city in the region of Päijänne Tavastia in Finland

Lahti (Swedish: Lahtis) is a city in southern Finland, on the shore of Vesijärvi and by the esker Salpausselkä.

The city is known for sports, especially ski jumping and skiing. It has hosted many world championship and hosts the yearly international Lahti Ski Games (Finnish: Salpausselän kisat).

Lahti is also a traditional industrial city. However, the city suffered heavily during the economic downturns, especially in the early 1990s, earning a somewhat gritty reputation. Unemployment and alienation are still commonplace in suburbs of Lahti. Things are however now looking brighter again with a new direct railway to Helsinki and the city centre being revamped.

Understand edit

Lahti City Theater

Lahti was just a village until it got the railway in 1870. It then grew quickly and got its city status in 1905. In 2021 Lahti had a population of 120,000 making it the 8th largest city in Finland by population. It is near the country's gravity centre by population.

The area was inhabited already 9,000 years ago, with one of the oldest settlements found in Finland.

Get in edit

By car edit

Lahti is 104 km from Helsinki, a one-hour drive on freeway 4 (E75), continuing via Jyväskylä to the north. The drive will take a little less than one hour in the summer, more in the winter. Other major cities within an hour or two are Kouvola (east), Mikkeli (northeast), Jyväskylä (north), Tampere (northwest) and Hämeenlinna (west).

By bus edit

There are frequent buses from Helsinki and other major cities in the region, as well as cities further north along highways 4 and 5. Coming via Tallinn or Stockholm, there may be coach connections from the ports of Helsinki with arranged transfer, mostly via Kamppi. Coming via Turku harbour, there may be a direct service from the ferry terminal to Lahti. See here for schedules.

By train edit

Travel from Helsinki to Lahti by train takes about an hour. Trains are preferred by locals, because they're fast and comfortable. There are several train types:

  • Local train Z (Lähiliikennejuna Z). Costs €11.70 adult, €5.85 child (6–16 years). On its way from Helsinki, it Ssops at Pasila, Tikkurila, Kerava, Haarajoki, Mäntsälä and Henna. Runs hourly from about 06:00 to about 00:00.
  • InterCity trains. Cost around €16 adult, €10 children. Very comfortable trains, usually with 6 wagons, 3 of them are double-deckers. They stop at Pasila and Tikkurila. Most of the Intercity trains continue onwards from Lahti and are only marginally faster than the Z train.
  • Pendolino trains. Cost around €16 adult, €10 children. Very comfortable tilting trains. Stop only at Pasila and Tikkurila before Lahti. 48 minutes travel time. All of the Pendolino trains continue from Lahti.

The city centre is less than ten minutes walk from the train station. Cross Mannerheiminkatu and travel north on Rautatienkatu. Pass the radio hill (with the tall legacy masts) on your left and the railway tracks behind you.

By plane edit

The nearest passenger airport is Helsinki Airport, about 90 km south of Lahti. From the airport you can travel to Lahti by bus (direct) or train (requires a transfer in Tikkurila).

There is an almost hourly ExpressBus coach connection from Helsinki-Vantaa airport to Lahti bus station, departing from platform 13 in front of Terminal 2. The service operates round the clock, although there may be a gap of 1–2 hours between services in the small hours of the night. The trip takes between 1 h 15 min and 1 hr 30 min, depending on whether the service calls in towns on the way. In some cases, there is a change of coach at Kerava but it is well co-ordinated and easy. Tickets cost €20.50 (round trip €36.90) for adults, €10.30 for Finnish students (ISIC not accepted) and children of age 4–16.

Get around edit

By bus edit

Lahti has a good system of public transport organized by LSL. Kauppatori is the center of Lahti's public transport system, but be aware that many bus lines go in both directions from Kauppatori. You can use the interactive route planner[dead link]to find bus routes. You can ride from one part of the city to another with a single ticket of €3.20, kids €1.60. Mobile tickets can be bought using Waltti or Routes and Tickets apps.

By foot edit

By electric kick scooter edit

See also: Finland#By motorised scooter

German Tier and Swedish Voi rent electric kick scooters for use in the centre.

By bike edit

Freebike offers city bikes for rent.

