Hervanta (or Herwood, as playfully titled by the Uni of Tech students) has a reputation as the ghetto of Tampere but, that reputation is mainly just an echo from the past (70's and 80's) and has little to do with the situation as of now.

Hervanta is an active - and the biggest, with over 35,000 people - suburb of Tampere that is mainly populated by below middle-class workers (northern Hervanta, the only remains of a ghetto-like neighborhood), Tampere University of Technology students (southern Hervanta) and some Nokia millionaires (southern and western Hervanta).

Hervanta has been under heavy construction since the new plans for the suburb were published late in the summer 1999, and it is growing rapidly in population - thanks to cheap apartment rental prices and growing intake of the University and other educational institutes in the city (there is also the University of Tampere, located near the center of the city).

Hervanta is a rare place in Tampere in that walking through the center of Hervanta, you might hear conversations taking place in Chinese, Italian, German, French and English, while not hearing a single word in Finnish - the University is well-known and respected abroad. After all, it is the second biggest University in Finland, right after Helsinki University of Technology..

The best way to get to Hervanta is by taking a bus from either the central marketplace (Kauppatori) or, along Hämeenkatu, the main street going through Tampere center. Due to the size of Hervanta and, the active and well-maintained public transportation of Tampere, you can get to Hervanta with any of the buslines 13, 20, 23 or 30, all of which go through the city center (the surroundings of the central marketplace is a knot point to and from which you can catch just about any bus in the city). Line number 13 takes a bit longer route than the busline 30, offering a nice (and cheap!) little scenery tour. Lines 20 and 23 are the quickest ones to get to Hervanta - they drive the straightest routes and both pass the main buildings of the University of Tampere, as does the busline number 13. The only drawback is that the line 23 ends in northern Hervanta, with approx. 2km walk to the University of Technology. Line numbers 23 and 30 are the most used ones and, both are totally crowded at rush peaks and during any big national festivities or local student parties.

Buslines 23 and 30 will get you to Hervanta and back to Tampere center almost anytime (from 5am till 11pm with busline 23, and 4am till 2:30am with busline 30). The nighttime extra (from 11:30pm till 5:30am) is the price of a single ticket (12FIM or, roughly $2, at the moment of writing).

For a tourist, the busline number 13 is very good, because of its route of almost 25km (approx. 15.6 miles) through the entire city area, for a ticket price of approx. $2. The bustickets are valid for one hour after purchase and there's no limitation on exchanges (so you can hop along any bus for one-time payment for that one hour).

Should you ever visit Tampere, be sure to take a one-day tour through Hervanta.