Varkaus is a town located in the centre east of Finland, in the region of Northern Savonia (Pohjois-Savo), between the cities of Kuopio and Savonlinna.
Even if Varkaus means ‘theft’ in Finnish, this town is very safe and there is no reason it has been named like that. In old Finnish, Varkaus meant ‘strait’. For which reason? I don’t know.
The town is located in a lake district between 2 parts of Lake Saimaa, with an extension of the lake passing through the town.
Varkaus is an industrial town and you notice it when you are approaching and see the tall chimneys from the biggest Mill factory which consists of Containerboard Mill, Sawmill, and LVL Mill. Containerboard Mill operations include a wood handling plant, pulp mill, recycled fibre plant, and one paper machine,…
There are lots of things to do and to visit in Varkaus, whether in summer or winter.
Between museums visits, boat tours and cruises, fishing, hiking, swimming, skiing,… you won’t be bored.
More about Varkaus: www.visitvarkaus.fi
Where to stay?
There is only one “real” hotel that I recommend in Varkaus and which is Hotel Oscar where I’ve stayed. It’s a bit pricey but it’s in the center of the town and you get all that you need inside.
The hotel is just located on a small island in the center of the town linked by 2 bridges and in front of a market square which is animated in summer time. In walking distance, you can find a pizzeria, a bar, restaurants, and coffee shops.
The hotel has its own and free parking behind the building or if you prefer a secure place, they also have small underground parking but it will cost 15 € per night and it cannot be booked in advance.
Once you have booked your room, you will receive an email from the hotel proposing you a fast online check-in if you don’t want to wait at the reception.
The hotel is made of several buildings, all connected together.
In the main building, there is a restaurant where is also served the breakfast buffet, included in the price of the room.
At the end of an old wing of the building, there is a free sauna and fitness center. It’s only available for the hotel’s guests and you need your room card to access them.
There are 2 saunas, one for men and one for women. They both have their changing rooms with lockers, toilets, and showers.
The Fitness Center is basic but enough for a hotel. There is a treadmill, 2 bike trainers, a multi-exercise machine, a small bench, and a couple of dumbbells and yoga mats.
One of the buildings is called “Warkaus-Sali” which is made of conference rooms and a big amphitheater with a total of 498 seats and a stage of 113m2.
The hotel proposes different types of rooms, from the Eco Single room to the Prime Suite.
I booked a Standard Single Room which was I think an Eco Single Room but with the price of a Superior Room you can get in other hotels.
I was surprised when I enter the room compared to what I paid. I was expecting a bit more for this price.
The room was very small, with a desk, a chair, a TV, a single-size bed and something called a “sofa”.
Free Wi-Fi was available in the room but it wasn’t protected by a password, I guess anybody around the hotel can access it.
The bathroom almost as big as the bedroom, a toilet, a sink, and a sower. No amenities, just soap, and shampoo dispensers.
Compared to other hotels of this category there was no minibar, no fridge, no iron with ironing table, no safe, no extra pillow, nothing, just the basic.
The bed was comfortable, the room was very clean and the night was very quiet. Nothing to complain about that.
I didn’t try their restaurant which is located on the opposite side of the reception but for the breakfast, there was a large buffet with the same type of food you find in all hotels in Finland, nothing special or extra.
Even if I found the price a bit high for the size and quality of the room, I had a good stay, I slept well and for one night I didn’t need more.