Flights to Lahti
Situated about 100 kilometres north east of the capital of Finland, Helsinki, Lahti has a picturesque lakeside setting on Lake Vesijarvi. Lahti has traditionally been an industrial town, but recent improvements mean it is now becoming a more attractive and appealing destination for tourists.
Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (airport code: HEL) is the nearest major airport for flights to Lahti, and it’s about 90 kilometres away. There are regular buses between the two cities so access is convenient. From South Africa a flight to Lahti with British Airways or South African Airways will make one connection in London, but Air France has a single transfer in Paris instead. Most flights to Lahti will take between 14 and 16 hours when departing from Johannesburg.
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The Tourist Attractions of Lahti:
Traditionally, despite its picturesque location on Lake Vesijarvi, Lahti hasn’t been a popular tourist destination. The city is the seventh largest in Finland and has mainly been an industrial city with few things to appeal to tourists. In recent years this is changing though, and the city is being turned around; adding attractive new facilities, and improving areas that had become run-down.
Sibelius Hall is one of those attractive new facilities that’s been added over the last decade. The concert and congress centre is built of wood, and is the largest wooden built building to be constructed in Finland over the past one hundred years. The wood combines with Scandinavian modern styling to create a striking building from the outside and a functional yet appealing one on the inside with great acoustics.
Parts of the building were already existing and have been renovated to add to the space here. This includes the former carpentry factory where there’s now a nice restaurant.
Being situated on a bay right at the southern end of Lake Vesijarvi, one of the main attractions for tourists is the lake itself. During the summer boat trips on the lake are popular, especially the paddle wheeled cruise.
Laune Family Park
Lahti’s Laune Family Park is a park with a difference. You’ll see the usual grassy areas where you can sit and relax over a picnic or enjoy some family games, but there are also some different attractions here for the kids such as a splash park and a pretend city where you can ride around on scooters and bicycles, available for free.
Just a short distance from the centre of Lahti is the town of Hollola. Hollola is famous for its medieval church which really is quite beautiful, making this a worthwhile side trip. The church was completed around 1480 and has beautiful medieval architecture as well as well preserved wooden carvings, some dating as far back as the time of construction.
When Should You Visit?:
Summer is the best time to visit Lahti for sightseeing, and temperatures can be surprisingly warm considering how far north Lahti is. Average highs in mid summer will be in the mid 20’s C. Winters aren’t as harsh here as in northern Finland but they do last 4 months and will typically have snow on the ground from mid December to early April.