Kuopio is the capital and largest city of North Savonia. The city 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. The former municipalities of Juankoski, Karttula, Maaninka, Nilsiä, Riistavesi and Vehmersalmi have been incorporated into Kuopio and are described in this article; the municipality now covers a fifth of the area of North Savonia.
Kuopio was established as a parish in the 1550s and incorporated as a city in 1782. Kuopio has a population of around 122,000 (2021).
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 (350 sq mi) 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 1 Siilinjärvi are the far end of 4-m shipping lanes from the Baltic Sea via Saimaa Canal. 2.4-m fairways continue to Iisalmi.
- 1 Kuopio Tourist Information, Haapaniemenkatu 22. Kuopio regional tourist information.
- 1 Kuopio Airport (KUO IATA) (in Rissala, Siilinjärvi, 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, weekdays only. Bus fares: €3.3. Taxi to the centre costs €40 or more. A few flights daily.
About 4–5 hours from Helsinki. Tickets and timetables information: VR
- 3 Kuopio passenger harbour, Makasiininkatu 1. The busiest harbour on the Vuoksi waterway system. Timetables and ticket prices can be found on the shipping companies' websites.
- By the centre:
- 4 Kallamarina (by the Maljalahti passenger port). The main guest marina, by the centre. Fuel, water, electricity, sewage. €17.
- 5 Kuopionlahti, Tulliportinkatu 1. Marina with a dozen guest berths, also by the centre. Water. Garbage recycling. Kiosk. €10.
- 6 Scandic marina (on the southern side of the passenger harbour). Marina of the hotel. Also for seaplanes.
- 7 Juankoski marina (Juankoski, east-northeast of Kuopio, across Juurusvesi; Niskakoski in the centre). Fuel, electricity, sewage. Toilets, sauna. €10.
- 8 Nilsiä marina (Nilsiä in the north-east part of Kuopio, in the south-western part of Syväri; reachable via Juankoski). Fuel, water, electricity, sewage. Toilets, showers, beach volley court, playground. Restaurant. At Nilsiä centre. €10.
- 9 Syvänniemi marina (Syvänniemi village in the west, south-east of Karttula centre; reachable from Päijänne and Konnevesi via Niinivesi and Karttula, not from Saimaa; 1.0 m).
Timetables, fares and tickets information: Matkahuolto
National highway 5 from Helsinki and highway 9 (E63) from Turku. Kuopio is about a five hour drive from Helsinki. If you want to use alternative less busy route, drive through roads 4, 616, 447, 72, 9 and 5.
Kuopio has a good system of public transport. You can ride from one part of the city to another with a single ticket of €3.30, children (7–16) €1.70, €5/2.60 in the night (23:00–04:00). Kauppatori is the hub 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.
Electric kick scooters
- See also: Finland#By motorised scooter
Kuopio has a city bike system.
- Menevä, ☏ (head of office), toll-free: 0800-02120 (booking), email@example.com. 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).
- VieVie, ☏ . 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).
- Taksi1 Kuopio, ☏ . 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.
- Smartphone apps: Valopilkku, 02 Taksi, Taksi EHT, Taksinappi, Taksini
In the centre
- 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. 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 [dead link] The Minna Canth House (Kanttila) (corner of Minna Canthin katu and Kuninkaankatu). The house where the famous first Finnish female writer Minna Canth lived after her husband's death. 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) (at the Market Square). Opening hours: M–F 08:00–17:00, Sa 08:00–15:00. Over 20 local stallholders.
- 7 [dead link] The Victor Barsokevitsch Photographic Centre, Kuninkaankatu 14–16, 70100, ☏ . 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.
- 9 Snellman Park (Snellmaninpuisto), Kauppakatu 25 (near the cathedral). A park named after J. V. Snellman.
- 10 The Great Cemetery (Iso hautausmaa), Siunauskappelintie 3. Founded in 1867. The most famous person buried in the cemetery is author Minna Canth.
- 11 Rauhalahti Farm (Rauhalahden eläinpuisto), Rauhankatu 3 (bus 16, stop "Leirintäalue"), ☏ . €8.
- 12 Maaninka Church (Maaningan kirkko), Maaningantie 33.
- 13 Nilsiä Church (Nilsiän kirkko), Kirkonmäentie 1.
- 14 Nilsiä Museum (Nilsiän museo), Simolantie 41, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Adults €3, Children under 12 years €1; only cash accepted.
- 15 Muuruvesi Church (Muuruveden kirkko), Kustilankuja 1.
- 16 Riistavesi Church (Riistaveden kirkko), Joensuuntie 2505.
- 17 Riistavesi Local History Museum (Riistaveden kotiseutumuseo), Lokkitie 11, ☏ .
