Lappeenranta is a city and municipality in the region of South Karelia, about 30 kilometres (19 miles) from the Russian border. It is situated on the shore of the Lake Saimaa in south-eastern Finland, and because of that, it is also one of the most significant urban centres in the whole Saimaa region, along with the towns of Imatra, Mikkeli and Savonlinna. Lappeenranta is the 13th largest city in Finland, and incorporates the previous municipalities of Lappee and Lauritsala, Nuijamaa, Joutseno, and Ylämaa.
Lappeenranta is known as an international university city in Finland with Lappeenranta University of Technology and Saimaa University of Applied Sciences which together have approximately 13,000 students from 68 countries. Lappeenranta is also a commercial centre of South-East Finland and the meeting point of the EU and Russia, 215 kilometres (134 mi) from both Helsinki and Saint Petersburg. Its location on the southern shore of Lake Saimaa makes the city the region's centre for tourism.
Lappeenranta is the second most visited city by Russian tourists in Finland after Helsinki and it competes with Helsinki for the largest share of tax-free sales in Finland. Lappeenranta is a model for renewable energies and a clean living environment. Lappeenranta was the only Finnish city among the 14 finalists in the international Earth Hour City Challenge 2014, organized by WWF. Opened in 1918, Lappeenranta Airport, located in the centre of the city, is the oldest airport still in operation in Finland. The city's main employers include: City of Lappeenranta, Fazer, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Nordkalk, Paroc, Outotec, South Karelia Social and Health Care District, The Armed Forces, UPM-Kymmene, & VR Group.
Lappeenranta has a population of over 72,000 people.