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Travelling to Kuopio. Wikipedia about Kuopio

Kuopio ( Français: Kuopio, Spanish: Kuopio, Deutsch: Kuopio, Русский: Куопио) - (The) city in Finland, situated in Eastern Finland Province region. According to the latest census, the city population is 89104. Geographical coordinates of Kuopio (WGS84): latitude: 62° 53' 33" N ( 62.8924 ), longitude: 27° 40' 37" E ( 27.677 ).

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Kuopion kaupunki Kuopio stad
Kuopio viewed from Puijo Tower
Kuopio viewed from Puijo Tower
Coat of arms of Kuopio
Coat of arms
Coordinates: 62°53′33″N 027°40′42″E / 62.89250°N 27.67833°E / 62.89250; 27.67833
Country  Finland
Region Northern Savonia
Sub-region Kuopio sub-region
Settled 1653
Charter 1775
 • City manager Jarmo Pirhonen
 • Total 4,326.35 km (1,670.41 sq mi)
 • Land 1,597.39 km (616.76 sq mi)
 • Water 719.85 km (277.94 sq mi)
Area rank 18th largest in Finland
 • Total 118,667
 • Rank 9th largest in Finland
 • Density 74.29/km (192.4/sq mi)
Population by native language
 • Finnish 97.8% (official)
 • Swedish 0.1%
 • Others 2.1%
Population by age
 • 0 to 14 15.6%
 • 15 to 64 68.9%
 • 65 or older 15.4%
Time zone UTC+02:00 (EET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+03:00 (EEST)
Postal code
Municipal tax rate 19.5%
Website kuopio.fi
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: World Meteorological Organization

Kuopio (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈkuo̯pio]) is a Finnish city and municipality located in the region of Northern Savonia (Pohjois-Savo). It has a population of 118,667, which makes it the ninth-most populous city in Finland. Kuopio has a total area of 4,326.35 square kilometres (1,670.41 sq mi), of which 719.85 km (277.94 sq mi) is water and half is forest. Though the city’s population is a spread-out 74/km (190/sq mi), the city's urban areas are populated comparably densely (urban area: 1,618 /km²), making Kuopio Finland’s second-most densely populated city.

Since 1969 Kuopio has grown extensively through municipality mergers. Kuopio’s population surpassed 100,000 when the town of Nilsiä joined the city at the beginning of 2013.


Several explanations are behind the name Kuopio. The first is that in the 16th century, a certain influential person named Kauhanen in Tavinsalmi changed his name to Skopa and the people's pronunciation was Coopia and finally Cuopio. The second explanation is that it comes from the verb kuopia, meaning "paw", as when a horse paws the ground with its hoof. A third explanation is that it came from a certain Karelian man's name Prokopij, from Ruokolahti in the Middle Ages. This explanation is the most likely, and is supported by the Research Institute for the Languages of Finland.


In the 1550s, under the influence of Mikael Agricola, a church and a parish were founded in Kuopionniemi. Governor Peter Brahe founded the city of Kuopio in 1653, but the official date is recognized as November 17, 1775, when King Gustav III of Sweden ordered the formal establishment of the city.

The period of Russian rule (1809–1917) brought notable transportation development within Eastern Finland. The Saimaa Canal (1856) opened up a summer route towards the Baltic Sea, and the Savo railroad (1889) improved transport in winter.

The municipality of Maaninka joined the city of Kuopio in 2015, the town of Nilsiä in 2013, and Karttula in 2011, as did Vehmersalmi in 2005, Riistavesi in 1973, and Kuopion maalaiskunta in 1969.

Kuopio is almost completely surrounded by lake Kallavesi.


The city is surrounded by Lake Kallavesi, and several parts of it are built on islands. Kuopio's ample waterfronts and islands are also used in the Saaristokaupunki (lit. Archipelago city) -project, the biggest residential area currently being built in Finland. Saaristokaupunki will accommodate a total of 14,000 inhabitants in 2015. All houses will be situated no more than 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the nearest lakeshore.


Kuopio falls in the subarctic climate zone (Köppen "Dfc"), closely bordering on continental due to its warm summers. Winters are long and cold, with average highs staying below freezing from November until March, and summers are short and relatively mild. Most precipitation occurs in the late summer and early fall. The summers are relatively warm for its latitude, especially the lows. This is due to influence from the lake, making it much warmer on summer nights than in areas away from water. In winter, maritime moderation is eliminated as the lake freezes over.


The city has a nationally unique feature in its street network, where every other street is reserved for pedestrian and cycle traffic, so-called "rännikatu" (derived from the Swedish gränd, alley). These streets provide pedestrians a calm environment away from vehicular traffic. This setup dates back to Kuopio’s first town plan by Pehr Kjellman in 1776. Originally, rännikadut were created as a fire barrier to prevent a possible fire escalating in a mainly wood-constructed city.

The Blue Highway passes through Kuopio. It is an international tourist route from Mo i Rana, Norway to Pudozh, Russia via Sweden and Finland.

Long-distance transport connections from Kuopio include Pendolino and InterCity trains from Kuopio railway station to several destinations around Finland, operated by VR, as well as multiple daily departures from Kuopio Airport on Finnair to Helsinki.

Education and business

Technology centre Technopolis Kuopio is situated in Kuopio Science Park.

