A bicycle is a very practical and popular form of transportation in Joensuu and also a good way to familiarise yourself with the town. There are plenty of paved cycle tracks in Joensuu. Bikes can be rented from the Community Resource Centre (Kansalaistalo, kansalaistalo.jns.fi), Torikatu 30. If you stay longer in Joensuu, you may want to buy a bike of your own. Bicycle repair shops, flea markets and other students sometimes sell cheap second-hand bikes.
A few times a year there is an auction of lost and found items organized by the Joensuu Police, where -with good luck -you may find a decent bicycle at a reasonable price. The auction time and place will be announced in local newspaper and since the auction is carried out in Finnish only, please ask a fellow Finnish student to accompany you. When parked or not in use, your bicycle should always be locked and preferably fastened to a bicycle rack or some other solid structure.
Here is a list of some bike repair shops near the centre of Joensuu:
Pyörähuolto Sarola; Huvilakatu 9
Joensuun Pyörähuolto ja tarvike; Torikatu 28
Joensuun Pyöräkellari; Koskikatu 23
Sportman; Torikatu 37 B
Pyöräkorjaamo Juhani Pesonen; Kauppakatu 23
Bus station, Matkahuolto office
Itäranta 6, tel. 0200-4000 (1,99 euros/call + local call)
For travel outside Joensuu you are eligible for special student rates, provided that you are travelling for a minimum distance of 80 km. The discount for a one-way or return ticket of at least 80 km is 50%. Students need to present their Student Union Membership Card or a special VR/Matkahuolto Discount Card. The International Student Card or Student card from partner institutions is not valid for discounts.
For all questions concerning travelling by bus, contact the Matkahuolto office. The nation-wide service number for timetables and prices is 0200 4000 (1,99 euros/call + local call). Timetables are also available in long-distance buses and in Carelicum.
The bus fare for travel within the Joensuu city area is 3,20 euros. If you need to take a bus daily, it is worth buying a monthly card. It is valid 30 days within the Joensuu transport area and costs 56,50 euros + a renewable card 7 euros (deposit). The card can be purchased at Carelicum or on local buses and it must always be renewed on buses.
In case your practical placement or training place is situated outside the city area and you wish to use bus, you'll need to purchase a Regional ticket. Please contact the Student Services for the needed certificate.
It is also possible to place 10 or 40 fares on this card (valid for one year), or buy a ticket of 10 (price 28,80euros) or 40 fares (price 58,40 euros) on the buses. Special price for students of ticket of 40 fares: 61 euros + deposit 6.50 euros. Please ask a separate certificate form from the Student Services for getting the discount.
Local buses depart near the market place. Timetables are available at Carelicum, the Matkahuolto office, on buses and the Internet: Bus Departures - Timetable Service.
tel. 0600 41 902 (in English)
The Railway Station is located next to the Bus Station.
Finnish Railways does not grant discounts with ISIC-card (International Student Card) or Student Cards of partner institutions; a Student Union Membership Card or the special VR/Matkahuolto card is needed to purchase student tickets. The discount on the tickets is 50%. Please collect a separate certificate for obtaining the VR/Matkahuolto card from the Student Services.
The airport of Joensuu is located in Onttola, approximately 11 km from the city centre. There are 4-6 flights daily to and from Helsinki. The flight time is about 1 hour. There is an airport bus departing from Matkahuolto 50 minutes before each flight departure and from Koskikatu 4 (in front of “Instrumentarium” - store) - 45 minutes before each flight departure.
When you are planning to travel by air, do not forget to compare the prices and conditions between the travel agencies and airlines and ask for all possible discounts.
Information about timetables and prices:
Finnair bookings, tel. 0600 140 140 (Extra Charge!)
Joensuu airport, tel. 020 710 7330 for flight departure and arrival times
Market Square, Taxi station tel. 0600 90010
Niinivaara, Taxi station tel. 0600 90011
Joensuu-Kontiolahti Exchange 0600 90100
Please note that taking a taxi is expensive in Finland. If you need one, it is a good idea to share it with your friends whenever possible.
Renting a car
By renting a car and making independent trips outside Joensuu, you can gain a broader perspective of Finland. There are four car rental companies in Joensuu. In order to rent a car, you naturally need a driving licence and preferably at least one year of driving experience. The rental companies require the driver to be at least 20 years of age for passenger cars and 24 years old for jeeps and minibuses. Europcar requires a credit card, while other companies accept cash payment from students although a credit card is preferred. Also, be prepared to show proof of your identity when renting a car - take a passport with you.
Avis tel. 013 122 222
Budget tel. 020 746 6652
Europcar (Autotalo Laakkonen) tel. 040 306 2852
Hertz (Autovuokraamo Autorent) tel. 020 555 2690
Scandia Rent tel. 010 239 1911
Driving in Finland
Please keep in mind that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strictly forbidden. There is an exact permissible limit of 0.5 per mil for alcohol in the blood. Infringement of this rule nearly always means a penalty in the form of a fine or imprisonment. 1.2 per mil is the limit before heavier penalties are imposed.
Travel agencies in Joensuu
MatkaKarjala, Kauppakatu 35 www.matkakarjala.fi
Matkatoimisto, Matka-Vekka Torikatu 21 www.matka-vekka.fi
Suomen Matkatoimisto, Kirkkokatu 25 www.smt.fi
Pohjolan Matkatoimisto, Kauppakatu 23 www.pohjolanmatkatoimisto.fi
Matkatoimisto Matka-agentit, Kirkkokatu 25 www.matka-agentit.fi
Please consult the travel agencies, e.g. whenever you need to book a trip to Stockholm, Tallinn or St. Petersburg. Also visas to Russia can be arranged through travel agencies.