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Saimaa Canal, Lappeenranta

4.6
#3 of 43 in Nature in Finland
Water Body Nature / Park
A visit to Saimaa Canal does not require a Russian visa, but does require a passport, as nowadays it's actually Russian territory. Located along the Russian border, the canal was leased to Finland for a few decades following the country's independence, but in 2012 it reverted back to Russian control. The canal itself is used for transport between the Gulf of Finland and Lake Saimaa in the "Finnish Land of Lakes," but walking and biking trails follow the waterway through scenic woods and meadows. Book a boat tour at the canal, which allows you to reach all the locks quickly. You can learn about the importance of the canal at the museum near the docks. Snacks and drinks are served on the tour boats, or opt for the cafeteria inside the museum if you get hungry. Put Saimaa Canal on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Lappeenranta vacation trip planner.
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6 days in Finland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, beaches, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 30 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Lappeenranta BY A USER FROM SWEDEN July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Finland BY A USER FROM POLAND July, outdoors, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 1 day in South Karelia BY A USER FROM FINLAND June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in Finland BY A USER FROM ISRAEL July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Finland BY A USER FROM FINLAND August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Finland BY A USER FROM LITHUANIA July, outdoors, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in Finland BY A USER FROM CANADA July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 12 days in Finland BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 25 days in Finland BY A USER FROM AUSTRIA July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 14 days in Finland BY A USER FROM AUSTRIA July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced
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Where to stay in Lappeenranta

While you won't find many true luxury options in Lappeenranta, its hotels offer affordable accommodations. You'll also find hostels and apartments geared toward housing its extensive university student population. Because of its history as a spa town, many hotels feature these sorts of amenities. Most accommodations cluster in the city center around the church and near the small airport, with easy access to the nearby lake. Guesthouses and private apartments outside of town offer more peace and quiet for prices lower than central hotels, but you'll need a car in order to get around efficiently.
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  • It's enough stirring feeling when you see the passage of the ship through water gates for the first time in your life. Anyway you can't miss it if you decide to go by car or by bus through Russian (Br...  more »
  • Done it many times since kid and always exciting to 'do the jump'! The boats are very comfortable these days Lovely trip.  more »
  • A man-made waterway that connects one of Europe's biggest lakes to Russia, completed in 1967, the Saimaa Canal is a physical remnant of Finland's post-war balancing act between East and West and a sym...  more »