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A short experience post on our trip to Joensuu in June.

About Joensuu

The city of Joensuu was founded in 1848 by the Russian Czar Nicholas I. It is the capital of North Karelia, located in Eastern Finland. More about the history.

Finnish so called “cities” are very small when it comes to comparing them to other cities in the whole world. Even towns or villages might appear as cities on their official websites. Considering the overall population in Finland and the fact that Helsinki as the capital and biggest city has around 600,000 inhabitants, the dimensions become clearer.

The population of Joensuu is approximately 76,500 while the region of Joensuu is much larger populated (over 100,000 inhabitants).

Joensuu – “the city’s summer feeling is fashioned by the Karelian lifestyle“, can be found on the official website. But what does Karelian lifestyle mean?
Due to the region’s geography as wells as the resulting history, the lifestyle is shaped by a cross-border lifestyle between Russia and Finland.

The distance to Helsinki is around 460 km. The distance to Nurmes is around 130 km. From and to Nurmes, there is a train connection twice a day to Joensuu taking almost two hours. It is also the only train connection that Nurmes has.


The movement in the centre of Joensuu is pretty simple by foot. Having a bike might be very comfortable to reach out to some other destinations within Joensuu easily.

After having visited a few museums we highly recommend the visit of:

* Carelium: The Karelian culture museum Hilma and tourist centre.
* Joensuu Arts Museum: A really nice arts museum with permanent and traveling exhibitions.

For those who enjoy sushi and chinese food:

* Itsudemo: A sushi restaurant having branches all over Finland, offering a really good buffet during lunch for around 13€ including water, tea and coffee.


* Joensuu market square
* Joensuu church
* Taitokortteli: Cultural quarter offering service and handcrafts.
* Campus of The University of Eastern Finland

* City park around the church of Joensuu offers a lot of place to relax, exercise and meet up during the warm seasons; Many students might be found here.
* A good location for food, an ice cream or coffee is Jokiasema Ky, a restaurant next to the River Pielisjoki around 1.8 km away from the market place.

More ideas

Discovering Finland – Joensuu
Visit Karelia

Joensuu is definitely worth a visit for a couple of hours. It is also perfect for a shopping tour or just for going out.


Published by olgaschesler

ESC Volunteer in Finland since February 2020 for 9 months.

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