In 2014 in Russia there have been changes in the tourism sector, and the number of trips from Finland decreased significantly. In 2016, the tourism began to revive, although the number of trips has not yet reached the level of 2013.
A flag with a blue cross in recent times was launched on the St. Olaf’s tower in the Vyborg castle, on 20 April 1944, nearly 73 years ago. After many decades the word “Vyborg” still causes a response in the hearts of the Finns. Do I need to continue to clench his fists, or it’s time to relax a little?
Many Finns get rid of the Vyborg syndrome is a very practical way. In the unforgettable capital of Karelia now go shopping, to go to restaurants, to benefit from car service, services of cosmetologists, to study history and architecture, or indulge in nostalgic memories.
In summer the city is especially beautiful and becomes completely different.
A little trip to Vyborg newspaper Kauppalehti starts from the legendary Druzhba hotel, located near the train station. The hotel “Druzhba” was built in 1982. It was the heyday of Finnish tourism to the Soviet Union.
“Friendship” was the equivalent of hotel “Viru” in Tallinn, and the fun was as unrestrained. Champagne and vodka flowed like a river, jeans and pantyhose have found their new owners, and “prostitutkat” shook the money from the Finnish guys.
Now the wild life has calmed down. Spring evening in the hotel pub filled with Finns, but order more and the crowd became quieter. Typical for the time of the “vodka tourism” brawlers and bouncers there.
From the hotel still breathes the Soviet times. The rooms are dark and featureless. At night the sleeper wakes an ancient Finnish Elevator company COP who growls like a polar bear in the Leningrad zoo.
But let’s not talk about such trifles. Spacious double room costs less than 40 euros, the staff are pleasant and caring. In the spring the selection of hotels is large enough, the price level is low. Hotel of the highest level possible, is the Victoria hotel, located at market square, but many praised small hotel “Atlantic” in the Old town.
Vyborg is a very affordable tourist destination, it can be explored on foot. Taxis are cheap, a few euros you can take a tour of the city. The city was home to two of the world level — the Vyborg castle and Monrepos Park. However, St. Olaf’s tower will be closed until next fall, and the mon repos Park will open to the public in early may.
© RIA Novosti, Konstantin Chalabov | go to fotomancer, Leningrad oblast
Exhibition halls of the Vyborg castle give a comprehensive picture about all the periods of city’s history, not forgotten and Finnish history. On the contrary: the visitor becomes clear that at the time, Vyborg was the multicultural center of Karelia, and not a little neglected border town, as it is now.
Despite a nice overall picture of the city, tourists very soon it becomes clear that the economic crisis in Russia has slowed the development of the city. According to the taxi driver, not enough money, the city’s many unemployed.
But, it seems that the fleet is new, and car — Western brands?
“This is Eyewash. Buy cars on credit”, snorts the driver.
A visit to Old town shows that for the overhaul of the historic Finnish buildings is not enough money. However, the Russian Federation has promised to Finance the restoration, but the Deputy Minister of culture in charge of the project now is in custody on suspicion of bribery.
According to conservative estimates, the new infrastructure and restoration of buildings in Old town could cost hundreds of millions of euros.
“In Vyborg nice place to be, because in recent years the culture of service has greatly increased and he became more like a Western city.”
But some in the city have been able to do. The bell tower was destroyed during the Winter war, the Cathedral survived, and now it is surrounded by scaffolding. A few years ago was renovated with money from the Federal budget famous library designed by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto (Alvar Aalto).
The new attractive place for tourists is the restored with some changes to the restaurant “Aspis”, which is located in the Park of Lenin (former Cortlinye). Destroyed in the war, the restaurant “Aspis” was once one of the most legendary restaurants of Finland. However, his Russian copy is not worse.
“Aspila” you will enjoy the atmosphere of the continental restaurant and fine dining at a reasonable price. The service is impeccable, and an elegant restaurant quickly gained clients from Finland.
Arrived from Hamina family of teachers kersee and Jyrki of Laamanen (Kirsi, Jyrki Laamanen) admires the atmosphere of the restaurant and quality of food. The family arrives in Vyborg several times a year and spends the night here.
The couple are fascinated by the uniqueness of the city and quiet atmosphere. They are interested in history and architecture. It is possible to shop because the price level for many goods are lower than in Finland.
For example, the choice of restaurants more than in the Finnish city of the same size. Now in Vyborg in peace, no more shady people, who used to go for tourists, asking for something to sell.
And significantly any real development or we are talking only about cosmetic changes?
