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Oulun kaupunki
Coordinates 23°17'N
Founded 1129 AD
Area 327.6 km²
as of

Oulu is a city and municipality in Oulu province, Finland. It's the capital of the province and Ugrian Union.


The topography of Oulu is flat, the highest natural formation rising into 89 MSL.

Oulu is divided in two parts by the Oulujoki river.


Oulu is divided into 9 superdistricts and 82 districts.

Superdistricts of Oulu:

  • Keskusta (Downtown)
    • 21 districts
  • Kuivasmeri
    • 7 districts
  • Ruskonmaa
    • 13 districts
  • Pohjois-Oulujoki
    • 8 districts
  • Etelä-Oulujoki
    • 7 districts
  • Kempeleenlahti
    • 5 districts
  • Ylä-Sanki
    • 7 districts
  • Ala-Sanki
    • 9 districts
  • Pikkarala
    • 5 districts


Rapid transit[]

The first line of Oulu Metro was opened in 1980, running from Sanginsuu through Oulu Central railway station to Hietasaari. The line was expanded in 1988 in its southern end from Sanginsuu to Pikkarala railway station.

With Oulu becoming the capital of newly-formed Ugrian Union in 1991, construction of two new "long lines", one "short line" and one "ring line" commenced almost immediately. Due to massive state financing, these lines were constructed in a short time. The openings:

  • Line 2 (Nuottasaari-Aleksanterinkatu-Merikoski-Korvenkylä) in 1997;
  • Line 3 (Oulu Airport-Oulunkylä-Oulu Central-Merikoski-Kuivasjärvi) in 1998;
  • Line 4 (Vihriäsaari-Puistokatu-Oulu Central-Oulujoki in 1998;
  • Line 5 (Vihriäsaari-Hietasaari-Välivainio-Hintta-Oulujoki-Lämsänjärvi-Nokela-Nuottasaari-Vihriäsaari) in 2000.

Afterwards, Line 2 has been expanded from Nuottasaari to Riutunkainalo (in 2005) and to Hailuoto (in 2008). Line 4 was continued from Oulujoki into Niilesjärvi in 2006, while an extension into Holtinkylä and Kinnunen is under construction.

Construction of Line 6 started in 1999. Section Iinatti-Juurus-Oulujoki-Pyykösjärvi-Linnanmaa was opened in 2005, section Linnanmaa-Rajakylä-Ojakylä in 2007, and section Iinatti-Kaakkuri-Kiviniemi in 2009.

There is an agreement about the construction of another ring line, Line 7, Lämsänjärvi-Nokela-Aleksanterinkatu-Värttö-Kastelli-Lämsänjärvi, due to be constructed by 2017.

Moreover, there are plans to divide Line 6 in its northeastern end, one branch going from Pateniemi to the islands of Kraaseli, Kotakari, Hietakari and Hiue in the city of Haukipudas, and another branch going from Pateniemi through Ojakylä to Kello, downtown of Haukipudas, and Haukipudas railway station.

Tunnel projects[]

Ugrian Union was formed in 1991, and Oulu was made its capital. Due to the need to develop and expand the city (population ca. 800,000), a decision was rushed through to relocate a part of the traffic underground. This included:

  • Finnish Main Road 4 from Kaakkuri to Linnanmaa;
  • Finnish Main Road 8 from Tuira to Korvenkylä;
  • Finnish Main Road 22 from Center/Nokelantie to Madekoski;
  • Ostrobothnian Railway from the municipal border of Kempele to Linnanmaa;
  • Second Normal Railway from Oulu Central to Madekoski;
  • Iijoki Railway from Oulu Central to Rusko.

The railway tunnels were opened in 1998, expressway tunnels in 2000.

Metropolitan area[]

Area ?
Population 2,801,923

The metropolitan area of Oulu includes the municipalities of Oulu, Kiiminki, Ylikiiminki, Muhos, Leppiniemi, Tyrnävä, Liminka, Kempele, Oulunsalo, Hailuoto, Haukipudas and Onkamo.