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Vyborg Castle

Image of Vyborg Castle



Location: Vyborg Map

Constructed: 1293


10 largest cities of Russia
St. Petersburg
Nizhny Novgorod






Hotels, motels and where to sleep

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

Interesting information and useful tips




Description of Vynorg Castle

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 quickly retreated.


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 never returned.





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 line.

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 ("rynok").


Hotels, motels and where to sleep

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.


Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

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.


Cultural (and not so cultural) events



Interesting information and useful tips





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