Varkaus is an industrial town with about 23,000 inhabitants, best known for its paper factories. The name of the town translates to "theft" in modern Finnish, but it's more likely that town originally got its name from the old Finnish word for strait.
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.
Varkaus is at the crossroads of highways 5 and 23. Buses between Helsinki to Kuopio, among others, stop in Varkaus.
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.
- 1 [dead link] The Museum of Mechanical Music (Mekaanisen musiikin museo), Pelimanninkatu 8, ☏ . 11AM-6PM, 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.
Festivals and events
- Sampea ja sampanjaa: 10–11 August 2018. Music festival with also program for small children. (date needs updating)
- 1 Severi, Käpykankaantie 10 (in the Teboil gas station next to highway 5). All-you-can-eat lunch buffet (10AM-6PM), popular among truck drivers. Outside lunch hours they serve a la carte and different hamburgers and pizzas. lunch buffet €8.90.
- 1 Hotel Oscar (formerly Scandic Hotel Oscar), Kauppatori 4, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- Kuopio - the largest city in Northern Savonia is one hour away by car or bus.