Home>Activities>Fly & Drive>Food & culture>Imatra

Imatra

Also Imatra is situated in the southeast of Finland, next to Lappeenranta, where it rubs shoulders with the Russian border. On the other side of the border - only 7 kilometres away from the centre of Imatra - lies the town of Svetogorsk. St. Petersburg is situated 202 km to the southeast, Finland's capital Helsinki is 255 km away and Lappeenranta, the nearest town to Imatra in Finland, is 37 km away.

The River Vuoksi runs through Imatra and has resumed its rightful place as the recreational oasis for the inhabitants of the town. The river offers excellent opportunities for fishing throughout the year. Some of Finland's most beautiful jogging and cycle tracks hug the contours of the Vuoksi, and from the banks of the river bird watchers can observe dozens of bird species. The river is also suitable for swimmers.

The Imatrankoski Rapids is Imatra's most famous attraction, and travellers have been drawn to the rapids for hundreds of years. At the turn of the century the rapids - with Imatra's historical and still famous hotel, the Valtionhotelli, standing on its banks - was the most popular tourist attraction in Finland.

Get excited to see Imatrankoski rapid show this summer by watching this amazing video!

Admire the historical sites and the foaming rapids of Imatra

The Imatra market town was founded in 1948 by joining together three industrial communities. Over the last fifty years, the town has grown from a group of isolated population centres into a pleasant and modern town, which is given it's distinctive character by the greenery of the parks, Lake Saimaa, River Vuoksi, and the closeness of the Fenno-Russian border.

Empress Catherine II of Russia and her entourage came to admire the magnificent waters of Imatrankoski Rapids in Imatra in 1772, and a hundred years later the rapids could only be crossed in a basket hanging from a wire. A bridge crossing the rapids was completed in 1892, and by the first decade of the 20th century it was already Finland's most popular tourist attraction, where artists and others arrived to seek inspiration. The freeflowing Imatrankoski rapids were finally harnessed in 1929 in order to generate hydropower. Today you can admire the rapid shows during the summer season. Situated along the rapids, Rantasipi Imatran Valtionhotelli in the Jugend style also provides a relaxing spa.

In 1842, Tsar Nicholas I established the first nature reserve in Finland in the area surrounding the Imatrankoski Rapids. The best way to get to know the Kruununpuisto Park is to follow the marked Historic Trail and see the Imperial lookout pavilions, rock carvings, potholes etc.

Plan your day

Cultural sights in the area

Restaurants and local delicacies in Imatra

South Karelia has always been a region of hearty meals, so the traditions of the Saimaa cuisine have stewed and simmered thoroughly and for a long period, with several decades and generations of expertise. You should definitely taste the delicacies of the local cuisine, rich with tradition, but you can also swap the local fish, Karelian stew and meat aspic for the flavours of international cuisine.

Delicious vendace are small relatives of the whitefish, which can be found on the menus of many restaurants, in markets and at summer-event food stalls. Fried vendace is particularly worth trying!

  • Nordic Kitchen Kastanja, Imatran Kylpylä Spa
    À la carte restaurant at Imatran Kylpylä Spa. The menu and the wine list are guaranteed to fulfill the expectations of even the most demanding gourmet. Enjoy the jovial atmosphere in a good company without rush.
  • Linnasali, Rantasipi Imatran Valtionhotelli (castle hotel)
    Linnasali Restaurant, in the famous castle hotel Rantasipi Imatran Valtionhotelli, has 250 customer seats. This Art Nouveau style restaurant has a beautiful view towards the Imatrankoski rapids. Even the most demanding gourmet finds satisfaction here.
  • Rantalinna castle hotel and restaurant in Ruokolahti
    Interior of the restaurant will delight our guests with elegance and noble grandeur of antique furniture, decorative wall art, each room has a fireplace. All the windows of the restaurant are overlooking the lake. In summer you can comfortably sit on the terrace with views of the sunset, or in the barbecue area.

​​Accommodation in Imatra

You can choose to stay amid Lake Saimaa’s beautiful nature, in the peaceful setting of a wilderness cottage that will ensure a true chance to relax. If your holiday preferences include both activities and relaxation surrounded by nature, a cottage located near town is the perfect choice. Those looking for exotic experiences can enjoy an unforgettable holiday by staying at a farm or a manor house.

Need help or do you have any questions? Imatra tourist service will be happy to help you find your way.

Imatra region tourist information office:
Please contact by email or phone
+358 (0)5 235 2330
or WhatsApp:
+358 44 734 7272
imatra@gosaimaa.com

Pop up information stands in the city during summer season.

Imatra

Location