Karelia drinking and nightlife

Top Choice Wine Bar in Ilomantsi

Hermanni Wine Tower

Blackcurrants, crowberries and white currants from the fields and bogs around Ilomantsi are blended by Hermanni Winery. At the top of the local 33m-high water tower, you can sample its local berry wines and liqueurs…
Top Choice Coffee in Lappeenranta

Lehmus Roastery

Crowned Finland's best coffee roastery at 2017's Suomen Paras Paahtimo awards, Lehmus occupies a red-brick former warehouse overlooking the lake. Behind the gleaming espresso machine, passionate staff roast four typ…
Top Choice Bar in Joensuu


Joensuu's best bar-club occupies its own island in the Pielisjoki, linked to the city centre by a bridge. DJs spin techno, trance and electronica on Friday and Saturday; live bands and stand-up comedy take place in …
Top Choice Bar in Lappeenranta

Prinsessa Armaada

Built in 1902, this tar steamship, which once transported timber to St Petersburg (and briefly served in the Russian Imperial Navy in 1914) has operated as a bar since 1959 and has great ciders and craft beers. Its …
Bar in Joensuu

Romeo 1914

Live music plays most nights aboard this former timber transporter built in 1914, now moored on the Pielisjoki. Wood-fired pizzas are cooked on the dockside terrace. Several other boat bars are located nearby.
Bar in Joensuu


Sunsets are spectacular from this bar perched on the Pyhäselkä lake's edge, with a resident peg-leg pirate statue and seating on the terrace and pier, as well as a sauna in a rustic red timber building.
Bar in Imatra


Close to the rapids, in leafy surrounds overlooking a splashing fountain, this stylish Arctic-white bar opens to an umbrella-shaded terrace (heated in winter) and hosts live music on weekends.
Bar in Lappeenranta


One of the swankier bars in town, Birra has a shaded terrace, cosy booths and a great range of beer (over 100 by the bottle) and cider (20 varieties) with more rotating on the taps.