The city of Joensuu, founded by Czar Nicholas I of Russia in 1848, is the regional centre and the capital of North Karelia.
Joensuu is located along the Blue Highway, which is an international tourist route from Mo i Rana, Norway to Pudozh, Russia via Sweden.
Joensuu is sometimes referred to as the Forest Capital of Europe, mainly because the European Forest Institute is based there. Other forestry research and educational facilities are also based in Joensuu.
The city is known for its basketball club Kataja, which plays in the Finnish first-tier league Korisliiga.
80% of the area is forested, and there are 778 lakes in the city of Joensuu.
Joensuu is twinned with: Linköping, Sweden; Ísafjörður, Iceland; Tønsberg, Norway; Petrozavodsk, Russia; Hof, Germany & Vilnius, Lithuania.
The municipality of Pielisensuu was consolidated with Joensuu in 1954. At the beginning of 2005, the municipalities of Kiihtelysvaara and Tuupovaara were consolidated with Joensuu. At the beginning of 2009, the municipalities of Eno and Pyhäselkä were consolidated with Joensuu.
The population of Joensuu is 76,543, as of 2019.
Joensuu has an area of 2.751,13 km².
The biathlon world championship was held in Joensuu in 2015.
Joensuu has a subarctic climate due to its high latitude and inland position.