Beautiful Kuopio, the gem of Savonia, tempts tourists year after year. The city is particularly popular during the summer months, when it plays host to a variety of outdoor events, including an international wine fair and a rock festival. Discover the best of this unique city in Eastern Finland with this useful Finnair travel guide to Kuopio.
Sights in Kuopio
Take in the magnificent splendour of Kallavesi Lake from the top of Puijon Torni (Puijo Tower) and enjoy a lovely boat ride across the waters in the summer months. Cool down on hot days at Rauhalahti Spa, home to large swimming pools, a dedicated children’s pool, a water slide, a sauna and a steam room. See Swedish influences with a walk around the Old Town and step back in time at the Quarter Museum of Kuopio (Kuopion korttelimuseo). Several buildings have been restored to show how the area would have appeared in times gone by, and there is also an interesting pharmacy museum and the chance to learn more about traditional medicinal remedies and healers in Finland. Literary fans will surely enjoy the Minna Canth House, which was once the home of Finland’s first famous female writer. If photography is more in line with your passions, don’t miss The Victor Barsokevitsch Photographic Centre, where you can enjoy a wide collection of both Finnish and international photography. Learn more about the Orthodox faith at the top-class Orthodox Church Museum, see diverse pieces at the Kuopia Art Museum, indulge your inner car enthusiast at the Museum of the Automobile and learn more about the local history and culture at Kulttuurihistoriallinen Museo. Kuopio Animal Park is a nice place for children, while the landscaped gardens and lawns coupled with a children’s play area and beautiful water features at Hapelähteen Puisto appeal to young and old alike. The restaurants around the harbour offer great views and tasty food.
Things to See and Do Near Kuopio
- Linnansaari National Park – Spread across islands in the expansive Haukivesi Lake, this national park showcases traditional agricultural techniques, offers many opportunities to enjoy nature and spot wildlife, including the extremely rare Saimaa ringed seal, and has several old buildings.
- Kymppiareena – A terrific leisure facility, this is the world’s only ski area and sports hall built right into the rocks.
- Jätkänkämppä Logging Lodge – Located in Rauhalahti, this centre preserves old logging methods and there are demonstrations of the historic practice.
Shopping in Kuopio
With a combination of shopping centres, chains, independent stores and markets, shopping in Kuopio offers something for everyone.
- Pikku-Pietari – Open during the summer months and located close to the Market Square, you’ll find an array of handicrafts, antiques and locally-made home furnishings in the quaint old stables.
- Kuopio Shopping Hall – This central shopping area has more than 20 stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, meats, dried goods and household essentials.
- Matkus Shopping Center – This new shopping centre has around 90 stores with a mix of Finnish goods and international brands.
Food and Drink
- Kalakukko – One of the area’s most well-known specialities, this warm pie is made from rye bread and filled with perch or vendace fish and bacon.
- Lörtsy – Available in both sweet and savoury varieties, these thin crescent-shaped pastries are abundant in the markets and food halls.
- Rättänä – Closed rye dough pastry is filled with sweet wild blueberries from the nearby forests.
Transport in Kuopio
As with most Finnish cities, Kuopio’s public transport is efficient and cost effective.
- By foot – Nowhere is particularly far in Kuopio, making it easy to walk between the city’s major sights.
- Buses – A number of bus services travel around the city, with many services originating in Kauppatori. In addition to single-journey tickets, visitors staying in the city for longer, and relying on public transport, might consider purchasing a 24-hour unlimited travel ticket from the bus driver. Night services operate, though they do cost more than daytime services.