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The Bomba house

Nurmes is a town in North Karelia.


Nurmes is a town of 8,000 inhabitants situated at the northern end of Lake Pielinen.

In the Middle Ages, Nurmes was part of the Novgorod Empire, and the area was the scene of several battles with Sweden. In the 17th century, Nurmes was incorporated into the Swedish Empire, but in 1721 it became part of Russia.

In the 19th century Nurmes developed rapidly with industry. Several sawmills, mills and iron foundries were established in the area, bringing new residents and prosperity to the town. Later, Nurmes also developed as a tourist town, attracted by its magnificent nature.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Being pretty much off the beaten track, the easiest way to travel to and from Nurmes is by car.

By train[edit]

The national railway operator VR runs a twice-daily train from Joensuu, the trip takes a little less than two hours. 1 Nurmes railway station is centrally located.

By bus[edit]

There are coach connections from Joensuu, Kuopio, Oulu and Kajaani. Timetables from Matkahuolto.

By boat[edit]

This is (besides Iisalmi) as far north as you get with a yacht via the Saimaa waterways. Welcome from anywhere! (10.5 or 12 m height restriction at Joensuu, though).

Get around[edit]

The town small, so you can easily get around by foot. Google Maps offers route planner which includes sparse long distance buses which can be used for local trips also, and route planner includes also some of them.

By dial-a-ride[edit]

Katuri service is open to all in the city of Nurmes, including Valtimo. Anyone can order a ride for their trips. Katuri rides are provided on request from door to door or from an agreed location. The service is available to people of all ages. The vehicles are equipped for people with disabilities.

Children under 12 years of age and people over 75 years of age receive two one-way trips a day free of charge. Prove your age with an identity card or a proof of age accepted by the driver (e.g. if you start from Sivakka, arrive in Valtimo and continue to Nurmes, it is one one-way trip).

By taxi[edit]

See North Karelia#By_taxi

  • Menevä Nurmes, +358 50-471-0470 (head of office), toll-free: 0800-02120 (booking), . 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 (December 2021).
  • Smartphone apps: Valopilkku, 02 Taksi, Taksi EHT


  • 1 The old town (Puu-Nurmes). The "Wooden Nurmes" consists of 19th century wooden houses that are still inhabited.
  • 2 The Bomba house and Karelian village. A replica of a common Karelian log house village. The largest house is the main building for a resort.
  • 3 Ikola Museum, Kotiniementie 2, +358 40 104 5152, . 27.6–5.8 (2016) M–F 10:00–16:00. Farming and industry museum. €4/2.
  • 4 Kötsi Museum, Kötsintie 2, +358 40 104 5152, . M–F 10:00–16:00. A museum where you can learn about the history of Nurmes. Free.


  • 1 Bomba Spa, Tuulentie 10. The attractions of the spa are various saunas, such as Kyly, which leads to the Karelian landscape, or Sampo, which contains beautiful details. The spa also has an atmospheric pool area and experience showers that lead the visitor to the sounds of wild nature.


There are some nature parks in the area around Nurmes, where you can walk, swim, fish and camp in the summer and enjoy cross country skiing in the winter.


  • [dead link] Nurmes Film Festival. Late in the summer every year Nurmes hosts a film festival with older and newer Finnish films. Nurmes Film Festival (Q33077568) on Wikidata
  • Nurmes Christmas Carol Festival (Nurmeksen Joulumusiikki). A yearly christmas song festival, obviously in December.





  • 1 Sokos Hotel Bomba, Tuulentie 10, +358 20 1234 908, fax: +358 13 687 2401. Large resort hotel with great views over the Pielisjärvi lake. Nerby is the replica of a traditional Karelian house built as a home for the large Bombi family in 1854, now a restaurant that is part of the resort.


Go next[edit]

  • Koli National Park with great views over Pielinen. Many painters of the Finnish Golden Age of Art got inspiration from those views.
  • Valtimo – former municipality, today part of Nurmes
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