Kuopio, Finland

Sister City since 1972.

Liaison to Country Minneapolis: 

Kuopio Sister City Committee



Mayor / City Manager: 

Jarmo Pirhonen

Miles/kms to Minneapolis: 





Originally founded in 1653 by Governor Peter Brahe, Kuopio was officially recognized as a city on November 17, 1775 when King Gustav III of Sweden ordered its establishment.  Located in the province of Eastern Finland and the region of Northern Savonia, Kuopio is the ninth biggest city in Finland.  Kuopio is associated with the national delicacy, Finnish fish pastry (Kalakukko) and the specialized Finnish dialect, Saco. The city is surrounded by Lake Kallavesi and several city establishments are built on its islands.  Kuopio is also the cultural center of Eastern Finland, holding events such as: ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival, Kuopio Dance Festival, Kuopio Rockcock, Kuopio Wine Festival, and Finland Ice Marathon. Inhabitants of Kuopio are known for having a certain reputation for their sense of humor and joking.


In Kuopio, there are 4,200 enterprises, of which approximately 180 are export companies, allowing for around 45,000 jobs. The city of Kuopio employs 5,905 workers, with the Kuopio University Hospital running second for largest employer with 3,898 workers. Kuopio is known for its strong center of health, pharmacy, environment, food and nutrition safety, and welfare professions. All official Clinical and Public Health Nutritionists in Finland graduate from the University of Kuopio.

Did you know?

*Kuopio contains a nationally unique street system; every second street is a pedestrian and cycle street. The setup dates back to 1776 and still provides pedestrians with a “calm environment aside from the main street traffic.”  

* Kuopio Airport serves commercial customers with passenger planes and shares runways with the Finnish Air force.  During the Soviet Finnish war (1941-1944) the airport had to set up runways made of plywood.

* Kuopio is the home base of several musicians in Finnish heavy/thrash/death metal bands including Demilich, Mokoma, and Tarot.

* Oili Jokinen, center for the New York Rangers hockey team, and Kimmo Timonen, defenseman for the Philadelphia Flyers were born in Kuopio where they learned to skate.


City website

Minneapolis Kuopio Partnership