Where to go in Imatra

Table of contents:

Where to go in Imatra
Where to go in Imatra
photo: Where to go in Imatra
photo: Where to go in Imatra
  • Museums
  • Architecture
  • Natural attractions
  • Parks

Imatra is a miniature Finnish town located on the border with Russia. It is known for its ski resort, developed ecological tourism and architectural sights. Tourists come to Imatra to feel the local flavor and go to interesting places.



Lovers of antiquity should go to the city's museums. This is not only a great opportunity to see valuable collections of exhibits with your own eyes, but also to get acquainted with the history of Finland. Include the following objects in your excursion program:

  • An art museum that began operating in 1951. During this time, the employees managed to multiply the collection at times and create optimal conditions for it. In total, the museum houses about 1,500 works of art from different eras. Among them, engravings by Japanese artists of the 17th century, as well as paintings by Finnish and European masters, occupy a worthy place. In addition, thematic exhibitions are organized for visitors, telling about the formation of the museum and the history of its exhibits. The cost of a ticket for one adult is 2.5 euros, for a child and a pensioner - 1 euros.
  • Workers' Life Museum, located in the Ritikanranta area. The museum is unusual in that it tells its visitors about the hard work and life of the Finnish workers who have lived in Imatra since the end of the 19th century. The museum complex includes a two-story barrack and a stone sauna. A collection of exhibits is exhibited in these buildings: household items, clothing, jewelry, dishes, tools, archival documents and other evidence of the life of workers. Until now, the collection is periodically replenished with new exhibits that are brought to the museum by the townspeople.
  • Museum "Karelian House", located on the banks of the Vuoksa River, in the immediate vicinity of the center of Imatra. In this open-air museum, details of the everyday life of Karelian peasants are recreated with amazing accuracy. Moreover, on the territory of the museum, buildings erected in the middle of the 19th century have been preserved almost in their original form. Walking along the streets of the Karelian house, tourists find themselves in the past a century ago. In each of the houses, guides are waiting for visitors, ready to tell about the exhibits. Exhibitions and master classes on Karelian traditional crafts are organized near the main buildings.
  • The Vaino House Museum is famous for its exhibits dedicated to the memory of veterans of the Winter and Great Patriotic Wars. Samples of weapons, documents, sculptural compositions, personal belongings of soldiers, photographs are exhibited in the vast halls. A monument is erected near the museum - a tribute to those who did not return from the places of hostilities. The Russian cannon, which was bought by Eila Ikyavalko and later donated to the museum, deserves special attention.


The architectural appearance of the city is represented by cathedrals and old buildings in different styles. They were built between the 18th and 19th centuries and are included in the city's cultural heritage list.

It is worth starting a walk through the architectural sights of the city from the Church of the Three Crosses or the Church of Vuoksenniska. This building is rightfully recognized by experts as the best embodiment of modernist temple architecture. The creator of the project was the famous master Alvar Aalto, who works in the Scandinavian style.

The internal space of the church is arranged in such a way that it can be divided into several parts by niches. This technique is used when it is necessary to accommodate parishioners in different rooms. At first glance, the altar is struck by its white marble pedestal, on which there are three crosses. Near the altar there are benches made of precious wood. Particularly worth noting is the unusual play of shadow and light created by windows of different sizes and shapes. In the courtyard of the temple, a bell tower in the form of an arrow was erected, elevating by 35 meters.

Another place worth going to is the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. The temple is considered active and was built in 1956 under the direction of the architect Toivo Paatela. He focused on Russian traditional architecture, so wood was used as a material. Initially, the architect erected the chapel, and ten years later it was added to the church.

Despite its small size, this shrine is known and loved not only by locals, but also by visitors. The church is located in a picturesque area and gives visitors a sense of peace and tranquility. The interior is characterized by simplicity and conciseness. The cathedral operates all year round and is always open to visitors.

