Top things to do

Top Choice Karelian in Joensuu


Locally sourced ingredients prepared in innovative ways are served in the town hall's art deco surrounds and beautiful summer terrace. Dishes span braised, smoked pork neck with wild boar sausage and rhubarb compote…
Top Choice Museum in Joensuu


Themed displays – on the region’s prehistory, its war-torn past, the Karelian evacuation, the importance of the sauna etc – cover both sides of the present-day border at this excellent museum.
Karelian in Joensuu

Ravintola Kielo

At the high end of Karelian cuisine, artfully presented miniature starters such as whitefish escabeche with ratatouille and sour cream set the stage for mains like ravioli and pan-fried pike-perch in fish broth, and…
Hungarian in Joensuu


In a former girls’ school built in brick-Gothic style, this wood-panelled restaurant is a stylish affair with a Hungarian menu of paprika- and garlic-laced goulashes and hefty steaks complemented by Hungarian wines.…
Notable Building in Joensuu

Town Hall

Dominating the town centre, the art deco town hall was designed by Eliel Saarinen – the architect most famous for Helsinki’s train station – and completed in 1914. It now houses the local theatre and terrific Teatte…
Arts Centre in Joensuu


You can see weavers at work, browse contemporary art and purchase local designers’ clothing, toys and homewares at this cluster of wooden buildings. There’s a sweet cafe and gallery space.
Bar in Joensuu

Romeo 1914

Live music plays most nights aboard this former timber transporter built in 1914, now moored on the Pielisjoki. Several other boat bars are located nearby.
Music in Joensuu

Ilosaari Rock Festival

Held over a weekend in mid-July, this massive rock festival attracts Finnish and international acts. It has received awards for its environmental record.
Bar in Joensuu


Sunsets are spectacular from this bar perched on the edge of Lake Pyhäselkä, with a resident peg-leg pirate statue and seating on the terrace and pier.
Gallery in Joensuu

Joensuun Taidemuseo

The impressive collection at Joensuu’s art museum spans Chinese pieces, examples of Finnish modernism and an intriguing selection of Orthodox icons.