Lappeenranta is a town of amazing natural beauty, which is located in the south of Finland in one of the most picturesque places in the world – Karelia. All year round, not only Finnish, but foreign tourists come here, especially from the Russian Federation, which is only sixty kilometers from the border. Local residents, of which there are a little less than sixty thousand, adore their city, trying to preserve and increase its unique beauty. Check ANDYEDUCATION.COM to learn more about Finland.
In addition, Lappeenranta has excellent conditions for obtaining a truly high-quality higher education that meets the highest international standards. In addition, the city is open for business and international cooperation. And the unique geographical position – on the border between the European Union and Russia, contributed to the development of the transport sector and logistics.
Tourists from St. Petersburg will say in unison that the main wealth of the city is its shops. Shopping tours to Lappeenranta are always popular among residents of the northern capital.
How to get there
You can get here by all transport – there is an airport, a railway station and a port, as well as international highways pass near the city.
Once upon a time, Lappeenranta was a small settlement whose inhabitants were engaged in hunting and fishing, later they began to extract and sell tar. This craft contributed to the acquisition by the settlement of the status of a city, which even had its own coat of arms, which was approved in the middle of the 17th century. Since then, the city began to grow actively, an impregnable defensive fortress appeared here, which at different times protected the borders of Sweden, then the Russian Empire. And only in 19 the city became a famous Finnish resort, and complete calm reigned in it, which, however, was violated twice in the first half of the last century: during the Finnish and World War II.
Shops in Lappeenranta
Lappeenranta is the second largest shopping center in Finland. It is located 30 km from the Russian border, and Russian tourists, especially from St. Petersburg, often come here for shopping one day. There are many shopping centers here, and most of the sellers speak good Russian.
People come here for clothes, sports and children’s goods (in particular, for thermal underwear), as well as for detergents (for washing dishes, washing powder, dishwasher tablets, toothpaste, shampoos, conditioners, etc.). Local grocery stores are also very popular (especially the fish stores Laplandia and Disa’s Fish), in addition, they buy coffee, tea, olive oil, caviar, etc.
Finnish products are considered to be of higher quality than Russian ones and are 10-20% cheaper.
The largest shopping center in the city is Galleria. There are more than 20 clothing, footwear and cosmetics stores here, including Lindex, Seppala, KappAhl, etc. The Iso Kristiina shopping center also has a large selection of boutiques and stores, mainly budget brands, there are electronics stores, pet products and household chemicals, as well as good food court with more than 10 cafes and restaurants. The Weera shopping center has a large selection of clothing from popular European brands: Vero Moda, Jack & Jones, Calvin Klein Jeans, LIU JO jeans, Trussardi Jeans, etc., as well as the Sokos department store. The Armada shopping center houses shops of European and local brands: Seppälä, Posti, S-market, Sokos Emotion, Coffee House, Rosso, Seppälä, Lemmikkieläinliike Faunatar, Selonen tekstiilimestari, Tuuliviiri, Jesper Junior Outlet, Caima.
Shopping tours in Lappeenranta
Organized one-day shopping tours to Lappeenranta leave from St. Petersburg every day. On the Russian-Finnish border, only travel by car or minibus is allowed, pedestrian crossing is prohibited. The program of most shopping tours is as follows: one hour is allotted for visiting the Laplandia supermarket, regular customers are issued special cards, which return some of the money when buying a certain amount. Next, buyers spend 30 minutes in the “Fish Store”, where they can buy fish delicacies, during which time local sellers manage to butcher raw salmon or trout (according to the rules, it is forbidden to bring raw fish and meat across the border), remove the bones and season with salt, pepper and herbs – by the time you cross the border, such fish will no longer be considered raw.
Tourists have 3 hours to visit shopping malls. During this time, you can have time to try on and buy shoes and clothes, but you have to do all this quickly – the areas of shopping centers are quite large, there are often a lot of people there. As a rule, buyers are brought to the Prizma, Lidl and Rajamarket malls, but options are possible.
Do not forget to apply for tax-free, when crossing the border on the way back, part of the money can be returned.
Entertainment and attractions of Lappeenranta
Such a flurry of activity, unfolding throughout the city, does not prevent Lappeenranta from being an ideal place for an easy vacation in nature, which peacefully coexists with civilization and the most advanced technologies.
There is an opinion that there are not so many attractions in Lappeenranta, but this is not entirely true. After all, the city also has an ancient fortress, which is pretty well preserved. A lot of historical expositions have been collected here, there is a museum, as well as unique shops-workshops where folk craftsmen sell handicrafts.
Entrance to the fortress is free, entrance to the museum is free for children under 18 years old, adults will cost 8 EUR, pensioners and students – 7 EUR.
Tourists are attracted here by the endless expanses of Lake Saimaa, one of the largest in Europe, picturesque parks and groves with winding paths among centuries-old trees, the historical part of the city with an ancient fortress, cathedrals and churches that are more than a hundred years old, as well as unsurpassed conditions for shopping.
The possibilities for leisure in this small town are endless. Most tourists prefer to walk along the picturesque banks of Saimaa. Someone, on the contrary, admires coastal views from a sightseeing boat that runs along the Saimaa Canal every evening from 18:00 to 20:00, the cost of such a walk is 18 EUR for adults, 15 EUR for pensioners and 7 EUR for children from 4 to 14 years.
Museums in Lappeenranta
You can learn more about modern Finnish art at the Art Museum of South Karelia, where the most outstanding works of Finnish masters are presented, the very first of which date back to the century before last. The museum is open daily except Mondays. Entrance costs from 4-6 EUR, depending on the season. In addition, it is worth visiting the museum of needlework.
It is no less interesting to visit the house-museum of the merchant Valkoff (Volkov). This house is built of wood and its age is quite respectable, there are no more of these in the city, and this is its uniqueness. In addition, in one of the barns there is an unusual shop that sells rare “attic” items that are not included in the museum’s exposition, but are also of considerable value. The museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 to 17:00, and in the summer months also on weekdays from 10:00 to 18:00, admission costs 8 EUR, children are free.
In summer, a festival takes place on the banks of the Saimaa, during which a grandiose sandcastle is built. All this action takes place in the children’s village of Villiranta, not far from the city’s main port. Numerous sandboxes and small playhouses are equipped here, which have everything for exciting children’s leisure. Entrance to the territory of this “fabulous town” is free.