By taxi edit

  • Lahen Taksi (Lahden Seudun Taksi), +358 600-555-805 (booking; high cost: €1.92/call + €1.44/min). Also bookable by app or web. Flag fall M–F 06:00–20:00: €4.99, Sa €5.99, other times and holidays: €7.99; 1–4 persons M-F €1.09/km + €0.79/min, other times €1.09/km + €0.89/min (January 2021).
  • Lahden Aluetaksi
  • Taksi Häme: see Päijänne Tavastia#By taxi
  • Menevä Lahti, +358 50-471-0470 (head of office), toll-free: 0800-02120 (booking). Also bookable by app or web. Fixed price based on calculated route and time if destination address given when booking by app or web. Flag fall M–Sa 06:00–18:00: €4, other times and holidays: €7; 1–4 persons €0.90/km + €0.90/min, 5–8 persons minimum €20, €1.60/km + €0.90/min (July 2020).
  • Cabo. Low fare taxi. Smart phone app offers address-based routing and gives price offer.
  • Uber
  • Bolt
  • Smartphone apps: Valopilkku, 02 Taksi, Lahen Taksi

By car edit

Many major car hire companies have offices in Lahti, as has 24rent.

See edit

Lahti has a partly deserved reputation as an unattractive, economically depressed industrial town. Lahti has improved its reputation with a lovely harbour area with outdoor cafes and bars. In the harbour area there is also beautiful Sibelius Hall which is used for concerts and conferences.

Sibelius hall and port of Lahti
  • 1 Sibelius Hall (Sibeliustalo), Ankkurikatu 7. Built in 2000, Sibeliustalo is an example of a modern wood construction and the largest wooden building built in Finland in a century. Finnish forests were the main inspiration for the architects. The building consists of four parts: The renovated ex-carpentry factory (the oldest industrial building still existing in Lahti, built by August Fellman in 1907 to serve as a kraft pulp factory with a sawmill, the building was extended many times and it served as a glass factory, wood meal factory, carpentry factory and wooden house factory), the Main Hall with wonderful acoustics, the congress centre and the Forest Hall (a beautiful lake scenery opening from Forest Hall's windows). Guided tours for groups of 1-13 persons. The ex-carpentry factory was renovated into a restaurant, offices and cabinets. Sibelius Hall host about 800 events every year: about 140 concerts from classical music to rock, pop etc.
    The long wave masts
  • 2 Lake Vesijärvi, Ankkurikatu. A nice way to spend a summer day is to embark on a paddle steamer (stern-wheeler) to cruise Lake Vesijärvi. Remember to have an ice-cream onshore.
    Lahti Sports Center
  • 3 Radio and TV museum, Radiomäki, +358 3 814 4512, fax: +358 3 814 4515, . M-F 10:00-17:00, Sa Su 11:00-17:00. Lahti's radio and television museum is on Radiomäki (literally Radio Hill). You can see receiving and transmission equipment from the 1920s to modern times, and outdoors you can't miss the two long wave masts that can be seen from everywhere around the city. Adults €5, children €2.
  • 4 Lahti Historical Museum, Lahdenkatu 4. Adults €10, children €5.
  • 5 Lahti Art Museum, Vesijärvenkatu 11 A. Adults €7, children €3.
  • 6 Lahti Sports Center, Salpausselänkatu (bus 8, 10). There you can see the ski jumping hills, ski museum and Lahti stadium. In summer there is a outdoor swimming pool. It's also possible to buy ticket which allows you to use a chairlift and an elevator to get to the top of the ski jump which provides a panoramic view of Lahti.

Do edit

Lahti has a well-known symphony orchestra, Sinfonia Lahti. The annual winter sport event Salpausselän kisat is very popular and worth seeing.

  • 1 Puksu city train (Puksu-kaupunkijuna), +358 50 543 8222. Puksu train goes through the city's entertaining places. It starts from Vesijärvi harbour, then goes to Laune park, then Farm Animal Yard, "Little Marketplace" and back to Vesijärvi harbour.
  • 2 Yli-Marola 4H Farm Animal Yard (Yli-Marolan 4H-kotieläinpiha), Neljänkaivonkatu 47. Barnyard animals in the sweet country milieu right in the city center. Open only in summer. Free of charge.
  • 3 Outdoor swimming pool (Lahden maauimala), At the ski jumping centre. In the summer, the bottom part of the highest ski jump is opened as a pool. There's a shallow kids area as well as a deeper area, which goes quickly from 2m to 3m deep. Swimming ability required. You can borrow trunks and glasses.
  • Football: FC Lahti play soccer in Veikkausliiga, the top tier. Their home ground Lahden Stadion (capacity 14,500) is 2 km west of town centre. The playing season is April-Oct.
  • 4 Sports Park (Kisapuisto). You can play almost anything in the sports park. There are tennis courts, a tennis wall, volleyball court, baseball field and of course a football field. Inside, there are tennis, badminton, and squash courts. Indoor tennis €12/hour, squash and badminton €8/hour..
  • 5 Lahti Swimming Pool (Lahden uimahalli), Svinhufvudinkatu 8, +358 3 816 8210. In addition to the regular pool, the hall also has a therapy pool, jacuzzi and steam sauna.
  • 6 [dead link] Steam locomotive trip to Heinola, Salpausselänkatu 8. (departures from the old railway stop at the Lahti Stadium.). Enjoy a ride to the neighbouring city of Heinola on a 1947 steam locomotive via a 37-km track no longer used by regular passenger trains. The train stops at many old stations along the way. Schedules are published on the website, and tickets can be bought on board. €25.
  • 7 Menovene, Kipparinkuja 1 (Niemi boat harbour), +358 45 7834 2471. Boats for rent.
  • 8 Ravintola Lokki, Jalkarannantie 19, +358 3 781 0220. Water jets, SUP boards, canoes and rowing boats for rent.
  • Päijänneristeilyt, Satamakatu 5, +358 10-320-8820, . Cruises on Vesijärvi or to Päijänne beyond the Vääksy canal in Asikkala. Lunch or evening cruises to Vääksy, all day cruise to Heinola (Heinola timetable) or all day cruise to Jyväskylä in the far end of Päijänne (Jyväskylä timetable) with [ return next day. Return €142.50/62/28–33 (lunch/dinner +€21–24), single €95/42/22; children 4–11 half price, less on the short cruises.

