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Kuopio

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Kuopio is the largest city of North Savonia. Kuopio is surrounded by lakes from three sides, which supplies loads of beaches and the feeling of water being always close. Some of the wooden houses arranged as a grid have been preserved in the centre which makes it a nice place to visit.

Understand

Kuopio is one of the many Finnish towns founded under Swedish rule. The town was established as a village in the 1500s and incorporated as a city in 1782. Kuopio has a population of around 100,000.

Kuopio is on a peninsula in the middle of the lake Kallavesi. The lake has an area of 500 km2 (190 sq mi), or 900 km² if all Iso-Kalla is counted and then the 10th largest lake of Finland, 85 km (53 mi) in length with a shoreline of 1,700 km (1,100 mi). Some 400 islands are larger than a hectare. The Heinävesi and Leppävirta routes provide boat and ship access to Lake Saimaa downstream. Kuopio and neighbouring Siilinjärvi are the far end of 4-m shipping lanes from the Baltic Sea via Saimaa Canal. 2.4-m fairways continue to Iisalmi.

Tourist office

  • 1 Kuopio Tourist Information, Haapaniemenkatu 22. Kuopio Regional tourist information 

Get in

By plane

  • Kuopio Airport (KUO IATA) (in Rissala, 14 km north of Kuopio). Kuopio is a one-hour flight away from Helsinki. Most flights are met by a bus connecting to the city centre. Bus fares: €5/2.5. Taxi to the centre costs €18. A few flights daily.  

By train

About 4–5 hours from Helsinki. Tickets and timetables information: VR

By bus

Good connections from all directions. Timetables, fares and tickets information: Matkahuolto

By car

National highway 5 from Helsinki and highway 9 from Turku. Kuopio is about a five hour drive from Helsinki.

Get around

Kuopio has a good system of public transport. You can ride from one part of the city to another with a single ticket of €3.3, kids €1.7. Kauppatori is the centre of Kuopio's public transport system, but be aware that many bus lines just pass through and continue somewhere to the other side of the city.

  • single ticket workdays: €3.3 adults/€1.7 children 7–16 years
  • single ticket during the night (23:00-04:00): €5 adults/€2.6 children 7–16 years

Information about local buses can be found here. You can use route planner to seek local bus routes between given locations and addresses.

Electric kick scooters

See also: Finland#By motorised scooter

American Bird, Finnish Move on East and Finnish Joe Scooter rent electric kick scooters for use in the centre. The companies aim to keep the scooters available also in winter, conditions permitting, but the scooters are not ideal in snowy or slippery conditions.

By taxi

  • Menevä, ☏ +358 50-471-0470 (head of office), toll-free: 0800-02120 (booking), info@meneva.fi. Also bookable by app or web. Fixed price based on calculated route and time if destination address given when booking by app or web. Flag fall M–Sa 06:00–18:00: €4, other times and holidays: €7; 1–4 persons €0.90/km + €0.90/min, 5–8 persons minimum €20, €1.60/km + €0.90/min (July 2020). (updated Jul 2020)
  • VieVie, ☏ +358 100 0700. Also bookable by app. Fixed price based on calculated route and time if destination address given when booking by app. Flag fall M–F 06:00–20:00: €5, Sa 06:00-16:00 €5, other times and holidays: €9; 1–4 persons €1.80/km, 5-6 persons €2.15/km, over 6 persons €2.23/km (July 2020). (updated Jul 2020)
  • Taksi1 Kuopio, ☏ +358 200 11101. Also bookable by app. Fixed price based on calculated route and time if destination address given when booking by app. Flag fall M–Sa 06:00–18:00: €5.50, other times and holidays: €9; 1–4 persons €1.89/km, 5–8 persons €2.49/km. (updated Jan 2021)
  • Smartphone apps: Valopilkku, 02 Taksi

