Tampere is as famous for its sauna and winter swimming culture as for its old red brick industrial buildings. Most of those red giants are situated around Tammerkoski, the rapids which divides the city in the north-south direction. Those buildings and the rapids are regarded as one of the national landscapes of Finland. This landscape was even found in the old national 20 markka note.
Where Näsijärvi lake meets Tammerkoski, the rapid, there is a great place to swim, Mältinranta, – just in the middle of this national landscape. As a part of my all year morning routine I head to Mältinranta to swim. During winter time, especially on very early mornings, the most enthusiastic swimmers can be seen, mainly elderly ones.
It is said that the water in Mältinranta is the coldest in Tampere, because the place is in the middle of the rapids and the water flows quite quickly. Mältinranta is also a very urban place to swim because it is only a few hundred meters away from the main street Hämeenkatu and the long-distance trains pass by it only a hundred meter away. However, it is also surrounded by Näsipuisto, a beautiful park, as well as Tallipiha, a yard full of old wooden buildings which hide a nice cafe and cute little shops.
However, be prepared to change your clothes at a park bench because there is no publicly available changing room (only the members of the winter swimming club may have a key to this small changing room)!