Kajaani is a gorgeous Finnish town, which is also the capital of Kainuu in Finland. It is a 17th-century town with a rich historical background and is located in the southeastern region of Oulujarvi Lake and on the banks of Kajaani River with two small lakes – Sokajarvi and Paltajarvi in between.
The town has a total population of 36,943 inhabitants. There are plenty of trains from Helsinki and other Finland cities to Kajaani railway station. The same goes for Kajaani airport also. For road trips, you can take buses from Helsinki, Oulu, Joensuu, and Kuopio to Kajaani.
The scenic view of Kajaani is amazing lined by glittery streams and coniferous forests. It is also well known for its Cuckoo Island, which is a residential area and also houses 150 summer cottages with holiday apartments.
It is a picturesque tourist destination featuring heritage destinations, Museums and also hosts various cultural events like Kajaani Poetry week, Kuhmo Chamber music festival, Kainuun JazzKevat, Swamp Soccer World Championship, and many more. Therefore, if you are planning to see beautiful Kajaani landmarks, here is the Kajaani travel guide with the best places to visit in Kajaani and the things to do in Kajaani.
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Top 7 BEST Things to do in Kajaani
Kajaani Art Museum
Admire the fascinating art at the Kajaani Art Museum is another things to do in Kajaani. This is a major tourist attraction in Kajaani that connects you to the town’s history and culture through the masterpiece arts. It was inaugurated in 1993 and has been designed by the famous architect Eino Pitkanen.
It features national, regional contemporary, and international art and also offers free guided tours so that you don’t have any issues in understanding the story and message behind each artwork.
It aims in promoting art education through its different kinds of exhibitions connecting all art lovers under one roof. It also organizes workshops for all age groups and even hosts dance and theatre performances. It is a cultural hub of Kajaani.
This is among the heritage Kajaani sightseeing locations. The church is an old wooden structure that was constructed back in 1726. The church is located at the Paltaniemi location in Kajaani and is a tourist hotspot. It is also famous as the photo church and belongs to the Paltamo Parish community.
The 18th-century church looks beautiful, surrounded by lush greeneries in the exterior while the interiors are adorned with beautiful paintings on the walls and ceilings.
It features the 1769 bell tower adjacent to the building, the Paltaniemi cemetery, and the Chapel of Light. The church is only accessible by the tourists from May end to the Middle of August. It houses the Eino Leino Talo lakeside museum nearby. The church is famous for its Christmas and wedding celebrations.
Evangelic Lutheran Church
This neo-gothic evangelic Lutheran church is one of the best things to see in Kajaani. It was constructed in the era of 1897 by Jac Ahrenberg. Initially, the earlier structure of the church was built in 1656, but the Russians destroyed it in 1716, leading to the construction of the second church in 1735. Which was there for 160 years until the current Ahrenberg church was constructed.
The interiors of the church are richly decorated with wooden furnishings, gothic arched pillars with the roof trusses inspired by London Westminster Hall. The placement of the church, however, has the German influence and the church tower reflects the Italian Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
Learning about Kajaani history in Kainuun Museum is one of the most interesting things to do in Kajaani. It reflects the town’s local culture and traditions through different exhibits. It takes you back to the era of Kajaani’s prehistoric times in the period of mid-1900. Some of its famous exhibits give you detailed knowledge about the historical Kajaani castle, tar boats and Elias Lonnort who is known to be the founder of Kalevala community.
The museum overall features 19,500 exhibits and artifacts, giving you an exciting picture of its history. It hosts different themed exhibitions regularly throughout the year. It is a great destination for history buffs.
Tasting the food and wine of Kajaani’s Sirius restaurant is one of the must-to-do activities in Kajaani. The restaurant is located in the premises of the Koskikara Villa from the period of the 1940s. It is a heritage building of the city and is named after the Koskikara bird that is often spotted in the Kajaani river banks.
The Sirius restaurant is an old eatery here that was established back in 1998, and since then it is one of the prominent destinations of the town that is visited by many famous personalities as well as the tourists.
The villa, in recent times, hosts many prestigious events and celebrations with conference rooms and a sauna cabinet in the basement area. It is a must-visit destination for some mouth-watering Finnish cuisines in Kajaani.
Eino Leino House
The Eino Leino House is a tourist hotspot in Kajaani that houses the replica of the residential house for the famous poet Leino who was born during the era of Finnish independence in 1878. The current replica of the house is owned by the Elias Lonnrot Society and the Kainuu Eino Leino society.
The exterior of the house portraits a traditional architecture while the interior displays various exhibits depicting the lifestyle of Eino Leino and his works in the form of photo exhibitions. It also houses a café and store selling books and different pieces of cultural items. The area of the houses looks stunning by the lakeside and has got a calm and serene ambiance to cherish for.
Nearby sightseeing attractions
Apart from the attractions as mentioned above, if you are wondering what to do in Kajaani, then visit its stunning nearby attractions. You can start with the Vimpalinvaara sports recreational area for outdoor activities. To have some romantic leisure time, visit Rehja Island and enjoy staying in its exotic cottages, or relax by the gorgeous Lake of Nuasjarvi – one of the best lakes in Finland.
If you have more time in your hand, you can pay a visit to its neighboring destinations like- Kuhmo, Vuokatti, Lake Oulujarvi, Paljakka, Ukkohalla, and Suomussalmi. You can even explore the wildlife safaris, go for beach swimming, or hike to the hills. The small town of Kajaani offers you an array of activities in its nearby locations.