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Town view

Varkaus is a town in North Savonia. The adjacent municipality of Joroinen is also handled in this article.


Varkaus is an industrial town with about 20,000 inhabitants (2021), best known for its paper factories. The name of the town translates to "theft" in modern Finnish, but it's more likely that the town got its name from the old Finnish word for strait.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Highway 5, one of the major roads between southern and northern Finland, passes through Varkaus. The distance from Helsinki is a little more than 300 km.

By train[edit]

Trains between Pieksämäki and Joensuu stop in Varkaus.

By bus[edit]

Varkaus is at the crossroads of highways 5 and 23. Buses between Helsinki to Kuopio, among others, stop in Varkaus.

By plane[edit]

There are no longer any scheduled flights to Varkaus airport. The closest airports with regular passenger traffic are in Kuopio, Jyväskylä, Joensuu and Savonlinna. All of these entail at least an hour on the road, and only have flights from Helsinki anyway, so flying is not a practical alternative for getting in.

By boat[edit]

Varkaus is situated on the shores of Lake Saimaa which is accessible from the sea via Saimaa Canal. The shipping fairway from the Gulf of Finland to Kuopio passes Varkaus, size limits should suffice for any yacht (onwards from Kuopio to Iisalmi the height limit may get critical).

Get around[edit]

There are a few local bus lines operated by City of Varkaus[dead link] in the town center (map[dead link]) if you don't want to walk or drive.[dead link] and Moovit route planners include local buses of Varkaus. Matkahuolto Routes and Tickets app is able to first plan the route and after it sell the right ticket for it.

  • Smartphone apps: Valopilkku, 02 Taksi, Taksi EHT, Taksini


  • 1 The Museum of Mechanical Music (Mekaanisen musiikin museo), Pelimanninkatu 8, +358 10 2390 380. Tu-Su 11:00-18;00, closed in the winter months and Mondays. As the name reveals, it's a museum presenting mechanical music instruments, gramophones, jukeboxes and such. adults €14, children €7.
  • 2 Taipale canal (2 km from the center towards Joensuu). Finland's first canal with guard locks, opened in 1840. Nowadays the boats use a wider canal, opened 30 years later, but the original one is still open as a museum.
  • 3 Church of Varkaus, Savonkatu 1. The main sight is the altar fresco – the largest in Northern Europe.
  • 4 Varkaus Water Tower, Nakskovinkatu 8. The water tower is unique in that the tower is also inhabited. It has a lookout post and café on the roof.
  • 5 Church of Joroinen, Pieksämäentie 1. Access during services and in summertime during opening hours. Joroinen Church in a cross-shaped wooden church built in 1793. The altarpiece in by famous Finnish painter Pekka Halonen. Joroinen church (Q11867040) on Wikidata
  • 6 Church of Saint George, Georgios Voittajan tie 49. Beautiful Orthodox Chapel in Joroinen.


View from Linnansaari National Park
  • 1 Linnansaari National Park (daily coaches to the Porosalmi crossroads, 1.5 km from the park, also services to Oravi on the other shore; the Varkaus–Savonlinna shipping/boat route goes through the area, reachable from several directions). Lush islands and rocky islets. Best explored by boat or canoe, but there is a boat service to the main island and taxi boats available. Nature trails, an old croft, Saimaa seals and osprays. Tour skating in winter. Linnansaari National Park (Q1826934) on Wikidata Linnansaari National Park on Wikipedia

Festivals and events[edit]

  • Sampea ja sampanjaa:  – August. Music festival in late July with a program for small children. (date needs fixing)



  • 1 Severi, Käpykankaantie 10 (in the Teboil gas station next to highway 5). All-you-can-eat lunch buffet (10:00-18:00), popular among truck drivers. Outside lunch hours they serve a la carte and different hamburgers and pizzas. lunch buffet €8.90.
  • 2 Sodexo Ravintola Navitas, Wredenkatu 2, +358 50 3476049, .




Go next[edit]

  • Kuopio – The largest city in North Savonia is one hour away by car or bus.
  • 1 Orinoro — Nature trails leading through a gorge, called one of the Seven Wonders in the Savo Region (16 km east from Leppävirta centre).
Routes through Varkaus
KuopioLeppävirta  N  S  JuvaMikkeli

This city travel guide to Varkaus is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.