- 18 Vehmersalmi Church (Vehmersalmen kirkko), Lempeläntie 15.
- 19 Horkanlahti Cemetery (Horkanlahden hautausmaa), Lempelänniementie 286. A former forest cemetery in Vehmersalmi that operated from 1865 to 1913.
- 20 Vehmasmäki Chapel (Vehmasmäen kappeli), Sotkanniemi 15.
- 21 Battleground of the Finnish War (Suomen sodan taistelupaikka), Kuttajärventie 4 (in Syvänniemi). A historical landmark about the battle that took place in September 1808.
- 22 Karttula Church (Karttulan kirkko), Kirkkotie 23.
Around the year
- 1 Kuntolaakso Swimming Pool (Kuntolaakson uimahalli), Hannes Kolehmaisen katu 4, ☏ , email@example.com. 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.
- 2 Kuopion Saana, Siikaranta 12 (3 kilometers south from centre), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Holiday resort center on the shores of Lake Kallavesi. Includes relaxing spa with sauna, and excellent restaurant services.
- 3 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.
- 4 Tahko (Tahkovuori) (in Nilsiä, 70 km from Kuopio). Popular centre, with ski resort activities in winter and hiking, biking, fishing etc. 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 (or a canoe) to cruise for yourselves. The main routes are Kuopio–Leppävirta–Varkaus–Savonlinna, Kuopio–Heinävesi–Savonlinna, Kuopio–Iisalmi (or shorter legs on those itineraries) and Kuopio–Juankoski–Nilsiä–Tahko, while already the archipelagos of Kallavesi by Kuopio offer enough to see for most, and such trips are easily extended to adjacent lakes. Check height restrictions if you have a sailing boat, and the rules if you are going to go up or down streaming water.
- 5 Honkalahti Beach (Honkalahden uimaranta), Itkonniemenkatu.
- 6 Paloniemi Beach (Paloniemen uimaranta), Paloniementie.
- 7 Ritoniemi Beach (Ritoniemen uimaranta), Ritoniementie 479.
- 8 Maaningan kasino, Keskisaarentie 50 (in Maaninka), ☏ . A popular dance venue since 1961.
- 9 Kuopio Zoo (Kuopion eläinpuisto), Rantasuontie 39 (in Vehmasmäki), ☏ . Normal €12, Summer Pass (Kesäpassi) €20.
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)
- Kuopio Wine Festival: , email@example.com. Finland's largest wine and food festival, which gathers more than 30,000 food, wine and music lovers every summer. The event takes place in the harbour area. (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)
- 1 Artiko, Haapaniemenkatu 12. Art handicrafts, gifts and utility items.
- 2 DaigaDaigaDuu, Puijonkatu 12. Handmade clothes, records, comic books, 1960s and 70s second hand shop, mini-gallery.
- 3 Daxhund Ceramics, Itkonniemenkatu 25.
- 4 Minna Shopping Mall (Kauppakeskus Minna), Haapaniemenkatu 18 (in the city centre). The shopping center is named after local author Minna Canth. Includes about 20 stores, and its neighbors include H-Talo and IsoCee.
- 5 Pentik, Kauppakatu 32. Stoneware.
- 6 Hallin käsityökammari, Market Hall. Local handicrafts and gifts
- 7 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.
- 8 Sauna Nestor. Special shop for sauna products in the Market Hall.
Supermarkets and grocery stores
- 9 K-Market Neulamuikku, Neulamäentie 28. M–F 07:00–21:00, Sa 08:00–21:00, Su 10:00–20:00.
- 10 K-Market Pihlajalaakso, Poukamankatu 6. M–Sa 07:00–22:00, Su 09:00–22:00.
- 11 S-Market Maljalahti, Itkonniemenkatu 5. Daily 07:00–22:00.
- 12 S-Market Puijonlaakso, Sammakkolammentie 6. Daily 07:00–22:00.
- 13 S-Market Keilankanta, Matkusniemenkatu 2. M–Sa 07:00–22:00, Su 09:00–22:00.
- 14 Sale Saarijärvi, Saarijärventie 9. M–Sa 07:00–22:00, Su 09:00–22:00.
- 15 Lidl Petonen, Petosentie 4. M–F 08:00–21:00, Sa 08:00–20:00, Su 10:00–20:00.
- 16 K-Market Maaninka, Maaningantie 25. M–F 07:00–21:00, Sa 08:00–21:00, Su 10:00–21:00.
- 17 S-Market Maaninka, Maaningantie 30. M–Sa 07:00–21:00, Su 09:00–21:00.
- 18 K-Supermarket Artomarket, Nilsiäntie 74 (in Nilsiä). M–Sa 07:00–22:00, Su 09:00–22:00.