See

  • 1 The Puijo Panorama Tower, Puijontie 135. Lurks over the city on the highest hill far and wide. From here you have a stunning view over the neighbouring lakelands. 
  • 2 The Orthodox Church Museum (Ortodoksinen Kirkkomuseo), Karjalankatu 1. It is a leading museum of Orthodox Churches in Europe. 
  • 3 The Old Town Centre. Southeast from the main square and you can just walk around following your feet.  
  • 4 The Minna Canth House (Kanttila) (corner of Minna Canthin katu and Kuninkaankatu). The original house where the famous first Finnish female writer Minna Canth lived. Most noticeable it contains a replication of the Minna Canth room where she is said to have written some of her work. 
  • 5 The Kuopio Quarter-Block Museum (Korttelimuseo), Kirkkokatu 22. In the old town has plenty of old buildings done up in their original style 150 years ago containing also a pharmacy museum and most enchantingly a little history of Wonderous Healers in Eastern Finland of which still two or three exist and offer their service to believing people today! 
  • 6 The Kuopio Market Hall (Kauppahalli) (Located at the Market Square). Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8-17 and Saturdays 8-15. Over 20 local stallholders. 
  • 7 The Victor Barsokevitsch Photographic Centre, Kuninkaankatu 14–16, 70100, ☏ +358 17-261 5599. Opening hours: summer (June–August) M-F 10:00-18:00, Sa Su 11:00-16:00; winter (Sep–May) Tu Th F 11:00-17:00, W 11:00-19:00, Sa Su 11:00-15:00. The VB Photographic Centre is dedicated to display high-class Finnish and foreign photography. The Centre is housed in an idyllic wooden building that is more than 100 years old and located in the heart of the Old City of Kuopio in Eastern Finland. The VB Photographic Centre is regarded as one of the major photographic galleries and research centres of the country. During the summer, the Centre organizes well-known international exhibitions. 
  • 8 Cathedral. Neoclassical church built between 1806 and 1815. (updated Jan 2020)

Do

Festivals and events

  • Tahko juhannus: . Midsummer's festival in late June. (date needs fixing)
  • Kuopio Rockcock: . Summer rock festival in Kuopio in late July. (date needs fixing)
  • Kuopio Marathon: . A relatively flat marathon course with views of Lake Kallavesi. Events include full and half-marathons and a 10 km for runners, and a 10-km walk. Early September. (date needs fixing)
  • Finland Ice Marathon: . An ice skating marathon with distances of 25, 50, 100, and 200 km. The track in 2018 was 12.5 km long, and it is available for anyone to use after the event has ended. Late February. (date needs fixing)

Around the year

  • 1 Rauhalahti Spa, Katiskaniementie 8. Offers large indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a jacuzzi, an ice-cold pool, a children's pool, a waterslide, saunas and a steam room. 
  • 2 Kuntolaakso Swimming Pool (Kuntolaakson uimahalli), Hannes Kolehmaisen katu 4, ☏ +358 44 718 2522, uimahalli@kuopio.fi. Kuntolaakso's indoor swimming pool is the second largest in Finland. The new indoor swimming pool includes, among other things, a 10-lane 50-meter main pool, a diving pool with all the levels of diving required for the competition, a teaching and youth pool, a multi-purpose pool, a cold pool, a hot tub and a kids pool. Massage showers, a hot tub, an aroma sauna, daily gym control, body composition measurement, a jumping arm and virtual water gym equipment offer things to do all day long. (updated May 2021)

In summer

  • Watch football at KuPS. They play soccer April-Oct in Veikkausliiga, the top tier in Finland. Their home ground Savon Sanomat Areena (capacity 5000) is a short walk south of town centre. They share it with the women's team Palokissat.
  • Lake cruises. Cruises are worth trying during the summer season (June–August). You could also rent a boat to cruise for yourselves. 

In winter

  • 3 Puijo Slopes / Puijo & Antikkala. Skiing 1.5 km from the city centre. 

