photo © Visit Lahti

Tourism Lahti & Lahti Guide

Idyllically situated around a bay on Lake Vesijärvi, Lahti is a vibrant town 100km north of Helsinki. A popular travel destination, Lahti has excellent skiing facilities at Messilä Ski Resort and the famous ski jumps by the Salpausselkä Ridges, and is the only city to have hosted the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 6 times. It is also home to Lahti Symphony Orchestra, and hosts the Lahti Sibelius Festival. Other sites of note are the Church of the Cross, Messilä Manor and its Musical Fountains.

Lahti is a lively city of almost 100,000 inhabitants just an hour from Helsinki. It is the capital of Päijänne Tavastia region, and was first mentioned in documents in 1445, originally being a village in the parish of Hollola, on the medieval trade route of Ylinen Viipurintie which linked the towns of Hämeenlinna and Vyborg.

Tourist Attractions in Lahti

There’s plenty to see and do in Lahti. The redesigned Vesijärvi Harbour has become a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to relax in; The Church of the Cross, designed by internationally recognised architect Alvar Aalto, is one the most photographed buildings in the city; Eliel Saarinen’s Lahti Town Hall is impressive; and The Musical Fountains on the shore of Lake Pikku-Vesijärvi provides a remarkable mix of symphonic music and dancing fountains illuminated in colour.

The region is also famous for its many international cultural events like the Lahti Sibelius Festival, the Lahti Organ Festival, concerts by the award-winning, internationally renowned Lahti Symphony Orchestra, and numerous other events in the region. It is home to the Sibelius Hall, a modern wooden structure, a congress and concert hall that was Finland’s largest wooden construction for 100 years when built, and within its grounds you’ll find a park filled with wooden architecture and sculpture. Just before midsummer the Lahti Writers’ Reunion is held in the grounds of Messilä Manor, an event which brings together writers from across the globe to discuss literature and the role and impact of their art in modern society. This Reunion opens Lahti’s summer season, in alternative years, with the Poetry Marathon, a forum for well-known poets from around the world.

Museum lovers are well catered for in Lahti. As well as the Lahti City Museum, there is an Historical Museum, an Art Museum, and a Poster Museum. The Finnish Military Music Museum shines a light on 450 years of military music, and there is a Museum of Military Medicine at Hennala in a barracks originally built and occupied by the Russians.

In winter, people flock to the region to enjoy downhill skiing, cross country skiing, ski jumping, and snowboarding. The longest downhill ski runs are in the Messilä Ski Resort, with 10 runs ranging from beginner to advanced. Lahti is also home to the Ski Museum, located next to the world famous three ski jumps by the Salpausselkä Ridges. In the summer it is possible to get to the top of these jumps, to get an idea of what the jumpers see as they take off, and to enjoy panoramic views of the region.