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Lahti (Swedish: Lahtis) is a city and municipality in Finland.
Lahti is the capital of the Päijänne Tavastia region. It is situated on a bay at the southern end of lake Vesijärvi about 100 kilometres (60 mi) north-east of the capital Helsinki. In English, the Finnish word Lahti literally means bay. The Lahti region is growing and is one of the main economic hubs of Finland.
The coat of arms of the city depicts a train wheel surrounded by flames.
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone EET (UTC+2)|
• Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
|AREA :||• Total 154.58 km2 (59.68 sq mi)|
• Land 135.05 km2 (52.14 sq mi)
• Water 19.53 km2 (7.54 sq mi)
|COORDINATES :||60°59′N 025°39′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49%|
• Female: 51%
|AREA CODE :||3|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+358 3|
Lahti was first mentioned in documents in 1445. The village belonged to the parish of Hollola and was located at the medieval trade route of Ylinen Viipurintie, which linked the towns of Hämeenlinna and Vyborg.
The completion of the Riihimäki – St. Petersburg railway line in 1870 and the Vesijärvi canal in 1871 turned Lahti into a lively station, and industrial installations began to spring up around it. For a long time, the railway station at Vesijärvi Harbour was the second busiest station in Finland. Craftsmen, merchants, a few civil servants and a lot of industrial workers soon mixed in with the existing agricultural peasantry.
On 19 June 1877, almost the entire village was burned to the ground. However, the accident proved to be a stroke of luck for the development of the place, as it led to the authorities resuming their deliberations about establishing a town in Lahti. The village was granted market town rights in 1878 and an empire-style, grid town plan was approved, which included a large market square and wide boulevards. This grid plan still forms the basis of the city center. Most of the buildings were low wooden houses bordering the streets.
Lahti was founded during a period of severe economic recession. The Russian Empire was encumbered by the war against Turkey. The recession also slowed down the building of the township: land would not sell and often plots were not built on for some time. In its early years, the town with its meagre 200 inhabitants was too small to provide any kind of foundation for trade. At the end of the 1890s, Lahti’s Township Board increased its efforts to enable Lahti to be turned into a city. In spring 1904, the efforts finally bore fruit as the Senate approved of the application, although it was another eighteen months before Tsar Nicholas IIfinally gave his blessing and issued an ordinance for establishing the city of Lahti.
At the end of 1905, the area that now comprises Lahti accommodated around 8,200 people of whom just under 3,000 lived in the city itself. All essential municipal institutions were built in just ten years, including a hospital and a city hall. At the same time, a rapid increase in brick houses was taking place in the centre of the city.
In the early 1920s the city gained possession of the grounds of the Lahti Manor, an important piece of land previously blocking the city from the lake. Large-scale industrial operations grew rapidly in the 1930s as did the population; Lahti, at the time, was one of Finland’s fastest-growing cities, and before the start of the Winter War its population was approaching 30,000.
Through the addition of new areas in 1924, 1933 and 1956, Lahti grew, both in terms of population and surface area. Especially strong was the growth after the wars, when Lahti accepted about 10,000 immigrants from Karelia, after the region was surrendered to the Soviet Union, and then later in the 1960 and 70's as a result of mass urbanization. The population growth came to a sharp end in 1975 and the city has since grown very little.
Climate data for Lahti, Finland
|Average high °C (°F)||−2.2|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−6.7|
|Average low °C (°F)||−11.1|
The economic region of Lahti, which includes the surrounding municipalities, was strongly affected by the collapse of Finnish-Soviet trade and by the recession in the early 1990s. The value of production slumped, especially in the mechanical engineering industry and other manufacturing industries (e.g. the furniture industry). Production also decreased in the textile and clothing industry. In 1990, there were 90,370 jobs in the Lahti region. The number of jobs diminished over the next couple of years, so that in 1993 there were fewer than 70,000 jobs in the region. The number of jobs had slowly increased to 79,138 in 1999.
