- Not to be confused with the Danish city Viborg.
Vyborg (Russian: Вы́борг; Finnish: Viipuri; Swedish: Viborg) is a city in Leningrad Oblast, Russia. Located near the Finnish border, it was in fact Finland's second-largest city until World War II, when it was handed to the Soviets as war reparations.
- Bus excursions depart St. Petersburg's Gostinyy Dvor on weekend mornings and cost about 700 Rubles, returning to St. Petersburg in the evening, a total of about 10–11 hours.
- International coach lines connect Vyborg to Helsinki, Turku, Lappeenranta and Jyväskylä in Finland. More information from Matkahuolto and Savonlinja.
- By train from St. Petersburg, express trains and local "elektrichka" trains depart from the Finlandskiy station. Express trains cost 182 Rubles each way, and tickets can be purchased in advance or at windows 27-30 at the Finland station (not in the main hall) on the day of departure. Beware of long lines if attempting to purchase tickets shortly before the train departs. Elektrichka tickets are slightly cheaper for a longer ride and can be purchased in the main hall at Finlandskiy station on the day of travel only.
- Express trains (with upholstered seats and a restaurant car) travel on the following schedule:
- Train #7017 departs St. Petersburg at 08:05 and arrives Vyborg 09:54
- Train #???? departs St. Petersburg at 12:51 and arrives Vyborg 14:42
- Train #7038 departs Vyborg at 15:21 and arrives St. Petersburg 17:00
- Train #???? departs Vyborg at 20:10 and arrives St. Petersburg 21:50
- Elektrichkas (with wooden bench-seats and few amenities) run more or less throughout the day, and a sampling of their schedule is:
- Departs St. Petersburg 08:10 and arrives Vyborg 10:44
- Departs St. Petersburg 08:58 and arrives Vyborg 11:31
- Departs Vyborg 15:34 and arrives St. Petersburg 18:00
- The major international trains to Helsinki stop in Vyborg, although they are relatively expensive. Eg. since late 2010, the high-speed Allegro train travels between St. Petersburg and Helsinki, stopping in Vyborg .
In the summer there are daily cruises from Lappeenranta in Finland down the Saimaa Canal to Vyborg operated by Saimaa Travel. If you are arriving and leaving Russia by ship from the same port and staying less than 72 hours you do not need a visa.
You can make the same journey by small craft, but then you need visas. As the town lies in the Vyborg Bay of Gulf of Finland, it is easily reachable by small craft also from the sea. With small craft you should check requirements in advance and follow procedures strictly.
Vyborg is situated on the highway between St. Petersburg and the Finnish border and you can visit the city if you are driving by.
Vyborg is compact and walkable. Those in a hurry can take local bus #12 from the train station to the castle. City maps of Vyborg can be purchased at bookstores in St. Petersburg, at news kiosks at the Vyborg train station, and are sometimes sold at the Vyborg market ("rynok").
A walking tour of the major sights of the city can be done in about three to four hours, with Vyborg Castle being the highlight of the tour.
From the train station, walk down Leningradskiy Prospekt and turn right along the embankment of the Salakka-Lakhti Inlet. See the Market Square on the left at the end of the quay, where one can see the Market Hall or "Rynok" and the 16th-century Round Tower. Walk past the Round Tower to the Lutheran Peter and Paul Cathedral in the park. Cross the street to see the blue-painted Transfiguration Cathedral, then walk up Vyborgskaya Ulitsa past the Council House Tower along the remnants of the old city wall, then head up the street (this is the least picturesque part of the walk through the Stone City) to see the Clock Tower tucked in among the apartment buildings. Before the Castle Bridge, see the Statue of Torgils Knutsson, the Swedish knight who founded the city in the 13th Century. Look across the gulf to the Statue of Peter the Great in the park opposite.
Cross the bridge to Vyborg Castle which was originally built in 1293 by Swedes, captured by Peter the Great in the 18th Century, served as a Finnish prison in the 19th Century, and passed between the hands of the Soviets and Finns multiple times during World War II. The castle has several different exhibits, each with its own entry fee, and one can climb to the top of the tower for a nice view of the city. (Tickets for the tower cost 80 Rubles from the museum cashier.)
Cross back over the bridge and walk up Krepostnaya Ulitsa through the town, turn left on Suvorovskiy Prospekt, see the Alvar Aalto Library and the Statue of a Moose in the park, then proceed to Red Square and the Statue of Lenin before heading up Vokzalnaya Ulitsa back to the train station.
Visit the market hall ("Rynok") and the market square outside, where one can find Karelian knits and woolen clothing, as well as tablecloths and lace among the fruits, vegetables, shoes, and other sundry items. There is a public toilet available in the market, but it is very basic indeed.
Slavyanskaya Trapeza in the basement of Ul. Yuzhniy Val 4, just across the bridge from Vyborg Castle, serves moderately-priced Russian food, including excellent Chicken Kiev for about 200 Rubles.
Restaurant NiKa at the Hotel Atlantik (Ul. Podgornaya 9). Prices are moderate to high.
Y Borharda right across the street from Hotel Atlantik (Ul. Podgornaya 10). Quite an extensive menu, including an excellent solyanka. Moderate to high prices in this rustic restaurant with kitsch decorations.
Kruglaya Bashnya, a Russian restaurant inside the Round Tower. Not as expensive as one might expect for its prime location, but service is slow.
- Hotel Atlantik, ul. Podgornaya 9 (close to the castle off a main street), ☎ . Quiet, clean mid-range hotel with friendly and young English speaking staff. Breakfast included.
- Bat Hotel, ul. Nikolaeva 3 (between Park Lenina and the Salakka-Lakhti Inlet), ☎ . Known as "Letuchaya Mysh" in Russian is a mid-range hotel in the same class as the Atlantik.
- Druzhba Hotel, ul. Zheleznodorozhnaya 5. Imposing pyramid structure on the inlet.