Parks edit

Laune Familypark
  • 9 Laune Family Park, Kaarikatu 26 (Bus no. 31 from Kauppatori stop A). In Laune park, you'll have lots of fun. There's a traffic city, where you can drive with free bicycles and scooters. There are pipes and water, and parents can rest on grass while kids are having fun. Free of charge.
  • 10 Vesiurut, Pikku-Vesijärvi park (Very close to the city center). Vesiurut means water organs. Every day at 13:00 and 18:00, at the park there is a small 15-minute concert. The fountain starts in unison with music from speakers up in the trees. There are some classical music pieces and some Finnish pop music pieces. You can sit on rocks around the fountain, but be aware - you may get wet. During the fall, there are also lights playing. Free of charge.
  • 11 Ankkuri beach (Ankkurin Uimaranta), Ruoriniemenkatu 10, Lahti (a 1km walk north from Sibeius House harbour area). Public beach, changing rooms and toilets, a small number of public parking spots are nearby. Close to city centre on the shore of Vesijärvi, water quality in the lake is excellent. Free of Charge.
  • 12 Salpausselkä trails (Salpausselän Virkistysalueen Ulkoilureitit), Salpausselkä, Lahti (west of the city starting from the Sports centre). Tens of kilometres of forest trails for walking, cycling and skiing. No dogs allowed on ski trails in winter. Free of charge.

Festivals edit

  • 13 Classic Motor Show (Lahti Hall). yearly, first weekend in May. An event for fans of old cars and motorcycles; American cars from the 1950s and 1960s are particularly well represented. Hobbyists, collectors and automobile clubs bring out their well-polished treasures from their garages, car-related businesses market their services, there are presentations, competitions and a motorcade. The main event takes place indoors, but there are almost as many beautiful old cars to see in the yard as well. Namely, people who arrive in a vehicle that's at least 30 years old may park it on the fairgrounds free of charge (and they will be part of the "outdoor" exhibition). tickets: €18, but the cars parked outdoors can be seen for free.

Buy edit

Aleksanterinkatu, the main street

Shopping centres edit

Lahti has several big shopping centres.

  • 1 Trio, Aleksanterinkatu 20. M–F 10:00–20:00, Sa 09:00–18:00. There are over 90 shops on 3 floors.
  • 2 Sokos department store, Aleksanterinkatu 19-21. M–F 08:00–21:00, Sa 09:00–18:00. It's a big shopping centre. The three upper floors are filled with shoes, clothes, toys, electronics, kitchen utilities, games, movies and everything that you need in your household. In the basement, there's a S-Market grocery store.
  • 3 Syke, Kauppakatu 18. Opposite Liike. Unlike Liike, which has a few shops. Syke has several — S-Market, which sells household products and food, Clas Ohlson, which sells electronics and household products, Emotion, which sells cosmetics and women's lingerie, TOP Sport, which sells sports equipment.
  • 4 Laune district (Buses no. 72, 8, 13, 16, 21, 30 from Kauppatori stop C). Most stores are open M–F 09:00–18:00, Sa 09:00–17:00. A couple of kilometres south of the city centre, a large commercial area filled with large hypermarkets, electronic goods, car stores and charity shops (flea markets).
  • 5 Karisma (5 km east from the city centre, next to the E75 motorway). Nearly 80 shops.
  • 6 Kärkkäinen, Pasaasi 2. Independent shopping centre in Renkomäki district.

Just by walking around in the city centre you can find stores that sell almost anything (everything from buttons to cars).