In 1995, R&D expenditure was FIM 715 per person, while Finland's average was about FIM 2050. The amount of Tekes (the National Technology Agency) funding in the Lahti Region grew 40% during 2004–07 while the average growth in Finland was 60%.
Prices in Lahti
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€2.40|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€10.00|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€28.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€45.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€70.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€7.00|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€5.00|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€5.00|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€8.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.07|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€6.00|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€1.50|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€80.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€34.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€82.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€3.00|
63 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
262 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Lahti is exactly 104 km from Helsinki, a one-hour drive on freeway 4 connecting the two cities. The drive will take a little less than one hour in the summer, more in the winter.
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).
Travel from Helsinki to Lahti by train takes about an hour. The train service is provided by VR, the national train company. Trains are also preferred by locals, because they're fast and comfortable. There are several train types:
- Local train Z (Lähiliikennejuna Z). Costs around €13,80 adult, €6,90 child (6-16 years). - Stops at Pasila, Tikkurila, Kerava, Haarajoki, and Mäntsälä. Goes hourly from about 6AM to roughly midnight.
- InterCity trains (InterCity-juna). Costs around €20 adult, €10 child. Very comfortable trains, usually with 6 wagons, 3 of them are double-deckers. Stops at Pasila, Tikkurila and depending on the train also at Kerava. Most of the Intercity trains continue onwards from Lahti and are only marginally faster than the Z train. Current (winter 2009) timetable indicates 54 minutes travel time.
- Pendolino trains. Costs around €25,2 adult, €12,6 child. Very comfortable trains and they tilt while cornering (allows faster speeds).
Stops only at Pasila and Tikkurila before Lahti. 48 minutes travel time. All of the Pendolino trains continue from Lahti.
- Allegro trains connecting Helsinki and St. Petersburg stop in Lahti.
If you travel with children, you should choose perhelippu (family ticket). With each adult, one child can ride for free. For example, if you have three children, you will only pay for 2 adults and 1 child.
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.
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 to 2 hours between services in the small hours of the night. The trip takes between 1 h 15 min and 1 h 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. Children under the age of four travel free.
Transportation - Get Around
Lahti has a good system of public transport. You can ride from one part of the city to another with a single ticket of €3.20, kids €1.60. 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 to find bus routes.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
Lahti has several big shopping centers.
- Trio, Aleksanterinkatu 20. Open on weekdays between 10AM - 8PM, Saturdays between 9AM and 6PM.. There are over 90 shops on 3 floors.
- Sokos department store, Aleksanterinkatu 19-21. Open on weekdays between 8AM - 9PM, Saturdays between 8AM and 6PM.. It's a big center with 3 floors and a basement floor. 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, a chain which has a store in almost every city in Finland.
- Liike, Kauppakatu 16. A big 2-floor Anttila department store which sells nearly everything. There are also several smaller shops, a cafe and an InterSport sports shop.
- Syke, Kauppakatu 18. Shopping center Syke is located just opposite of 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 womens lingerie, TOP Sport, which sells sports equipment.
- Laune district (Buses no. 72, 8, 13, 16, 21, 30 from Kauppatori stop C.). Most stores are open on weekdays between 9AM - 8PM, Saturdays between 9AM and 5PM.. A couple of kilometers south of the city center, a large commercial area filled with large hypermarkets, electronic goods, car stores and charity shops (flea markets).
- Karisma. Situated about 5 kilometers east from the city center, next to the E75 motorway. It has nearly 80 shops.
- Kärkkäinen, Pasaasi 2. Independent shopping center in Renkomäki district.
Just by walking around in the city centre you can find stores that sell almost anything (everything from buttons to cars).
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.
- Ahtialan Pizza-Kebab, Ahtialantie 137. There is a variety of pizzas and kebabs. It's located quite far from the town centre.
- Tonin Pitsa, Rautatienkatu 15, 0400-156-706. An Italian restaurant serving Italian-style pizzas and also has a catering service.
- Ararat, Rautatienkatu 10. Pizzas & kebabs.
