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The Finnish Vaasa was almost completely destroyed by fire halfway the nineteenth century. The new city wasn't rebuilt at the same place, but about 6 kilometers northwest of the old city. The ruins of the church, the school and the town hall of the former Vaasa are now part of a recreational park. One of Vaasa's main attractions is the Kvarken Archipelago off the coast.
Vaasa has approximately 60,000 inhabitants. In recent years, the population has increased significantly, mainly because of the arrival of high-tech companies (see Economy). About 25% of the inhabitants speak Swedish, which emphasizes the strong ties with Sweden.
Vaasa is located in the west of Finland, on the Gulf of Bothnia. Off the coast lie many small islands which form the Kvarken Archipelago, a nature reserve.
Vaasa is an industrial city with branches from for example ABB Strömberg (automation technology and electronics) and Wärtsilä, a manufacturer of diesel engines for ships. In addition, a lot of research is done on new technologies for energy generation. No less than 10,000 people are employed in this sector. Vaasa also houses a university and other institutes for higher education.
Vaasa Airport is situated 10 kilometers southeast of the city center. There are daily connections with Helsinki and Stockholm, and four times a week with Umeå in Sweden. The airport is reachable by rental car in 10-15 minutes from the center via the E12 or the E8.
The city's public bus transport is exploited by Vaasan Paikallisliikenne. Buses run every hour or every half hour and also connect the surrounding places with Vaasa's center. There are bus connections with for example Oulu, Turku and Tampere. Most trains run to and from Seinäjoki, east of Vaasa. There's also a daily ferry connection with the Swedish Holmsund, Umeå's port across the Gulf of Bothnia.
When the city was rebuilt (see Introduction), a rectangular street pattern was used, which makes it extremely easy to find your way around Vaasa. There are more than sufficient parking facilities, but you need to pay for street parking in the center. You can easily visit other places along the Gulf of Bothnia by rental car, as the coastal road E8 runs straight across Vaasa. Tampere can be reached via the E12 (distance: 419 kilometers).
The increasing activity in Vaasa has led to a larger choice of accommodations. There are business hotels, but also luxurious spas and basic guesthouses and bed & breakfasts. Many people stay at one of the holiday homes nearby Vaasa or at the campsite on Vaskiluoto Island, opposite the city center.
For more information about Vaasa, we recommend Google and the following sources: