Sunday 9/27/20
TRAVEL

Kuopio, the heart of the Finnish Lakeland

This is one of the favourite places for leisure and the municipality with the highest number of free-time residences.
A view of the city of Kuopio from the Puijo Tower. Photo: Pablo Morilla.
A view of the city of Kuopio from the Puijo Tower. Photo: Pablo Morilla.

Finland is popular for being the land of the thousand lakes (actually, around 188.000 lakes). Many travellers choose the country as its destination because of that, so it wouldn't be strange to see tourists in Kuopio as soon as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

Kuopio is one of the favourite places for leisure. According to Statistics Finland, Kuopio is the municipality with the highest number of free-time residences: 10,847. It means that many Finns appreciate this area, surrounded by lakes and woods. There are many hiking areas, starting from the hill of Puijo, a natural area close to the downtown and well-known due to the tower that lies at the top.

The Puijo Tower is clearly one of the landmarks of the city and a must for any visitor. Its 75 meters high provide the best views of the whole area while taking a coffee or having dinner. The origins date back from 1856, when the trader C.R. Dahlström built an 16 meters wooden tower. The actual structure was erected on 1963, according to Puijo Peak, the enterprise that run this attraction. But Puijo is more than a tower. It is a natural area well-prepared for hiking. Be ready to climb up the hill!

Kuopio-Kauppahalli-by-Pablo-MorillaKuopio's market hall (kauppahalli). Photo: Pablo Morilla.

A traditional dish

The city of Kuopio is known not only because of the tower. There is a Finnish traditional dish original from this area called kalakukko that consists on fish baked inside of bread. This is why there are many businesses specialized on kalakukko.

This dish can be acquired in many shops in the city. The Market Hall is one of the strangest buildings in Kuopio due to its shape, similar to a castle, and the yellow facade. In addition to kalakukko, customers will find there bakeries to have a coffee and eat a bun, different kinds of fishes and even Spanish food.

Kuopio-cathedral-by-Pablo-Morilla

The Kuopio Cathedral. Photo: Pablo Morilla.

Next to the Market Hall is located the Market Square, where locals enjoy buying Finnish products like berries. On the other side of the street is located the City Hall, a building from 1882 and another remarkable sight of Kuopio.

A lake surrounds the city

Heading down to the lake shore, there is still one more significant construction: the Kuopio Cathedral. It was consecrated in 1816, according to Kuopion Seurakunnat. The facade is a distinctiveness of this church that makes it different from others in Finland.

Kuopio-shore-lake-kallavesi-by-Pablo-MorillaA view of Kallavesi and the city port. Photo: Pablo Morilla.

The final destination is the port of Kuopio, where visitors can have a walk while enjoying the views of Kallavesi, the lake that surrounds the city. There are also some ships to see, one of them the northernmost year-round hotel ship in Europe.

As soon as it is safe, travelling to Kuopio will be a good idea to consider.

*Pablo Morilla is a journalist, author of the blog Michan en Finlandia.

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