Lahti: Wikis


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—  City  —
Lahden kaupunki

Coat of arms
Location of Lahti in Finland
Coordinates: 60°59′N 025°39′E / 60.983°N 25.65°E / 60.983; 25.65Coordinates: 60°59′N 025°39′E / 60.983°N 25.65°E / 60.983; 25.65
Country Finland
Region Päijänne Tavastia
Sub-region Lahti sub-region
Charter 1905-11-01
 - City manager Jyrki Myllyvirta
Area (2009-01-01)[1]
 - Total 154.6 km2 (59.7 sq mi)
 - Land 135.06 km2 (52.1 sq mi)
 - Water 19.54 km2 (7.5 sq mi)
Area rank 327th largest in Finland
Population (2009-12-31)[2]
 - Total 100,861
 - Density 746.79/km2 (1,934.2/sq mi)
Population rank 8th largest in Finland
Population by native language [3]
 - Finnish 95.7% (official)
 - Swedish 0.3%
 - Others 4%
Population by age [4]
 - 0 to 14 14.7%
 - 15 to 64 67.2%
 - 65 or older 18.1%
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Municipal tax rate[5] 19%

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 and Vesijärvi means water lake.

The symbol of the city depicts a train wheel surrounded by sparkling flames.



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.

Lahti town plan from 1878 by Alfred Caween.
A map of Lahti made by Nils Westermark in 1750-1752.

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 and 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 II finally 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.


Sibelius Hall

Lahti harbors cultural ambitions, and recent years saw the building of a large congress and concert center, the Sibelius Hall. This has sparked much controversy amongst the population, many of whom feel that the money used for these purposes would be better spent on health care and education. Lahti has perhaps the best known symphony orchestra in Finland, Lahti Symphony Orchestra (Sinfonia Lahti). It concentrates on Sibelius's music.

Lahti’s annual music festival programme includes such events as Lahti Organ Festival, Jazz at the market place and Sibelius Festival.


Lahti is best known for its annually held World Cup winter games, the Lahti Ski Games (Salpausselän kisat). Ski jumping events of Lahti Ski Games are part of the Nordic Tournament.

The city endeavors for achievements in sport, which has led to such things as the hosting of a World Games event. As of 2007, it is the only city to host the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships six times, doing so in 1926, 1938, 1958, 1978, 1989, and 2001.

The city also has an ice hockey team, the Lahden Pelicans, and an Association Football (soccer) club, FC Lahti. In July-August 2009, Lahti hosted the 18th World Masters Athletics Championships, an outdoor age-group track meet for men and women 35 and over.


Lahden Yhteiskoulu from 1896
Lahti Folk High School

In the educational sector, Lahti is modest.

Its greatest asset is the highly valued Institute of Design, which is a part of Lahti University of Applied Sciences. The institute has gained international recognition in particular for jewellery and industrial design. Other areas of expertise include metal, woodworking and furniture.

The Faculty of Physical Activity at Lahti University of Applied Sciences offers a bachelor's degree programme in Sports Studies. The Sports Institute of Finland, which is based in Vierumäki near Lahti, is the most versatile centre of sports education in the country. In addition, Pajulahti Training Center, located in the neighboring town of Nastola, is one the leading sports and training centres in Finland.

Lahti is also the home of Helsinki University's department of Environmental and Ecological Sciences (Faculty of Biosciences). It's the only science department of the University of Helsinki located outside the greater Helsinki area.

Lahti - Level of Education.png


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 Lahti Region. The number of jobs had slowly increased to 79,138 in 1999.

Lahti unemployment rate.png

Employment by sector (City of Lahti) 1980 1990 2000 2007
Services 52.0% 59.3% 63.5% 72.4%
Industry 47.1% 40.1% 36.4% 27.4%
Agriculture & Forestry 0.9% 0.6% 0.1% 0.2%

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 2004-2007 while the average growth in Finland was 60%.

R&D Finland 2005.png

Gross domestic product (Lahti Region) 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
GDP at current prices; million € 3,449.3 3,709.7 3,697.5 3,982.3 4,136.8 4,242.4 4,381.9
Changes of GDP; year 2000 = 100% 100.0% 107.5% 107.2% 115.5% 119.9% 123.0% 127.7%
GDP per capita; whole country =100% 80.7% 82.0% 79.4% 84.3% 83.9% 83.4% 81.2%
GDP per employed; whole country =100% 86.6% 87.3% 83.6% 88.9% 88.7% 88.6% 87.1%


As of 31 August 2008 Lahti’s population was 99 816, making it the seventh largest city in Finland by population.

Population by district 1964 1970 1980 1990 2000 2007
Center (Keskusta) 27,400 21,800 15,600 13,700 17,280 19,778
Laune 13,200 17,100 23,300 22,600 23,670 24,568
Kivimaa–Kiveriö–Joutjärvi 17,100 23,500 20,700 18,300 17,790 16,974
Kärpänen 9,400 7,600 12,800 12,700 11,940 11,612
Ahtiala 4,600 5,100 5,100 9,100 10,500 10,897
Mukkula 1,300 9,100 9,500 8,500 8,120 7,877
Jalkaranta 2,500 1,950 5,600 6,200 6,020 5,852
Kolava–Kujala 900 550 400 300 310 710


Railway station, built 1935 by architect Thure Hellström.

Lahti has a railway station on the Helsinki–Kontiomäki line, between Mäntsälä and Kouvola; before 2006, connections to Helsinki went via Riihimäki. The shortened railway connection is expected to boost the growth of Lahti.

Single ticket Adults Travel time
Helsinki Central Station
13.20 € – 24.10 €
0:50–1:35 h
19.30 € – 25.20 €
1:41–1:54 h
35.00 € – 40.10 €
2:39–3:50 h
63.50 € – 72.00 €
6:37–10:02 h
40.30 € – 48.80 €
3:07–5:19 h
38.70 € – 46.10 €
3:21–4:31 h
Coach station, built 1939 - architect Kaarlo Könönen
Express Bus
Single ticket / Return Adults Travel time
Helsinki Kamppi
20.90 € / 37.70 €
1:30–1:45 h
22.40 € / 40.40 €
1:55–2:05 h
35.70 € / 64.30 €
3:10–3:50 h
74.80 € / 134.70 €
6:50–11:10 h
46.70 € / 84.10 €
4:45–6:05 h
38.70 € / 46.10 €
2:25–3:10 h
Local Buses
Single ticket Adults Children
0–6 km
2.90 €
1.50 €
6–12 km
3.40 €
1.70 €

Local buses leave from the market square. Bus stops are on both the Aleksanterinkatu side and the Vapaudenkatu side of the square. See also the Local traffic Trip Planner for Lahti.


Distance by road (km)


The asteroid 1498 Lahti was named after the city by its discoverer, the Finnish astronomer Yrjö Väisälä.

Born in Lahti

See also: Category:People from Lahti

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Lahti is twinned with:


External links



Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Lahti [1] is a town in southern Finland, which lies on the shore of Vesijärvi.

Lahti is a traditional industrial city. However, the city has suffered heavily during the economic downturms, especially in the early 90's, earning a somewhat gritty reputation. Unemployment and alienation are still commonplace in suburbs of Lahti. Things are however now looking brighter again with a new direct railroad to Helsinki and city centre being revamped.


Lahti has a population of 100,000 making it the 7th largest city in Finland by population. The area of the city is 154,6 square kilometres, of which 19,54 km² is water. Current mayor of Lahti is Jyrki Myllyvirta.

Get in

By car

Lahti is exactly 104 km from Helsinki, a one-hour drive on the expressway number 4 connecting the two cities.

By bus

Buses to Lahti depart from Helsinki every half hour. Currently, journey to Lahti by bus takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Buses arrive at the Lahti Bus Station (Linja-autoasema) in the city centre. Ticket costs around 14,20€ - €17. By the way, "pikavuoro" means express-service, "vakiovuoro" means normal service, and "tilausajo" means charter service.

By train

Travel from Helsinki to Lahti by train takes about an hour. The train service is provided by VR [2], 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 turning (allows faster speeds).

Stops only at Pasila and Tikkurila before Lahti. 48 minutes travel time. All of the Pendolino trains continue from 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 train station is less than ten minutes walk from the city center. Cross Mannerheiminkatu and take Rautatienkatu towards north. = Leave the radio hill to your left and railway tracks behind you.

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. A trip planner is available online. [3].

Interactive map of Lahti [4]


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 harbor area with outdoor cafes and bars. In the harbor area there is also beautiful Sibelius Hall which is used for concerts and conferences.

Sibelius Hall

Sibelius Hall (built in 2000) is an example of a modern wood construction and the largest wooden building built in Finland for 100 years. 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,
  • the congress 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.

  • Laune Family Park, Kaarikatu 26.

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
Bus no. 31 from Kauppatori stop A
  • Vesiurut, Pikku-Vesijärvi park.

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 can get wet ;) During the fall, there are also lights playing.

Free of charge
Very close to the city center
  • 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
  • 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.

4€ Adults, €2 kids
  • Outdoor swimming pool (Maauimala)

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.

4€ Adults, €2 kids.
  • 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.

Outside prices unknown
Inside tennis €12/hour, squash and badminton €8/hour.

There's a list of parks at Lahtitravel [5]


Lahti has the best known symphony orchestra in Finland, Sinfonia Lahti. Annual winter sport event, Salpausselän kisat is very popular and worth to see.

  • Lake Vesijärvi, Ankkurikatu. A nice way to spend a summer day is to embark a paddlewheeler ship to cruise Lake Vesijärvi. Remember to have an ice-cream onshore.  edit
  • Medieval Greystone Church of Hollola, Rantatie 917 (Hollola kk). mon-fri 10-80, sun 11-16. Visit nearby Hollola for it's medieval greystone church. Completed around 1480 it represents the best middle aged church architechture. This church is famous for it's well preserved wooden carvings, some of which are from the 1400s. Free.  edit


Shopping centers

Lahti has several big shopping centers. One of them is Trio [6] at Aleksanterinkatu 20. There are many shops, as the center is divided into four sections - Trio Aleksanteri, Trio Opaali, Trio Forum and Trio Hansa. Each part has 2 or 3 floors.

Opened on weekdays between 10AM - 8PM, Saturdays between 9AM and 6PM.

Sokos shopping center [7] at Aleksanterinkatu 19-21. It's a big center with 3 floors and basement floor. Upper three floors are filled with shoes, clothes, toys, electronics, dishes, games, movies and everything that you need in your household. In the basement, there's a S-Market grocery store, what has a store in almost every city in Finland.

Opened on weekdays between 8AM - 9PM, Saturdays between 8AM and 6PM.

Outside town (LAUNE) is a large commercial area filled with large hypermarkets, electronic and car stores.

Most stores are open on weekdays between 9AM - 8PM, Saturdays between 9AM and 5PM.
Buses no. 72, 8, 13, 16, 21, 30 from Kauppatori stop C

Liike shopping center is near the city centre. Mail order business Anttila has a big 2-floor store there, what sells nearly everything found in the catalog. There are also several smaller shops, a cafe and a sports shop InterSport.

Shopping center Syke is located just opposite of Liike. Unlike Liike, which has a few shops. Syke has many shops. One of the biggest is Euromarket, which sells clothes, electronics, household products and food.

By just walking around in the city centre you can found stores that sell almost anything (everything from buttons to cars).

  • Ahtialan Pizza-Kebab Ahtialantie 137. There is a variety of pizzas and kebabs. It's located quite far from the town centre.
  • Ararat Rautatienkatu 10. Pizzas & kebabs.
  • Aspendos Kebab Aleksanterinkatu 15. This place is said to have the best kebabs in Lahti.
  • El Toro Mariankatu 8
  • Italiano Jalkarannatie 1. Great variety of italian dishes.
  • Lahden Kebab&PizzaVapaudenkatu 22
  • Lorano Hämeenlinnantie 26
  • Lounaskahvila TaraAukeankatu 1
  • Marry Dian Ritaniemenkatu 11
  • Oluthuone Rautatienkatu 11
  • Pizzeria Kebab Antonio Pizzeria Kebab Antonio is famous for their wrapped kebabs. You can find them at Rauhankatu 19.
  • Ravintola Erika Lahdenkatu 46
  • Santa Fe 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. Best place for lunch in Lahti. Good place to dine, but apart from lunch, rather expensive.  edit
  • Ravintola Mamma Maria, Vapaudenkatu 10. Italian food, good pasta and their own ice-cream. You can talk Italian with the owner.  edit
  • Classic Pizza Restaurant, Aleksanterinkatu 18 (Inside Trio shopping mall, 1st floor.). Good pizza, it is recommended to pick extra toppings if ordering from the list.  edit
  • Onnela, Aleksanterinkatu 24. Nightly disco.
  • Torvi Loviisankatu 8. [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. In Teerenpeli there is very nice athmosphere and friendly service.

  • Teerenpeli, Vapaudenkatu 20. This place has its own whisky distillery and beer brewery. You can buy single cigars aswell, they are kept in a big humidor. Friendly service.  edit
  • Koti Onnela, Onnelantie 10, tel. +358-40-8250443, [9]. Youth Hostel.
  • Matkakoti Patria [10]. Budget hostel near railway station.
  • Cumulus Lahti, Vapaudenkatu 24, [11]. Pet friendly hotel in the center of Lahti. There are conference facilities for 50 people. The hotel has 171 rooms, bar and disco.
  • Musta Kissa, Rautatienkatu 21, [12]. Double rooms from €80.

Get out

Among the neighboring counties are Asikkala, Heinola and Orimattila. Many of them have something worth a visit, although perhaps just a brief one.

Routes through Lahti
RovaniemiJyväskylä  N noframe S  HelsinkiEND
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010
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Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also lähti





  1. apart, loose, off
  2. disassembled



  • Hyphenation: lah‧ti
  • Rhymes: -ɑhti
  • IPA: [ˈlɑxti]

Etymology 1

From early Proto-Finnic *lakte, a possible Baltic loan. Cognates include Karelian laksi, Veps and Estonian laht, Votic lahti and Northern Sami luokta.[1]



  1. A bay, gulf.

Etymology 2

From the verb lahdata.



  1. A culling, slaughter (killing animals).


  • Notes:
  1. ^ Häkkinen, Kaisa (2004). Nykysuomen etymologinen sanakirja. WSOY. ISBN 951-0-27108-X.

Simple English

Lahti is a city in Finland. It is part of the province of Southern Finland. Lahti has been a city since 1905. As of 2009, there are 100 776 people living in Lahti.

The concert house Sibeliustalo in Lahti is named after Jean Sibelius. Many stars, including Antti Tuisku, have performed there.

Other websites

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