Northern Lights in Oulu

Finland is one of the best places in the world for viewing Northern Lights (aurora borealis), and the probability of catching them is highest in Lapland -but Oulu is not far behind! We can see Northern Lights about 25% of the nights here – as long as there’s darkness and there are no clouds in the sky.

Welcome to Oulu!

Our city is often referred as the Capital of Northern Scandinavia. Oulu is located by the Gulf of Bothnia around 600 kilometres north of Helsinki, with a population of roughly 210,000 inhabitants. You can reach Oulu in less than an hour by flight, but if you’re planning a more scenic route through Finland, make sure you reserve several hours!  

Open Call 2022: Thank you for the applications!

Oulu2026 Open Call 2022 was closed on 9th Dec 2022. The next Open Call for individual, communal projects will be announced closer to 2026. Thank you all for submitting your proposals!

Oulu is the European Capital of Culture 2026!

The Finnish city of Oulu will be the European Capital of Culture in 2026. Together with 38 municipalities from Northern Finland, we want to bring more culture and well-being, create new jobs and develop our region in a sustainable way. Our main goal is to start a cultural climate change, helping us to reconnect with each other through culture.

About Oulu


We aim for Cultural Climate Change

Inspiring. Sustainable. European. That is our vision for the
Oulu 2026 cultural programme. A vision which meets our goal of sustainable Cultural Climate Change.

Who we are

The Oulu Cultural Foundation is the coordinator behind Oulu2026. The foundation develops Oulu as a city of culture and events, and promotes the preconditions for artists and the cultural sector, both nationally and internationally.