Kuopio: An unexpected oasis in the north of Finland

“Kuopio? Where is Kuopio?” Last spring, I was invited to Finland for a friend’s wedding in Kuopio, a city I knew only to be the home of the same dear Finnish friend of mine with whom I’d spent a semester abroad and kept in close touch ever since. Jumping for joy at the prospect of a return trip to Finland, a country I’ve grown to love, I sat down immediately and googled the location of my soon-to-be-planned trip. As it turns out, Kuopio is located in Northern Savonia, about 4 hours from Helsinki and is, apparently, the 8th biggest city in the country.

Having heard all about the quaint attraction of Kuopio from my friend, I was excited to have the opportunity to pay the city a long overdue visit, working it into a journey that included a stopover in Stockholm and Helsinki and continued with an epic 3 day adventure in St.Petersburg. As we pulled into the Sokos Hotel, our accommodation for two nights stay in Kuopio, the sun had set and we were all headed for a good night’s sleep before the festivities began. Waking up early Saturday morning for a quick run before my long-time friend said her “I dos”, I was shocked to be greeted by one of the most serene starts to the day I’d had in a while:

Kuopio lake Kuopio water

In addition to offering an incredible web of trails for runners looking to get some fresh air by the water, Kuopio itself also boasts a lovely town square, a beautiful old church (where my friend said her vows however of which I apparently took no pictures) and a market that offers everything fish.

Kuopio market

The wedding itself took place a short drive from the hotel but somehow, once again, we found ourselves in a beautiful landscape, not dissimilar from Canada, but holy welcomed after spending the day before parading around Helsinki. And so, relaxed from my morning run, I gathered with my fellow friends and guests and enjoyed a splendid evening of fun, merriment and Finnish wedding traditions including the stealing of the bride!


The next morning, to complete the perfect weekend, we picnicked at a small beach near the harbour. and wished Kuopio a fond farewell… for now.


2 thoughts on “Kuopio: An unexpected oasis in the north of Finland

  1. Welcome to Finland and Kuopio. Kuopio is great selection for a stay. Most beautiful town on lake area is Savonlinna which has awesome medieval Castle of Olavinlinna and my new home town Mikkeli. Savonlinna is also known for its Opera festivals.

    The real unknown “Pearl” is Mikkeli which is my home town.

    I am sure that You will love Your stay in Kuopio.

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