Vyborg: A medieval trip to a northern city in less than 24 hours

Old Town Hall of Vyborg (Photo credit: Isabel Lerch)

When you want to escape the busy life of St Petersburg just for a day, Vyborg is the perfect place to go to

The small town north of St Petersburg is only 30km away from the Finnish border. It impresses visitors with its medieval charm, quiet streets and a trifecta of Swedish, Russian, and Finnish history. Just hop on the train and escape!

Travelling to Vyborg

  • Train Ticket: 322 roubles (4.65 euros*), 161 roubles for students (2.32 euro*) one-way with the recommended fast train
  • Train timetable: Leave from Finlyandskiy Railway Station in St Petersburg to save a seat. Boarding at Udelnaya is already crowded
  • Distance: 130km, 2 hours
  • Type of Trip: day/weekend excursion, outdoor
  • Things to Do: city walking tour, hiking, museum and medieval castle
  • Travel Budget: day trip 1,000 roubles (14.50 euros*)
  • Tip: Go to the oldest house in town, visit the library and walk through park Monrepos
  • Stay overnight: Hostel or airbnb, additional costs around 500-1,000 roubles (7-14.50 euros*) per person
View over the city from Vyborg castle (Photo credit: Isabel Lerch)

Walking tour

No matter the weather conditions, the best way to explore the town is on foot. Start the walking tour from the central railway station. Within 10 minutes, you reach the heart of the small town. From here, you can walk around the market square exploring the Round Tower, pass the Clock Tower, over to the town hall and up to the castle.

The Vyborg Castle and the tower of St Olaf is without doubt the main attraction of the city. From the castle, you can easily walk to the Annenskie fortification. Make sure you stop by at both statutes: first, the statue right at the water of the general admiral of the Russian fleet F.M. Apraksin next to the castle and second, the monument of Peter I up on the rock. From the fortress, it is not more than a 20-minute walk to the beautiful Monrepos Park where you can spend hours walking around discovering little secrets of the old times.

Click on the map to discover the main spots of your trip to the medieval history of Vyborg.

Top 3 unconventional things to see and do in Vyborg

With a walking tour around the city, keep your eyes open and you will also spot the oldest house of Vyborg and the city’s library with a typical Finnish architecture. End your day with a stop by a medieval restaurant in the city centre.

Oldest stone house in Vyborg (Photo credit: Shima Vezvaei)

1. Oldest House

It is easy to miss this small attraction, but make sure you don’t. The oldest house of the city is one of the several stone houses you can find from its medieval past. The house was built solely from granite boulders and bricks in the middle of the 16th century and is located in the oldest street in Vyborg: Progonnaya Ulitsa.

Central City Alvar Aalto Library (Photo credit: Wikimedia / Reskelinen)

2. Alvar Aalto Library

The Finnish architect Alvar Aalto is well-known for his unique work of functionalism in architecture. He built the library of Vyborg in 1935 which was only recently opened again. Highlights are the round windows and the white wooden ceiling in the lecture hall creating a nice shape of daylight.

Taverna Vyborg (Photo credit: VK / Darya Makarovskaya)

3. Medieval Restaurant

For lunch or dinner, the medieval tavern at Krepostnaya Ulitsa close to the Town Hall square is a great place to taste and smell the past with some medieval chicken (450 Roubles), vegetable dishes or dessert (starting from 100 Roubles) and a decent pint of beer (150 Roubles). The prices are fair, but plan accordingly as the restaurant closes at 8pm. Tip: reserve a table two hours before.

*conversion rates for December 2016


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