The town emerged around the junction of the north-south and east–west rail tracks. It is one of Finland's most important rail hubs, and the main rail link between Finland and St. Petersburg goes through Kouvola. In 2009, the six municipalities – Kouvola, Kuusankoski, Elimäki, Anjalankoski, Valkeala and Jaala – merged, accounting for the new municipality of Kouvola as the 10th largest city in Finland.
Verla Groundwood and Board Mill, near Jaala, is a monument to the early days of the Finnish forest industry and a world heritage site since 1996.
Although Kouvola is said to be the ugliest city in Finland, there are still many sights worthy of seeing in Kouvola. Even the ugliness can be an experience.
There are railways to Kouvola from four directions:
- Joensuu–Imatra–Lappeenranta–Kouvola, from this direction also trains from St. Petersburg and Moscow arrive
- Highway 6 (Helsinki–Kouvola–Lappeenranta)
- Highway 12 (Rauma–Huittinen–Tampere–Lahti–Kouvola)
- Highway 15 (Kotka–Kouvola–Mikkeli)
In the city centre, the easiest way to get around is to walk. Everything is within quite a small distance, and Kouvola's main street Manski is a pedestrian zone.
If you want to go to somewhere farther from the centre, you can go by bus or train. See local bus info. There is an interactive route planner[dead link] for local buses. Waltti mobile app can be used for ticket purchase.
There is a bike sharing system using bluetooth and the Donkey Republic about €1.50/1 hr, €4/5 hr, €12/24 hr. For longer stays becoming a member is cheaper: €9 or €18/month covers all trips of less than 1 hr respectively 12 hr, also in other towns using Donkey Republic – but you need to register as member in the country of your card (available: most countries in western Europe and USA). Customer service email@example.com, ☏ daily 09:00–21:00. Several towns in south-east Finland use the same system, which is in use also elsewhere in Finland and abroad.
- See also: Finland#By motorised scooter
You can rent electric kick scooters for use in the centre from Finnish Joe Scooter.
Taxis are useful, especially for getting back to your hotel after a long night.
- Smartphone apps: Valopilkku, 02 Taksi, Menevä, Taksini
There is a boat taxi from the Hillosensalmi railway station to Repovesi National Park.
- 1 Kaunisnurmi district. Wooden houses and museums.
- 2 Verla Groundwood and Board Mill (Maailmanperintökohde Verla), Verlantie 295, Verla (From the Kouvola-Heinola highway road 46 > road 369 > road 14570), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Early May and September: M–F 10:00–16:00 (Sa Su closed); late May to August: Tu–Su 09:30–17:00 (M closed). The museum can be visited on guided tours only, though you can see the buildings from the outside free of charge. The tours in Finnish begin each hour, the first one at 10:00. Tours in languages other than Finnish are arranged on request. You can also hike a 2-km forest trail or see rock paintings of human figures and animals made by ancient artists around 9,000 years ago. Adult €10, student or pensioner €8, child under 18 free.
- Kymijoki. Kymi river, flowing through many towns and districts of Kouvola (though not the city centre), is one of the widest rivers in Southern Finland. Giving the name to the entire region (Kymenlaakso translates to Kymi's Valley), it is one of the most important drainage rivers of the Finnish Lakeland (the main lakes upstream are Vesijärvi, Päijänne and Keitele). A swift river with many rapids, it has long been a major source of hydroelectricity (earlier on timber rafting too) and as a result of this much of the Finnish wood and paper industry has historically been concentrated in this region.
- 3 Kouvola Miniature Railway Museum (Kouvolan pienoisrautatiemuseo), Asemakatu 2, ☏ , email@example.com. The museum's collections cover the history of the miniature railway world from yesterday to the present day, from rolling power to digitally controlled trains.
- 1 Tykkimäki Amusement Park, Kanuunakuja 2. One of the largest amusement parks in southern Finland.
- 2 Repovesi National Park. This former site of intensive commercial forestry area has been transformed into a pristine national park. Pine and birch dominate the park. Repovesi abounds with wildlife including deer and various birds. The River Koukunjoki cuts through the park. Other streams and lakes are also found in the park. The landscape is rugged, but there are easy trails suiting families with small children. There are longer trails for hikes of several days, biking routes and service for canoeists and boaters.
- Pioneerifestivaali: . Rock festival in mid-August. (date needs fixing)
- 1 Kauppakeskus Veturi, Tervasharjunkatu 1. A large shopping mall next to highway 6, opened in 2012. If you feel like going on a shopping spree in Kouvola, this is probably the right place.
- 2 Prisma, Tommolankatu 9. An older shopping mall, close to Veturi but on the southern side of highway 6.
- 1 Nipan Grilli, Hongistontie 15, ☏ . M-Th 10:00-23:00, F 10:00-02:00, Sa 11:00-02:00, Su 11:00-23:00. A popular fast food joint opposite to Tornionmäki school.
- 2 Ravintola Tabasco, Kauppalankatu 37, ☏ . A pizzeria in central Kouvola serving pizza, kebab and steaks.
- 3 Ravintola Maku Bistro, Hallituskatu 7 B (Just by the railway station.), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 08:00–15:30. Lunch buffet restaurant.
- 1 Ravintola Kaisa, Hallituskatu 3. The bar under the train station, is a good option for those who want to experience a typical Finnish bar.
- 2 Pub Old Tom, Käsityöläiskatu 4. The nearby pub Old Tom is a great place to have a drink in the summer time when the al fresco part is open.
There are three nightclubs in Kouvola as well. Of these, the first is the most popular.
- 3 Night/Amarillo (at Manski).
- Tivoli (close to the train station).
- 4 Q Bar, Salpausselänkatu 27 (near the city library). formerly known as Bar&Club RedMoon
- 5 Nightclub Riviera, Keskikatu 6 (in Hansakeskus (Hansa centre)).
- 1 Matkustajakoti Rauhala, Itäasemantie 17, ☏ , , email@example.com. Basic accommodation in a guesthouse near the railway station in the village Myllykoski.
- 2 [dead link] LEO-Hotelli, Kenraalintie 6, ☏ . A hotel in central Myllykoski
- 3 Tykkimäki Camping, Käyrälampi. The amusement park has a campground too.
- 4 Hotel Sommelo, Pallokentäntie 2, Kuusankoski.
- 5 Hotelli Turistihovi, Kouvolankatu 23, ☏ . Basic hotel 400 m from the railway station. Breakfast costs €6 extra. triple €80, double €67, single €50.
- 6 Hotelli Kymenhovi, Keskikatu 9, ☏ . Centrally located near the pedestrian area. Breakfast included. double €65, single €40.
- 7 Hotelli Cumulus Kouvola, Kouvolankatu 11, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Lappeenranta — 87 km east. An old fortress and the entrance point to either the Finnish Lakeland or Russia.
- Kotka — 57 km south. Where Kymenlaakso region meets the sea. An aquarium, a maritime centre and an imperial fishing lodge.
- Lahti — 62 km west. Pretty similar to Kouvola but with the Finnish radio museum, the ski jumping towers, several parks and more shopping options.
|Routes through Kouvola|
|Kajaani ← Lappeenranta ←||N S||→ Koskenkylä, junction → END|
|Tampere ← Iitti ←||W E||→ END|