Kokkola (Swedish: Karleby) is a town situated in Central Ostrobothnia, Finland, with a population of approximately 36000. Officially it is a bi-lingual town with most people understanding and speaking Finnish and Swedish. Kokkola is the biggest town in the region, between Oulu and Vaasa. It was founded in 1620 and during the 18th century it had one of the largest merchant fleets in Finland, and was a major producer of tar and ships. Presently Kokkola is a fairly peaceful city. It has also a sizeable district of wooden homes.
There are also some night trains with sleeping cars from Helsinki to northern regions stopping at Kokkola. Night trains usually arrive at early morning hours in Kokkola, which is uncomfortable unless you have somebody waiting for you.
Buses from all over Finland stop regularly at Kokkola. If you travel as far as from Helsinki, forget the bus and take the train or plane.
The largest highway that passes through Kokkola is the E8.
Kruunupyy airport (IATA: KOK) is the closest one to Kokkola, about 20 kilometers away. Nearly all scheduled flights only to and from Helsinki, charter flights to holiday destinations around Europe. A bus service is provided to and from Mannerheimin aukio at the centre of Kokkola.
The city is fairly small, so the easiest way to see the sights is walking.
Public transport is poor in Kokkola. There are only local buses by Kokkolan Liikenne, and you have difficulty in finding a bus especially during evenings and Sundays. However, the drivers and passengers appear to be friendly. If you want to have a sightseeing without guide, you can take the bus number 7 from Kauppatori at city center. It will take you for example to the harbour part-of-town Ykspihlaja.
- Natural History Collection Kieppi, Pitkänsillankatu 28. Holds a large collection of minerals and stuffed animals.
- K.H.Renlund Art Museum, Several locations around the city. A number of museums around the town presenting valuable collection of Finnish art from the late 19th century.
- Old town (Neristan, Vanha kaupunki). The Swedish name translates literally to "Downtown". The old quarter of Kokkola. One of the largest and most well preserved wooden house districts in Finland.
- Tankar Island. A beautiful rocky island with its own lighthouse, an old church and a seal-hunting museum. Regular trips made by the ferry MS Jenny.
- Kaarlela Church. A medieval stone church from the 15th century.
- Kaarlela Museum of Local History and Culture (Kaarlelan kotiseutumuseo). A museum that shows visitors the culture of Ostrobothnia before industrialisation.
- Kaarlela fire museum, Ventuksentie 84. A museum run by the volunteer firemen of Kaarlela to their fire station. In the museum there are various objects from 1800s to 1990s. The museum is open regularly in summertime, otherwise you must contact the honorary fire chief or the fire chief of Kaarlela volunteer fire department.
- Kokkola City theatre (Kokkolan kaupunginteatteri), Torikatu 48. The city theatre.
- Kokkola Cup. Jul 18-21 2013. The second largest annual football tournament in Finland held for children under 18 is held in Kokkola every July.
- Venetian festival (Venetsialaiset). Aug 30-Sep 1 2013. The "Venice festival" is an annual happening to celebrate the ending of cabin season, the last day to spend time in your summer cottages, that's held on the last weekend of August. It's a celebration of fire, light and water. Fireworks fill the night sky. People decorate their yards with fires and lights.
There is live music regularly at local bars and pubs. The local association of living music Kokemus is arranging club events for example at bar West Coast, address Rantakatu 16.
Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra(Keski-Pohjanmaan kamariorkesteri) is touring both in Finland and abroad. The Orchestra was founded in 1972 and it received Nordic Council Music Prize in 1993.
There are many larger stores and smaller shops as it is regional centre.
Fast-food and pizzerias
There are at least three fast-food franchises, over ten pizzerias and many small food stalls.
Many good restaurants for everybody. Basic restaurants, Chinese and some serve slightly Mexican food.
Many small and cosy cafés.
Bars and Pubs
- Kokkola Camping, Meritie 10. Cottages, trailer park, tenting area.
- Best Western Hotel Kokkola, Rantakatu 14, ☎ +358 6 8241 000, fax: +358 6 8241 010, e-mail: email@example.com.
- Hotelli Nukkumatti, Nahkurinkatu 2, ☎ +358 6 824 3200, fax: +358 6 822 4733, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sokos Hotel Kaarle, Kauppatori 4, ☎ +358 6 8266 111, fax: +358 6 8266 490, e-mail: email@example.com.
- Kalajoki — 68 km north. Sandy beaches where you can go and swim in the Gulf of Bothnia in the summer.
- Raahe — 126 km north. An industrial town.
- Oulu — 200 km north. The largest city in Northern Finland with more sights and activities.
- Jakobstad (Pietarsaari) — 36 km south. The largest town with a Swedish speaking majority in Finland. The highlights include the ship replica Jacobstads Wapen and the botanical garden.
- Vaasa (Vasa) — 121 km south. Ostrobothnia's "capital", full with history and with a ferry connection across the gulf to Umeå, Sweden.
|Routes through Kokkola|
|Tornio ← Kalajoki ←||NE SW||→ Vaasa → Turku|