Photo: Rami Saarikorpi (


The town of Joensuu was founded at the mouth of River Pielisjoki in 1848. It was a small town with only two hundred inhabitants and wooden houses. The City Hall (1914) was designed by architect Eliel Saarinen. Some of the oldest buildings by the river remain to this day, even though the town has grown in both area and population.

Today, Joensuu is the biggest town in North Karelia region of Finland and it has 34 km of common border with Russia. Joensuu is a center not only for trade but also for education and culture. You can study at universities, vocational schools and conservatory of music. Culture can be enjoyed in theaters, concerts, and various events, the biggest and most famous one being the annual rock and pop festival Ilosaarirock.

Joensuu is a mixture of a lively city and idyllic countryside with some 77,000 inhabitants, including ca. 20,000 students. The center of Joensuu provides a variety of cafes, restaurants, and shops to choose from. People in Joensuu are genuine North Karelians, who aren't afraid to talk. Karelian lifestyle and captivating atmosphere in the various events will charm any holiday maker.

Come and experience Joensuu yourself!


The town is full of inspiring stories and delicious details around the year, in all four seasons.