Residential areas

Move to Joensuu – Residential areas

Residential areas

The River Runs Through It

The most famous landmark in Joensuu is the Pielisjoki river, which runs right through town. The centre of Joensuu opens up on its each bank, and the residential areas follow its shapes as well as the extensive Pyhäselkä lake, opening up from the heart of the town.

Geographically Joensuu is a large city where you can savour the hustle and bustle of the city living in a flat in the centre, or choose a more quiet option and hiding away in the hilly landscape. Here we have gathered information on the various residential areas of Joensuu, divided into four main directions into which the city has grown and developed.

You can get in touch directly with our Moving Agent if you want help with choosing the right area for you, or to get more information on the services available in the different areas.


Move to Joensuu – Residential areas, In the heart of town

In the heart of town

The very centre of Joensuu is located slightly upstream from the shores of Pyhäselkä lake, on both sides of the river. In its heart, you’ll find the marketplace with a host of restaurants, shops and services around it. The campus of the University of Eastern Finland, the Mehtimäki Sports Park, the Science Park business hub, as well as various schools and upper secondary schools are located approximately one kilometre from the marketplace.

Across the river, you can find the brand new residential area of Penttilänranta and the traditional Niinivaara area. Reaching the town centre from Penttilänranta is easy via the impressive walkway. Altogether seven bridges cross the river. The central hospital proudly sits on top of Niinivaara.

North of the city centre, you can find Kanervala and Otsola, known for their idyllic wooden houses.

Move to Joensuu – Residential areas, In the Rantakylä direction

In the Rantakylä direction

As you travel upstream from the town centre, you arrive in the village-like Siihtala just a short distance from the centre. After that, you reach a larger area consisting of Mutala, Rantakylä and Utra, home to the majority of the Joensuu residents. If this area broke off to form a municipality of its own, its population would be the third largest in Northern Karelia!

Rantakylä is home to a cluster of services, including a health centre, shops, a chemist, primary and middle schools, and a nursery school. Both Mutala and Utra also have schools and nursery schools of their own. The area has the best public transport links in all of Joensuu, excellent bike and pedestrian lanes, and great leisure opportunities. The housing stock is a mixture of housing blocks, terraced houses, and patches with just detached houses.

Move to Joensuu – Residential areas, In the Reijola direction

In the Reijola direction

Joensuu grows southwards, following the shore of Pyhäselkä lake. Niinivaara expands into Hukanhauta, Petäikkölä and Vehkalahti. The most essential services, like the health centre and schools, are located on the hill of Niinivaara, and there are several nursery schools in the area.

Along route 6 and the lakeshore, the area continues into the new residential area of Karhunmäki and Niittylahti, a short distance from the centre via a handy bypass. The areas have plenty of families with children, who can rely on the great primary schools, nursery schools and the Reijola library. The area is a great choice for residents who need more space around them, but still want to be close to services and jobs in the city centre. This direction is also excellent for any fans of winter swimming, with two popular saunas and swimming spots in Vehkalahti and Reijola.

Move to Joensuu – Residential areas, In the direction of Noljakka

In the direction of Noljakka

Northwest from the city centre, as you pass the university and the Mehtimäki sports hub, you arrive in the area of Linnunlahti, which is known for its gorgeous beach, the Laulurinne park area, Botania Art Garden, and amazing footpaths.

After Linnunlahti comes Noljakka, which is a large residential cluster by the shores of the Pyhäselkä lake. The area boasts the Siilainen health centre, which is the largest of its kind in Joensuu. In Noljakka, Aavaranta and its bird watching towers offer outstanding facilities for outdoor activities during any season, and the area has good services from supermarkets to nursery schools and a school.

Take the freeway west from Noljakka to find the Marjala residential area, which served as the site for the 1995 Housing Fair. Built by the lake and on an island, the charming area offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the water. By Marjala, you can find the picturesque areas of Pilkko and Kytö, with mostly detached houses.

Move to Joensuu – Residential areas, In the direction of Karsikko

In the direction of Karsikko

From the eastern banks of Pielisjoki that runs through town, you can head towards Karsikko, Kissamäki and Multimäki. Karsikko is a quiet residential area preferred by many families, with a brand new primary school built in 2023. Located just a short bike ride from the centre, the area has a peaceful atmosphere and plenty of traditional local nature, complete with skiing tracks.

Multimäki, which combines a rural atmosphere with modern way of life, has a great number of detached houses, and the area keeps expanding at a good pace. The area is characterised by the river views and fields, combined with a comfortable suburban existence.

Move to Joensuu – Residential areas, Purchasing Land

Purchasing Land

The development of the areas of Joensuu is guided by the city’s climate program, which aims to increase the use of public transport, low-carbon solutions and the compensation of the removed trees in all its planning. There are plenty of plots of land available, and new plots are mainly planned near existing infrastructure and services.

The city sells and rents plots of detached and semi-detached houses. Available plots can be applied for constantly, and they can be viewed on the map service. Plot applications are processed on the Friday of each odd week. The majority of the plots are sold at a fixed, pre-determined price, but plots with special value are sold based on bids. The plots are mainly sold to households planning to build for their own use.


Move to Joensuu – Residential areas, Rented Apartments

Rented Apartments

The city of Joensuu owns rental housing, which is let by Joensuun Kodit. The applications for these apartments are ongoing, and there are plenty of available apartments especially in the smaller districts around Joensuu. Student apartments are let through Joensuun Elli. There is also privately owned rental housing in Joensuu that can be searched through various letting agencies.


Joensuun Kodit (city ​​rental apartments) Joensuuun Elli (student apartments) (privately owned) (privately owned) (privately owned)

Move to Joensuu – Residential areas, Transport


Joensuu is a handy 15-minute town, where you quickly get from one place to another. The eternal joke in Joensuu is that rush hour only happens once per day, and even then it never lasts longer than 10 minutes. You never have to spend the best hours of the day sitting on a bus. Instead, you can spend those moments in a much happier way. Here even the days are longer!

The public transport system of Joensuu is called JOJO. In addition to Joensuu, JOJO operates in the neighbouring municipalities of Kontiolahti and Liperi. The public transport is developed according to the climate program, and for its size, the city has a large number of electric buses.

As a cycling city, Joensuu is one of the best in Finland, and the conditions for cycling all year round have been developed with great ambition. There are excellent priority lanes for cycling, and the main routes are maintained well.

Joensuu is a practical city for motorists, too. There is plenty of parking space, and the traffic arrangements are being constantly improved. In Joensuu, driving is easy and comfortable.


Local buses Routing guide Parking

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What else would you like to know about Joensuu?

Our Moving Agent advises on all practical questions related to Joensuu and, if possible, sorts things out on your behalf free of charge.

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Tiia Mutanen Moving Agent +358 50 516 6325