A gateway to Kainuu

Located between two lakes, the picturesque Kajaani is the centre of the Kainuu region. The town has a peaceful and cosy feeling, which is probably a natural consequence of being surrounded by pure and beautiful nature: in addition to the multiple pristine lakes, the area is famed for its unsullied forests, including nature protection area Talaskangas.

The nearby Vuokatti, with its activity park, skiing slopes, and sports institute, as well as skiing resorts Paljakka and Ukkohalla attract many tourists to the area and offer excellent sports and adventure facilities. Kajaani is not only well-equipped for indoor and outdoor recreational sports, but has a buzzing culture and art scene, too. What else can be expected of the home grounds of the Finnish national epic’s writer Elias Lönnrot and the national poet, Eino Leino! The town has multiple theatres, and many people come to Kajaani in the summer time to watch the plays made by the local amateur theatres.

A lively and international town

Kajaani is small enough to have convenient distances to everything, and cycling is a popular method of transport. The community is warm and welcoming, and due to the location near the Russian border and being a popular tourist destination, the town has an international atmosphere. The town centre hosts most of the shops, and in between of shopping you can stop by to have a cup of coffee and a local cardamom bun at one of the cute cafés.

  • Key facts

    Population: 37,300

    Founded: 1651

    Foreign nationals: 3,3%

    Total area: 2,264 km2

    Friendship town: Jiujiang, China

    Warmest month: June, 20C°

    Coldest month: January, -12C°

    Currency: Euro ()

  • Geography

    Kajaani lies on the river Kajaanijoki, that drains to the Gulf of Bothnia. Surrounded by lakes Oulunjärvi and Nuasjärvi, as well as multiple other smaller lakes, Kajaani is in the heart of central Finland and the Kainuu region. The area is covered in mainly conifer forest, with some birch and alder woods on the steeper banks and streams.

  • Climate and weather

    Kajaani lies in the subarctic climate zone, but the proximity of the Baltic Sea and warm air flows from the Atlantic cause the climate to be remarkably milder than many other places in the same latitude. The hottest month is July, with an average temperature of 20C°, although heat waves can bring the temperature up to almost 30C°. The greatest snowfall as well as the lowest temperature is in January, with an average of -14C°.

  • Shopping

    You can find several department stores and individual shops from the city centre, as well as all the services from hair dressers to banks. The local handicraft centre, Kainuun Pirtti, lies in the castle ruins and sells all sort of local products. You can also head just outside of the town, where the Kauppapuisto mall is located, or drop by at the R-Collection Outlet for some good bargains.

  • Food and drink

    There are numerous restaurants in town, and you can find anything from the local Finnish and other Nordic cuisines to Chinese or Nepali food. Little cafés are scattered all over the town, as well as fast food stalls for the busy ones.

    There are also several pubs and bars, many of them with live music, and a few clubs are open until the early hours to entertain people.

  • Getting around

    Nordic regional airlines fly from Helsinki to Kajaani airport, located seven kilometers outside of the town. Airbus offers connections from and to most flights from the town centre, and the local bus 4 drives the same route. Taxis are also available.

    The train connections are good, too, and there are trains to other major cities Helsinki and Oulu every day. The train station is close to the town centre. There is also daily bus traffic to Helsinki, Oulu, Joensuu, and Kuopio.

    Getting around in the town is easy by foot, by bicycle, or the bus.

  • Safety

    Kajaani is an extremely safe city. The biggest danger is for people driving cars: in the surrounding forests live mooses and deers, that sometimes cause car crashes.


The student housing in Kajaani is organised by Kiinteistö Oy Kajaanin Pietari. If you are a full-time student on any tertiary educational institute in Kajaani, you are eligible to apply for their student accommodation. To apply, you need to have received a final offer and confirmation of studentship from your university/UAS.