- 19 S-Market Nilsiä, Nilsiäntie 75. Daily 07:00–22:00.
- 20 Pienen Traktorin Puoti, Rantatie 2 (in Muuruvesi). M–F 09:00–18:00, Sa 10:00–16:00. A small local store, part of the Kesko chain.
- 21 K-Market Riistaherkku, Keskustie 15 (in Riistavesi). M–Sa 07:00–21:00, Su 09:00–21:00.
- 22 Sale Riistavesi, Keskustie 20. M–Sa 07:00–21:00, Su 09:00–21:00.
- 23 Sale Vehmersalmi, Ryönänmäentie 1. M–Sa 07:00–21:00, Su 09:00–21:00.
- 24 S-Market Karttula, Kissakuusentie 1. M–Sa 08:00–21:00, Su 10:00–21:00.
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.
- 25 Alko Kuopio Kolmisoppi, Kolmisopentie 3.
- 26 Alko Kuopio Petonen, Jalkasenkatu 5.
- 27 Alko Kuopio Prisma, Savilahdentie 10.
- 28 Alko Kuopio Päiväranta, Päivärannantie 18.
- 29 Alko Kuopio Sokos, Haapaniemenkatu 24-26.
- 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 Lunch Restaurant Aika (Lounasravintola Aika), Inkiläntie 7, ☏ .
- 9 Trattoria Sorrento, Snellmaninkatu 22. Italian restaurant.
- 10 Burger5, Haapaniemenkatu 18, ☏ . Hand-made hamburgers made over an open fire.
- 11 Panza, Ajurinkatu 26, ☏ . Mexican restaurant serving Latin American dishes.
- 12 Puijon Torniravintola, Puijontie 135, ☏ . A restaurant in Puijo observation tower serving local dishes.
- 13 Veskun Kievari, Sahatie 1 (in Maaninka), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M–Th 10:30–18:00, F 10:30–19:00, Sa 11:00–19:00.
- 14 Ravintola Pölli, Nilsiäntie 76 (in Nilsiä), ☏ , email@example.com. M–F 09:00–18:00, Sa 10:00–18:00.
- 15 Hot Pizza, Keskustie 18 (in Riistavesi), ☏ . W–Th 11:00–19:00, F 11:00–02:00, Sa 12:00–02:00, Su 12:00–19:00.
- 16 Pizzeria Avokado, Kissakuusentie 2 (in Karttula), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M–F 11:00–20:00, Sa–Su 12:00–20:00.
- 17 Ihme Grilli (Ihme Tupa), Puutossalmentie 1300 (at Puutossalmi between Sotkanselkä and Puutosselkä of Kallavesi), ☏ . Tu 12:00–20:00, W–Su 11:00–18:00. Grill by the shore.
- 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, ☏ , email@example.com. Bar and restaurant by the sea, accessible by boat, also offers boat rentals.
- 19 Bar & nightclub Onnela, Vuorikatu 18.
- 20 [formerly dead link] 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.
- 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, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, Rauhankatu 3, ☏ , email@example.com. Has nice cottages or holiday homes (11 also for winter use). The holiday centre is situated very near to Rauhalahti Spa.
- 8 Hotel Sawohouse, Tarhakuja 1 (about 7 km from city centre), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. A boutique hotel.
- 9 Quality Hotel IsoValkeinen, Majaniementie 2.
- 10 Scandic Kuopio, Satamakatu 1.
- 11 Sokos Hotel Puijonsarvi, Minna Canthinkatu 16.
- 12 Hotel Teekki (Huoneistohotelli Teekki), Muuruvedentie 18 (in Muuruvesi), ☏ . €80.
- 13 Hotel Koivuranta, Tiiholantie 27 (on the shores of Lake Laukaanjärvi, in the Kurkimäki village), ☏ .
- 14 Lapland Hotels Kuopio, Puijonkatu 32 (in city center). A touch of Lapland in Savonia. One of the newer hotels in Kuopio a reputation of quality. Claimed to serve the best breakfast in town. €145.
Locally published newspapers include:
Local international churches:
- Kuopio church international International friendship group provides activities: learn English, bible study groups, camps and sport events.
- 1 Vesileppis (in Leppävirta, 54 km from Kuopio) — Spa hotel with the only ski and multipurpose sports hall in the world built into rock. The skiing, biathlon and curling facilities are available around the year. For children there is also a snow play area.
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.
|Routes through Kuopio|
|Sodankylä ← Iisalmi ←||N S||→ Suonenjoki → Turku|
|Merges with ←||N S||→ Leppävirta → Varkaus → Mikkeli|
|Vaasa ← Vesanto ← Tervo ←||NW SE||→ Vuorela → Joensuu|