Top 10 things to do in Joensuu

que faire joensuu



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What to do in Joensuu? Discover the places not to be missed during your visit!

Are you planning a trip to Finland and looking for a city that has it all? Joensuu is the destination of choice! Located in northeastern Finland, this dynamic, creative city is brimming with treasures to discover. In this article, we present a selection of 10 must-sees in Joensuu to help you plan your stay. Whether you’re a lover of culture, nature or gastronomy, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for in this Finnish city full of surprises.

The Botania greenhouse: a tropical haven of peace

Botanical Garden Botania

Photo credit: botania.fi

  • 📍 Location: Botanical Garden Botania
  • 🤩 Experience tropical serenity in a greenhouse
  • 💙 We love: The beauty of Finnish nature

To begin with, discover the Botania botanical garden greenhouse, one of Joensuu’s must-sees. This enchanting place, located in the heart of the forest, will transport you to a tropical universe, far from the stress of the city. Stroll through the lush green paths and admire the exotic plants growing here. For gourmets, the garden has a bar-cafeteria where you can enjoy delicious dishes while taking in the breathtaking view of the surrounding nature.

And for an even more unforgettable experience, the garden organizes a festival of lights every year at the end of November. The garden is decked out in a thousand lights and becomes a magical place where the illuminations highlight the plants and trees. It’s a unique experience for young and old alike! Come and recharge your batteries in this haven of peace and discover the beauty of Finnish nature.


The mixed polar bear sauna: Finnish relaxation!

que faire joensuu sauna

Photo credit: Shutterstock / LP Production

  • 📍 Location: Joensuu mixed sauna
  • 🤩 Experience an authentic sauna.
  • 💙 We love: Swimming in Lake Pyhäselkä from the pontoon.

If you’re looking for an authentic wellness experience in Joensuu, don’t miss a visit to Joensuu’s polar bears (Joensuun Jääkarhut). This mixed sauna is the ideal place to relax and recharge your batteries, while discovering the local culture. The sauna is located in a magnificent wooden building on the shores of Lake Pyhäselkä, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

You can swim in the lake directly from the pontoon, both in summer and in winter for the bravest! Don’t forget your swimsuit – it’s compulsory! The fee is €7 for 2 hours, which you can buy on a machine at reception in the form of a paper bracelet.

Saunas are an integral part of Finnish culture and customs. So it’s a must for anyone visiting the country! A trip to the polar bear sauna is a must in Joensuu. It’s a meeting place for locals and visiting international students, where you can relax and immerse yourself in the local culture. A moment of peace and relaxation, but also of discovery!


Joensuu Art Museum: for Finnish art lovers

que faire joensuu musee des arts

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Karavanov_Lev

  • 📍 Location: Joensuu Art Museum
  • 🤩 Experience: Visit Joensuu Art Museum
  • 💙 We love: discovering Finnish art and aesthetics!

To find out more about Finnish art and culture, we recommend a visit to the Joensuu Art Museum! It’s the ideal place for all lovers of modern and contemporary art. The varied collection features works from Finland and abroad. Housed in a historic red-brick building, the museum offers a unique experience for all visitors.

You can admire the permanent and temporary exhibitions, which reflect the diversity of Finnish art. After all, the country, especially its capital Helsinki, is renowned for its artistic side! You can also discover the works of foreign artists who have influenced Finnish art. The Joensuu Art Museum is a must for understanding Finnish history and culture through its works of art. Let yourself be transported into a fascinating artistic universe.


Joensuu Orthodox Church: a glimpse of local Orthodox culture

que faire joensuu eglise orthodoxe

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Majna

  • 📍 Location: St. Nicholas Orthodox Church
  • 🤩 Experience: Visit St. Nicholas Orthodox Church
  • 💙 We like: The finely crafted architecture and the beauty of the location.

You can’t miss a visit to Joensuu Orthodox Church. You’ll be amazed by theunique architecture of this church, known for its onion-shaped domes and beautiful iconostasis. The church was built in 1887 and is one of the city’s oldest religious buildings. If you’re interested inOrthodox history and culture, you’ll particularly enjoy your visit to this church.

The interior is just as impressive as the exterior, with its magnificent frescoes and icons. You can also attend weekend services, which take place regularly in this church. You can spend hours admiring the intricate architectural details of Joensuu’s Orthodox Church. Don’t forget your camera, as you’ll certainly want to take some snapshots to remember this wonderful experience!


The banks of the Pielisjoki river: a sporting and epicurean experience

que faire joensuu riviere Pielisjoki

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Karavanov_Lev

  • 📍 Location: On the banks of the Pielisjoki River
  • 🤩 Experience: Activities and meals by the river
  • 💙 We like: The wide range of activities on offer: something for everyone!

Stroll along the banks of the Pielisjoki River and discover one of Joensuu’s wonders. In summer, take advantage of the opening of some boat bars to enjoy the long, luminous Arctic nights. It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a good craft beer while admiring the scenery. If you’re looking for a place to eat, the waterside restaurant Jokiasema offers a unique culinary experience. Please note that it’s only open during the summer months!

