municipality in the region of Kymenlaakso in Finland

Virolahti is a municipality in Kymenlaakso, in the southeastern corner of Finland.

Understand edit

Map of Virolahti

The central town of the municipality is Virolahti. However Virolahti is probably best known for the border crossing to Russia at Vaalimaa. The area around Vaalimaa has a disproportionate number of shopping malls and stores (some of them defunct) for such a small municipality. The reason was Russian tourists from Saint Petersburg and surroundings that arrived for shopping trips before COVID and the invasion of Ukraine practically closed the border.

Get in edit

  Visa restrictions:
In response to Russia's war in Ukraine, Russian tourists are banned from entering Finland.
(Information last updated Jan 2023)
  Note: The green card agreement has been terminated; your Russian traffic insurance will not count as the compulsory one in Finland (and the Finnish one not in Russia). It should be possible to buy insurance soon after crossing the border.
(Information last updated 24 May 2023)

Motorway 7 from Helsinki via Porvoo, Kotka and Hamina (part of the E18) passes Virolahti and goes to the 1 Vaalimaa border station. From Russia, A-181 (also part of the E18) goes from St. Petersburg to Vyborg and on to Torfyanovka (the Russian border station). Regional road 387 comes in from Lappeenranta.

The eastern end of the King's Road is at the border.

You can get in by car, and there are also buses from Helsinki along regional road 170 (old highway 7). Buses between Finland and Russia, inasfar they still run because of the sanctions, stop at Vaalimaa.

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See edit

Bunker museum in Virolahti
  • 1 Virolahti Bunker Museum (Virolahti; along E18 road), +358 40-585-0166, . Jun Aug daily 10:00–18:00, otherwise by arrangement. The exhibition is located inside a wooden building built to resemble the style of the war period in Finland. Outdoor part surrounding the museum building includes fortification sites in the forest. Fireplace is nearby. €5 adults, €2 children (7–16 years).  

Do edit

  • Salpa Trail. The Salpa Trail is a 50-km one-way hiking route between Virolahti and Miehikkälä. It follows a part of the Finnish World War II defence line (the Salpa line). Along the route there are numerous remains of bunkers, dug-outs and other fortifications and several rest-stops. They are equipped with a compost toilet, compost, a fireplace and a firewood shelter and some of them with a lean-to for an over-night stay. The Bunker museum in Virolahti and the Salpa Line museum in Miehikkälä are part of the route.

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There are campsites and cottages.

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