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Lappeenranta: Perfect day

Head to Café Alexandra in the market square for a traditional Karelian breakfast of delicious, freshly baked pastries and local delicacies

See Lappeenranta’s 18th-century fortress in the Old Town and pick up traditional, handcrafted souvenirs made by local artisans. While you’re there, take a tour of the Cavalry Museum, the oldest building within the fortress, and discover the history of the Finnish cavalry, the Hakkapeliittas


For lunch head to Kasino on Ainonkatu, the city’s top dining spot, and sample the à la carte menu

During the winter months, brave swimming in an ice hole in the harbour, followed by a comfortingly hot Finnish sauna and a honey massage at Lappeenranta spa, or, for a sportier alternative, try out the slopes and cross-country trails at nearby Myllymäki ski centre

Head back to the fortress and warm up with afternoon tea at Majurska on Kristiinankatu, Lappeenranta’s best-known café

Visit Kauppakatu and indulge in a little retail therapy at the city’s main shopping spot, the Galleria mall

Venture out of the city to the Säräpirtti Kippurasarvi restaurant in nearby Lemi for delicious särä, lamb cooked in a wood-fired oven according to a 1,000-year-old recipe. Be sure to book in advance

After dinner, check out the local nightlife. For live rock music, try Old Cock on Valtakatu, or, for something a little more lively, try Lappeenranta’s traditional Finnish dance restaurant, Monrepos on Oksasenkatu

Photo: Heta Halme



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