Imatra rapids and power plant lit up by night

Imatra (population ca. 30 000) is an industrial town in South Karelia. 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.

Get in

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.

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.


In poetry

Imatra is even mentioned in the Kalevala, the epic poem of Finland (compiled from oral poetry in 1835):
"Three, the water-falls in number,
Three in number, inland oceans,
Three in number, lofty mountains,
Shooting to the vault of heaven.
Hallapyora's near to Yaemen,
Katrakoski in Karyala;
Imatra, the falling water,
Tumbles, roaring, into Wuoksi"



You can find all sorts of small shops in the   pedestrian area (along and next to Koskenparras street). If you prefer shopping malls, head to the   Mansikkala district, where you can find Rajamarket, Citymarket and a brand new Prisma.






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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 12, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.