The locally strong Finnish accent adds extra vowels to words. Even if you're capable of speaking and understanding Finnish at a basic level, you may find it hard to understand some elderly people. For the same reason, English spoken by the locals may in some cases be hard to understand.
By carHighway 5, one of the major roads between northern and southern Finland passes through Kajaani, highway 6 links the city with Joensuu, highways 22 and 28 links Kajaani to Oulu and Kokkola respectively on the west coast. Roads are well maintained and taken good care of overall.
In the Kainuu region (and Finland generally) driving is a very practical way to get around and that's not only because of the long distances (and the weaker public transport). Landscapes are magnificent and it's so relaxing to drive around in almost empty roads. Just remember those few common things (see article Finland and get around by Car section) and you'll enjoy driving!
Moose alert! If you are continuing your trip towards north or east from Kajaani, watch out for elks and reindeers that may run out of nowhere to the road. Be cautious particularly in dusk and dawn when driving trough vastly uninhabited areas.
Kajaani airportNordic Regional Airlines flies from Helsinki. Airbus offers connections for most flights from and to Kajaani center. Local bus number 4 links the airport to the centre. You can also take a taxi.
By trainThere are many trains every day from Helsinki via Kuopio or Oulu. Kajaani train station is near the centre within walking distance. For more information
By busThere is a daily bus from Helsinki, 3-4 buses a day from Oulu and Joensuu and even more frequent bus traffic from Kuopio. For more information
By footCity centre and main attractions, like the castle, can be easily reached by foot.
Maps and more information about the city and Kainuu region can be found from Kajaani-Info. Info is next to the town hall (address Pohjolankatu 13). Tourist information is also available in the VisitKajaani website.
By carDriving everywhere in the town area is easy, as the city government continually improves driving conditions by building roudabouts, improving intersections and streets in general. There are minor weekday rushs in the mornings and afternoons, when residents head to work and home from there, however they usually don't last long. Finding parking space is not usually a problem, but you may have to search little longer during those "rush moments".
By busThe only mode of public transportation is the bus. The routes are operated by the city of Kajaani and the timetables available here (Finnish only). You can use route planner to seek local bus routes between given locations and addresses. Local transport operates during weekdays and Saturdays but not on Sundays.
You can also use long-distance bus lines of Matkahuolto for travelling inside Kajaani. During Sundays long-distance buses are the only form of public transport inside Kajaani. Buses from Kajaani bus station to Sotkamo for south direction, to Oulu, Rovaniemi and Kuhmo for northeast direction, to Helsinki, Kokkola and Oulu for southwest direction.
See and do
phone: +358 8 61552599address: Linnankatu 14This small, two-story art museum in the middle of downtown Kajaani exhibits a wide variety of art, in medium, content and theme. Photography, videography, installation art, and more can be found here. Exhibits change about 6 times a year. They also offer workshops, lectures, and performances (in Finnish, of course). There is little to no English available here, but that's rarely an issue. (Take a Finn with you if you'd like a more detailed description of each piece of art.) The museum is in front of the historic, yellow town hall (which features a clock tower). Just look for the nondescript, white-gray building with the word Taidemuseo on it.
address: middle of the Ämmäkoski bridgeThis 17th-century ruin of Kajaani castle (fortress is a more likely term) doesn't offer much more than the experience of walking through the ruins of a 400-year-old castle. There are a few plaques placed around the castle (in English, as well as others) that detail its history and the placement and purpose of the original rooms. 15 to 20 minutes enough to explore the castle and its grounds.
phone: +358 40 534 7851address: Brahenkatu 3Traditional handicrafts and knit garments. Arranges handicraft courses.
Kauppapaikka 18address: Kauppakatu 18Small shopping centre in the center of the city. Few international chains, like H&M and Benetton. In same building you can also find a bank, ATM, cosy cafe and a fast food restaurant.
phone: +358 8 612 2087address: Brahenkatu 5Tasty, no-nonsense Finnish food with a good wine list. Main dishes €6.5-14, fixed menu a little more. The restaurant is situated on a beautiful site next to river.
phone: +358 8 636 696address: Kauppakatu 26, 87100As implied by the restaurant's name, the food is influenced heavily by sort of "wild-west", Texas or Mexico thing or such. Delicious hamburgers, steaks, french fries and wedges can be found on menu, and restaurant also haves daily lunch. Place is decorated in wooden style of old "wild west" saloons.
phone: +358 8 6141 515address: Sudenpolku 15Famous local hamburger-grill. Big take-away dishes of kebab and fries, but location is rather far away from the city center.
Pekka Heikkinenphone: +358 8 617 890address: Välikatu 7Legendary bakery that has been awarded for its quality rye bread. There is a factory shop where you can buy the products of the bakery and a small cafe if you want to enjoy them right there.
Pitkä Taneliphone: +358 8 010 7637010address: Linnankatu 21The most famous pub in Kajaani. The 40-year-old pub gathers young and old people to sing karaoke during weekends.
phone: +358 8 0207759485address: Linnankatu 18Onnela ("Place of happiness") is the largest nightclub in Kajaani. DJs play Top 40 hits and Finnish classics. Targeted to young adults, but older folks have started to hang around after few other clubs have been closed.
phone: +358 8 636 696address: Kauppakatu 26Club96 attracts just-turned-eighteen clubbers. Trendy dance & hip-hop music.
phone: +358 44 358 6411address: Lönnrotinkatu 5Local rock´n´roll fans stare into their half-empty pints in this place which offers rock and metal gigs at weekends.
phone: +358 8 629151address: Syväojankatu 1
phone: +358 50 340 3013address: Rikulantie 10
phone: +358 8 6164address: Koskikatu 3
phone: +358 30 608 6100address: Onnelantie 1
phone: +358 8 6150 500address: Kauppakatu 11
phone: +358 8 6150 200address: Kauppakatu 20
phone: +358 8 613 1291address: Karoliinantie 4
PaltaniemiPaltaniemi is a picturesque rural village next to airport. The view is dominated by Paltaniemi Church and long fields. Paltaniemi is also the birthplace of Finnish poet Eino Leino and his home has been turned into a museum-cafe. Families gather to Paltaniemi Beach on hot summer days. Although Paltaniemi is officially a neighbourhood of Kajaani, you´ll need a bike or car to reach the place. Buses move far apart.
KuhmoSmall city of Kuhmo offers a chance to meet wildlife. Travel agencies arrange bear watching tours. City draws also classical music artists to participate in Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival every July. For more information about the festival: kuhmofestival.fi