Joensuu is the capital of Finland’s easternmost province in North Karelia.

Joensuu is the lively capital of the North Karelia Region in Finnish Lakeland. Established by Czar Nikolai I of Russia in 1848, Joensuu lies close to the Russian border, about 400 kilometres from Finnish capital Helsinki.

Joensuu is a centre for trade, culture, education and technology. Three higher education institutions – the North Karelia University of Applied Sciences, the University of Eastern Finland and the HUMAK University of Applied Sciences – all have their home in Joensuu.

Metal and wood

The main business sectors are the metal, wood and forestry industries, as well as expertise in the border region and cross-border collaboration.

Joensuu is the forestry capital of Europe with a stronghold in research, including the European Forest Institute and Joensuu Science Park.

a range of cultural offerings

Joensuu is prominent in the Finnish cultural scene, having bred several well-known artists, and thus inspired a score of film production companies to shoot in the area.

The Ilosaarirock festival, featuring internationally acclaimed artists, is sold out every year months before the event.

The orchestra, theatre and art museum are among local institutions catering to visitors seeking cultural experiences.

Boat to russia?

The nearby wilderness areas provide a setting for nature enthusiasts. Jogging paths and a wide variety of facilities are a delight to sportsmen and women.

Joensuu believes in regional and international cooperation as one of the motors for development, manifested in numerous projects in different areas of expertise.

The people of North Karelia are known as very talkative and a lively interaction with Russian Karelia is part of everyday life in Joensuu. The city has excellent waterways stretching all the way to St. Petersburg.

City Facts

Population: 74 000

Distance from Helsinki:

– Plane 45 minutes
– Train 5 hours
– Car 440 kilometres, 7 hours

Flight connections: Joensuu Airport is situated 11 kilometres from the city centre.


Karelia Expert Tourist Service
Koskikatu 5
FI-80100 Joensuu
Phone +358 50 528 9634
Fax +358 13 123 933


Lakeland is covered by more water than land. The heart of the region is Saimaa, the largest lake in Finland, which nestles several cities on its shores and is home to the endangered Saimaa ringed seal.

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