About Vaasa


A city appreciated among students

Vaasa is located in Ostrobothnia on the west coast of Finland, 70 kilometers by sea from Umeå in Sweden. The population is 67 000 of which 69% have Finnish as their mother tounge, 23 % have Swedish as their mother tongue and 8% some other language. In Vaasa, more than 100 nationalities are represented making the City of Vaasa one of the most cosmopolitan in Finland, second only to Helsinki. The number of students is 15 000.

The people of Ostrobothnia are known for their entrepreneurial spirit, and the industry is most productive especially in the fields of electronics, information technology, metal, and boat and house construction. Vaasa also hosts the largest energy cluster in the Nordic countries with leading global companies such as Wärtsilä and ABB. In the field of technology, the region produces innovative diesel, gas and electric engines, power plants, systems for electric power transmission and distribution, frequency converters, and wind power components. There is also a high concentration of international retailers and service companies.

In Vaasa, vocational education is developed in close cooperation with other educational establishments, the regional industry, the service sector and the public sector, contributing to employment by means of tailored educational programmes. Vamia thinks ahead in order to fill both present and future needs for competence.

Facts about vaasa

General information

  • Regional capital of Ostrobothnia


  • Total area 574 km²
  • Shoreline 473 km


  • Founded by King Carl IX of Sweden in 1606
  • Burned to the ground in 1852
  • Moved to present location in 1862
  • Population 67.392 (2017)


  • Finnish 69%, Swedish 23%, other 8%
  • 6 institutions of higher education bring approx. 13.000 students yearly to Vaasa
  • Around 900 international study places are for exchange students


  • Easy to reach by air, rail or ferry
  • Several daily flights to Helsinki and Stockholm
  • Daily connection to Umeå, Sweden with the ferry

Economy & society

  • The region´s employment rate is among the highest in Finland
  • The high number of entrepreneurs in the region is very depictive of the positive and energetic “Yes, we can” –attitude of Ostrobothnia
  • The largest energy technology cluster of the Nordic countries with over 140 companies
  • Vaasa Energy Week is an internationally acclaimed annual gathering that takes place in the autumn
  • Largest employers: City of Vaasa, Wärtsilä Corporation, ABB Oy, Danfoss, Vaasa General Hospital
  • Education: various possibilities, courses and degrees available in Finnish, Swedish and English
  • Education providers: University of Vaasa, Åbo Akademi, Hanken Svenska handelshögskolan, Vaasa university of applied sciences (VAMK), Novia – university of applied sciences, Vocational education: Vamia, YA!


Sports and outdoor facilities:
7 beaches, Botnia multifunction Hall, Vaasa ice hockey Arena, Public swimming hall, Bowling, Tennis, Badminton, football fields

Finnish and Swedish theaters, opera, art museums and galleries, outdoor museums, movie theaters, library,

Vaasa Choir Festival, Korsholm Music Festival, Night of the Arts, Wildlife Vaasa – nature film festival, international food festival, numerous concerts and art festivals, sporting games

UNESCO Kvarken archipelago natural heritage site


Read more about Vaasa

Watch a video clip about Vaasa 

Link to the map of Vaasa

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