One day in the Harbour of Lappeenranta

As the weather starts to look, feel and smell like a real summer – with blooming flowers, lush greenery and a cheerful sun - more and more people pour out onto the streets of Lappeenranta.

If you decide to join the others, you will not regret. Guiding you will be this short one-day itinerary for a fulfilling day in the beautiful Harbour area of Lappeenranta.

Whatever point of the city you are – be it an outlying Sammonlahti, or a central Peltola district - hop on a bike. By doing so, you do not only contribute to your own well-being, but also that of nature. Little did I know, but cycling is also supporting Lappeenranta’s strive for sustainable development with WWF.

You are sure to enjoy the ride through the sun lit and cozy streets of the city, and can easily commute far and wide, as all its major points are in a perfect cycling distance.

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Who even needs a public transport when the weather is this good.

 Should you not have a bike, you can easily rent one at the Sandcastle Tourist Information point. And not only that - available for rent there are also kayaks and SUP-boards.

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Trying these is an exciting experience in itself.

Once you have chosen your mean of transport, do not go far from where you are. Look around, and you will be very pleasantly surprised. As you are yet to discover, the Tourist Info desk and its renting facility is a part of a much bigger thing! Located right nearby is a spectacular annual Lappeenranta Sandcastle with its numerous attractions. It has never failed to wow and charm its visitors. This year’s “Finland 200 years” theme seems to be an even bigger success! The sculptures made of sand are absolutely amazing – both in terms of creative futuristic ideas, and their masterful execution.

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My personal favorite, despite the futuristic theme, is the so well-known Norppa  There is much more at the exhibition, and I leave it for you to come and explore!

Located on the same site are a carousel, little train, and a bouncy castle – attractions so much loved by all kids.

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As your kids are having fun on one of them, you can take a walk along the stalls nearby and peek at handicraft products or eat some tasty snack.

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For those of you who haven’t yet discovered the city with a guided tour – you have a great opportunity to do that. Departing from a place nearby is a bigger version of kids’ train. This street train excursion of Lappeenranta is a wonderful way to explore the city.

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As the day passes by, fresh air and rich pastime will do their thing, and you will soon be very hungry and looking for some place to eat. To that end, I suggest that you try absolutely delicious Vety and Atomi. Created in the early 60’s by a local coffee shop owner, these indigenous delicacies remain to be one of the favorite local snacks to this day, and can be found nowhere else than here. These meat pies with ham, egg, ketchup, mustard, pickle, onion and mayonnaise will not leave you indifferent! You can find those at the market place or in the harbour.

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Located right next to the Harbour area’s food kiosks are some other stalls with fresh berries and different handicraft products.

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Once you have finished feasting on the local delicacies, some of you might want to just sit back, relax, enjoy the moment, and wish there was some nice music playing. Good for you, as wishes here come true! Taking the stage every other day of the summer in the marketplace or the Harbour area is some orchestra or a music band.

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The Harbour area of Lappeenranta is a very nice place to be. It is even more so to some good music.

Should you be willing to continue to explore Lappeenranta and its main sites instead, you can easily do so. Departing right from the Harbour are several ships. They can take you to experience the historical Saimaa Canal, Saimaa archipelago, or even both! It is an excellent way to admire the unique and breathtaking views of the Saimaa area as well as learn something new. I took M/S Camilla cruise ship a few days ago and can tell you that it is something to remember, and an absolute must-see for all coming to Lappeenranta. The ship has several bars and even a restaurant.

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The difference in the water level between Lake Saimaa and the Gulf of Finland, 76m on average, has been offset by means of eight locks of different sizes, and the cruise ships do go through the highest lock – Mälkiä.

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Mälkiä Lock’s lift is approximately 12m high.

Come and experience for yourself!

As your cruise ship arrives back to the port, you will notice that night life of the Harbour area is just starting, and you have not missed a thing. If you feel like, you can continue, or head home after an already overfulfilling day.

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With the wide choice activities, festivities and delicacies, you are sure to find something to your liking and mood in the Harbour  Just come to see, feel and taste for yourself.

This is all for now.

I hope this itinerary would be helpful, and you will enjoy the Harbour as much as I did the other day.
Goodbye


-Aleksei