Lappeenranta and Imatra region is located very close to the Russian border. While visiting Lappeenranta and Imatra region it is very convenient to use the opportunity and spend a few days in Vyborg or St. Petersburg in Russia.
Vyborg is a town, where one can come across the medieval fairytale – 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 of Svargas.
St. Petersburg is a magnificent metropolis just about 200 km away from Lappeenranta and Imatra region. In a city with a population almost equal to the whole of Finland, the possibilities are infinite. Here one can enjoy the endless shopping possibilities, neverending nightlife, tasty local and foreign cuisines, and astonishing architectural sites. In addition, St. Petersburg is well-known as the cultural capital of Russia, with the world-famous Hermitage Museum, breathtaking Mariinsky Theatre, best ballet, art, and classical music performances.
There are many ways to travel to Russia, ranging from a comfortable train ride in Allegro train with a restaurant to a bumpy quad bike safari on Karelian roads. Some of them require visas, others do not.
Jump aboard of M/S Carelia in the Harbour of Lappeenranta and enjoy a cruise along the historical Saimaa Canal to Vyborg, or continue to St. Petersburg. Once onboard, you will 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 Finland.
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 1.5 hours. There are several trains every day.
If you travel to Russia, you need a visa in addition to a passport. Visa-free cruises are an exception. You can apply for a visa via Saimaa Travel. You need a passport, photo, visa application form, and certificate of insurance. Remember to check the validity of your passport and take into account the current coronavirus situation and its effects on travelling.