Higher Education in Kuopio
University Students
University of Eastern Finland 6 229
Savonia University of Applied Sciences 5 000
HUMAK University of Applied Sciences ~150
Sibelius Academy ~100

Kuopio has always been a city of education. Some of the first schools offering education in Finnish (such as the School for the Blind in 1871, and the Trade School in 1887) were established in Kuopio. Currently the most important institutions are the University of Eastern Finland, the Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Vocational College of Northern Savonia and the Kuopio department of the Sibelius Academy.

Kuopio is known as a strong center of health (e.g. it has the biggest yearly enrollment rate of medical students in Finland), pharmacy, environment, food & nutrition (all legalized Clinical and Public Health Nutritionists in Finland graduate from the University of Eastern Finland), safety (education in Emergency Services is centered in Kuopio) and welfare professions, as the major organisations University of Kuopio (now part of the University of Eastern Finland since January 2010.), Savonia University of Applied Sciences and Technopolis Kuopio are particularly oriented to those areas.

There are about 4,200 enterprises in Kuopio, of which approximately 180 are export companies. These provide about 45,000 jobs.

People and culture

Kuopio Museum in a National Romantic style building

Kuopio is known as the cultural center of Eastern Finland. A wide range of musical (from kindergarten to doctorate-level studies) and dance education is available and the cultural life is active. Notable events include ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival, Kuopio Dance Festival, Kuopio Rockcock, Kuopio Wine Festival, Kuopio Marathon and Finland Ice Marathon in winter. A notable place, however, to enjoy the local flavor of Kuopio life and food is Sampo, a fish restaurant loved by locals and tourists as well.

Kuopio is known for its association with a national delicacy, Finnish fish pastry (Kalakukko), and the dialect of Savo, as well as the hill of Puijo and the Puijo tower. Besides being a very popular outdoor recreation area, Puijo serves also as a stage for a yearly World Cup ski jumping competition.

In inhabitants of Kuopio have a special reputation: they are known as jovial and verbally joking. Within the Savo culture, the onus is placed on the listener to interpret the story. People of the Kuopio region and Eastern Finland have always had many health problems and the mortality has been higher than on an average in Finland. Because of this, Eastern Finland has been a hotspot for Public Health studies. The North Karelia Project by the University of Kuopio in coordination with the National Public Health Institute and the World Health Organization, beginning in the 1970s was one of its first steps towards world class research.

During the 2000s, Kuopio has placed very well in a number of image, popularity and city-attractiveness surveys. In 2007 it was placed third, behind Tampere and Oulu.

Kuopio Market Place with the Market Hall in foreground and the City Hall in the background


Kuopio Cathedral

The largest church denomination in Finland, Evangelical Lutheran Church has a diocese in Kuopio, which is shepherded by bishop Jari Jolkkonen.

Kuopio is home of the Finnish Orthodox Church where its primate, archbishop of Karelia and all Finland Leo (Makkonen) is seated. This is an autonomous jurisdiction affiliated with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. It is the only mainstream Orthodox faction to celebrate Easter on the Latin date. The late Archbishop Paul had been successful in producing literature of popular theology. The city is also the location of RIISA- Orthodox Church Museum of Finland.

Kuopio also has an Islamic mosque. Muslims from various parts of the world and certain Finnish Muslims live in Kuopio.

The town is also home to the first Burmese Buddhist monastery in Finland, named the Buddha Dhamma Ramsi monastery.

Rännikatu called Lapinlinnankatu. Rännikatus are narrow, usually pedestrian, streets in Kuopio city center.

Notable people

  • Juhani Aho
  • Martti Ahtisaari
  • Atso Almila
  • Minna Canth
  • Pekka Halonen
  • Janne Happonen
  • Matti Hautamäki
  • Marco Hietala
  • Zachary Hietala
  • Janne Tolsa
  • Olli Jokinen
  • Sami Kapanen
  • Mika Kojonkoski
  • H. Olliver Twisted
  • Hannes Kolehmainen
  • Lasse Lehtinen
  • Paavo Lipponen
  • Archbishop Leo
  • Martti Nissinen
  • Pertti "Spede" Pasanen
  • Aarno Ruusuvuori
  • Aulis Rytkönen
  • Tuomo Saikkonen
  • Sanna Sillanpää
  • Alma (Finnish singer)
  • Johan Vilhelm Snellman
  • Kimmo Timonen
  • Jenni Vartiainen
  • Paavo Lötjönen
  • Päivi Setälä
  • Brothers von Wright: Magnus, Wilhelm and Ferdinand
  • Timo Kettunen

Sports in Kuopio

Puijo Ski Jumps with the Observation Tower in the background

Kuopio bid for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics, a youth sports festival in the tradition of the Olympics. It became a finalist in November 2008, but ultimately lost to Innsbruck, Austria. Kuopio's image as a small city with a large University and many active young people was considered a model of what the International Olympic Committee seeks for the Games.

  • KalPa (ice hockey)
  • KuPS (football)
  • Kuopion Taitoluistelijat (figure skating)
  • Puijon Hiihtoseura (skiing, ski jumping, nordic combined, biathlon)
  • Puijon Pesis (pesäpallo)
  • Kuopion Reippaan voimistelijat (gymnastics)
  • Finland Ice Marathon (ice skating event)
  • Kuopio Steelers (american football)
  • Kuopio Skating club, Kuopion Luisteluseura KuLs (figure skating)
  • Welhot (floorball)
  • Linkki (basketball)

International relations

Kuopio is twinned with 15 cities around the world. It also has one twin county, Lääne-Viru County, Estonia.

Twin towns — Sister cities

Kuopio is twinned with:

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