Tips for accessible destinations in Lahti
This article contains tips on accessible destinations in Lahti. There are cafes and restaurants, nature attractions, a museum, and a festival tip!
I’m Eve, a young woman from Lahti, and I’ve used a wheelchair as a mobility aid all my life. Above all, I love moving in nature, good food and live music. I also believe that these experiences belong to absolutely everyone, and everyone should have an equal opportunity to enjoy them. There are many destinations and places in Lahti where accessibility is well taken into account, here are my ten favorites that I went to test!
Visual arts museum Malva
Lahti’s visual arts museum Malva is definitely one of my favorite destinations, in terms of the versatility of the art offering and accessibility. My experience in Malva was really pleasant and effortless, and I couldn’t really find anything to improve there in terms of accessibility. When I arrived in Malva, I noticed that there is a disabled parking lot in front of it, which is a really important element from the accessibility point of view. The door you entered had a wheelchair button, which you could use to open the door easily. There was also a ramp at the entrance, from which you could easily enter Malva. Immediately on the ground floor of the museum, a disabled toilet was also found. You could easily go to every floor with the elevator, and all of Malva’s exhibition spaces were accessible. As a wheelchair user, I can absolutely recommend Malva to at least other wheelchair users and certainly also to other disabled people!Sights and museums
Vesijärvi harbour is a wonderfully refreshing destination if you want to quickly get to enjoy the wonderful lake scenery without having to travel far from the center of Lahti. The port of Vesijärvi is also a functional destination in terms of accessibility from my personal experience. You can easily get to the port by e.g. disabled taxi, and the distance from the parking lot to the water’s edge is not much. For example, you can easily reach the lower platform levels along a gentle ramp. There is also a ramp to many ship restaurants, for example Arla and Teerenranta, and some of the cafes are wheelchair accessible. There are also several disabled toilets in the port.To the Harbour
Accessible nature destinations
The Lapakisto nature reserve is located in Nastola, and it offers its visitors a wonderful lake landscape and a beautiful forest. From the Sammalistontie parking area, there is an accessible route to Lapakisto’s campfire site, where you can even grill your own sausages! When arriving by disabled taxi, it is recommended to take a taxi and stop at the very last parking lot, so that you do not have to take a more uneven off-road route with a wheelchair. The accessible route is really easy for wheelchair users, the path is flat and wide. The accessible nature trail to the campfire site is not very long, its total length is about 100 meters, but it is all the more rewarding.
A path near Devil’s nest in Tiirismaa
Located in Tiirismaa, the Devil’ nest loop is a wonderful nature destination, and it is also partially accessible. Getting to Devil’s nest itself with a wheelchair is quite difficult, but the approximately 2 km long forest path leading to Devil’s nest is really wonderful and can be traveled with, for example, an electric wheelchair and why not a manual wheelchair, but then you should take a friend or an assistant on the trip just to be sure. The forest trail to Devil’s nest has flat trail terrain, but the route partly contains downhill and uphills, so the route is a demanding accessible nature route. The accessible route starts near the parking lot from Arvi Hauvosentie, when you go a little further from the parking lot until you see the gates. The fairly flat barrier-free route actually continues all the way from the vicinity of the parking lot to the vicinity of the Messilä golf courses.
The Kiveriö loop, about a kilometer long, which starts near the Joutjärvi church, offers a beautiful forest and lots of blueberries! The terrain is flat and easy to navigate for a wheelchair, there are however a few ups and downs on the route, so the route is considered a demanding accessible nature route. A disabled taxi can arrive at the small parking lot near the Lounaanpuisto playground, or stop in the Joutjärvi church yard and start on the smaller path, which is located opposite the Joutjärvi church. The smaller path can be easily accessed with an electric wheelchair. There are also several benches along the route where you can rest.
Accessible lean-to shelter in Pajulahti
Pajulahti Sports Centre is Finland’s only official Olympic and Paralympic training centre, and it develops sports and coaching in cooperation with sports federations. The Pajunpesä lean-to shelter, located in the Pajulahti Sports Centre, has been built to be accessible. The lean-to shelter is easily accessible with a wheelchair and there you can grill your own sausages and enjoy the atmosphere of the nature. You can reserve the Pajunpesä lean-to shelter through Pajulahti sales.
The wing restaurant Siipiravintola is located in the center of Lahti, and it serves delicious wings in different degrees of spiciness and other finger foods. The most accessible entrance to Siipiravintola is located next to the karaoke restaurant Las Palmas. The doors of this entrance are not automatic doors and they are quite heavy, for example, for someone traveling alone in a wheelchair, but if you have an assistant or a friend with you, you can get through them easily. The restaurant is otherwise barrier-free, and wheelchair users can easily eat at the end of the tables, for example. The restaurant also has a disabled toilet.To the restaurant
Kuja Street Food Lahti
Kuja Street Food Lahti serves street food with style and unique drinks, with also non-alcoholic options. It is located right in the heart of Lahti in an easily accessible location. There is barrier-free entrance to the alley, and the restaurant hall itself is spacious and at least most of the tables are easily accessible by wheelchair. At tables with lodge-type sofas, you can sit at the end of the table with a wheelchair. Kuja is located next to Lahti Seurahuone, and there is also a disabled toilet on the side of Seurahuone. In connection with the access route to the disabled toilet from the Kuja to the Seurahuone premises, there is also a ramp and an automatic sliding door, which makes it easier to pass.Kuja Street Food
Amarillo is a Mexican restaurant located in the heart of Lahti. In Amarillo, you can find both delicious food and drinks, for bigger and smaller hunger. In Amarillo, accessibility has also been taken into account. There are various table options in the restaurant hall, and most of them are easily accessible with a wheelchair. The restaurant also has a disabled toilet near the dining room.
Arnolds is a cafe located in the center of Lahti, where you can find, for example, delicious donuts, salads, bagels and smoothies. Arnolds is located near Lahti Market Square and you can easily stop in front of it with a disabled taxi, for example. The cafe also has a ramp which makes it easier for people in wheelchairs to get inside the premises. There is also a disabled toilet in the cafe.Arnolds
Headland festival is a modern domestic music festival organized in Lahti at the end of July in the event environment of Lahti Niemi. The festival lasts two days, and the artist line-up includes representatives of several different genres. Headland has also taken into account visitors with reduced mobility. As a wheelchair user myself, I have been to Headland for three years in a row now, right from the first time. Every year, Headland has done a good job of improving accessibility.
Before the event, accessibility was well communicated on the festival’s website and on social media. The festival area was easily accessible by disabled taxi, and customers who needed accessibility could enter the area through the VIP entrance even without VIP tickets, in order to avoid long queues and traffic jams. This made my journey at least a lot easier.
The event area also had two performance stages, and one of them, the main stage, also had an accessible viewing stage. The viewing stage was easily accessible via a ramp, and the stage had plenty of space for several wheelchairs. In the event area, there were also several disabled toilets. The area’s terrain was partly a bit difficult for a wheelchair user, but the area also had asphalt in places, and with an electric wheelchair or a manual wheelchair, especially with an assistant or a friend, the terrain could be traversed quite well.Headland