Buy

  • 1 Artiko, Haapaniemenkatu 12. Art handicrafts, gifts and utility items. 
  • 2 DaigaDaigaDuu, Puijonkatu 12. Handmade clothes, records, comic books, 60s and 70s second hand shop, mini-gallery. 
  • 3 Daxhund Ceramics, Itkonniemenkatu 25. 
  • 4 Pentik, Kauppakatu 32. Stoneware. 
  • 5 Hallin käsityökammari, Market Hall. Local handicrafts and gifts 
  • 6 Pikku-Pietari Market Alley (Pikku-Pietarin torikuja). Three blocks from the Market Square is the idyllic Pikku-Pietari Market Alley, lined by old stables. The log buildings of the alley house a cafe with a terrace, art exhibitions and small boutiques. Handwork demonstrations weekly. 
  • 7 Sauna Nestor. Special shop for sauna products in the Market Hall. 

Alcohol

Alko is the national alcoholic beverage retailing monopoly in Finland. Essentially, it is the only store in the country which retails beer over 4.7% ABV, wine (except in vineyards) and spirits. Alcoholic beverages are also sold in licensed restaurants and bars to ages 18 and up. Alko is required by law to sell drinks with lower alcohol content than 4.7% and non-alcoholic alternatives, but in practice carries a very limited stock of low alcohol beer, cider and non-alcoholic drinks and mixers as supermarkets sell the same products at a lower price.

  • 8 Alko Kuopio Kolmisoppi, Kolmisopentie 3. 
  • 9 Alko Kuopio Petonen, Jalkasenkatu 5. 
  • 10 Alko Kuopio Prisma, Savilahdentie 10. 
  • 11 Alko Kuopio Päiväranta, Päivärannantie 18. 
  • 12 Alko Kuopio Sokos, Haapaniemenkatu 24-26. 

Eat

  • Kalakukko fish pie, The best-known speciality in the province of Savo is probably the ‘kalakukko’ fish pie, a type of rye bread pie stuffed with fish (the name literally means "fish rooster"). Once you have tasted warm ‘kalakukko’, it is hard to resist. The best places for shopping for a genuine ‘kalakukko’, consisting vendace or perch and bacon baked inside a rye crust, are the Market Hall and the Marketplace.
  • You should also try fried vendace (muikku, a fresh-water fish) at local kiosks and restaurants.
  • 1 Kalakukkoleipomo Hanna Partanen, Kasarmikatu 15. M-Sa 06:00-20:30. The bakery shop Kalakukkoleipomo Hanna Partanen boasts a long tradition in kalakukko baking. 
  • 2 Muikkuravintola Sampo, Kauppakatu 13. Tasty fried small whitefish in a pub-like atmosphere, a real classic in Kuopio. 
  • 3 Restaurant Musta Lammas, Satamakatu 4. "Black Sheep" in English, the best restaurant in town, fine dining, pretty expensive. 
  • 4 Restaurant Wanha Satama, Satamakatu. summer only. 
  • 5 Restaurant Kummisetä, Minna Canthinkatu 44. A restaurant in the city centre, popular among adult people. 
  • 6 Viking Restaurant Harald, Tulliportinkatu 44. 
  • 7 Restaurant Peräniemen Kasino, Väinölänniemi. Open in July and for private occasions from May to December.. Wooden lakeside restaurant and terrace since 1902. Beautiful and peaceful scenery. 
  • 8 Restaurant Hiili (Ravintola Hiili), Käsityökatu 25, ☏ +358 50 411 9445. Steak restaurant. 
  • 9 Trattoria Sorrento, Snellmaninkatu 22. Italian restaurant. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 10 Burger5, Haapaniemenkatu 18, ☏ +358 50 5133 300. Hand-made hamburgers made over an open fire. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 11 Panza, Ajurinkatu 26, ☏ +358 44 706 0800. Mexican restaurant serving Latin American dishes. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 12 Puijon Torniravintola, Puijontie 135, ☏ +358 44 5810 455. A restaurant in Puijo observation tower serving local dishes. (updated Sep 2020)

Drink

Cafes

  • 1 Trube Markethall-cafe, Markethall. 
  • 2 Burts Cafe, Haapaniemenkatu 20. 
  • 3 Café Fado, Puijonkatu 15. 
  • 4 Cafe Houkutus, Kauppakatu 36. 
  • 5 Cafe Kaneli, Kauppakatu 22. 
  • 6 Café Kolibri, Kauppakatu 16-18. 
  • 7 Cafe Sektori, Puijonkatu 23. 
  • 8 Coffee House, Haapaniemenkatu 24-26. 