The towpath along the river is the perfect place for sporty travelers. A Frisbee golf course is available, and players can compete on a course running alongside the river. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see boats towing huge bundles of logs floating down the river to a sawmill further down the road.

It’s a traditional way of transporting wood in this region. So, if you’re looking for a pleasant and relaxing activity in Joensuu, stroll along the banks of the Pielisjoki River and marvel at the beauty of Joensuu’s watery landscape.


The Carelicum Museum: discover the Karelian region

Museum Centre Carelicum

Photo credit: Eliel

  • 📍 Location: Carelicum Museum
  • 🤩 Experience: Visit the Carelicum museum
  • 💙 We like: The rich history of the area

The Museum of Art isn’t the only must-see museum in Joensuu! Discover the history and culture of the Karelian region at the Carelicum Museum, a must-see when visiting the city. The museum features exhibitions on Karelian traditions, folklore and lifestyle. You’ll also find information on local flora and fauna and the history of the town of Joensuu. The interactive exhibits and activities on offer make the visit particularly interesting for children.

The history of Karelia is fascinating, and this museum is a good opportunity to immerse yourself in it. Here you can admire traditional handicrafts, learn folk songs and even try on traditional Karelian costumes. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about new cultures, the Carelicum Museum is an unforgettable visit to Joensuu.


Koli National Park: an enchanting corner of nature

que faire joensuu parc national koli

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Tatjana Michaljova

  • 📍 Location: Koli National Park
  • 🤩 Experience: Guided tour of Koli National Park
  • 💙 We like: The opportunity to learn more about the region’s flora and fauna with a specialist.

Koli National Park is a must for all nature lovers. With Matti, nature guide, fisherman and former chef, you can discover the wonders of the region he knows like the back of his hand, and feast on typical dishes prepared with the catch of the day. You can take a day trip or more, to enjoy hiking, skiing or snowboarding in the picturesque countryside. Koli is famous for its breathtaking scenery and panoramic views over Lake Pielinen.

If you want to extend your stay, you can rent a lake (yes, a whole lake!), a kayak or organize a tailor-made excursion to take full advantage of the area. Let Matti guide you through the secrets of Koli National Park! This extraordinary experience will allow you to immerse yourself completely in Finnish nature and experience unforgettable moments. So, are you ready to discover the natural jewel that is Koli National Park?


Ilosaari Rock: an unforgettable musical experience in Joensuu

que faire joensuu ilosaarirock festival

Photo credit: Janina Joutsen

  • 📍 Location: Ilosaari Rock, on the island of Ilosaari
  • 🤩 Experience a Finnish rock festival
  • 💙 We love: The incredible line-up!

If you didn’t know, Joensuu is an ideal destination for music lovers! Every year, the island of Ilosaari hosts one of the country’s biggest alternative rock music festivals: Ilosaari Rock. The event attracts thousands of spectators, both local and international, to enjoy a varied, high-quality program.

But Ilosaari Rock is much more than just a music festival. It’s a real experience, thanks to the island’s festive and friendly atmosphere. Festival-goers can enjoy the island’s natural beauty while listening to their favorite artists. With an exceptional line-up featuring local and international artists, Ilosaari Rock is the must-attend music event to plan when visiting Joensuu!


Joensuu’s market square: the place to be

que faire joensuu place du marche

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Irina Kzan

  • 📍 Location : Market Square, in the center of Joensuu
  • 🤩 Experience: Enjoying the city’s main living space
  • 💙 We love: Local cuisine galore!

If you’re visiting Joensuu, you can’t miss the market square, also known as « tori« . It’s the place to be if you want to feel the pulse of this small Karelian town. Here you’ll find fresh produce markets , food stalls and cultural events. It’s a real meeting place for locals and visitors alike, where you can buy local produce and chat with shopkeepers.

Joensuu’s market square is a lively and colorful place. This is the place to be for epicureans! You’ll be able to sample Finnish specialties such as the famous « karjalanpiirakka », a kind of pastry filled with rice, or « makkara « , a grilled sausage. a grilled sausage. On the entertainment front, there’s plenty going on here, from open-air concerts to dance performances. All in all, the market square is a living place in its own right, where you can discover Joensuu’s culture and spend a pleasant moment in the company of the locals.


Theater: discover Joensuu’s cultural scene

que faire joensuu theatre

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Tina Zhou

  • 📍 Location: Joensuu theater
  • 🤩 Experience: Attending a show at the theater
  • 💙 We love: Total immersion in Finnish performing arts.

To keep things cultural and entertaining, don’t miss a visit to Joensuu ‘s must-see theater! The theater hosts a variety of shows throughout the year, from plays to concerts and other cultural events. You’ll have the chance to discover local talent and immerse yourself in the city’s cultural scene.

For a successful evening, attend a play, or let yourself be carried away by the music at a concert by talented musicians. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time at Joensuu’s city theater. Book your tickets in advance to secure your place in the theater!


Now you know the 10 must-sees in Joensuu. With its mix of nature, culture and history, this Finnish town has everything to seduce you. So what are you waiting for to discover these wonders? Why not start planning your trip to Joensuu now?

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