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 on its beautiful summer terrace. Dishes span nettle ricotta with wild herb salad to liquorice-glazed goose…
Top Choice Bar in Joensuu


Joensuu's best bar-club occupies its own island in the Pielisjoki, linked to the city centre by a bridge. DJs spin techno, trance and electronica on Friday and Saturday; live bands and stand-up comedy take place in …
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 Karelia's present-day border at this excellent museum. Highlights inclu…
Karelian in Joensuu

Ravintola Kielo

At the high end of Karelian cuisine, Kielo's artfully presented miniature starters such as whitefish escabeche with mussel mayo or sugar- and salt-cured Arctic char with smoked sour cream and fennel consommé set the…
Museum in Joensuu

Joensuu Bunker Museum

Situated 8.5km northwest of the city centre, off Rd 9, this outdoor museum is part of the Suomen Salpa ('Finland's Bolt'). Built between the Winter War and the Continuation War, the 1200km-long defence line was cons…
Bistro in Joensuu

Local Bistro

Run by upbeat staff, this hip new bistro does a bargain lunch buffet but really comes into its own from 2pm, when its à la carte menu offers dishes like pike in citrus butter, buckwheat crumble-coated lamb, roast ca…
Gardens in Joensuu


Founded in 1957, Joensuu's botanic gardens contain over 600 plant species in four separate areas: desert, tropical, sub-tropical and temperate. Highlights include a 570-sq-metre glass-paned greenhouse (with a butter…
Arts Centre in Joensuu


Dating back over a century, these charming wooden buildings are some of the few remaining in Joensuu; some have been relocated here from other parts of town. They now comprise an arts and crafts centre where you can…
Music in Joensuu

Ilosaari Rock Festival

Founded in 1971, this massive three-day rock festival has a waterside location with its own beach, and attracts more than 60 Finnish and international acts on its five stages. It has received awards for its environm…
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.