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Kajaani main street in January.

Kajaani (Swedish Kajana) is a town and municipality in Finland.

It is located in the province of Oulu and is the capital of the Kainuu region. It is located southeast of Oulujärvi (Lake Oulu), which drains to the Gulf of Bothnia along the Oulujoki (river Oulu).


Kajaani is a typical small and quiescent former industrial city.

For most tourists, Kajaani is a stop on their way to Vuokatti skiing centre, which is located 40 kilometres east from the city. Because Kajaani still is the largest city (36 000 inhabitants) in Kainuu, there are more shopping opportunities than in Vuokatti. Especially Russian tourists who stay in Vuokatti are a common sight in the shops of Kajaani during the winter season.


Like in most of Finland, the English language is widely known, as is Swedish, since they are compulsory languages in Finnish comprehensive schools. Since Kainuu region neighbours Russia, the Russian language is in important position as residents from both countries visit each other and co-operate together. Some residents can also speak German or French.

The local strong Finnish dialect adds extra wovels to words. Due to this, English may be in some cases hard to understand. If you speak and understand some Finnish, be prepared that understanding older people may be hard.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Highway no. 5 goes through Kajaani, highway no. 6 comes to the town from Loviisa, highway no.22 comes to Kajaani from Oulu, and highway no.28 comes from Kokkola. Roads are generally well maintained and taken care of. They are also safe and even relaxing to drive on. Driving on smaller local roads will allow you to get to know the peaceful nature and easygoing atmosphere of the area.

Driving everywhere in the town area is easy, as the city government has tried and tries to ease traffic by building roundabouts, improving intersections and streets in general. There are minor weekday rushes in the mornings and afternoons when residents head to work and back home. However, they usually don't last long. Finding a parking space is usually not a problem, but you may have to search little longer during those busier times.

Improving the town centre is starting sometime shortly, including the building of a new bridge over the Kajaani River, converting some streets to pedestrian-oriented, possibly providing more underground parking space and making the downtown more agreeable.

"Raatihuone", the old town hall of Kajaani.

Overall, in the whole Kainuu region (and Finland generally) a car is a more than handy way to get to know places, not only because of long distances - or sometimes weak public transportation.

The landscape is magnificent and it's so relaxing to travel on 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 the north or east from Kajaani, be careful of elks and reindeers that may run out of nowhere onto the road. Be cautious particulary at dusk and dawn, if you´re driving through vastly uninhabited areas

By plane[edit]

FlyBe operates 4 flights a day from Helsinki. Kajaani airport (IATA:KAJ) locates 7 kilometres northwest from Kajaani city centre. There is a taxi stand at the airport. Taxis are always available at the time plane arrives.

By train[edit]

There are several train connections every day from Helsinki via Kuopio or Oulu. Kajaani train station locates near the centre within walk distance. For more information [24]

By bus[edit]

There is a bus everyday from Helsinki. 3-4 buses a day from Oulu and Joensuu. And several more from Kuopio. For more information Matkahuolto[25] and Pohjolan Liikenne[26]. As of 2013, a budget bus line Onnibus has started a route between Helsinki and Kajaani with a cheap fare, starting from 3 euros, a few times a week. For more information is available on company website [27]

Get around[edit]

City centre and main attractions, like the castle, can be easily reached by walking.

Maps and more information about the city and Kainuu region can be found from Kajaani-Info. Info is located next to the town hall (address Pohjolankatu 13). Tourist information is also availaible in the VisitKajaani website: [28]

See and Do[edit]

Ruins of Kajaani castle.
  • Kajaani Art Museum (Kajaanin taidemuseo), Linnankatu 14 (In front of the 2nd town hall), (08)61552599, [1]. Sun-Frid 10-17, Wed 10-20 (closed Sat). This 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. 2 euros (free on Wed).  edit
  • Kajaani Castle (Kajaanin linna), middle of the Ammankoski bridge (Follow the river or Ahontie road). This 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 is plenty of time to explore the castle and its grounds. For more information: [2] Free.  edit
  • Outdoor activities in Oulujarvi. Oulujarvi (Lake Oulu) has been described as the "sea of Kainuun region". Local companies offer a variety of activities around the lake, example kayaking, hiking, fishing and wildelife watching. One company is Naturally Lake Oulujarvi [[3]], which provides outdoor activities for small groups all around the year at the area.  edit


