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<map lat='62.611666942941866' lng='29.82513427734375' zoom='10' view='0' float='right'/>
Flag of Finland
State: North Karelia
Population: 72,000
Licence plate: -
Major roads: -
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Joensuu is a city in the east of Finland.

Hitchhiking out

North towards Kontiolahti, Koli, Lieksa, Nurmes, Kajaani

A useful busstop for hitchhiking north is between the "Prisma" shopping centre and "Motonet", along the highway No.6. Cars are slow there and have time to see you and space to stop. When going to "Koli" you can dramatically increase your chances of a direct ride by using a sign. There are also frequent local buses from Joensuu to Kontiolahti.

South towards Lappeenranta, Helsinki, Russia

Take bus #101 #102 or #103 to Reijola. The buses leave on the north-east corner of the market square, at the crossing of Siltakatu and Kauppakatu. Notice that the buses run about once an hour or even more infrequently! It takes about 30 minutes to get to Reijola, you can ask the driver for help. There's a petrol station on the left side at the crossing of Vanha Valtatie/Reijolanraitti and Joensuuntie/Highway 6. Hop off here! You can either ask the drivers at the petrol station or go to a bus stop at the crossing (if the petrol station is behind you, to the left is Joensuu and to the right is Lappeenranta).

The two first ramps south of the river to the highway No.6 heading south also work well enough. Specially when heading towards Russia it is good to go to the parking lot of "Prisma" (big shopping centre at 2nd exit of highway no.6, North of the river) and ask drivers of Russian vehicles. They like shopping there and you might be able to offer a few free "custom-kilos" in return.

West towards Kuopio ("Kuopiontie", road 17)

The street called Siltakatu right in the center of Joensuu will bring you to the hitching spot. Walk westwards, to the opposite direction of the train station and the river, until you reach Länsikatu, which crosses Siltakatu. Walk right and cross Länsikatu. Take the sandy walking path (the road is on the left side and a school on the right) and keep on walking for some while. There's a bus stop on the left (a path takes you there). If you reach Heinäpurontie or Kaislakatu, you've walked too far. The problem with this place might be that there's a lot of traffic inside the city.

Another option is to go further away from the center. Take the bus number 2 to Marjala leaving in front of the Taidemuseo (museum). The buses run about twice an hour. Ask the driver to leave you at Marjalantie. Walk to the same direction as the bus goes. Turn left after a couple of hundred meters later, walk past an ABC petrol station (open 24h, café, restaurant, free toilets, moderate priced grocery store) and cross the bridge over the highway. Walk down the small hillside to the shoulder of the road. I've usually hitch hiked under the bridge (comes in handy if it's raining) or right before it. You can also ask some drivers at the petrol station mentioned above.

South-West towards Varkaus, Jyväskylä, Tampere, Mikkeli, Helsinki (the road number 23)

The starting place as going westwards. About 25 kilometers after Joensuu, take the road number 23, which turns left (towards Varkaus). In Varkaus: To go to Jyväskylä or Tampere, stay on the road number 23. To go to Helsinki, take the highway 5 towards south (towards Mikkeli).

When going to Helsinki or Lahti, it seems more logical to take the road #6, which leaves southwards, than go through Varkaus to #5. Both of the routes have their pros and cons; #6 is a more quiet road compared to the #5. Nevertheless it's not impossible to get to Helsinki or Lahti by taking #6. On #5 you might have to hh on-ramps or other not-that-suitable hitchhike spots while on #6 there are a plenty of bus stops every once in a while. If you're in a hurry, take #5 (Varkaus) but if you've got more time, #6 goes through some pretty typical Finnish landscapes and just less than 10 kilometers from the Russian border! If you end up choosing #6, see the hitchhike spot when going to Lappeenranta. trash:Joensuu