Bars & pubs

  • 9 Ale pupi, Kauppakatu 16. 
  • 10 Beerhouse Pannuhuone, Kauppakatu 25. 
  • 11 Gloria, Kauppakatu 16. 
  • 12 Intro Bar & Grill, Kauppakatu 20. A bar and a restaurant in central Kuopio. 
  • 13 Malja Beer and Wine Restaurant, Kauppakatu 29. 
  • 14 Restaurant Albatrossi, Makasiininkatu. Open in the summer time. A storehouse-restaurant in Kuopio harbour. 
  • 15 Restaurant Apteekkari, Kauppakatu 18. A pub and club restaurant for adults in the city centre. 
  • 16 Henry's Pub, Kauppakatu 18. A pub in the city centre. Rockmusic, live bands. 
  • 17 K-Klubi, Vuorikatu 14. More alternative pub in Kuopio center, has for example punk and prog gigs. 
  • 18 Millibaari, Laituritie 10, 71310 Vehmersalmi, ☏ +358 17 385 1500, info@millibaari.fi. Bar and restaurant by the sea, accessible by boat, also offers boat rentals. 

Nightclubs

  • 19 Bar & nightclub Onnela, Vuorikatu 18. 
  • 20 Club Passion, Kauppakatu 16. 
  • Puikkari, Maaherrankatu 5. Nightclub of Sokos Hotel Puijonsarvi 
  • Viihdemaailma Ilona, Vuorikatu 19. A nightclub with multiple sections; Live Club, London British Pub, Karaoke and Finnish Classics club 
  • Tähti, Kauppakatu 18. 

Sleep

  • 1 Cumulus City Keskusta Kuopio, Haapaniemenkatu 22. 
  • 2 Best Western Hotel Savonia, Sammakkolammentie 2. 
  • 3 Finlandia Hotelli Jahtihovi, Snellmaninkatu 23. 
  • 4 Hotel Cumulus Kuopio, Puijonkatu 32. 
  • 5 Hotel Puijon Maja. 
  • 6 Rauhalahti Spa Hotel, Katiskaniementie 8. Offers rooms and a swimming pool department (indoor and outdoor pools, a jacuzzi, an ice-cold pool, a children's pool, a waterslide, saunas and a steam room). 
  • 7 Holiday Centre Rauhalahti. Has nice cottages or holiday homes (11 also for winter use). The holiday centre is situated very near to Rauhalahti Spa. 
  • 8 Hotel Viihdekartano, Tarhakuja 1. 
  • 9 Quality Hotel IsoValkeinen, Majaniementie 2. 
  • 10 Scandic Kuopio, Satamakatu 1. 
  • 11 Sokos Hotel Puijonsarvi, Minna Canthinkatu 16. 

Cope

Press

Locally published newspapers include:

  • Savon Sanomat
  • Viikkosavo
  • Kuopion Kaupunkilehti

Religious services

Local international churches:

  • Kuopio church international International friendship group provides activities: learn English, bible study groups, camps and sport events.

Go next

  • 4 Kymppiareena (In Leppävirta, distance from Kuopio 37 km). The only ski and multipurpose sports hall in the world built into rock lies below the Spa Hotel Vesileppis. The skiing, biathlon and curling facilities are available around the year. For children there is also a snow play area. Services: hotel, spa, restaurant, pub, cafe, meeting rooms, gym, squash, indoor ice rink, physiotherapy, Kymppi Areena 
  • 5 Tahko (Tahkovuori) (in Nilsiä, 70 km from Kuopio). Popular centre, with ski resort activities in winter and hiking, biking, fishing etc. in summer. 

You could continue by ferry or boat, either on the route Kuopio–Heinävesi–Savonlinna (a national landscape) or Kuopio–Varkaus–Savonlinna–Lappeenranta. Savonlinna is famous for its castle and the opera festival held in its courtyard. Lappeenranta is the starting point of the Saimaa Canal to Vyborg and the sea.



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