“Some small parts, such as the culture of service has improved significantly. However, it seems that in major issues such as repair of buildings and infrastructure, the recent changes did not happen” — thinking kersee and bramblings.
If you want to visit only one interesting object in Vyborg, you can go to the private Military Museum of the Karelian isthmus, which is located in the heart of the city street.
Outdoor a few years ago, the Museum for six months as moved to a new location. The Museum is located in buildings belonging to the Russian Army. Previously, there was a school of aircraft mechanics. About the time of his work informs only a note with a mobile number attached to the front door.
The Museum was created by the famous, including, as a military historian, Bair Irincheev. Born in Leningrad, but lives currently in Finland, Irincheev recently wrote many books about the Winter war and the War continued in the Finnish language. Using Russian archives, the author presented the events of the war from a new point of view, for which he is grateful and Finnish historians.
According to Irincheeva, the army is not charging him a fee for the rental, but electricity bills and the salary of two employees he pays out of his pocket. The main hall of the Museum is located in former army bathhouse, and in the cold season the premises are heated by metal stoves.
The premises have a rather primitive appearance, but, on the other hand, give the place an authenticity of wartime. The exhibition is the property of Irincheeva and several collectors. The exhibition has both Soviet and Finnish weapons, the engines of tanks and planes.
“We cooperate with Russian and Finnish museums, and we also would like to get to Museum of the legendary T-34 tank from Moscow” — dreams Bair Irincheev.
Especially best place for shopping the city is for residents of South-Eastern Finland. A quick change of the ruble exchange rate affects the price level, but in the city you can always find something at a bargain price.
Quick Ari (Ari Kvick) and eya Litmanen (Litmanen Eija) from Kouvola to Vyborg come regularly and know where and what to buy. According to Quick, building materials and auto parts are much cheaper than in Finland.
“While waiting, you can change the spark plugs, air filters, brake pads. In Vyborg you can wash or even paint the car, and the time can be reserved in advance on the Internet,” advises quick.
Oil change, tire mounting and balancing wheels and even metal work can cost cheaper, than in Finland. Such services, for example car center “Hobby Auto” in the Eastern part of the city.
Because of the low labor costs, the price level is also very low. Eya Litmanen is an entrepreneur in the field of hairdressing, so it’s easy to compare prices in beauty salons in Finland and Russia.
“Prices are lower than in Finland, as there are no findings,” said Litmanen.
Such services are provided, for example, a beauty salon, Tout A Fait, located in the centre of Vyborg. The list of services offered by the salon include hair care, manicure, pedicure, cosmetology, makeup, and waxing faces.
For example, women’s haircut costs 15 Euro, facial massage — 16 Euro, chocolate wrapping — 62 Euro, eyelash extensions 40 Euro.
Many of the foods in Vyborg are sold at the same prices as in Finland, but you can find cheap products. Alcohol and particularly cigarette cost is cheap and to those who come to Vyborg by car, it makes sense to refuel before departure on the Russian side.
“In Vyborg nice place to be, because in recent years the culture of service has greatly increased and he became more like a Western city,” say Ari quick and eya Litmanen.
Railway area of the city is located to the North from the railway station and is limited to the Protective Bay. Here is the district of “little Finland”, built by the Finnish company SRV.
© RIA Novosti, Angela Babenhauserheide the building of the railway station in Vyborg
The project is progressing very slowly, ready to just two at home. Now in the stage of readiness at home, “Lahti” and “Helsinki”, began selling apartments.
“Little Finland” is located perhaps in the most beautiful location of Vyborg. Of the homes with great views of the Vyborg castle and the Bay of Protective. The level of construction generally corresponds to the Finnish, but the cost of apartments are lower than in Finland.
For example, one-bedroom apartment with area of 59 square meters in house “Helsinki” is 89 thousand euros. Now apartments are sold without finishing, but after it is done, the cost per square meter will be less than two thousand euros.
Director of sales office Irina Vashkevich says that starts the second stage of construction of the object, and will be built three 12-storey buildings, small houses and Parking.
Construction costs of the SRV are low mainly because of the cheap cost of energy in Russia. The fee for a one-bedroom apartment is about 100 euros. At the annual visa to Russia you can stay 180 days a year, so those who are thinking to buy an apartment, it is necessary to know in advance about the possibility of obtaining a residence permit.
Whether live in houses built by SRV, the Finns?
“Yes. Basically we are talking about people with dual citizenship”, — said Irina Vashkevich.