Kuopio Market Square is a popular destination in Kuopio. Located in the heart of the city, it’s the place where people meet, go shopping, enjoy a cup of coffee, or just spend free-time. It’s the place where everything happens.
The market square could be called the centre of the city. And that’s the case in most of the cities which have a market square. But in Finland, in North Savo, in the city of Kuopio, they are a bit more ambitious…
Kuopio Market Square is Mualiman Napa
Kuopio’s market square isn’t just the centre of the city, or even the centre of Finland. Oh no, that’s not enough for Kuopio. Kuopio Market Square is called nothing less than “Mualiman Napa”!
And what is mualiman napa, you might ask?
In a Savonian dialect, which is a form of Finnish language spoken in Nort Savo and some other parts of Eastern Finland, mualiman napa basically means the centre of the universe.
Savonian people (Savolaiset in Finnish) are known the be humorous. So we shouldn’t believe everything they claim. But, we have to admit, it does sounds cool and inviting. So even if it really isn’t the centre of the universe, the market square is still definitely worth a visit!
What to at the Market Square
So now that you are at the Kuopio Market Square, what should you do?
Well, you have a lot of choices but first you must take a selfie. And yes, sounds a but boring, but this isn’t just any selfie. Find the “Mualiman Napa” logo and take a selfie while standing on it.
Just how many times you think you’ll be standing in the centre of the universe?
After this must-to-do ritual, you can explore a bit. For example there is the Kuopio City Hall (kaupungintalo in Finnish), constructed between 1882-1885, located north of the market square. On the southern side of the market square there is the Kuopio Market Hall (kauppahalli in Finnish), which since 1902, has been the shopping place for fresh meat, fish and bakery products. Close to the market hall, there are also Siskontyttö (sister) and Veljmies (brother) statues.
In addition to the traditional market foods and treats, you should also try some of the local foods, like kalakukko. It is a traditional loaf of bread with a fish baked inside. This is popular especially in Kuopio.
Many of Kuopio’s stores, coffee houses and restaurants are located around the market square, so there is lot to see and do.
Fun to Know Facts about Mualiman Napa
- With a size of 130 m x 147 m, Kuopio Market Square covers an area larger than a hectare. It is one of the largest, if not the largest market square in Finland
- Kuopio market had originally different location, next to Kuopio Cathedral. Planned already in 1818, the market was relocated to its current location finally in 1856
- Known previously as Kimnaasitori, Heinätori (Hay market) and Hevostori (Horse market), it has been called Market Square square since 1918
- The market is located about one hundred meters above sea level
- Under the market square, there is a defrosting system that melts the snow from the pedestrian streets and the center aisle of the market during winter
- Kuopio Market Square has been officially the “Mualiman Napa” (the centre of the universe) since 2018
Images by Vicente Serra / Kuopion Kaupunki