Imatra (population ca. 30 000) is an industrial town in South Karelia ,  Finland . It is dominated by Lake Saimaa, the River Vuoksi and the Finnish-Russian border. Imatra’s over 300-year-old history of busy tourism is greatly attributed to the attraction of the spectacular rapids of the river Vuoksi which have enticed many illustrious personas to visit the area throughout the ages. Visitors have included such people as Russian Empress Catherine II, Alexander Dumas Senior and Richard Wagner.

Access : Coordinates: 61.183333, 28.766667 / By car : Imatra is situated about 250 kilometers east from Helsinki and the trip takes three hours (or more in the winter). The city is situated near the Russian border and you can cross the border at Svetogorsk just 7 km from Imatra. By plane :  Plane is not a good way to get into Imatra. The closest airport in Lappeenranta isn’t served by passenger flights any longer. Your best bet would be to fly into Helsinki and travel the rest by bus or train.

By train :  Trains between Helsinki and Joensuu stop at Imatra. The duration of the trip is about three hours and there are about ten daily departures. From Russia, it’s a bit more complicated , get off at Vainikkala at the Finnish side of the border, take a bus to Lappeenranta and from there by bus or train up to Imatra.  By bus :
Another alternative is to travel by bus. Timetables for normal intercity buses can be found at Matkahuolto’s website. Also budget bus company Onnibus connects to Helsinki, Kouvola and Joensuu among others. By boat : Lake Saimaa can be reached from sea through the Saimaa Canal.

Get around :  Downtown can be covered by foot or bike. The city also has a small public bus network of three lines. The other alternatives are car and taxi.

Attractions : 1 Imatrankoski Rapids. These rapids are Finland’s first ever tourist attraction. The Russian Empress Catherine the Great and her retinue visited the rapids in 1772. Next to the rapids is hotel resembling a medieval knight’s castle – the Imatran Valtionhotelli. The original name of the hotel was Grand Hotel Cascade d’Imatra.
2 Kruununpuisto Park. The oldest nature park in Finland, occupying the area around the Imatrankoski Rapids, was founded in 1842 by order of Tsar Nicholas I.
3 Church of the Three Crosses (Kolmen ristin kirkko) (in Vuoksenniska district). Open: 1 Sep – 31 May daily 10AM – 3PM, 1 Jun – 31 Aug daily 9AM – 8PM.

Activities : Go 90’s: 1–2 July 2016. Festival focusing on 90’s music (date needs updating)
Imatra Big Band Festival. /  Rock to the River. Rock festival.

Buy :

Eat : Drink : Accommodation :

Go next : Lappeenranta / Punkaharju / Savonlinna / SvetogorskVyborg ( Russia )


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