This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Imatra.
Imatra is a town and municipality in eastern Finland, near the Russian border. Its overall impression is dominated by the Russian cultural influence and the natural beauty of Lake Saimaa and the Vuoksi River. Being primarily an old industrial city surrounded by amazingly beautiful nature, it offers an interesting viewpoint into the change of the Finnish economy from agriculture to heavy industry and, especially, the time after that.
Imatra can be easily reached by direct train services from Helsinki and Joensuu. In addition, several buses run daily to/from Helsinki, Joensuu, Kouvola, Lappeenranta, Kotka, and Mikkeli. When it comes to buses crossing the Finnish-Russian border, check the schedules well in advance and again a night before. If desperate, ask the numerous Russian private tourist buses to take you to Svetogorsk, which is connected to Vyborg by regular buses.
If getting to Imatra is usually rather simple, getting around the town can be tricky, as there is not one but three centers in Imatra. There are local buses connecting the three centers but the timetables can be scarce. This should be taken into consideration when choosing a hostel in Imatra.
It should be no problem to find a bed as there are several hostels in Imatra as well as other accommodation options; the most famous is the Jugend-style castle, Imatran Valtionhotelli, close to the Imatra Dam. In addition, simple cottages and camping areas serve travelers on a tight budget. However, booking in advance is necessary around Christmas and early January when Imatra gets packed with Russian tourists enjoying their holidays.
Written by local enthusiast for Imatra hostelsLotta Kauppi