The majority of the inhabitants speak Swedish as their native language. It was founded in 1625 in what is now the neighbouring municipality Pedersöre, but postglacial rebound made that harbour too shallow and the town moved towards the new shoreline. The town grew in the 18th century with privileges for international trade. A replica of a ship of that time, Jacobstads Wapen, was built 1988–1994. In 1900 a tobacco factory was the biggest employer. Nowadays the biggest employer is a cellulose and paper factory. There are several smaller businesses, among them Nautor, making world class Swan sailing yachts.
Jakobstad is situated along highway 8, the main road along the Finnish west coast.
Most trains between southern Finland and Oulu or Rovaniemi stop at Bennäs railway station, some 15 km to the south. From there, take the bus to Jakobstad. In 2016, the train connections became much worse; check timetables.
Airport shuttle is provided to and from Jakobstad centre.
Larsmosjön to the northeast is since long a fresh water basin, separated from the sea by locks. The main marina is on the sea side of the locks.
- 1 Smultrongrundet marina, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 15 June–9 August. Marina of the sailing club 1.5 km from the centre. 1.8–2.8m. Water, electricity, waste collection, septic tank emptying, fuel, toilet, showers, sauna, laundry, Wi-Fi, playground, beach, restaurant. €15/24h.
- 1 Jakobstad's town hall and the Town hall square.
- 2 Strengberg tobacco factory. The yellow industrial building and it's clock sphere on the roof is still one of Jakobstad's symbols, even as the factory has closed down.
- 3 Skata. The wooden old town.
- 4 Skolparken. The School Park is not just a park but a botanical garden with almost a thousand different plants and flowers.
- 5 Jakobstad Church.
- 6 Jacobstads Wapen, The old port, ☎ . A replica of a 18th century ship, built according to blueprints by af Chapman, anchored in the old port of Jakobstad. 1,60€.
- 7 Nanoq, Pörkenäsvägen 60, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. "Finland's first Arctic museum" is a museum dedicated to the explorers of the North Pole, Greenland and Svalbard. adults 6€, children 3,50€.
- Pedersore Church.
- O'Learys Jakobstad, Alholmsvägen 1, 68600, ☎ .
- 1 Stadshotellet, Kanalesplanaden 13, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A typical small-town hotel, clean and modern. Double room €130.
If you are continuing towards Kokkola by car, you can take the more scenic route through the archipelago over seven bridges.