Holy Cross. In addition, the large shop at ABC gas station (Unajantie 2) is open 24/7.
- Kylmäpihlajan majakka, Kylmäpihlaja (Kylmäpihlaja lighthouse island), ☎ +358 44-0840049, +358 44-0822964. A seafood restaurant at the Kylmäpihlaja lighthouse off the coast of Rauma, open daily between 9th of June and 12th of August (2012). You need a boat to get there, see listings under the archipelago of Rauma.
- Wanhan Rauman Kellari, Anundilankatu 8, ☎ +358 2-866 6700.
- Villa Tallbo, Petäjäksentie 178, ☎ +358 2-822 0733.
- Restaurant Buena Vista, Kanalinranta 5, ☎ +358 2-822 7757.
- Wähä Tallbo, Vanhakirkonkatu 3, ☎ +358 2-822 6610.
- Mr. Jones, Valtakatu 5, ☎ +358 2-83 222 120.
- La Bamba, Posellinkatu 6, ☎ +358 2-822 7756.
- Amarilllo, Savilankatu 1, ☎ +358 2 8330 530. Burgers, fajitas, burritos, steaks and other treats in Texas style.
- Osteria Da Filippo, Kauppakatu 20, ☎ +358 440639824. Italian-type restaurant.
- Pizzeria Riviera, Hallikatu 6, ☎ +358 2-822 8991.
- Chinese Restaurant, Kuninkaankatu 4, ☎ +358 2-822 6869.
- Restaurant Pursikasino, Suvitie 4, ☎ +358 2-823 5800.
In addition to the previous, many of the better hotels have restaurants of their own.
There are no world-class restaurants. Of the local offerings, better ones include S.J. Nyyper and Wanha teatteri.
Rauma has its own drink, Puksprööt, made of juniper-rowan liqueur and white wine, served with a tar-infused rope. Some bars elect not to use juniper liqueur, in which case you might want to add some gin.
A common perception among young Raumans is that there is absolutely nothing to do in Rauma. This perception is shared to such a degree that if a Rauman teenager asks another if there's anything happening in Rauma, the other one starts outright laughing. As usual, teenagers have somewhat of an extremist view and also are not fully aware of all their options -- still, there is some truth to their opinions. Rauma is not a happening party town. There are a couple of night club options and a number of seedy bars, and each usually has their own clientele where everybody knows each other. It might be difficult to find a place that fits you in Rauma, and if you do, it might be difficult to get to know the people who already know each other.
Bars and clubs are concentrated in Old Rauma and west of Old Rauma. Main party days are Friday and Saturday, Wednesday coming as third.
There are a number of nice cafés (kahvila) in the Old Rauma, some in the inner yards of the old wooden houses, sometimes with live music or art galleries - obviously patios are usually only open in summertime. The best option is to walk around and pick the one you like.
Cafés are typically Finnish-style. American style tall lattes are hard to come by, and surprisingly many offer light-roasted drip coffee only (no espresso). This is, however, slowly changing.
Some established cafés include
- Café Sali, Kuninkaankatu 22, ☎ +358 10-4233161. Old Rauma. Sleek interior. Probably your best bet if you want a decent espresso based drink.
- Kontion konditoria, Kuninkaankatu 9 or Karjalankatu 3, ☎ +358 2-8221758. Old Rauma. Nice terrace in summer.
- Augustin Paviljonki, Poroholma, ☎ +358 2 533 5522. A salon in Poroholma. Includes restaurant and café.
- Ruormies, Poroholma, ☎ +358 2 533 5522. Café with a terrace.
- Apollo Live Club, Valtakatu 5. Located at Best Western Hotel Raumanlinna. Probably the longest-running of clubs in Rauma, although has changed name and ownership several times during the years. Currently run by the SK-ravintolat chain.
- Studio Bar & Club, Valtakatu 15, ☎ +358 2-8226446.
- Maffi, Valtakatu 3, ☎ +358 2-5330857. A hotel pub with a moderately good beer selection.
- Parnell's, Valtakatu 4, ☎ +358 2-8240431. Faux-Irish chain pub, but one of the better choices in terms of beer.
- Public Corner, Savilankatu 1, ☎ +358 2-8227989. Chain pub, moderately good selection.
Most of the accommodation available in Rauma is mid-range. The only real budget option is the camping ground.
- Poroholma Camping, Poroholmantie, ☎ +358 2-83882500. Open in summer 15 May - 31 August. A nice camping ground located by the seaside in Otanlahti. You can sleep in a hostel dormitory, cabin, your campervan or your tent. Also has a guest harbour if you're arriving by boat.
- Summer Hotel Rauma, Satamakatu 20, ☎ +358 2-8240130, fax: +358 2-8388-2400. Open only in summer 1.6. - 31.8. A nice hostel near the center.
- Haus Anna Bed & Breakfast, Satamakatu 7, ☎ +358 2-8228223. A B&B near central Rauma. Offers a few rooms and breakfast. Clean facilities.
- Hotel Vanha Rauma, Vanhankirkonkatu 26 (Kalatori 4), ☎ +358 2-83762200. A hotel right in the heart of Old Rauma. Includes a restaurant. Earlier known as Hotel Kalatori and Kalatorin Majatalo.
There are no internet cafes in Rauma since most people have a broadband access at home. However, you can access internet free of charge at public libraries, such as the Rauma City Library (Rauman Kaupunginkirjasto, Alfredinkatu 1).
Rauma can be used as a stepping stone for visiting other small neighbouring villages. As an example, there is another Unesco World Heritage Site in the municipality of Lappi (no relation to Lapland) called Sammallahdenmäki, consisting of Bronze Age stone piles.
|Routes through Rauma|
|Tornio ← Pori ←||W E||→ Turku → END|