Vyborg castle was constructed in 1293 by the
order of Torkel Knutsson. The location was chosen for strategic
reason since Sweden at the time was involved in Crusades against
Finish pagans as well as Republic of Novgorod. This rulers of this
important stronghold or margraviates had wide autonomy and even kept
large part of the income from the surrounding lands. Some of the
most influential and powerful families regarded governorate of
citadel a great honor. During Russo- Swedish War (1495- 97) Russians
besieged the castle... again. A mysterious explosion on Nov 30th of
1495 scared off Russian army who claimed they saw the cross of St.
Andrew in the sky. Taking this as a bad omen the besieging army
In the early 17th century internal warfare inside
Muscovite kingdom reduced the potential of the Russians to bother
the Swedish citadel. The stronghold fell in disrepair and little
attention had been given to its modernization. In 1710 the castle
was taken by Peter the Great during the Great Northern War. The
castle was transferred to Grand Ductchy of Finland in the early 19th
century once it was taken after defeat of the Sweden's army. In 1918
Finland became independent and Vyborg remained a Finnish town until
it was taken by the invading Red Army during World War II. The
Finland switched sides and joined the Allies, but the lands were
A walking tour of the major sights of the city can
be done in about three to four hours, with Vyborg Castle being the
highlight of the tour.
From the train station, walk down
Leningradskiy Prospekt and turn right along the embankment of the
Salakka-Lakhti Inlet. See the Market Square on the left at the end
of the quay, where one can see the Market Hall or "Rynok" and the
16th-century Round Tower. Walk past the Round Tower to the Lutheran
Peter and Paul Cathedral in the park. Cross the street to see the
blue-painted Transfiguration Cathedral, then walk up Vyborgskaya
Ulitsa past the Council House Tower along the remnants of the old
city wall, then head up the street (this is the least picturesque
part of the walk through the Stone City) to see the Clock Tower
tucked in among the apartment buildings. Before the Castle Bridge,
see the Statue of Torgils Knutsson, the Swedish knight who founded
the city in the 13th century. Look across the gulf to the Statue of
Peter the Great in the park opposite.
Cross the bridge to
Vyborg Castle which was built in 1293 by Swedes, captured by Peter
the Great in the 18th century, served as a Finnish prison in the
19th century, and passed between the hands of the Soviets and Finns
multiple times during World War II. The castle has several different
exhibits, each with its own entry fee, and one can climb to the top
of the tower for a nice view of the city. (Tickets for the tower
cost 80 rubles from the museum cashier.)
Cross back over the
bridge and walk up Krepostnaya Ulitsa through the town, turn left on
Suvorovskiy Prospekt, see the Alvar Aalto Library and the Statue of
a Moose in the park, then proceed to Red Square and the Statue of
Lenin before heading up Vokzalnaya Ulitsa back to the train station.
Get in Seeing Vyborg is possible as a day trip from St.
Petersburg, or as a stopover on the Helsinki-St. Petersburg train
By plane Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg has
good plane connections.
By bus Bus excursions depart St.
Petersburg's Gostinyy Dvor on weekend mornings and cost about 700
rubles, returning to St. Petersburg in the evening, a total of about
10–11 hours. International coach lines connect Vyborg to
Helsinki, Turku, Lappeenranta and Jyväskylä in Finland. More
information from Matkahuolto and Savonlinja.
By train By
train from St. Petersburg, express trains and local "elektrichka"
trains depart from the Finlandskiy station. Express trains cost 182
rubles each way, and tickets can be purchased in advance or at
windows 27-30 at the Finland station (not in the main hall) on the
day of departure. Beware of long lines if you're attempting to
purchase tickets shortly before the train departs. Elektrichka
tickets are slightly cheaper for a longer ride and can be purchased
in the main hall at Finlandskiy station on the day of travel only.
Express trains (with upholstered seats and a restaurant car) travel
on the following schedule: Train #7017 departs St. Petersburg at
08:05 and arrives Vyborg 09:54 Train #???? departs St. Petersburg
at 12:51 and arrives Vyborg 14:42 Train #7038 departs Vyborg at
15:21 and arrives St. Petersburg 17:00 Train #???? departs Vyborg
at 20:10 and arrives St. Petersburg 21:50 Elektrichkas (with
wooden bench-seats and few amenities) run more or less throughout
the day, and a sampling of their schedule is: Departs St.
Petersburg 08:10 and arrives Vyborg 10:44 Departs St. Petersburg
08:58 and arrives Vyborg 11:31 Departs Vyborg 15:34 and arrives
St. Petersburg 18:00 The major international trains to Helsinki
stop in Vyborg, although they are relatively expensive. The
high-speed Allegro train travels between St. Petersburg and
Helsinki, stopping in Vyborg. By small cruiseliner In the
summer there are daily cruises from Lappeenranta in Finland down the
Saimaa Canal to Vyborg operated by Saimaa Travel . If you are
arriving and leaving Russia by ship from the same port and staying
less than 72 hours you do not need a visa.
By yacht See
also: Boating on the Baltic Sea#Saimaa Canal, Boating on the Baltic
Sea#Boating in Russia You can make the same journey by small
craft. As the town lies in the Vyborg Bay of Gulf of Finland, it is
easily reachable by small craft also from the sea. With small craft
you need visa and certain documents; check requirements in advance
and follow procedures strictly.
By car Vyborg is on the
highway between St. Petersburg and the Finnish border and you can
visit the city if you are driving by.
Get around Vyborg is
compact and walkable. Those in a hurry can take local bus #12 from
the train station to the castle. City maps of Vyborg can be
purchased at bookstores in St. Petersburg, at news kiosks at the
Vyborg train station, and are sometimes sold at the Vyborg market
1 Hotel Atlantik, ul. Podgornaya 9 (close to the castle off a
main street), ☎ +7 81378 2-47-76. Quiet, clean mid-range hotel with
friendly and young English speaking staff. Breakfast included. 2
Bat Hotel, ul. Nikolaeva 3 (between Park Lenina and the
Salakka-Lakhti Inlet), ☎ +7 81378 3-45-37. Known as "Letuchaya Mysh"
in Russian is a mid-range hotel in the same class as the Atlantik.
3 Druzhba Hotel, ul. Zheleznodorozhnaya 5. Imposing pyramid
structure on the inlet.
1 Slavyanskaya Trapeza (Славянская Трапеза), Ulitsa Yuzhnyy Val,
4/2 (Just across the bridge from Vyborg Castle, in the buildings
basement), ☎ +7 813 789-32-99. Serves moderately-priced Russian
food, including excellent Chicken Kiev for about 200 rubles. 2 U
Borkharda (У Борхарда), Ulitsa Podgornaya, 10, ☎ +7 931 336-63-63.
Quite an extensive menu, including an excellent solyanka. Moderate
to high prices in this rustic restaurant with kitsch decorations.
Restaurant NiKa at the Hotel Atlantik (Ul. Podgornaya 9). Prices
are moderate to high. Kruglaya Bashnya, a Russian restaurant
inside the Round Tower. Not as expensive as you might expect for its
prime location, but service is slow.