Top choice in Lappeenranta

Every summer, around 30 sand artists from Finland and abroad gather to build the Hiekkalinna, a giant themed ‘sandcastle’ made from some 3 million kg of sand. Previous themes have included dinosaurs, a Wild West scene incorporating a gigantic steam train, and 'outer space' featuring ET and Darth Vader. Kids' entertainment here includes small carousel-style rides.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lappeenranta attractions

1. South Karelian Museum


Focusing on the history of Lappeenranta – and of its two sister towns, Käkisalmi (Priozersk) and Vyborg, lost across the Russian border in 1939, this…

2. Linnoitus

0.14 MILES

Standing guard above the harbour, this hulking hilltop fortification was begun by the Swedes and finished by the Russians in the late 18th century. Today…

3. Lappeenranta Art Museum

0.24 MILES

This art museum at the Linnoitus fortress has a permanent collection of modern paintings by Karelian and other Finnish artists. A large part of the space…

4. Orthodox Church

0.26 MILES

At the Linnoitus fortress, Finland’s oldest church was completed in 1785 by Russian soldiers and features a glittering iconostasis and other saintly…

5. Cavalry Museum


The cavalry are honoured as Lappeenranta’s greatest heroes and the 1772-built former garrison (the town’s oldest building) at the Linnoitus fortress tells…

6. Myllysaari

0.55 MILES

On the lakeshore, this sandy beach has an outdoor swimming pool, beach volleyball, a water slide and kiosk, along with the Myllysaari beach sauna. Hardy…

7. Wolkoff Home Museum

0.58 MILES

Built in 1826, this lovingly preserved Russian home was owned by the merchant Wolkoff family from 1872 to 1986, and its 10 rooms have been maintained as…

8. Lappee Church

0.73 MILES

Diagonally across the park from its own bell tower, the adorable wooden Lappee Church was built in 1794 to an unusual ‘double cruciform’ floor plan, the…