From Saimaa to Russia
and Imatra region is located very close to Russian border. While
visiting Lappeenranta and Imatra region it's very convinient to use the
opportunity and spend a few days in Vyborg or St. Petersburg in Russia.
is a town, where one can come across the medieval fairy-tale: the
memories of the historical past and the perspectives of the present.In
this town you can admire the only medieval castle in Russia, walk
along the romantic Monrepos Park and visit the historical Viking village
St. Petersburg is a magnificant metropolis
just about 200 km away from Lappeenranta and Imatra region. In the city
with population almost equal to whole Finland, the posibilities are
infinite. Here one can enjoy endless shopping possibilities, neverending
nightlife, tastiest local and foreighn cuisines and astonishing
architectural sites. In addition to all that St. Petersburg is
well-known as the cultural capital of Russia, with world-famous
Hermitage museum, breathtaking Mariinsky Theatre, best balley, art and
classical music performances.
How to get there
There are many ways to travel to Russia, ranging from a comfortable
train ride in Allegro train with restaurant, to a bumpy quad-bike safari
on karelian roads. Some of them require visa, others don't.
Visa-free cruises to Russia
Jump aboard of M/S Carelia in Harbor of Lappeenranta and enjoy a
cruise along the historical Saimaa Canal to Vyborg, or continue to St.
Petersburg. Once on board, you'll witness amazing scenery while enjoying
your food and beverages. Cruises are visa-free for nationals of all
countries! The only catch is that you need a multiple-entry visa to
Find out more about cruise schedules and options
Vainikkala railway station is located 20 km from Lappeenranta. Here
you can board a fast and comfortable Allegro train that takes you to
Vyborg in 20 minutes and St. Petersburg in 1,5h. There are several
trains every day. Those wishing to travel to the heart of Mother Russia,
namely to Moscow, should board a Tolstoy train leaving every evening
from Vainikkala and arriving to Moscow next morning. An overnight train
is very convenient; especially if you believe the saying "Moscow never
sleeps". Tickets can be easily purchased in VR online shop or alternatively by using VR mobile application.
More information about Vainikkala railway station
From June 07, 2019, the international coach company ECOLINES starts regular traffic on the route St. Petersburg (Russia) - Lappeenranta-Imatra (Finland). The company took into account the needs of passengers and added to the bus stops at the bus stations in the cities of Lappeenranta and Imatra a stop in the center and at the airport of Lappeenranta, as well as at the Holiday Club Saima and Imatran Spa Hotel & Kylpylä.
Comfortable buses will depart from the bus station of St. Petersburg daily at 07.30. and arrive back at 23.05. The schedule is based on the fact that passengers do not need to use the services of a taxi. They will be able to come to the bus station and leave the bus station by public transport. The schedule provides a long stay in Lappeenranta during a day trip, sufficient for recreation, shopping and local attractions.
Book tickets here
There's also a bus connection from Lappeenranta to Vyborg. This is very
convenient for a day trip to the historical town, whether it's
sightseeing or shopping trip. Those preferring to take their time and
appreciate Vyborg before continuing to the megapolis of St. Petersburg,
will also find bus connection the most efficient way of traveling. There
are also several transportation companies arranging bus trips to Russia for groups.
Check timetables and book a ticket online
With your own or rental car
If the journey is more important than destination, consider going to
Russia with your own or rental car. Before crossing the border with a
car, please read the border crossing instructions.
Through Saimaa Canal
Saimaa Canal welcomes
captains to explore waters of Saimaa on their own vessels. The total
length of the Canal is 43 km, of which 23 km lies on the Finnish side of
the border and the rest 20 km in the section leased from Russia. The
Saimaa Canal connects Vyborg and Lappeenranta. The water levels of Lake
Saimaa are 76 meters higher than the Gulf of Finland and its offset by
eight locks. The canal connects to various areas in Finland as well as
to several countries in Europe.
All necessary rules of
navigation, vessel size limitations, information about locks and contact information of Saimaa
Canal authorities can be found in English on Finnish Transport Agency website.
The building of the Canal began in 1845 and it was opened for traffic on 7 September 1856.
More facts and history about Saimaa Canal and Saimaa Canal Museum