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. Plan your Saimaa Canal visit and explore what else you can see and do in Lappeenranta using our Lappeenranta travel route site.
Saimaa Canal Reviews
The lake is beatiful and the locks are an experience. Plenty of scenery to take in. Definitely a recommendable trip. more »
Cruised all the way to Viborg and listened to the history of the canal, very interesting. Very sad that the Finns built the canal and then the Russians took half away and now Finland has to pay rent.... more »
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17 days in Finland BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND July, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Finland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, outdoors, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in Finland BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE March, teens, kids, historic sites, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, teens, kids, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 2 days in Imatra BY A USER FROM FINLAND February, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: February, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Imatra BY A USER FROM FRANCE April, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in Lappeenranta BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, popular sights PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium