Located in eastern Finland, Imatra is a modern industrial town dominated by Lake Saimaa, the Vuoksi River and the Finnish-Russian border. The famous Imatrankoski Rapids are the oldest tourist attraction in Finland. To celebrate the town's 50th anniversary, the rapids were permanently illuminated to allow people to admire it all year round. The magnificent castle hotel Imatran Valtionhotelli has stood by the rapids for more than 100 years. The River Vuoksi offers excellent opportunities for fishing throughout the year: in winter it is possible to go ice fishing as well as practice open water fishing since the Vuoksi never freezes completely. The river is also suitable for swimmers and beautiful jogging and cycle tracks surround its contours. From the banks of the river bird watchers can observe dozens of bird species.
Surrounded by water on three sides and fringed by islands, Helsinki grew up around a natural harbor overlooking the Gulf of Finland. A city of wide streets, squares, and parks, adorned with sculpture, Helsinki was one of the world's first planned municipalities and is noted for its 19th-century neoclassical architecture. It is a city of bustling, colorful market squares and halls, of outdoor summer concerts and sports events, of seaside parks, of excellent cafes and restaurants and cutting-edge art in fine museums. It is also a pleasantly compact city, with many of the attractions in the central districts, within easy reach of one another.
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