GETTING AROUND JOENSUU
THE MARKET SQUARE (Joensuun tori) – JOENSUU VANTAGE POINT:
The easiest way to get about the Joensuu city center is to follow the streets (katu in Finnish) that surround the market square: Siltakatu, Koskikatu, Kauppakatu and Rantakatu. When facing each of those streets from the square, one can easily reach the main points of interest (the route to the university, the location of the tourist centre, the route to the railway station and the way to the largest shopping mall in the city).
The Koskikatu side (south):
- Carelicum (address Koskikatu 5) It is a culture, museum, and tourist center, located nearby the market place. Open: Mon - Fri 9-17, Sat - Sun 10 – 15
- Yliopiston Apteekki - The University Pharmacy (address Koskikatu 7) OPEN EVERY DAY: 8am -11pm
- Taitokortteli - The Artisan's Quarter (address Koskikatu 1) Handcraft and culture quarter. Open: Mon - Fri 10-17, Sat 10-14; Café Kauppaneuvos (in the same building)
- The airport/Finnair bus stop, Koskikatu L.
The Kauppakatu side (west): The route to the University (10-15min walk). The Kauppakatu side touching the market is a pedestrian area.
The Siltakatu side (north):
- Iso Myy - Shopping Center, with over 70 different stores. Open: Mon - Fri 9 – 20, Sat 9 – 17;
- Sokos Dept Store, Open: Mon-Fri 9-20
The Rantakatu side (east): The route the Joensuu railway station (through the Siltakatu bridge)
During the summer months, Joensuu is bustling with activities. Situated right by Lake Pyhäselkä and the Pielisjoki river, Joensuu is surrounded by boreal nature. Listed here are some attractions to explore during your stay.
Market Square: Filled with people and a wide variety of merchant stands, the market square is right in the middle of the city center. It is a great place to get Karelian pies from the vendors or delicious waffles from Vesikioski. It is also the home of the Courting Wolf (Kosiosusi) statue, with a recently added female companion sitting a few benches away, the most iconic symbols of Joensuu. Finally, there is an important part of the cityscape - Joensuu City Hall, designed by the world-renowned architect of the Art Nouveau/Jugendstil period, Eliel Saarinen in 1914. (He is also responsible for the design of the Helsinki Central Station building, regarded as one of the most remarkable pieces of architecture at that time.) The City Hall building houses the city's central government, the Joensuu City Theatre and the Theatre Restaurant (see below).
Carelicum: A culture, museum and tourist center by the market square in the city center. It offers tourist information and services. It houses the exhibitions and photo archives of the North Karelian Museum.
Joensuu Art Museum: Situated near the Kirkkokatu park, the art museum Onni holds a permanent exhibition year-round and regularly arranges multiple temporary exhibitions of both Finnish and foreign art.
The Artisan’s Quarter: A lively handicrafts and culture quarter by the market square, the Artisan’s Quarter has a diverse array of services to offer, including a café, boutiques and shops, a craft center and art exhibitions along with other events.
The Riverbank: The banks of Pielisjoki River offer excellent views and are a great place to relax. In the middle of the river, connected to the city by bridges, sits the Ilosaari Island. The island offers a great view to the river and has a relaxed-atmosphere restaurant, Kerubi, specializing mostly in grilled food. The island is also the grounds for the occasional outdoor event.
Restaurants and Cafés: Joensuu has multiple excellent restaurants and cafés scattered around the city center. Some of the most notable ones include:
- Café Houkutus
- Café Kauppaneuvoksen kahvila
Botania Botanical Gardens: A former botanical garden, nowadays an event garden, it is the northernmost 'butterfly house' in the world, featuring free-flying butterflies. Botania is a home for a parrot, tortoises and geckos . The inner garden consists of 3 different climates, the tropics, the subtropics and the desert. There is also a large outdoor garden to explore. (You will find a restaurant on the premises as well, open from Thursdays till Sundays.)
GETTING AROUND NORTH KARELIA:
For details on the attractions of the region visit: https://www.visitkarelia.fi/en/Frontpage--