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Train to St. Pete...worth stopping somewhere along the way?

Alaska
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39 posts
7 reviews
4 helpful votes
Train to St. Pete...worth stopping somewhere along the way?
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My family and I have been in Helsinki for 10 days waiting on our new Russian visas to come in. We picked them up today but they don't begin for another week, but we are free to travel again now that we have our passports back. We're planning on taking the train to St. Petersburg and flying to our home in Russia from there.

My question is, would it be worth it to take the train just halfway and get off and spend the night somewhere to see anything? Can we go to Vyborg without valid visas yet, or would we have to book a special cruise to do that? Is there anything to see in Vainikkala or Kouvola that would be worth our stopping there? We have three small children (5, 3, 1), so we might decide that the easiest thing to do is to just take the train from Helsinki to St. Pete and not worry about it, but if there's something really great worth seeing that's right on the way, I'd love to know about it and make an informed decision!

Thanks for your help!

Helsinki, Finland
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1,130 posts
81 reviews
33 helpful votes
1. Re: Train to St. Pete...worth stopping somewhere along the way?
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You have seen Louhela. In my opinion Kouvola is less exciting and Vainikkala even smaller.

You normally need a visa to go to Vyborg, the visa-free packages are an exception.

Helsinki, Finland
Destination Expert
for Helsinki
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4,016 posts
8 reviews
3 helpful votes
2. Re: Train to St. Pete...worth stopping somewhere along the way?
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Elena is nailing it :-p

Alaska
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39 posts
7 reviews
4 helpful votes
3. Re: Train to St. Pete...worth stopping somewhere along the way?
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Thank you. This is very helpful. =)

Finland
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for Helsinki, Finland
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7,112 posts
94 reviews
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4. Re: Train to St. Pete...worth stopping somewhere along the way?
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Lappeenranta is quite nice. Not far from Vainikkala, which is a shortish taxi trip away when you catch the train to Russia. From Helsinki you can get a to Lappeenranta, but not to Vainikkala. Vainikkala is just for those crossing the border.

Vyborg is worth a visit too, but you'll need the visa or a cruise to get there. I assume you'll need to leave Vyborg with the cruise too. There are rather inexpensive cruises from Lappeenranta to Vyborg thru the Saimaa Channel.

As said Kouvola.or Lahti along the way are not particularly attractive to tourists.

Alaska
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39 posts
7 reviews
4 helpful votes
5. Re: Train to St. Pete...worth stopping somewhere along the way?
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Thanks, polarbearfinn. I think we're just going to head back to Russia and skip doing anything extra this time around. But we have pretty much decided that Finland is a) beautiful and b) not too far from where we live in Russia so c) we will be coming back to see more than just Helsinki. Maybe next time. =)

6. Re: Train to St. Pete...worth stopping somewhere along the way?

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