Guided tours

”Central Finland is often reminiscent of Toscana, the home of cities built on hills, and that provides a small clue about how classically beautifully this province could be built”,
- wrote Alvar Aalto almost a hundred years ago.

A deep interest in both the historical Latin cultural heritage and the demands of modern society was an enduring feature of Alvar Aalto’s thinking and work. Aalto always had a trip to Italy in mind – the trip he had once made or the journey he was in the process of planning. For him Italy represented something characterised by a sympathetic design world of human dimensions.

Now it is possible to explore the Jyväskylä Region’s fabulous scenery, enjoy the essence of Central Finland, and discover both its cities on hills and Aalto’s human-scale architecture on a variety of guided tours inspired by Italy and the master architect himself:



 Guided walking tours



Who was Alvar Aalto, the architect and academician? On the Aalto Andante walking tour you’ll dis-cover how this young, small-town dreamer found his own style and put the architecture of the place where he grew up on the world map. On this tour we move from one turning point in Alvar Aalto’s life to the next, from the young schoolboy to the prestigious academician. On the way you’ll hear fascinating tales from real life and about Aalto the person, his growing pains and the sources of his inspiration – perhaps even a little about plans that never came to fruition…

Locations on the tour:
Jyväskylä workers’ club, the administrative and cultural centre as well as the campus of the University of Jyväskylä (together with Nikolainkulma and the Nero steps on the Harju ridge). The tour ends at the Alvar Aalto Museum which can be visited independently as wished.

Point of departure:
Compass Square (Kompassiaukio) in the pedestrian precinct.

Duration of tour:
1,5 hours

from 120 €/group 1-25 persons (for further details please visit:

Tour recommended particularly for:
absolutely everyone!



Experience the master of modernism and the stamp of an exciting architectural virtuoso in a genuine urban setting! Alvar Aalto went to school, started a family and began his illustrious career in Jyväsky-lä, home to the world’s most representative cross-section of Aalto-designed buildings. The Aalto Forte walking tour provides an introduction to Alvar Aalto’s best-known buildings within the city as well as a closer look at the special features and unique details of his architecture. The tour also casts light on the origins of the influences that shaped Aalto’s work and how they can be seen in the designs he produced.

Aalto-designed locations on the tour:
Jyväskylä workers’ club, the administrative and cultural centre as well as the campus of the University of Jyväskylä and the museums in Ruusupuisto (together with Nikolainkulma). The tour ends at the Alvar Aalto Museum which can be visited independently as wished.

Duration of tour:
2 hours

from 140 €/group 1-25 person (for further details please visit:

Tour recommended particularly for:
fans of architecture



Guided bus tours



The architect Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä – a prophet in his own land! This claim is realized on the guided Aalto Bravo bus tour, which provides an acquaintance with Aalto’s production over a period of almost sixty years. There are examples of the classicism embraced in his youth right through to the powerful, mature design language of his latter years. We also treated to stories about the phases of Aalto’s life and the nature of the man himself – not forgetting his talented wives, Aino and Elissa. We see places where he has lived, lines that he has drawn and marks that he has left on the Jyväskylä cityscape. We pay a visit to Säynätsalo, ”the Tahiti of Lake Päijänne” as well as Muurame Church, which was re-opened a short time ago refurbished in 1920s style. The tour ends at the Alvar Aalto Museum, the authentic environment of which also presents a fine opportunity to enjoy Aalto coffee and cake.

Aalto-designed locations on the tour:
the administrative and cultural centre, Seminaarinmäki, Säynätsalo town hall, Muurame church and the Alvar Aalto Museum.

2,5 hours

Guiding from 165 €/group 1-60 persons (weekdays), bus from 264 € (for further details please visit:

Tour recommended particularly for:
culture fans and all those interested in architecture and history.

At extra charge:
a chance to enjoy Alvar Aalto cake and coffee/tea at the Alvar Aalto Museum at the end of the tour (4 € per person).



In the creative atmosphere surrounding Alvar Aalto Jyväskylä has acquired a great deal of interesting architecture. On this tour the life’s work of Alvar Aalto and his contemporaries is complemented by an introduction to Jyväskylä’s own, internationally acclaimed take on urban design and the buildings that took shape here on both sides of the millennium. Architecture associated with education and culture, bridges, the wood industry, local government and residential projects has been contributed by numerous fine architects, including Wivi Lönn, Elsi Borg, Arto Sipinen, Kirsti Siven and Asko Takala as well as Anssi Lassila. The locations are toured by bus with a chance to take a closer look on foot in selected places.

The chief locations visited:
Jyväskylä City Theatre, the Seminaarinmäki campus of the University of Jyväskylä and the residential areas close to it, Tau-lumäki Church, the museums in Ruusupuisto, Kuokkala Church and a wooden apartment block – Puukuokka – winner of the prestigious Finlandia Prize for Architecture.

Duration: 1,5 hours

Guiding from 120 €/group 1-60 persons (weekdays), bus from 264 € (for further details please visit:

Tour recommended particularly for:
culture fans and all those interested in architecture and history.



Lake cruise and guided tour of Säynätsalo town hall


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.



How does the architecture of Alvar Aalto look from the viewpoint of dance and movement?
On the KoeAalto guided tour with dancer Helen Ratinen you will experience the architecture of Aalto, as well as details of surfaces and forms through movement. For those who know Aalto’s work well, the tour offers new insights into his work. And for the new visitors the tour offers an exceptional first touch to the unique design of Alvar Aalto.
KoeAalto tour is organized by the KSTK - Dance Center of Central Finland.

approx. 1h

350 e

Tour recommended particularly for:
to absolutely everyone and especially for those loving dance!

Number of participants:
max. 30

More information and reservations:
aalto (at)

Watch tour trailer here!





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