Getting to Finland and the Saimaa region
Travel to Finland is easy by aeroplane or ferry. In addition to Finnair, many international airlines offer direct flights from all around the world to Helsinki. Numerous ships make trips to Finland, bringing visitors from Poland and Northern Germany, and there are good ferry connections via Sweden.
Lake Saimaa is in the province of Eastern Finland, in what many call the Finnish lake district. In this area, the towns of Mikkeli, Savonlinna, Lappeenranta, Imatra, Joensuu, and Kuopio are all only a short drive from each other.
The distance from the capital, Helsinki, to Mikkeli is 230 km (the travel time is about 2.5 hours) and to Savonlinna is 332 km (with a travel time of about 4 hours). You can easily travel to Savonlinna or Mikkeli by car, train, or coach, or you can travel to Savonlinna by plane from Helsinki.
Mikkeli is conveniently connected to major highways and the Savo railway line, and 21 buses arrive here from the capital region every day. There are nine bus trips to Savonlinna on weekdays and 4–7 per day on weekends from Helsinki. The coach journey from Helsinki to Mikkeli takes about three hours, and to Savonlinna about 5–6 hours. Always consult the current bus timetables on Matkahuolto’s Web site.
In addition, the very affordable OnniBus express coach service operates between Helsinki and Mikkeli as well as Helsinki and Savonlinna. For timetables and ticket prices, please visit OnniBus’ Web site.
Train travel to Mikkeli from Helsinki takes about 2.5 hours, and there are eight long-distance trains a day. Four trains a day bring passengers from Helsinki to Savonlinna, and the journey takes four hours. When travelling to Savonlinna by train, you change from a long-distance train to a rail bus in Parikkala. You can purchase train tickets from vending machines or online, via the VR Web site. There is also now a train connection to and from the Helsinki-Vantaa airport.
Travel to Savonlinna is easy by plane! There are wo flights in either direction between Helsinki and Savonlinna every day from Monday to Friday. Tickets are available for purchase from the BASe Airlines Web shop – or you can book them, alongside other services, at Savonlinnan Matkatoimisto. Please note that there are no flights on weekends.
A special Monday-Saturday flight timetable will apply during the Savonlinna Opera Festival. Details will be available in winter.
The distance from the airport to the Savonlinna town centre is 15 km. With an advance booking, JS Turvataksit provides transport from Savonlinna to the airport and vice versa by minibus or taxi, at taxi rates. The fare can be split among several passengers. Bookings must be made no later than on the previous day. To book transport to or from the airport, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, call +358 500 250099.
If you are travelling to Finland and the Saimaa region with a group, we recommend booking chartered transport that suits your travel programme. For a quote, contact Savonlinna Tours at email@example.com.
In June to August, M/S Puijo cruises between Savonlinna and Kuopio through Heinävesi, following the canal route. With its narrow passages and wide, open lakes, this route is one of Finland’s most beautiful shipping lanes. Running through a heritage landscape, the route has served leisure boaters and commercial carriers since the late 1800s.
Mikkeli–Savonlinna 102 km, 1 h 30 min
Mikkeli 116 km, 1 h 30 min
Savonlinna 210 km, 2 h 40 min
Mikkeli 106 km, 1 h, 25 min
Savonlinna 210 km, 2 h 45 min
Mikkeli 133 km, 1 h 45 min
Savonlinna 120 km, 1 h 30 min