This post is part of my Russia travel series: Travel stories | Photo gallery

Very close to the Finnish border, I was expecting to see Vikings here. But alas…

Vyborg castle

Situated 130km north west of St. Petersburg and only 35km south east of the Finland border, Vyborg (Вы́борг / वीबर्ग) seems to have the characteristics of a border town. In the past, control of this town shifted between Sweden and the old Novgorod republic. In the last century, the city was influenced and administered mainly by Russian or Finnish authority and it went back and forth during the world war. Russia annexed this territory in 1944 and therefore I was able to go there. 🙂

Inside the castle

Vyborg castle is the most prominent tourist attraction and the views from here would have been amazing had the weather been better. The fortress was built in 13th century by the Swedes and renovated in 19th century by the Finns who used it as a prison. It was controlled briefly by Peter the Great in 18th century.

Vyborg city on a wet evening, seen from the castle tower

The city seemed quite compact and walkable. There is the market square with a number of little restaurants and bars around, a hard-to-locate Clock tower, few more towers and churches and across the fort is a statue of the Swedish knight who founded the city in 13th century.

Despite the different architecture, I think its the chimneys that make me think of this as Russia

With a small ticket, one can climb the fort tower for a panoramic view of the city and the bay of Vyborg. Unfortunately it was overcast, rainy and windy most of the time.

Narrow cobblestone streets

Other than the butter, there was chicken kievskaya, some salad and more salad. My friends also taught me the proper way to drink Vodka.

I can’t quite remember the name of this lake, but I remember getting in on “domestic tourist” ticket.

I can’t believe I was here exactly 2 years ago, and I didn’t see any Vikings with their longboats and horned caps. But there were Finnish tourists who pop across the border to drink alcohol…

This post is part of my Russia travel series: Travel stories | Photo gallery