A standout lake trip, century-old M/S Puijo travels from Savonlinna to Kuopio on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9am (one way €90, 10½...
Heads to/from Lappeenranta (€69, 8½ hours) roughly twice weekly from early June to mid-August; the fare includes return bus transfer to...
The town’s provincial museum, in an old Russian warehouse near Olavinlinna Castle, tells of local history and the importance of water...
By the kauppatori and harbour, this has a great summer terrace, perfect for a sundowner, and a cosy lounge area. It's better for drinks...
Closest to Olavinlinna Castle, this is the best of the summertime food options that cater to the pre- and post-opera crowd. This offers...
Standing immense and haughty, 15th-century Olavinlinna is one of the most spectacularly situated castles in northern Europe and, as well as being an imposing fortification, is also the stunning venue for the month-long Savonlinna Opera Festival. The castle’s been heavily restored, but is still seriously impressive, not least in the way it’s built directly on a rock in the middle of the lake. To visit the upper part of the interior, including the towers and chapel, you must join a guided tour (around 45 minutes).
Tours are multilingual depending on demand and depart on the hour. Guides are good at bringing the castle to life and furnish you with some interesting stories: the soldiers, for instance, were partly paid in beer – 5L a day and 7L on Sundays, which makes the castle’s frequent changes of hands more understandable.