Kostomuksha was built as a Finnish-Russian cooperation 1977–1985, for mining the iron ore found 1946, one of the largest iron ore reserves in Russia. The town functions also as a dacha-style resort (there is an abundance of lake shores in the area), and hosts a yearly summer chamber music festival. Most visitors are Finns.
Before 1920 the village preceding the town was an important source of folk poetry, gathered as part of the Finnish nation building from the 19th century onward. It was flooded as part of the industrialisation.
- 1 Kostomuksha railway station (Костомукша-Пассажирская).
The road A137 leads from the road R21 (Russian: Р-21 «Ко́ла», part of E105) through Kosomuksha to the border with Finland 30 km (19 mi) away, at Ljuttja (Люття)/Vartius near Kuhmo.
- Statue to the memory of the negotiations between Urho Kekkonen and Aleksei Kosygin, leading to the construction of the town by the Finnish.
- 1 Kostomuksha Nature Reserve (15 km towards Finland). A large nature reserve around Lake Kamennoye ("Stone Lake"), part of the Finnish-Russian Friendship Park, to which also some Finnish nature reserves belong. It has a population of wild forest reindeer, from which the Finnish forest reindeer population originates. The beavers are from a population brought to Finland from Canada, then believed to be the same species as the former Finnish population. Tourism and recreational activities within the park are subject to authorization.