In 1903, in the vicinity of the Imatrankoski waterfall, another iconic landmark of Imatra appeared - the Valtionhotelli castle hotel. The total cost of the project cost the local senate 400 thousand marks, which was a serious investment for the beginning of the 20th century. Before the construction of the hotel, there were several hotels made of wood, which were destroyed by fire. Therefore, the decision was made to build Valtionhotelli out of stone. Such a large-scale project was entrusted to the architect Usko Nyström. He developed an original concept for the building, centered on a huge kitchen space that amazes guests to this day. For eight decades, the hotel was very popular among the St. Petersburg nobility and royalty.

In 2005, the building was bought by a large concern, which spent about three million euros on restoration. The most beautiful wall paintings, prints, paintings, mosaics and stained glass windows have been restored to their original form. Today the hotel has 92 rooms, a conference room and a restaurant.

The fountains in the central square are also among the architectural landmarks of Imatra. Tourists and residents of the city gather here every day to stroll along the cozy streets, taste national cuisine in a cafe and admire the fountains equipped with colorful lighting.

The fountain complex consists of one in a classical style and the other in a cascading style. Overflowing streams of water are released from multiple holes at different frequencies. This allows you to create the effect of "dancing" fountains. In addition, musical accompaniment sounds.

Natural attractions

The main natural object of the city is the largest lake in the country - Saimaa. It is from here that the Vuoksa River flows through the whole of Imatra. The difference in height between the river and the lake is 75 meters, from which the water rushes down in a bubbling stream, forming the Imatranoski waterfall. Its fall height is 18 meters. The natural waterfall was closed after the construction of the hydroelectric power station in the early 20th century. The main launcher was constructed in such a way that it became possible to control the flow of water.

Every summer from late June to late August, Imatranoski hosts a half-hour show with music and lighting effects. Tourists and locals gather to see this amazing sight. Connoisseurs of thrills can try their hand at bungee jumping from a waterfall. During the winter, the show is accompanied by fireworks and traditional Christmas carols.

An interesting fact is that the history of the waterfall is shrouded in legends. According to one of them, those who wanted to commit suicide came to the waterfall. Legend has it that if you stay at the waterfall at night, you can see the souls of the dead suicides.

Not far from Imatranoski there is a canyon formed by the waters of Lake Saimaa. The fact is that six thousand years ago, the waters of the lake broke through a crevice in the Salpausselkä ridge, and the lake changed its direction. The result is a land area framed by boulders.

Since 1772, the canyon has been periodically visited by Empress Catherine II, fascinated by the beauty of this place. Later, she came to Imatra every year to admire the canyon.


There are not so many parks in the city itself as in its surroundings. So take your time and see the most popular ones. Among them:

  • Patsaspuisto or the park of crazy figures, located 47 kilometers from Imatra. The creator of the park was a man named Veijo Rönkkönen, who for 40 years made human figures of bizarre shapes out of concrete. Each sculpture is individual and made in a single copy. The main composition consists of figures of people doing yoga. Veijo Rönkkönen was an ardent supporter of this doctrine and brought his idea to life in the form of sculptures. Also in the park you can see many figures of animals and birds. It is noteworthy that the master had no art education, but experts highly appreciated his work.
  • Kruununpuisto Park (Crown Park) is the oldest protected area in Finland. The attraction occupies the central part of Imatra. The park was founded in the middle of the 19th century. The order for its creation was issued by Nicholas II, who took a fancy to these natural places. Karelian forests, rocks, streams are still preserved on a vast territory. During the tour of the park, tourists are accompanied by a guide who tells about every corner of Kruununpuisto.

The park is interesting in that it has managed to harmoniously combine different natural landscapes and the spirit of modernity. Every day, residents of the city come here to enjoy the solitude and watch the birds. There are benches and gazebos throughout the park for a more comfortable pastime.

Despite its small size, Imatra is very popular with tourists. This city is a center of historical, natural and architectural sights that reflect different stages of the life of Imatra and tell about the events of the past.


Where to go in Imatra
Where to go in Imatra
Where to go in Imatra
Where to go in Imatra