Officially established as a city in 1837 under Tsar Nicholas I, Jvyaskyla is the capital of central Finland. Verdant forests, gentle hills and Finland's second-largest lake, Lake Paijanne, have helped Jvyaskyla earn its reputation as the second-most popular meeting destination in Finland. Education, information technology, and major companies, including Keskimaa, Metso Ltd. And Tieto, drive the city's economy, and meeting venues in Jyvaskyla include masterpieces by the celebrated architect Alvar Aalto.
International visitors arriving at Helsinki Vantaa International Airport can continue on to Jyvaskyla via bus or train (a four-hour journey); or with a commuter flight to Jyvaskyla Airport, a regional facility in Tikkakoski that is served by two carriers. The average taxi fare from the Jyvaskyla Airport to downtown Jyvaskyla meeting venues is approximately $51.
Convention venues in Jyvaskyla include Jyvaskyla Paviljonki International Congress & Trade Fair Centre, which is the premier facility for congresses and exhibitions in central Finland. The facilities have 215,278 square feet of exhibition space divided among seven halls, and there are seven lecture and meeting rooms that seat up to 100 guests. The center includes a 1,200-seat auditorium, three VIP rooms for 8 to 20 guests and a restaurant for 700 for catered events.
There are 1,312 hotel rooms in Jyvaskyla. Hotel meeting venues at the 274-room Sokos Hotel Alexandra include 13 rooms for 160 and a private sauna for 20; the Restaurant Franseka is available for a buyout for 190. The 96-room Spa Hotel Rantasipi Laajavouri features a 400-seat auditorium and 21 conference rooms with 14,908 square feet. Overlooking the lake, the 126-room Hotel Alba has two meeting rooms that seat up to 45 each.
The University of Jyvaskyla has event venues for groups as large as 2,300. These include a 750-seat auditorium, the Agora for 700, and dining facilities for 750. The airy lobby of the Jyvaskylan Kaupunginteatteri, overlooking Church Park, can be rented for cocktail receptions for 600. Paijanne Hilden Cruises Ltd. Offers charters for up to 199 passengers per boat for a cruise on the lake, so guests can relax while they meet.
Groups of 10 to 50 enjoy a "Viking party" with the Chief's Feast at Harald's Restaurant. Varjola, 30 minutes from Jyvaskyla, has six event venues for 15 to 150 and serves an extensive traditional buffet in a Lapp hut or a conference room. Savutuvan Apaja serves an authentic, homemade meal to 200 guests in a historic farm setting 15 minutes from Jyvsakyla.