Lappeenranta’s luxury resort atmosphere is a magnet for weekenders from the rest of Finland and even Russia. The activities scene is propelled by Lake Saimaa, which is the largest lake in Finland. In the summer, resorts and hotels in Lappeenranta fill up on short notice, and the rooms with the best lake views go to early bookers.
Lappeenranta fortress was built in the late 1700s, and the complex includes art galleries, museums and craft shops. The harbor view alone is reason to visit the fortress. Other historical sites include the 18th-century Orthodox Church and Lappee Church. Centrally located sites like these are easy to see on foot, and all the major sites in the city center can be seen in a single day.
After stopping by the fortress, there is plenty more to do in the harbor area. This is one of the main entertainment districts and hosts a range of comfortable Lappeenranta accommodation. The streets are busy during the summer, with out-of-towners perusing luxury boutiques, dining on lakeside terraces and listening to live music.
Concierge services at hotels in Lappeenranta can assist in arranging cruises on the Saimaa Canal, which is an ideal way to take in the lakeside scenery. Ferries depart most frequently from June to August. For an even greater adventure, consider joining the popular cruise to Vyborg in Russia. The voyage follows the canal and takes the better part of a day; visas must be arranged in advance.
Lappeenranta Airport is a little more than two kilometers from the city center, with taxis and public buses plying the route. Daily flights connect from Helsinki, with trains and buses covering a greater swathe of southeast Finnish countryside.