Vyborg is an amazing city with a long history that was influenced by three countries: Sweden, Russia and Finland. It still has the atmosphere of the European Middle Ages, which you can't find in an ordinary Russian city. On a small territory there are more than 300 historical monuments, as well as Vyborg Fortress - a visiting card of the city. Residents of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region like to come here for weekends. The most beautiful route from St. Petersburg to Vyborg runs along the Gulf of Finland. This area abounds with parks, beaches, viewing platforms, capes and bays. Don't miss the wonderful opportunity to admire the picturesque views and come to several such places on the way!
In order to get to Vyborg, we will drive along the shore of the Gulf of Finland, walk through the most picturesque places and enjoy the nature. In the evening, as if by a time machine, we'll move to the medieval city.
This park on the Gulf of Finland is an ideal place for nature walks. In his time Tsar Peter I personally chose this area as a place for country rest. Nowadays "Dubki" is the beloved by many people central park of culture and recreation of Sestroretsk. Here you can rent bicycles, boats and catamarans for water walks on the pond and canals of the Dutch Garden.
In this place, Dubky Park meets the Gulf of Finland, which offers a stunning view.
It is considered one of the most beautiful and well-appointed beaches in the Leningrad region. It is decorated with original sculptures in the style of avant-garde, which gives it uniqueness. Wide sandy shore, cleanliness, developed infrastructure and a huge choice of entertainment attract a large number of tourists in good weather, but many love to come and enjoy the Gulf of Finland in off-season.
Facility's menu includes hits of Uzbek and Georgian cuisine, Caucasian positions, including dishes on chargrill, as well as classical European dishes. Country restaurant's zest is a large terrace on the Gulf of Finland shore. Mesmerizing view and cozy atmosphere will allow you to enjoy your lunch even more.
One of the most picturesque and romantic places on the Gulf of Finland. Pine forest, scattering of boulders, sand dunes in combination with the bay create a beautiful panorama. Ideal for strolling along the water and dissolving in the surrounding nature.
The oak bay has been a refuge for ships since ancient times. Up to now, the comfortable harbour, protected from winds of all directions, fulfils its purpose and is a berth for yachts. It is located just in the middle of the way between Vyborg and St. Petersburg. Here you can see a mole (a structure to protect ships from waves), at the end of which rises a modern chapel of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, built in the tradition of architecture of the Russian North.
Let's take a leisurely stroll through the evening city before dinner. Let's start with the Big Bucket embankment and Viking rooks, which are copies of drakkars made especially for filming and presented to Vyborg. If you stand between two rooks, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the island with the Vyborg Castle.
There are several sights on the square at once: the Gothic red-brick building, which used to house the Bank of Finland, now the Vyborg administration; the Round Tower, a former fortification built in the 16th century; and the central market building itself, badly damaged after the war, but successfully restored and having its original historical appearance today. We will return to the market as early as tomorrow.
The medieval Tavern is the most authentic, hospitable and original institution in Vyborg. The menu includes dishes cooked according to ancient recipes - bread, sausages, pens and ale. The interior itself, oak benches, stained-glass windows, jugs, utensils, waiters' suits - all this tells about the past when burgers, merchants, travelers, villagers gathered for a meal.
After dinner we'll walk a little more along the amazing Vyborg and reach the bright building of the Old Town Hall, one of the city's business cards. It was built in the XVII century, and in 1898 it was reconstructed in Renaissance style. In front of the Town Hall there is a monument to the founder of Vyborg - Marshal Torgils Knutsson.
We will spend the day on foot exploring Vyborg: we will visit the famous medieval fortress, we will see the city from a bird's-eye view, we will look at the ancient buildings nearby, we will take a leisurely walk along narrow streets.
We start the day with breakfast in a small and cozy bakery, which is located in the very building of Vyborg Town Hall. It serves delicious coffee, cheesecakes and offers a huge choice of various cakes and pastries.
The Vyborg Castle is undoubtedly the main attraction of the city and one of the few surviving medieval castles in Russia. It was founded in 1293 during the Third Swedish Crusade. Now the castle houses the Vyborg Local Lore Museum and several exhibitions, constantly hosting concerts, festivals and knightly tournaments. The entrance to the castle is free. Entrance to museums and exhibitions is paid. It is possible to order sightseeing service.
The Tower of St. Olaf is the main tower of the castle and a common symbol of Vyborg. The height above sea level is 75 meters. At the base of the dome there is an observation platform, which you can climb as part of a tour group. From there you will have a breathtaking panorama of the city.
After visiting Vyborg Castle we'll go back to the city. We will walk along the old cobblestone streets and continue exploring the historical sights that the city abounds in. The Clock Tower is the former bell tower of the old cathedral, built in the late 15th century. The cathedral was destroyed by a bomb attack in 1940, and the tower miraculously survived and was recently restored. Surprisingly, after more than 150 years, the clock is still working.
The name of this landmark, also known as "The House of the Townspeople", speaks for itself. According to preliminary estimates, the house was built in the XVI century, that is, it is more than 400 years old. Today there are two residential apartments in the oldest house of Russia, located at 13A, Khrepostnaya Street.
You can have lunch on the same street in a cafe with the same name. Here you can enjoy Russian cuisine: homemade delicious pancakes, saltpans, dumplings.
The sixteenth century building originally housed a school of the Franciscan monastery, then a merchant's house, and at the end of the eighteenth century it was adapted as a Catholic chapel for the parish of St. Hyacinth. Nowadays it houses an art gallery.
This monument of medieval architecture now houses a tourist information center with a museum exposition, as well as a souvenir shop with handmade products.
In 1470-1475 a stone wall of about 2 km long was erected around residential houses of Vyborg. The Town Hall Tower is one of two surviving combat towers of that wall. (The second is the Round Tower on Market Square). After the town grew and the tower lost its military significance, it was transferred to the Town Hall.
In 2018, a monument to the Vyborg Tram that ran through the city from 1912 to 1957 was erected. This life-size model, decorated with sculptures of a conductor and a stowaway boy, today functions as a mini coffee house, which is loved by many people. Everyone can go inside and have a fresh coffee.
Before leaving the city you can have a look at the Old Vyborg Market, which is famous for its large selection of Finnish products. The trip to Vyborg has come to an end. We'll go back to the parking lot, where we left the car and go back to St. Petersburg.
We will continue to explore natural places in the Leningrad region and on the way to St. Petersburg we will visit an interesting place called "Seven Lots" or "Five Lots". Coniferous forest, several lakes with clean water, fresh air and silence - here is a complete idyll with nature.
Dinner in a cafe located in a fishing resort on the lake shore is a perfect end of the trip. Here the cooks cook dishes of traditional Russian, European, Middle Eastern cuisine, but a delicious ear is rightly considered the highlight of the place.