Kuopio is one of the many cities in Finland founded during the Swedish rule. The city is surrounded on three sides by water which forms its largest attraction. A block of historical, wooden houses has also been preserved in the center.
The city has approximately 90,000 inhabitants.
Kuopio is located in the center of the Finnish Lake District; the city is surrounded on three sides by Lake Kallavesi and some parts of the city are built on islands. In a large new-construction project, Saaristokaupunki, not a single house lies more than 500 meters from the water.
Kuopio is an important educational center with renowned schools for higher education. There are several (departments of) universities and colleges. Related to these are healthcare and medical research (for example by the University of Applied Sciences). Industrial activity consists of food processing, lumber processing and transportation for which the inland port is of importance. Kuopio also draws many tourists every year because of the watery surroundings.
The city's airport, Kuopio Airport, is situated 20 kilometers north of the center. It's easily reachable by rental car via the A5/E63. The exit to the airport is clearly signposted.
Kuopio has good public bus transport. All bus lines come together at the central bus station Kauppatori. From that station buses also leave for other destinations in Finland. There's also a high-speed train connection with the capital Helsinki.
It's extremely easy to find your way around Kuopio by rental car, as the city has a reticular street pattern. Smaller streets solely accessible to pedestrians and cyclists run in between the main streets. The so-called rännikatu (literally rain gutter) served in the old days for quick access to water in case of a fire and thereby protect the other wooden houses. There are several parking garages around the city center.
Kuopio has a good choice of accommodations, mainly in the midrange category, but there are also luxury options and a youth hostel. Cabins are also rented out in the city's vicinity. There's a holiday park with houses near the Rauhalahti Spa. You can also rent apartments in Kuopio.
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