Surrounded by glistening lakes, Kuopio is an economic and cultural hub in the heart of Eastern Finland that is famed for hosting the annual wife-carrying world championships. It has previously held the title of European Region of Gastronomy and has been nicknamed the “Promised Land of Kalakukko” in reference to one of its traditional dishes.
Things to do in Kuopio
Rising 75 metres atop a hill is the Puijo Tower, which offers incredible views across the Savonia region. It lies adjacent to a series of ski jumping hills where championship events regularly take place. You can enjoy a meal at the revolving Puijo Tower Restaurant, which is positioned more than 220 metres above Lake Kallavesi and specialises in locally-sourced ingredients.
For a cultural fix, head to the Kuopio Art Museum to browse Finnish art from the late 19th century to the modern day. It occupies a converted bank and showcases artists from the Savonia region and beyond and hosts temporary exhibitions themed around landscape, nature and the relationship between man and the environment.
Also not to miss is the VB Photographic Centre, a small photography museum that displays exceptional works by Finnish and international photographers. Artists such as the 19th-century Finnish photographer Victor Barsokevitsch and contemporary nature photographer Heikki Willamo have both been exhibited here, as has Edvard Munch. The VB Photographic Centre also exhibits photos depicting Kuopio in times gone by.
Getting around Kuopio
Kuopio Airport is a 15-minute drive from the city centre and has seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. Trains connect from several Finnish cities to the Kuopio railway station while the Port of Kuopio has services throughout the Finnish Lakeland. The centre of Kuopio is compact enough to explore on foot while buses serve the surrounding suburbs.