Raija Niskanen, who lives in Kuopio, has been Airport Manager at Kuopio Airport since 2008.
“I’ve worked at the airport for a very long time—in fact, so long that I shouldn’t even be calling attention to it,” Niskanen says with a laugh.
Niskanen, who lived in Paris and Tampere when she was younger, says that Kuopio, which is surrounded by many lakes, has finally become her hometown. As Airport Manager, she says she is responsible for ensuring that the airport serves customers in the best was possible, which requires the help of excellent and professional staff.
“In Kuopio, employee satisfaction is very high – and has been for many years. Our airport employs professionals who can manage a wide range of situations and serve the needs of customers and stakeholders,” Niskanen says.
Photo: Simo Tolvanen / Visit Finland
“My favourite place at our airport is the terminal, where passengers’ journeys begin and end. You come across such interesting events and people there,” says Niskanen.
“The City of Kuopio’s slogan is ‘unexpected encounters’, which definitely applies to the airport,” says Niskanen.
Passengers heading to Kuopio during the autumn holiday are warmly welcomed by Niskanen. Two daily flights from Kuopio to Helsinki Airport will operate from the beginning of September, which also allows one-day visits from Helsinki to Kuopio.
Raija's Kuopio travel tips
Tahko’s activities for autumn holidaymakers
"Kuopio is not known as the capital of Finnish Lakeland tourism for nothing. I strongly recommend Tahko, where you can, for example, walk up one of Finland's most challenging sets of outdoor fitness steps, or enjoy excellent hiking trails, either by bicycle or foot."
“Kuopio is a city surrounded by pristine lakes and beaches and, in the surrounding areas, you can also find attractions such as Seinävuori Gorge, which is a rugged but beautiful sight. In addition, Pisa Hill, Orinoro Gorge and the Haminalahti culture trail are also worth experiencing and offer a lot to see.”
Photo: Juho Kuva / Visit Finland
Kuopio’s excellent museums and cultural sights
“Kuopio has a lot to offer in terms of culture. For example, the Orthodox Church Museum Riisa and the Viktor Barsokevich Photographic Centre as well as the extension of Kuopio Museum were opened last spring. Kuopio Museum is currently hosting a Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition.”
“And, of course, the city’s parks Valkeisenlampi, Maljalahti and Snellmanninpuisto delight visitors all year round.”
Photo: Vilma Lehtonen / Visit Finland
The best fish soup in Finland
“Kuopio has restaurants ranging from fine dining to a more relaxed evening. To give some examples, the traditional vendace restaurant Sampo, the fine dining restaurant Musta Lammas and the winner of the Finnish Top Chef 2015 competition Urban are all excellent options.”
Photo: Kuopio / Visit Finland
“I’m sure many people don’t know this, but the best fish soup in Finland can be found here in Kuopio, at restaurant Isä Camillo. Kuopio and North Savo was chosen as the tastiest region in Europe in 2020–21, and we were the first in Finland to receive the European Region of Gastronomy Award.”
Finavia’s My Lakeland series continues from where the My Lapland and My Archipelago & Coast series left off. The series introduces readers to Finavia airports located by lakes and life by the water. In the series, local airport staff will share their best tips for visitors.
Article photo: Juha Määttä / Vastavalo