Lake cruise and guided tour of Säynätsalo town hall

Ship on a Päijänne cruise at sunset
Photo: Tero Takalo-Eskola

Aalto e la natura

Explore Alvar Aalto’s architecture while enjoying a lake cruise! On a Lake Päijänne cruise you can get right to the heart of the beautiful lakeland scenery which was so dear to Alvar Aalto, too. You will be quite literally following in the master’s footsteps, since Alvar Aalto himself travelled the same route to Säynätsalo – aboard the same legendary Päijänne-Risteilyt Hildén steamer! In Säynätsalo there’s a guided tour of Säynätsalo town hall, which is regarded as one of Alvar Aalto’s finest designs.

After the guided tour there’s an opportunity to admire the pretty island enclave of Säynätsalo and then return to Jyväskylä’s Lutakko harbour by ship. Alternatively, on exiting the town hall you can jump straight onto a local bus which will take you back to the centre of Jyväskylä.

Tour recommended particularly for:
absolutely everyone!

Reservations and important information on departure times, trip duration and prizes:
Päijänne–Risteilyt Hildén’s online store

At extra charge:
Those taking the cruise can also book an extended Alvar Aalto bus tour complete with guide, on which in addition to Säynätsalo town hall there is an opportunity to visit the Muuratsalo Experimental House and Muurame Church.


Säynätsalo Town Hall (1949-52) is one of Alvar Aalto’s most important designs, and it occupies an internationally recognised position in the history of modern architecture. The town hall is located in the small island enclave of Säynätsalo, which is surrounded by superb lake scenery. Alvar Aalto de-signed the town hall as a complete work of art, which is visible in the smallest of details and especially in the design of the furniture intended expressly for this building. Led by an experienced guide you will hear a great deal more about this fascinating building and about the events in Alvar Aalto’s own life at the time the town hall was under construction.

Muuratsalo Experimental House (1952-54) is the atelier and summer home designed for their own use by Elissa and Alvar Aalto. It is modelled on an Antique atrium house. The Experimental House is situated in a particularly beautiful spot on the rocky shores of Lake Päijänne, but nevertheless shel-tered by an area of forest. Here Aalto had the freedom to experiment with different materials, shapes, techniques and dimensions. In addition to the house itself your guide will allow you a peek at the smoke sauna and the speedboat designed by Aalto himself, which he named ”Nemo propheta in patria” [“No man is a prophet in his own land”].

Muurame Church (1926-29) is the first of Alvar Aalto’s church buildings to be completed. The church, with its strong Italian influences, stands on a ridge close to the centre of Muurame, between two lakes. The church was restored in 2016. In the process the classic, strongly coloured decoration of the interior was brought back to its former glory, as was the rose garden in the churchyard.