Lappeenranta Travel Guide

Discover the best things to do, places to visit, and local culture in Lappeenranta, Finland with our informative travel guide.

Introduction to Lappeenranta

Lappeenranta is a charming city in Southern Finland, situated by Lake Saimaa and the Russian border. It is known for its beautiful parks, historical landmarks, and cultural attractions. The city offers visitors a refreshing nature experience, a vibrant food and drink scene, and a friendly culture that is unique to the region. In this comprehensive tour guide, we will explore all that Lappeenranta has to offer, including its best things to do, places to visit, local culture, and much more.

List of Places to Visit in Lappeenranta

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Lappeenranta Fortress

Built in the 18th century, Lappeenranta Fortress is a historical landmark that is worth visiting. The fortress has a rich history and offers a glimpse into Finland’s military past. Inside the fortress, you can visit the South Karelia Museum, which houses a collection of artifacts that tell the story of the region’s cultural and historical heritage.

Lappeenranta Art Museum

The Lappeenranta Art Museum is a modern art museum that features a rotating collection of contemporary art from Finnish artists. The museum is housed in an old auction hall and has a beautiful courtyard that is perfect for picnics or just relaxing.

Wolkoff House Museum

The Wolkoff House Museum is a cultural gem in Lappeenranta. It showcases the life of a wealthy Russian merchant family living in the city during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The house has been beautifully preserved and is furnished with original items from the family’s time in Lappeenranta.

Natural Attractions of Lappeenranta: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Saimaa Canal

The Saimaa Canal is a man-made waterway that connects the Gulf of Finland to Lake Saimaa. The canal is one of the most popular attractions in Lappeenranta and offers visitors an unforgettable experience. You can take a boat ride on the canal or just walk along its banks and enjoy the stunning views.

Lappeenranta Sand Dunes

The Lappeenranta Sand Dunes are a unique natural attraction in the city. They were formed during the last ice age and are now a popular spot for hiking and picnicking.

Lappeenranta Harbor Park

Lappeenranta Harbor Park is a beautiful park located in the heart of the city. It offers visitors stunning views of Lake Saimaa and has several picnic areas, walking trails, and a playground.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Lappeenranta

Lappeenranta has a variety of hiking and biking routes that offer visitors a chance to explore the city’s natural beauty. The most popular routes include the Lappeenranta National Urban Park, Lappeenranta Sand Dunes, and the City Park Loop.

Best Things to Do in Lappeenranta: Activities and Tours

Lappeenranta has a lot to offer visitors when it comes to activities and tours. Some of the most popular things to do include:

  • Take a boat ride on Lake Saimaa
  • Visit the Lappeenranta Marina
  • Go ice-skating on the Frozen Lake Saimaa
  • Take a guided tour of the city’s historical landmarks and cultural attractions

Week-Long Itinerary for Lappeenranta

Day 1: Visit the Lappeenranta Fortress and South Karelia Museum Day 2: Hike the Lappeenranta National Urban Park and City Park Loop Day 3: Explore the Lappeenranta Art Museum and the Lappeenranta Harbor Park Day 4: Visit the Wolkoff House Museum and take a boat ride on the Saimaa Canal Day 5: Visit the Lappeenranta Sand Dunes and take a guided tour of the city Day 6-7: Take a day trip to nearby destinations such as Helsinki, Porvoo, or St. Petersburg

Food and Drink Scene of Lappeenranta

Must-Try Dishes

  • Lohikeitto (Salmon soup)
  • Karjalanpaisti (Finnish beef stew)
  • Kalakukko (Fish pie)
  • Mustikkapiirakka (Blueberry pie)

Local Beverages

  • Olud (Finnish beer)
  • Sima (Finnish mead)
  • Lakka (Cloudberry liqueur)

Where to Stay in Lappeenranta: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Lappeenranta has plenty of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Scandic Patria
  • Cumulus Lappeenranta
  • Guesthouse Onnenmyyrä
  • Hostelli Matkakoti Patria

What to Buy in Lappeenranta: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Saimaa seal dolls
  • Finnish handicrafts
  • Food and drink products such as cloudberry jam or karjalanpiirakat (rice-filled pastries)

Local Culture and Customs of Lappeenranta

Lappeenranta has a unique local culture that is influenced by its location near the Russian border. The city is known for its friendly and welcoming people, as well as its rich cultural heritage. Visitors are encouraged to respect local customs, including removing shoes when entering someone’s home and using a respectful, formal tone when speaking with elders.

Best Time to Visit Lappeenranta

The best time to visit Lappeenranta is from May to September when the weather is mild and most of the outdoor attractions and activities are available. The winter months, from December to February, offer visitors a chance to experience the city’s stunning winter landscape and enjoy winter sports.

Do’s and Don’ts of Lappeenranta


  • Try the local food and drink
  • Be respectful of local customs and traditions
  • Take a boat ride on Lake Saimaa
  • Take a guided tour of the city’s landmarks and attractions


  • Litter or disrespect the natural environment
  • Be disrespectful or rude to locals
  • Take photographs of people without their permission
  • Ignore safety precautions when participating in outdoor activities

Safety and Health

Safety in Lappeenranta

Lappeenranta is generally a safe and peaceful place, but visitors should take basic precautions to ensure their safety. This includes avoiding walking alone at night, staying in well-lit areas, and keeping valuables secure.

Health in Lappeenranta

Lappeenranta has a good healthcare system and visitors should not have any problems accessing medical services if needed. However, it is recommended to have travel insurance to cover any unexpected medical expenses.

Getting to Lappeenranta: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Lappeenranta

The closest international airports to Lappeenranta are Helsinki Airport and St. Petersburg Airport. From Helsinki, visitors can take a train or bus to Lappeenranta, which takes around 3-4 hours.

Bus Stations Near Lappeenranta

The Lappeenranta Bus Station is located in the city center and has connections to other cities in Finland and Europe.

Other Options

Visitors can also take a train to Lappeenranta from Helsinki or other cities in Finland.

How to Get Around in Lappeenranta

Lappeenranta is a relatively small city and most of its attractions are within walking distance of each other. Visitors can also use public transportation or take a taxi to get around the city.

Where to Go Next from Lappeenranta: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Lappeenranta is the perfect base for exploring nearby destinations and attractions. Some popular options include:

  • Helsinki, Finland’s capital city
  • St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Porvoo, a historic city known for its colorful wooden houses


Lappeenranta is a charming and picturesque city that offers visitors a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. It is the perfect destination for anyone looking to experience Finland’s rich cultural heritage and stunning natural landscape. With this comprehensive tour guide, visitors can explore all that Lappeenranta has to offer.