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North Karelia is in the Finnish Lakeland.


  • The city of Joensuu is - as the name of the place translates - at the mouth of a river entering a lake. It is one of the relatively fast growing centres in Eastern Finland. The university of Joensuu supplies a constant stream of students from all over the country.
  • 1 Kitee Kitee on Wikipedia
  • 2 Lieksa
  • 3 Nurmes
  • 4 Outokumpu Outokumpu, Finland on Wikipedia


Map of North Karelia

Other destinations[edit]


Get in[edit]

You can fly directly to Joensuu from Helsinki. Also you can fly to Helsinki (HEL IATA) and continue by bus or train. Lappeenranta has some international flights, most of them operated by Ryanair.

There are two long distance railroads terminating in Joensuu; one from Helsinki to Lappeenranta and along the border up to Joensuu and another going horizontally through the country. If you are going to Lieksa or Nurmes you can continue by local train from Joensuu. There are also bus connections to cities and towns from other parts of Eastern Finland, most notably from Kuopio and Lappeenranta, as well as buses connecting Helsinki with Joensuu. Long distance transport information can be found from VR and Matkahuolto websites and Google Maps. North Karelia is surprisingly far away from southern Finland, and a drive from Helsinki will take about six hours - almost as long as up to Oulu.

Get around[edit]

Trains of national operator VR are possible to use for travelling inside province.

Matkahuolto has a dense bus network covering most of the province, see also schedules of Waltti traffic.

Onnibus offers discount bus service by few routes.

Google Maps includes timetables of trains, long distance buses and local transport of many cities and towns. Other useful route planners are for trains and local buses and Matkahuolto Reittiopas for regional buses.

By taxi[edit]

  • Smartphone apps: Valopilkku, 02 Taksi, Menevä, Cabo
  • Taksi Itä-Suomi offers taxi service in whole province


  • The Koli National Park lies in the municipalities of Eno, Lieksa and Kontiolahti in North Karelia, on the western shore of Lake Pielinen and covers 3000 hectares. Established in 1991, the uncommonly beautiful national park and diversifield winter tourist centre is administered by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla).
  • Visit the WW2 bunker museum near Joensuu.
  • Explore traditional Karelian culture in Joensuu, Lieksa and Nurmes.
  • Visit the mine museum in Outokumpu.


  • Cross Lake Pielinen onboard a ship.
  • Sample traditional food such as karjalanpiirakka (Karelian pie) and karjalanpaisti (Karelian stew)




Stay safe[edit]

North Karelia region is a safe place.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to North Karelia is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!