Kiinteistö Pietari offers a variety of different types of housing options, including studios, shared apartments, and family apartments, both furnished and unfurnished. You can browse the vacant apartments at http://www.kajaaninpietari.fi/en/vacant-properties.

For more information on how to apply, see: http://www.kajaaninpietari.fi/en/how-apply

Or for general information please refer to: http://www.kajaaninpietari.fi/en.



By train:

You get a 30 % student discount on basic tickets when travelling on long-distance trains, as well as on 10 and 30 journey multi-tickets. You are also entitled to a 50 % student discount when travelling on commuter trains in commuter train services area on single tickets and on 10 journey multi-tickets.

More information: https://www.vr.fi/cs/vr/en/students_new

By bus:

For single trips exceeding 60 kilometres, Matkahuolto grants a 50% discount for normal adult tickets. For shorter trips, the discount is smaller. The tickets are always cheaper when purchased online in advance. There is also a five-trip travel card available for students, that entitles the card holder for five travel times in the specified route. To receive the student discount, you must a full-time student at a Finnish institution, and have a student ID with Matkahuolto stamp on it. Alternatively, you can get a Matkahuolto and VR student ID from any bus terminal.

More information: https://www.matkahuolto.fi/en/


With the exception of the Sotkamo region, all municipalities in Kainuu are part of the KaiNet library services. The central library is the Kajaani Main Library. You can receive a library card free of charge, and it is valid in all KaiNet libraries, as well as in the KaiNet online service.

In Kajaani, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences also has a university library, that is open to everyone. There, the customers can also borrow books by order from Oulu University of Applied Sciences’, University of Oulu’s, and in Kuopio located Varasto’s collections.


Student meals

In Finland, the meals for students are state supported, and thus healthy, nutritious, and very affordable.

Here you can find a list of the student restaurants catering in Kajaani: https://asiointi.kela.fi/opiskelijaravintolahaku/OpruokaApplication?karttalinkki=eng08000205

More information about student meals and meal subsidies can be found from http://www.kela.fi/web/en/meal-subsidy


Health care

In Finland, the health care of students is organised by Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS, in Finnish: Ylioppilaiden terveydenhoitosäätiö, YTHS).  The FSHS services are available for all students studying on Bachelor’s or Master’s level at universities and have paid their student union membership fee to a student union that is affiliated with the FSHS. Those studying for a Licentiate of Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine degree are also entitled to use the FSHS’s services. The health services are not available for Doctoral students, so if you are admitted to Doctoral level studies, please contact your university for advice and options on local health care.

If you are studying at a university of applied sciences (UAS), the health care services are usually provided through municipal health care providers. You can find more information on your health care arrangements from your UAS directly.

Please note that even when your student status makes you eligible to access the student health care services, this does not replace the need for a valid insurance.

You can find more information from FSHS website: http://www.yths.fi/en/

Or directly from your own UAS or university.

Kajaani Castle

Build in the 17th century, the castle that stands on the riverside of Kajaaninjoki, controlled the Swedish frontiers in the east and protected the Gulf of Bothnia coast. During that time Finland was part of the Swedish kingdom. In the Great Northern war in 1716, the Russians who had invaded Finland blew up the Kajaani Castle; it was never rebuilt, and now only the ruins tell about the history.

Tar Canal

In 1825, the Russian tsar under who’s reign Finland used to be, gave permission to build the tar canal on the rapids of the Kajaaninjoki. It was a great relief to the oarsmen, who’s job was to transport tar barrels through the rivers to Oulu by rowing. However, it wasn’t until 1847 that the project was finished.


Kajaani has excellent well-maintained and extensive snowmobile tracks. Kainuu Snowmobile Association is in charge of the tracks, and a map of the routes can be found from their website.

Kajaani Evangelic Lutheran Church

The majestic Neo-Gothic church was built in 1987. The wooden building is rich in decorations, and the roof trusses were copied from the ones in London Westminster Hall. Located in the centrum of the town, the church’s slender, Italian baroque inspired tower can be seen from far.

