Svetogors is an industrial town of 16,000 inhabitants in the Vyborgsky District of Leningrad Oblast, on the Karelian Isthmus, on the Vuoksi River.
The town was founded as Enso in 1887 to serve a paper mill (Enso Oy and later Enso-Gutzeit became one of Finland's major paper producers). At the time the area was part of the Jääski municipality in the Grand Duchy of Finland, and it remained part of Finland after 1917.
Enso was ceded to the Soviet Union after World War II, together with the rest of the Karelian Isthmus. The Karelian Isthmus saw heavy fighting, and traces remain in Svetogorsk, which was the new name given to the town in 1949.
In 1972, a new cellulose and paper mill was built in Svetogorsk by the Finnish (cf Kostomuksha). The project also gave a start to cross-border relations. Today Svetogorsk and Imatra are called twin towns, but cooperation is far from that of Tornio/Haparanda. However, the Finnish heritage and proximity is visible – not only as a way to attract Finnish visitors – although usually not in the shape you'd expect in Finland.
Svetogorsk is just a kilometre from the Finnish–Russian border check point (temporarily closed except for freight during the COVID-19 pandemic; check current status), 5 km from Imatra. You may need a vehicle to cross.
There are buses and possibly trains from Vyborg. The distance from St. Petersburg is 207 km (129 mi).
The town is small enough for walking. No local public transport.
Many streets are in bad condition, watch out when driving.
Taxi: phone +7 (921) 936-30-00
There are shops, some of them much cheaper than their Finnish counterparts, so expect also Finnish customers. There is one shopping centre.
1 Supermarket (Супермаркет «Пятёрочка»), ул. Кирова, 1. 08:00–22:00.
The restaurants are not that inventive, but you get food.
- 1 Grand Café Hearth (Гранд-кафе «Камин»), ул. Победы, 31. 09:00–24:00.
- 2 Café Bistro (Кафе «Бистро»), в конце ул. Победы. M–Sa 10:00–18:00.
- 3 Кафе «Белые ночи», ул. Кирова, 13-а.
- 4 Restaurant Petrovskij (Ресторан «Петровский»), Красноармейская ул. 34а. W–F 12:00–24:00, Sa 14:00–04:00, Su 14:00–24:00.
- 5 Restaurant Arugula (Ресторан «Руккола»), Лесная ул. 8. M–F 11:00–22:00, Sa–Su 12:00–01:00.
- 1 Hotel Svetogorsk (Гостиница «Светогорск»), ул. Спортивная, 1, ☏ .
- База отдыха «Усадьба Лесогорская».
Use bottled water.