Kajaani

A view to the downtown of Kajaani.
Kajaani main street in January.

Kajaani (Swedish Kajana) is a town and municipality in Finland and the administrative capital of the Kainuu region. It is located southeast of Oulujärvi (Lake Oulu), which drains to the Gulf of Bothnia along the Oulujoki (river Oulu).

Understand

Kajaani is a typical small and quiescent former industrial city. For many visitors, Kajaani is a stop on their way to the Vuokatti skiing centre, located 40 kilometres east of the city. As Kajaani is the largest city (36 000 inhabitants) in Kainuu, there are more shopping opportunities than in Vuokatti. Especially Russian tourists staying in Vuokatti are a common sight in the shops of Kajaani in the winter.

Talk

As in most of Finland, the English language is widely understood, as is Swedish to some extent, since both are compulsory languages in Finnish comprehensive schools. Since the Kainuu region borders Russia, that language holds an important position as residents from both countries visit the other for business and pleasure. Some residents can also speak German and French.

The locally strong Finnish accent adds extra vowels to words. Even if you're capable of speaking and understanding Finnish at a basic level, you may find it hard to understand some elderly people. For the same reason, English spoken by the locals may in some cases be hard to understand.

Get in

By car

Highway 5, one of the major roads between northern and southern Finland passes through Kajaani, highway 6 links the city with Joensuu, highways 22 and 28 links Kajaani to Oulu and Kokkola respectively on the west coast. Roads are well maintained and taken good care of overall.

In the Kainuu region (and Finland generally) driving is a very practical way to get around and that's not only because of the long distances (and the weaker public transport). Landscapes are magnificent and it's so relaxing to drive around in almost empty roads. Just remember those few common things (see article Finland and get around by Car section) and you'll enjoy driving!

Moose alert! If you are continuing your trip towards north or east from Kajaani, watch out for elks and reindeers that may run out of nowhere to the road. Be cautious particularly in dusk and dawn when driving trough vastly uninhabited areas.

By plane

Flybe flies from Helsinki to Kajaani airport (IATA:KAJ), located 7 kilometres northwest from Kajaani city centre. Local bus number 4 links the airport to the centre. You can also take a taxi.

By train

There are many trains every day from Helsinki via Kuopio or Oulu. Kajaani train station locates near the centre within walk distance. For more information

By bus

There is a daily bus from Helsinki, 3-4 buses a day from Oulu and Joensuu and even more frequent bus traffic from Kuopio. For more information

Get around

By foot

City centre and main attractions, like the castle, can be easily reached by foot.

Maps and more information about the city and Kainuu region can be found from Kajaani-Info. Info is located next to the town hall (address Pohjolankatu 13). Tourist information is also available in the VisitKajaani website.

By car

Driving everywhere in the town area is easy, as the city government continually improves driving conditions by building roudabouts, improving intersections and streets in general. There are minor weekday rushs in the mornings and afternoons, when residents head to work and home from there, however they usually don't last long. Finding parking space is not usually a problem, but you may have to search little longer during those "rush moments".

A view to Kauppakatu, the main street of Kajaani.

By bus

The only mode of public transportation is the bus. The routes are operated by Pohjolan Matkat and the timetables available here(Finnish only)

See and Do

The castle ruins of Kajaani.

Events

Buy

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

Kajaani is a very safe city. The area between Kauppakatu and Välikatu may be a little restless during weekend nights when bars close their doors at 2AM/3AM and drunken local people wander out.

Go next

People summerbathing in a hot day at Paltaniemi beach
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.