Factory outlets edit

Lahti has several good factory outlets. For clothing Finnkarelia Outlet in Hollola and Luhta Outlet in Lahti are good places to visit. Maria Drockila's candle factory in Orimattila's old spinning mill is also worth a visit.

Eat edit

Lahti's most notorious local speciality is lihamuki, literally "meat mug", a soft drink cup filled with the cheapest grade of kebab meat and your choice of sauces.

  • 1 Ahtialan Pizza-Kebab, Ahtialantie 137. There is a variety of pizzas and kebabs. It's quite far from the town centre.
  • Tonin Pitsa, Rautatienkatu 15, +358 400-156-706. An Italian restaurant serving Italian-style pizzas. It also has a catering service.
  • 2 Ararat, Rautatienkatu 10. Pizzas & kebabs.
  • 3 Aspendos Kebab, Aleksanterinkatu 15. This place is said to have the best kebabs in Lahti.
  • 4 El Toro, Mariankatu 8. Spanish-style food.
  • 5 Italiano, Jalkarannatie 1. Great variety of Italian dishes.
  • 6 Lahden Kebab & Pizza, Vapaudenkatu 22.
  • 7 Lorano, Hämeenlinnantie 26.
  • 8 Lounaskahvila Tara, Aukeankatu 1.
  • 9 [dead link] Marry Dian, Ritaniemenkatu 11.
  • 10 Oluthuone, Rautatienkatu 11.
  • 11 Pizzeria Kebab Antonio, Rauhankatu 19. Famous for their wrapped kebabs.
  • 12 Ravintola Erika, Lahdenkatu 46.
  • 13 Restaurant Roux, Rautatienkatu 7 (Near Town Hall), +358 10-279-2930. Finnish fine dining with local delicacies.
  • 14 Santa Fe, Aleksanterinkatu 10. Right next to Kauppatori. An interesting restaurant specialized in Mexican food. There's also a bar downstairs.
  • 15 Tähti Pizzeria, Ostoskatu 16.
  • 16 Ravintola Taivaanranta, Rautatienkatu 13, +358 424 925 230. Grill and distillery.
  • 17 Ravintola Mamma Maria, Vapaudenkatu 10, +358 3 751-6309. Italian food, good pasta and their own ice-cream. You can talk Italian with the owner.
  • 18 Ravintola Lastu, Ankkurikatu 7. M–F 11:00–14:00. Lunch restaurant in Sibeliustalo. €10.90.
  • 19 Kahvila Oskari, Hämeenkatu 17, +358 41 7000735. M–F 08:00–18:00, Sa 09:00–17:00, Su closed. Cute café in a well-preserved historic building. Excellent cakes.
  • 20 Konnichiwa, +3584578738880. M–F 11:00–20:00, Sa 12:00–20:00, Su 12:00–17:00. All-you-can-eat Asian buffet with wide sushi selection. Good salad selection with fresh fish and veg. Good vegan options too. Arrive before 3pm for a cheaper meal.
  • 21 Ravintola Lokki, Jalkarannantie 19, +358 3 781-0220, .
  • 22 Lounasravintola Maestro, Katsastajankatu 14, +358 45 110 5671, . Lunch restaurant.

Drink edit

Other places worth to visit are restaurant Taivaanranta and Teerenpeli which have their own whisky distillery and beer brewery.

  • 5 Teerenpeli, Vapaudenkatu 20. This place has its own whisky distillery and beer brewery. You can buy single cigars as well, they are kept in a big humidor. In Teerenpeli there is very nice atmosphere and friendly service.

Sleep edit

Budget edit

Mid-range edit

Splurge edit

Go next edit

Among the neighbouring towns and cities are Asikkala, Heinola and Orimattila. They are probably worth a visit, although perhaps just a brief one.

  • 14 Medieval Greystone Church of Hollola, Rantatie 917 (Hollola kk). Mid-June to early August: M–F 10:00–18:00. Visit nearby Hollola for its medieval greystone church. Completed around 1480, it represents the best middle aged church architecture. This church is famous for its well preserved wooden carvings, some of which are from the 1400s. Free.
  • 15 Messilä resort (in Hollola municipality, 10 km towards Tampere). In the winter one of the most popular ski resorts of southern Finland, in the summer a place to hike and play golf.
  • 16 Päijänne National Park (Padasjoki, 45 km to the north). National park in Finland's second largest lake. Explore with boat or canoe. A nature trail with nice views is reachable by road.
Routes through Lahti
JyväskyläHeinola  N   S  MäntsäläJärvenpääHelsinki
TampereHollola  W   E  NastolaIittiKouvola

This city travel guide to Lahti is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.