The Lapeenranta fortress is an important part of the Finnish, Swedish, and Russian cultural heritage. The fortress, surrounded by charming Old Town, hosts nowadays the Cavalry Museum, South Karelia Museum of Arts, the Orthodox Church, the buildings dating back to the 18th century. The fortress has also an artisan shop and restaurants, and while a Christmas market takes place there every December, another market, The Old Town Days, is held in August.
The Lappeenranta ice hockey team Saimaan Pallo, or SaiPa, has continuously played in the Finnish premier ice hockey league Hockey Finland since 1996. SaiPa’s home venue is 4,820 seat Kisapuisto Ice Stadium. The team has a devoted and enthusiastic fan base, and the atmosphere at the games is intense. For leisure and business, the games are one of the biggest events in the area – missing out is not an option!
Myllymäki Ski Resort
27km outside of the city centre, the Myllymäki Ski Resort is number one spot for winter sports in Karelia. Myllymäki has downhill and cross-country skiing tracks, children’s slopes and a sledge slope, sauna and a campfire area, as well as ski rental and maintenance services and skiing lessons. In between the sports you can enjoy a mug of hot chocolate in the restaurant!
Saimaa Canal and Cruises
The historically most important canal in Finland, Saimaa Canal, was opened in 1856 and is 43 long and has eight locks, three on the Finnish side and five in Russia. You can make a cruise to the idyllic Lake Saimaa archipelago, or even visit Vyborg or St. Petersburg in Russia, visa-free! The visa exemption applies to all nationalities, as long as the journey is a roundtrip cruise. This is the perfect opportunity to explore the beautiful Saimaa area and go for a mini-holiday!
Salpa Line Fortifications
Dating back to the Second World War, the Salpa Line fortification, ruins are a great hiking and exploration destination. The bunkers and other remains, a total of 1,200km, were constructed towards the end of the war, and never used in action, and hence remain until today. You can make a trip by your own, or participate in a tour, where a guide tells more about the fascinating and thrilling history of Lappeenranta and Eastern Finland. The ruins are surrounded by stunning Karelian nature, and are an amazing destination for anyone into hiking or photography.
Atreenalin Adventure Park
Next to Holiday Club Saimaa, in a total of three hectares, is the Atreenalin Adventure Park. Tracks built in an environment-friendly way, the park has five courses of different levels, a total of 1,5km. The incredible climbing experience includes safety introductions and equipment, but still offers thrilling challenges to all!
For over 10 years, Finland’s largest sandcastles have been built in Lappeenranta. More than 3 million kilograms of sand are used to construct the incredible masterpiece, that has a different theme every year. The sandcastle area is open from early June to late August, and features also rides and other activities.
Located on the Lake Saimaa, Lappeenranta is a city with a long shore line and multiple natural beaches. The Myllysaari Beach and Recreation Area, close to the city centre, has a diving platform, roller slide, a parkour track, beach volley courts and an exercise and climbing area in adttion to the sandy beach and extensive green areas. During the winter, there is a hot public sauna and avanto, a swimming area in the middle of the ice, available for everyone.
Karhusjärvi reindeer farm, just outside of Lappeenranta, lets the visitors experience a piece of Lapland. You can see the reindeers up close and feed them! The organised trip includes transportation to the farm from the city centre and back, as well as lichen to feed the reindeers, coffee, tea, or glögg (mulled juice), and gingerbread cookies.
Bouldering, or climbing without the large amounts of equipment that is typical for rope climbing, is a good way to build up your strength and coordination, but also requires problem solving skills and steady nerves. Boulder Saimaa is a brand new indoor climbing centre close to the Lappeenranta Airport. First time visitors get instructed on safety precautions, but no previous experience is required. While bouldering is a great form of exercise, it is, most of all, super fun!
Located in the Holiday Club Saimaa resort, the spa section is here something else. Opened in 2011, Cirque du Saimaa features music, lights, fountain shows, a cocktail glass shaped whirlpool bath – a galore of circus and spa fun!
To calm yourself and relax in peace, head to the Harmony Spa section. Here you can find everything from different types of massages to luxury facials and other treatments!
The Cavalry Museum
A former guardhouse for the Russian garrison, the building where the Cavalry Museum is located in the oldest in Lappeenranta. The building was completed in 1772, and has been a museum since the 70s. One of the oldest weapon on display, a flintlock riffle, dates back to the 18th century! Even further back in time than the independence of Finland – in the fight for which, the cavalry played an important role.
The lake Saimaa is one of the most beautiful ones in the whole Europe, and Lappeenranta is a perfect place to see its beauty yourself. Take a stroll along the harbour – besides the amazing view and being the perfect place for picnic, there is many other things to do. Hit the Halkosaari beach to relax, or drop by at the harbour market to hear some live music. Sit down to the restaurant Kasino to enjoy great Finnish cuisines. The restaurant is operated by Fazer, one of the biggest and most popular bakeries in Finland, so make sure to try their bread and pastries as well!
Ranked among the five most beautiful lakes in the world by Wall Street Journal, Saimaa is something you won’t want to miss! An amazing way to experience the lake is to rent a kayak, a SUP board, or a row boat that seats the whole family or a group of friends. Don’t be afraid of trying any of these activities – they are easy to learn, and super fun!
Located at the Fortress of Lappeenranta, Kehruuhuone is a culture and event venue, that also features a café-restaurant. The house with more than 200 years of history not only hosts concerts, theatre, festivals and fairs, but is also one of the best terraces to spend a summer evening. The modern Karelian menu is definitely worth trying, and everything is cooked from local ingredients at the spot.
The Old Town Hall
Representing the jegend style from the 19th century, the Old Town Hall is worth a visit. Although severely damaged by bombing in the 1940s, the building was restored almost exactly to its old glory. The Lappeenranta Town Hall is the oldest still existing wooden town hall in Finland!
See Visit Lappeenranta for more amazing things to experience!