  • Kajaanin Poetry Week, [4]. Annual poetry festival spreads all around the town in July. In 2013, week will be held in of July.  edit
  • Kajaani Market Street, Kauppakatu. Main street of Kajaani is closed from traffic for one week in July. At that time the street is taken over by stalls selling local products, food and clothes. Dates change every year, but street is usually organised same time as the Poetry Week (see above).  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Taito Shop Kainuun Pirtti, Brahenkatu 3, +35840 534 7851, [5]. Mon-Fri 9AM - 17PM, Sat 9AM - 14PM. Traditional handicrafts and knit garments. Arranges handicraft courses.  edit
  • Kauppapaikka 18, Kauppakatu 18. Small shopping centre in the center of the city. Few international chains, like H&M and Benetton. In same builing you can also find a bank, ATM, cosy cafe and a fast food restaurant.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Ravintola Sirius, Brahenkatu 5, (08) 612 2087, [6]. Mon-Fri 10.30 AM-5 PM. Tasty, no-nonsense Finnish food with a good wine list. Main dishes €6.5-14, fixed menu a little more. Restaurant is on a beautiful site next to river. (64.228665,27.733097) edit
  • Ravintola Ranch, Kauppakatu 26, 87100 Kajaani, (08) 636 696, [7]. Mon: 10.30 – 14.30, Tu: 10.30 – 20.00, Wed: 10.30 – 22.00, Thu: 10.30 – 22.00, Fri: 10.30 – 23.00, Sat: 12.00 – 23.00, Sun: 14.00 – 20.00. As 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.  edit
  • Mantan Grilli-Kioski, Sudenpolku 15, (08) 6141 515 (), [8]. Mon-Fri 10.00 AM - 11.30 PM, Sat-Sun 11.00 AM - 11.30 PM. Famous local hambuger-grill. Big take-away dishes of kebab and fries, but location is rather far away from the city center. €5-9.  edit
  • Pekka Heikkinen, Välikatu 7, (08) 617 890 (), [9]. Legendary bakery that has been awarded for its quality rye bread. Factory shop offers also baked goods. Small cafe inside.  edit
  • Rosso, Kauppakatu 21, 010 763 7000 (company switchboard). Mon-Tue 10.30AM-8PM, Wed-Thu 10.30AM-9PM, Fri 10.30AM-10PM, Sat 11AM-10PM, Sun 12AM-8PM. A italian style pasta & pizza chain restaurant - that is common sight in many Finnish towns - is popular especially in Kajaani due to its central location. Locals hang out on it's terrace at summer evenings. €10-25.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Pitkä Taneli, Linnankatu 21, (08) 010 7637010 (). Mon-Tue and Sun 9AM - 12PM, Wed-Thu 9AM - 2AM, Fri-Sat 9AM - 3AM. The most famous pub in Kajaani. 40-year old pub gathers both young and old people to sing karaoke during weekends.  edit
  • Onnela, Linnankatu 18, (08) 0207759485 (), [10]. Wed, Fri and Sat 10PM - 04AM. Onnela (transl. "Place of happiness") is largest nightclub in Kajaani. DJ:s 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.  edit
  • Club96, Kauppakatu 26, (08) 636 696 (), [11]. Fri-Sat 10PM - 04AM. Club96 attracts just-turned-eighteen clubbers. Trendy dance & hip-hop music.  edit
  • Balls, Lönnrotinkatu 5, +35844 358 6411, [12]. Sun-Tue 11AM - 02AM, Wed-Sat 11AM - 03AM. Local rock´n´roll fans stare their half empty pints in this place, that offers rock and metal gigs at weekends. Said to be the second best restaurant in the city.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Karolineburg Manor House Hotel, Karoliinantie 4, 87200 Kajaani, +358 8 613 1291, [16].  edit

Stay safe[edit]

Kajaani is a very safe city.

Passage between Kauppakatu and Välikatu may be little restless during weekend nights when bars close their doors at 2AM/3AM and drunken local people wander out.

Get out[edit]

Area of Paltaselkä in lake Oulujärvi which can be seen from rural village of Paltaniemi
  • Paltaniemi, (9 kilometres nortwest from the city center). Paltaniemi is a picturesque rural village right next to aiport. 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 offically a neighbourhood of Kajaani, you´ll need a bike or car to reach the place. Buses move far apart. For more information [20]  edit
  • Vuokatti, (40km east from Kajaani), [21]. Vuokatti is a ski- ja spa-resort in the municipality of Sotkamo. Vuokatti offers 13 slopes for downhill skiing and extensive network of ski tracks. Daily bus connection from Kajaani.  edit
  • Kuhmo, (100km east from Kajaani), [22]. Small town of Kuhmo offers a chance to meet wildlife. Travel agencies arrange bear watching tours. The town draws also classical music artists to participate in Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival every July. For more information about the festival: [23]  edit
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!