The city center of Kuusamo is built on two main streets and also has a small retail park/supermarket area a 10 min walk from the center. In and around the center are a number of shops, both of the gift and souvenir kind and the more day to day food, clothing, stationary and whatnot.
Although classed officially as a city, it is about the size of a small town, and is even reffered to by many of the locals as The Village.
Through out history Kuusamo has belonged to the Sami people, the Finns, the Swedes and the Russians until Finnish independance in 1917. However during the winter war of 1939 a large area, over 1600sq km, of the Kuusamo region was lost to, and still belongs to, Russia.
The 2100 residents of the seized area had to be re-homed in the remaining Finnish side of Kuusamo. To this day some residents of those seized villages still hold the keys to the homes that were taken from them.
During the Continuation War of 1941-1944, at the end of the second World War, Kuusamo was used as a supply depot by German and Finnish troops and eventually taken over by the Russians who burnt it to the ground on their departure.
The town was rebuilt between 1945 and 1952 and the 60′s saw a boom in population growth which quickly became a decline as the baby boomers failed to find worked and moved to the cities. Since the 80′s the population has been slowly growing again but lack of jobs in the area is still forcing a lot of people to move away.
In 2000 Kuusamo officially became a city.
Places Of Interest In Kuusamo City Centre
Kuusamo Information Centre
Hannu Hautala Nature Photography Center
Outdoor Home Area Museum (summer only)
Holiday club Tropiikki Spa -Swimming pool with jacuzzi, children’s pool and fun slide
Municipal Swimming Pool
Indoor Sports – tennis, badminton, volleyball
Cafes, Bars and Restaurants