Elias Lönnrot’s cottage and herb garden

Elias Lönnrot travelled all around Finland during the early 19th century, gathering stories and poetry. Based on his notes he wrote Kalevala, Finland’s national epic, in 1835. Elias Lönnrot’s summer cottage Hauhola, that is on the grounds of Hotel Kajaani, is surrounded by a herb garden, planted by the Elias Lönnrot Society, that cherishes the heritage of the author. A permanent exhibition about the life of Lönnrot is held in Eino Leino’s house.

Eino Leino’s House

Armas Einar Leopold Lönnbohm, or Eino Leino, as he is widely known, is the national poet of Finland. The house exhibitis photos of the life and works of Eino Leino and Elias Lönnrot. There is also a book exhibiton of Eino Leino’s poetry and stories, as well as a café and a shop of local cultural products. The house hosts various art related events, workshops, and parties, such as poetry reading, theatre, and dancing.

In the summer time a traditional playground is built to the site, and sheep room freely on the fields. Steps and duckboards lead from the riverbank to the pier.

Kajaani Art Museum

Located in the former police station designed by architect Eero Pitkänen, the Kajaani Art Museum is a grand piece of pure functionalism from 1936. Temporary exhibitions include works from local as well as renowned international artists.

Paltanniemi and Kesäniemi Beaches

By the shores of Lake Oulunjärvi is a natural beach that can be accessed by walking on wooden slats. The shallow and clean waters, as well as the well-maintained beach with beach-huts, volleyball courts, playground, and so on, make the place perfect for spending some leisure time at.

Kesäniemi beach on the shore of river Kajaanijoki is also popular, and features a beach volleyball court, jetty, jumping platforms, and beach huts. Life guards work at Kesäniemi during the summer.

Rokua Geopark

World’s northernmost UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rokua Geopark, is an amazing area which’s terrain was molded by the latest age ice. In addition to many interesting and beautiful nature sights and attractions, the area features several cultural destinations, as well as places to eat and drink.

Steamship S/S Kouta

One of the best ways to experience the Oulunjärvi lake is to go on the lake! The 97-year old steamship S/S Kouta takes visitor on cruisings to the lake, and the route passes the same views that inspired the Finnish poet Eino Leino and the compiler of the national epos Kalevala, Elias Lönnrot.

Ärjä Island

The Ärjä island has almost 10 kilometres of coast line, most of which is natural sand beach. The island is uninhabited, but it used to be a popular summer holiday place for many families, and many summer cottages were built on it in the 1920s and 1930s. It is known, that the island used to be a hiding place for robbers, that were waiting for men rowing tar returning from Oulu, and robbing them of anything valuable!


The holiday resort of Vuokatti offers a variety of activities, from an Angry Birds activity and adventure park and husky safaris to skiing, hiking, and horse riding. You can easily make a day trip to Vuokatti, or rent a villa or cottage with a group of friends!

Finnish Baseball: Sotkamon Jymy

In the Kainuu region, baseball is a big thing, if not even the most popular sport. And the locals are doing extremely well in baseball too: the local team, Sotkamon Jymy, is one of the best in Finland. Spend an evening going to see their game.

Kajaani Poetry Week

As the home town of the poet Eino Leino, also nicknamed “the fairy tale uncle”, there is no better place for the annual poetry week than Kajaani. The 5-day event is popular, and brings poets as well as visitors from all around Finland to the town. Go enjoy the urban and artistic atmosphere, or get some inspiration to your own works!

And more!

See Visit Kajaani for more amazing things to experience!

Reasons to choose Kajaani

Perfect city for every winter activity lover!

See the northern lights.

Wonder around the ruins of the Kajaani Castle (built in the 16th century).

Home of the Finnish national epic’s writer Elias Lönnrot and the national poet, Eino Leino.

Kajaani Poetry Week and Kajaani Dance events are significant national performing art events.

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