- Aspendos Kebab, Aleksanterinkatu 15. This place is said to have the best kebabs in Lahti.
- El Toro, Mariankatu 8. Spanish styled food
- Italiano, Jalkarannatie 1. Great variety of Italian dishes.
- Lahden Kebab & Pizza, Vapaudenkatu 22.
- Lorano, Hämeenlinnantie 26.
- Lounaskahvila Tara, Aukeankatu 1.
- Marry Dian, Ritaniemenkatu 11.
- Oluthuone, Rautatienkatu 11.
- Pizzeria Kebab Antonio, Rauhankatu 19. famous for their wrapped kebabs.
- Ravintola Erika, Lahdenkatu 46.
- Restaurant Roux, Rautatienkatu 7 (Near Town Hall), . Finnish fine dining with local delicacies.
- Santa Fe, Aleksanterinkatu 10. Right next to Kauppatori. An interesting restaurant specialized in Mexican food. There's also a bar downstairs.
- Tähti Pizzeria, Ostoskatu 16.
- Ravintola Taivaanranta, Rautatienkatu 13, . Grill and distillery.
- Ravintola Mamma Maria, Vapaudenkatu 10, . Italian food, good pasta and their own ice-cream. You can talk Italian with the owner.
Sights & Landmarks
Lahti has a partly deserved reputation as an unattractive, economically depressed industrial town. In the recent years, however, 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 (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, thecongress 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.
- 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.
- Radio and tv museum, Radiomäki, , fax: , e-mail:[email protected]. Mon-Fri 10-17, Sat & Sun 11-17. Lahti's radio and television museum is located on Radiomäki (literally Radio Hill). You can see receiving and transmission equipment from the 1920's 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.
- Lahti Historical Museum, Lahdenkatu 4. Adults €10, childer €5.
- Lahti Art Museum, Vesijärvenkatu 11 A. Adults €7, children €3.
- Lahti Sports Center, Salpausselänkatu. 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.
Things to do
Lahti has the best known symphony orchestra in Finland, Sinfonia Lahti. The annual winter sport event Salpausselän kisat is very popular and worth seeing.
- Puksu city train. 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.
- Yli-Marola 4H Farm Animal Yard, Neljänkaivonkatu 47. Barnyard animals in the sweet country milieu right in the city center. Open only in Summer. Free of charge.
- Outdoor swimming pool, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Vesiurut, Pikku-Vesijärvi park (Very close to the city center). Vesiurut means water organs. Every day at 1PM and 6PM, 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.
- 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 located nearby. Close to city centre on the shore of Vesijärvi, water quality in the lake is excellent. Free of Charge.
- Salpausselkä trails (Salpausselän Virkistysalueen Ulkoilureitit), Salpausselkä, Lahti (West of the city starting from the Sports centre).Tens of kilometers of forest trails for walking, cycling and skiing. No dogs allowed on ski trails in winter. Free of charge.
Festivals and events
- Classic Motor Show (Lahti Hall). yearly, first weekend in May. An event for fans of old cars and motorcycles; American cars from the 1950's and 60's 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.
- Summer Up: 8-9 July . Music festival
- Lahden yöt: 14-16 July . Music festival
- Kaupungin äänet: 7-8 August Downtown. Kaupungin äänet (Sounds of the city) is a new city festival concentrating in indie music
- Alexin Panimo, Aleksanterinkatu 6, . New brewery and bar in Lahti.
- Amarillo Bar, Aleksanterinkatu 10, . Tex Mex styled bar in Lahti.
- Lahti passenger harbour, Vesijärven satama. At summertime it is worth visiting the Lahti passenger harbour, several restaurant ships operate as popular alfresco pubs.
- Torvi, Loviisankatu 8. The most legendary bar in Lahti. If you dig rock music, Torvi is a must
Other places worth to visit are restaurant Taivaanranta and Teerenpeli which have their own whisky distillery and beer brewery.
- 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.
Safety in Lahti