Winter time in Lappeenranta

Lappeenranta is a great winter holiday destination for people of all ages. Both the city centre and the Rauha-Tiuru area offer plenty of indoor and outdoor activities. You can enjoy winter fun on the Myllymäki Ski Resort, which is a safe place to learn downhill skiing or enjoy a sled ride. For indoor fun, try the HopLop and Angry Birds activity parks.

Experience winter in Lappeenranta

Fortress

Lappeenranta Fortress is an excellent place for adventure. With the nature and cultural trail it`s easier to explore the historical Fortress of Lappeenranta. The route around the fortress is about 1.8 km long and there are 11 signposts along the trail, that tell the story of the area's building and cultural history, as well as its distinctive vegetation. Following the trail around the fortress is a great way to learn about the architectural and cultural history of the fortress and the surrounding natural environment. Lappeenranta Fortress also happens to be one of the best places in the city to go for sledding.

The Winter Castle

The Winter Castle will be opened for the whole family in Linnoitusniemi, Lappeenranta in January. The castle will be maintained until the end of March, as long as the snow conditions permit. This means that the opening of the Winter Castle requires a snowy winter. 
The Winter Castle will consist of a snow sculpture and four slides that form a cohesive whole. The theme of the snow sculpture is the Saimaa ringed seal. The sculpture will be placed at the highest point of the Winter Castle, with four hill slides of different heights below, facing the Pikisaari island. You can get to the top of the hill by taking the stairs. There will be snow sliders for free use.

The sculpture and the hills will have coloured lights, and the location will also feature an ambient soundscape. The purpose of the soundscape and lighting is to create a magical atmosphere that differs from the reality of everyday life. The lighting also helps promote safety for the people using the hill slides.

In terms of location, the Snow Castle is linked to the popular Geopark in Karhusaari and the lakeside hiking trail, which attracts people all year round. The nearby restaurants and cafés in the harbour area serve the visitors of the Snow Castle. The plan is to create wintertime services in the vicinity of the Winter Castle for locals and tourists, such as snowshoe, ice fishing equipment and fat bike rental services.
The purpose of the Winter Castle is to promote Lappeenranta’s status as a year-round tourist destination and event location and to offer experiences to residents and tourists in the winter, as well.

Dog sledding

 

Ukonniemi in Imatra, a short distance away from Lappeenranta, is home to a dog sledding operator called Taiga Activities. Dog sledding ride is an exciting experience for children and adults.

Come and meet our furry friends and take an unforgettable dog sledding ride!

Ice skating and skiing

Ice skating is a fun and energetic pastime for people of all ages. There are ice skating rinks all over the city.  The rinks in Kimpinen, Voisalmi, Sammonlahti, Lauritsala and the baseball stadium, for example, are open to the public on a daily basis. Skiing is great for all-round fitness, and there are plenty of ski trails in the city, including in Pappilanniemi and Lauritsala, around Lappeenranta Airport and the Army Academy, and in Huhtiniemi and Myllymäki. There are also trails across Lake Saimaa to destinations such as the Karhusaari and Mikonsaari islands.
Drakkar Sport rents also skies during the winter season. You can read more about how ski trails and ice skating rinks are maintained in Lappeenranta here.

 

Wintry walks

What could be better than a walk in wintry woods, followed by a hot cup of tea or coffee by an open fire? The beautiful Lake Saimaa and its extensive network of stunning hiking trails are on our doorstep.  The scenery is breathtaking in the winter: trails definitely worth exploring include the Lakeside Route along the shores of Lake Saimaa, the Pappilanniemi nature trail, the Mikonsaari nature trail, the Hämmäauteensuo swamp area and hiking routes around Myllymäki Ski Resort. There is also a trail across Lake Saimaa to Karhusaari island in the winter.

Are you brave enough to try winter cycling?

Lappeenranta is a keen advocate of sustainable mobility and an excellent city for cycling in both summer and winter.  The city’s cycling routes are maintained throughout the year and ploughed and gritted on most winter days as well. The dark winter evenings are not an obstacle either, as long as you have good lights of your bike and wear reflective clothing.

Guided bike tours also run throughout the year, including in the winter. You can read more on the Saimaan Palju website.
Alternatively, you can rent a bike and explore the wintry landscape around Lake Saimaa at your own pace.

 

Myllymäki Ski Resort

 

Myllymäki Ski Resort offers affordable ski equipment hire and lift passes. Snacks are available in the restaurant. The resort is particularly well suited for snowboarding. The surrounding area also boasts an excellent network of cross-country skiing trails. Myllymäki’s size and safety make it an ideal learning environment for younger skiers. Sledding is a great option for the youngest family members and sledding slopes can be found at Myllymäk.

Read more about Myllymäki

Culture all year round

Lappeenranta’s cultural landscapes are steeped in history and provide a wonderful setting for enjoying an almost Central European atmosphere. Lappeenranta is closer than you think and has great opportunities for shopping, culture and relaxation.
We have put together a list of the best attractions, events and sights for culture lovers, and there are lots of them. Unforgettable culinary experiences include dinner by Lake Saimaa and traditional meat pies “Atomi” and “Vety” with a local twist: the addition of either ham or egg or both. 
Hundreds of events of various kinds are held in Lappeenranta every year. Lappeenranta is a university city, which also hosts a wide range of festivals, concerts, sporting events and street fairs both in urban settings and amid the tranquil scenery of Lake Saimaa.

Cafés

Did you know that Lappeenranta is also the official coffee capital of Finland? Satamatie 6 beneath Lappeenranta Fortress near the harbour was voted the best café in Finland in 2018 and 2020. Makea Coffee in the city centre ranked third in the country in 2020.

And there is no better way to end a sightseeing tour than a cup of tea or coffee with a slice of delicious berry pie in Lappeenranta Fortress’s own Café Majurska or a plate of waffles in the atmospheric Café Luovuus in the historic Kinnunen house. There are also many other wonderful cafés that are worth visiting in Lappeenranta!

 

The Cirque de Saimaa Spa at Holiday Club Saimaa

“The Cirque de Saimaa” Spa offers experiences for all ages and tastes. Enjoy the speed of water slides or relax in the atmospheric Sauna World. Pamper yourself with a luxurious Harmony Spa wellness treatment. Holiday Club Saimaa Spa and Wellness section is unique and it offers refreshing spa treatments for the whole family. 

Read more about Cirque de Saimaa Spa

Angry Birds Activity Park

Indoor activity and adventure venues are a great option for days when the weather is far from appealing and you need to find something for your younger family members to do. A great idea is to head out to the Angry Bird Activity Park, an indoor adventure venue in the Rauha area, next to the Holiday Club Saimaa.

Read more about Angry Birds Activity Park