Essentially a one-street town, Kajaani, capital of the Kainuu region, is nevertheless the major settlement in these parts. Apart from its pretty riverside and fabulous rural church at nearby Paltaniemi, there’s little to keep you, though it makes a handy stopover between Lakeland and the north.
Kajaani was long an important station on the Kainuu tar transportation route – until the 19th century, this region produced more tar than anywhere else in the world. Other claims to fame are that Elias Lönnrot, creator of the Kalevala, worked here for a period, using it as a base for his travels, and long-reigning president Urho Kekkonen lived here as a student (at Kalliokatu 7).
You’ll find most services along the main street, Kauppakatu.