Night view of Joensilta, the river bridge

Joensuu, the second largest city in Eastern Finland and the capital of North Karelia is located at the outfall of the river Pielisjoki in the Saimaa lake system.

The city center is on the right bank of the river around the main square, and this is the place to find sights, restaurants, hotels and shops. Joensuu has square town plan. From the main square a bridge leads across the island Ilosaari to the train station.


Joensuu ("River's mouth" in Finnish) is situated at near the point where the Pielisjoki river flows into the Lake Pyhäselkä. It is one of the relatively fast growing centres in Eastern Finland. The University of Eastern Finland supplies a constant stream of fresh student meat from all over the country and exchange students from abroad. Joensuu's industry, as well as a large part of the University programs, is dominated by forestry.

Get in

By plane

Many daily flights from Helsinki provided by Finnair to Joensuu Airport (JOE), about 11 km northwest of the centre. A bus runs between the airport and town (the university and downtown) before and after each flight. The bus takes 10 minutes and costs €5. There are also taxis at the airport.

By train

Direct connection from Helsinki via Lappeenranta, several trains a day. Travel time is about 5 hours. If coming from Russia, transfer at Kouvola. There are also trains from Pieksämäki. The station is small and open only during the day. It's located on Railway square on the left bank of the river. For more information see the website of Finland's national railway company.

By bus

From Helsinki several departures a day with a traveling time of about 7 hours, in addition there's an overnight bus almost every day. There is a daily connection from Petrozavodsk (started in summer 2013). Joensuu bus station is located on the Railway square.

By car

If coming from Russia, after Nuijamaa in Lappeenranta you turn on the main road 6, which leads to Joensuu. Main route 6 goes from Helsinki via Lappeenranta and Kouvola in Joensuu and further Nurmes and Kajaani, although the route via Mikkeli and Varkaus is shorter.

Get around

Local buses

The local bus terminal is located one block south from the main market square, a 10 minutes' walk from train and the bus station. There are ten bus lines which serve traffic inside the city of Joensuu. Departures are usually every hour per line, most traffic runs in work/school days and there are less departures in Saturdays and Sundays. Some bus lines continue to countryside outside the city.

An one-way ticket on Joensuu local buses costs currently (2012/01) €3,20. If you travel frequently, a 10-journey card or a 40-journey card, both sold by the driver, will offer a discounted rate. If you are a Joensuu resident there are even 30-day cards and 40-journey student cards available at the bus station.

Timetables and routes(available in Finnish only)


Many locals ride their bicycle all year around. You can rent one for example at Joensuun kansalaistalo in the city centre.



Commerce at the Market Place
Vapaudenpuisto (Freedom Park) in central Joensuu





There are plenty of pubs around the city center.





Go next

Ski resort and national park of Koli north of the city. You can reach Koli ski resort by bus of Matkahuolto.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, September 12, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.