Free e-visa to Russia - easier access

10/7/2019 6:13 PM

A nature holiday in Finland and

Free electronic visas can now be used to travel to the Saint Petersburg region

Many holidaymakers plan to see and experience many different kinds of things on their holidays. A trip to the Lake Saimaa area and the towns of Lappeenranta and Imatra offers a lot to see and do, enough for at least a week, but if you include a visit to the Russian side of the border in your itinerary, you’d better bring an extra memory card for your camera.

Finland and Russia share a border that is well over a thousand kilometres long, and there are four EU border crossings in South Karelia. The border crossing points of Imatra, Nuijamaa and Vaalimaa serve those who travel on the roads, while rail access to Finland’s eastern neighbour is available via Vainikkala Railway Station in Lappeenranta. Crossing the border by road or rail used to require a visa, the only visa-free option were the visa-free summer cruises from Lappeenranta to St. Petersburg via Vyborg. With the new e-visa and the new rules that came into force on 1 October 2019, you can access Russia easier, but they only apply to border posts located on roads, at sea ports or airports.

Free electronic visas - valid for roads, sea ports and airports

With the newly introduced free electronic visa´s it is easier for you to combine both destinations to your holiday - Lake Saimaa & St. Petersburg. The new e-visas are valid for a period of 30 days (from the date of issue), with trips of up to eight days permitted. With the new visa you are allowed to travel within Saint Petersburg and the surrounding region, not the Republic of Karelia bordering Finland further north.

The e-visas are available to citizens of 53 countries, which you can find on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The mighty metropolis of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, a modern-day metropolis on the Neva River, is considered Russia’s cultural capital and the cradle of Russian arts and culture. Russia’s leading cultural destination offers holidaymakers experiences and attractions that are sure to keep them occupied for several days. Situated at the Palace Square, the Winter Palace holds the impressive art collection of the Hermitage Museum.

One of the city’s most famous cemeteries is in the Alexander Nevsky Monastery complex on Nevsky Prospect, a street that is familiar to all tourists. Saint Isaac’s Cathedral took a lot of time and effort to build, and the result is sure to impress visitors to the city: its cupola is the fourth-highest in the world at 101.5 metres, and more than 100 kilogrammes of gold were used in its construction.

This city of former rulers is full of magnificent palaces, such as the Yusupov Palace located near Sennaya Square. The building’s colourful history includes the murder of the infamous Rasputin, and the theatre in the palace is still used as a performance venue.

For accommodation options and cottages in the Lappeenranta and Imatra region click here >>

Events in the Lappeenranta and Imatra region >>

Saimaa Travel offers tailor made excursions to Russia

If you would like to go on a guided or a tailor made tour to Russia organised by an experienced Finnish Travel Company located in Lappeenranta, please contact Saimaa Travel and see their selection of services. Saimaa Travel can offer you a package tailored to your needs: by bus, by train, by plane - hotel of your choice - excursion to your taste.

Lake Saimaa, Purest Finland Regional Council of South Karelia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment Rural 2020 The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas
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