"Porvoo ~ On the King's Road" Top 5 Page for this destination Porvoo by starship

Porvoo Travel Guide: 222 reviews and 519 photos

Pretty Little Porvoo

Pretty as a picture and idyllic too, Porvoo is Finland's second oldest city and is a wonderful little town for those who are fortunate enough to know about it. Porvoo is only about 50km or a half hour's drive from downtown Helsinki.

Because the majority of the population there speaks Finnish, but also a large number of people still speak Swedish, you will see two names on maps. "Porvoo" from the Finnish and "Borga" from the Swedish ~ "borg" which means castle, and "a" which means river; Borga was the name given to a 14th century fortress which unfortunately no longer exists.

Porvoo has a quaint and quiet sense about it. Picturesque for its steep cobblestone streets, old buildings, and beautiful views of the Porvoo River, it also has plenty in the way of cerebral interests in a rather compact area. The old town section is quite manageable on foot. There are many museums devoted to the history and art of the region, and the people of Porvoo and other parts of Finland are rather devoted to the works of its poets and artists.

There are an abundance of shops, cafes and a wide range of accommodations for those who venture to Porvoo to enjoy its many delightful nuances.

Along the Old Porvoo River

Some sources proclaim that Porvoo was founded in the mid-14th century, but no one is exactly certain. Born at the junction of the river and sea, Porvoo naturally became an important center of trade, and is one of the towns listed as being on "The King's Road." Swedish King Magnus Eriksson gave Porvoo its "rights" virtually establishing its influence as a center of trade which lead to its future prosperity. The city became a gateway where goods from the west flowed through Porvoo to the north and beyond. Today Porvoo is still a vibrant business and commerce center and the "Old Town" of Porvoo makes the most of its presence on the waterfront by hosting most of the sights, attractions, accommodations and fun things to do situated right there on the river.

  • Last visit to Porvoo: Aug 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (10)

Comments (14)

  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo
    Feb 9, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    It was nice to step back in time thanks to your page. I was there in 1994 when I had a day off at the European Athletics Championships and enjoyed this picturesque place as much as this virtual visit of your page. Sissi

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Jan 28, 2010 at 6:04 AM

    Thanks for sharing your Porvoo tour , and for the well written and interesting tips. The Hotel Haikko Manor looks magnificent.

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Nov 9, 2009 at 6:07 AM

    The Porvoo River Front is indeed very picturesque. Sounds like you had a very lovely time there.

  • gilabrand's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2009 at 11:40 PM

    Good tip on the candy. I know my kids like that kind of souvenir best...LOL

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Apr 30, 2009 at 10:37 AM

    Your Porvoo page confirms my view of Scandinavia as peaceful and relaxing with a lot of opportunities to practise sports. The lovely Salt Houses bring to mind the red wooden houses in Sweden. Finland is definitely on my list of must-sees.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2009 at 10:22 AM

    I agree with Stephen..5* tips. Your details are tantalizing & interesting as well as educational. It's obvious you take time to carefully write, edit, & present your information in a wise, attractive manner. Hurrah!

  • Dec 15, 2008 at 9:15 AM

    Another nice page of you. Excellent tips.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Oct 8, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    Sylvia, lovely little page about this Finnish gem. Your page brings back memories of my daytrip to Porvoo. Well done.

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo
    Jun 26, 2008 at 6:28 PM

    Excellent five star tips on a very interesting place. I spent 3 days in Helsinki many years ago. Would love to see more of Finland.

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Sep 14, 2006 at 12:54 PM

    Porvoo looks great on your page, thanks for sharing !


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