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Kristinestad

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Kristinestad (Finnish: Kristiinankaupunki) lies on the Ostrobothnian coast in Western Finland. Like many other towns in coastal Ostrobothnia, Kristinestad is bilingual with a Swedish speaking majority. The town has profiled itself as a small town where old and new meets in an unique way and it's motto is "Det Goda Livet" lit. The Good Life. Kristinestad was accepted as a Cittaslow town in 2011.

The nearby villages or former municipalities of (from the south) Sideby, Kallträsk, Ömosssa, Skaftung, Härkmeri, Dagsmark, Lappfjärd, Tjöck and Åback also belong to the municipality and are handled here.

Get in

The centre lies about 100 km from both Pori and Vaasa, 6 km from national road 8 (E8), with main crossroads in Lappfjärd and Tjöck.

By car

As with most of small towns in rural Finland, car is the best way to get in. The fastest option is the E8.

From Kaskinen (Kaskö) and Närpes you can come via Pjelax along Gamla Kristinestadsvägen and Gamla Närpesvägen or along Skrattnäsvägen.

By bus

Most intercity buses along E8 stop in Kristinestad. The Onnibus route between Turku and Oulu uses a stop at the Lålby junction on E8, a bit past Lappfjärd. There are also other coaches from Vaasa or Seinäjoki to or via Kristinestad. See Matkahuolto for coach timetables.

The railway is used for goods only.

Get around

Walk — the town is small enough to get around by foot.

The coaches can be used for some of the villages, such as Tjöck, Lappfjärd and Dagmark. Check the routes of the buses from Vaasa via Närpes using the stop list at Matkahuolto.

There is a daily service line for getting from the southern countryside to the centre, starting in the morning and returning from the centre mostly at 11:45. It has to be ordered the preceding day before 12:00 or 15:00. It mostly follows fixed routes, but details can be negotiated.

See

The old town is a lovely preserved grid of wooden houses on a hill slope towards the bay cutting the town in two. There is also a beautiful stone church with a separate wooden tower. There's also a little, narrow alley called Kattpiskargränden/Kissanpiiskaajankuja (Cat spanker's alley), which is among the most photographed street signs in Finland.

  • 1 Ulrika Eleonora church. Free. 
  • Carlsro
  • Lebellska köpmansgården
  • Kristinestads sjöfartsmuseum (by the market sqare)
  • Kilens hembygdsgård (in Sideby)
  • 2 Björkskäret. Good view to the sea 

Do

Stroll around town. Maybe visit a couple of galleries, a church and the library.

  • Tegelbruksbacken Nature Trail (north of the bridge connecting the halves of the town). A 6-km nature trail that leads over Tegelbruksbacken ("tile factory hill"), by a bridge over Tjöck å, over the wetlands in the end of the bay and to a birdwatching tower. Parking in both ends. The start and end points are 250 and 850 m respectively from the ends of the bridge. 
  • 1 Bötombergen (Pyhävuori) (cross E8 at Lålby, continue towards Karijoki). Hill with nature and jogging trails, observation tower, swimming pond and ski lift. 
  • 2 Sandbanken. Beach 
  • 3 Havsbadet (Snellmansudden). Beach. 

Buy

  • K-market by the west end of the bridge
  • Sale in Lappfjärd

Eat

  • Crazy cat, Salutorget 1 (at the market square at teh west end of the bridge). À la carte, lunch and pizza. 
  • Jungman, Sjögatan 8 (by the bridge, western side), ☏ +358 400-234-389, jungman@jungman.fi. Lunch M–F 11:00–15:00. Lunch buffet all year in weekdays. À la carte and pizzas in summer, occasionally off season. Special architecture, nice sea view (to the bay) if you get a suitable table. (updated Jun 2021)

Drink

Sleep

  • 1 Bockholmens camping. Camping site 
  • 2 Hotel Leila and Hotel Alma, Västra långgatan 39 (on each side of the Kristinestad church (not Ulrika Eleonora), Hotel Alma by the bay), ☏ +358 40-418-5185, hotel@hotelleila.fi. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 11:00. Small hotel in the centre at two addresses. Breakfast included as ingredients, buffet in July. Kitchenette in the rooms, Wi-Fi and sauna included. €132 (Sep–May) €142 (Jun–Aug), single €102/108; 4 person suite €165–220. 

Go next

  • 3 Wolf cave (Varggrottan) (cross E8 at Lålby, continue to Karijoki, backtrack 1 or 2 km for the path to the cave). What is believed to be the only pre-Ice Age traces of humans (Neanderthals) in Finland have been found in a small cave by the border towards Bötom (Finnish: Karijoki) in Finnish-speaking Southern Ostrobothnia. Nature trail and observation tower. The visitor centre is in Bötom, see Karijoki for details. 



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