"Porvoo - Borgå" Top 5 Page for this destination Porvoo by ZenLady34

Porvoo Travel Guide: 222 reviews and 520 photos

The second oldest town in Finland

15JUN 2013 note: I havent been updating Porvoo pages for a long time but I will try to do it as soon as possible! Happily I can tell you that we have received quite many new food restaurants in Porvoo which are pure joy to visit. Most of them are located in the Old Town (Jokikatu) but I will update you soon!

Porvoo, Borgå in Swedish, is a small picturesque town quite close to the capital Helsinki. Here the main language is Finnish but Swedish is spoken by 33% of the inhabitants. Porvoo is the second oldest town in Finland, after Turku, founded in 1346.

I have lived almost the whole my life in this town. It is a nice little town, which is located only 52 kilometres from Helsinki. I will not list every single typical tourist destination on my pages as you will find them on the official Porvoo net pages. I will try to share the Porvoo I know with you...

Porvoo is an easily accessible destination: a 40 min's of drive or 55 minutes by bus takes you from downtown Helsinki to Porvoo.
Porvoo is a very popular destination also people from Helsinki as some does a joy-ride to Porvoo at summertime, just to enjoy towns athmosphere and the life along the Porvoo river; have a cup of coffee, an ice-cream or a beer and then head back. The life is concentraded around Porvoo river at the summer time because there are several terraces and it is nice to sit outside and enjoy the sun and watch people go by.

This is a perfect day-trip town or maybe you would like to take some time and spend a couple of days tasting the atmosphere? One does not (really) need a car getting around here. It is such a small town...

The Old Town

Porvoo is more than the Old Town with the cobblestone streets and narrow alleys. It is a modern little town, which keeps growing all the time.

But yes, the main attraction of Porvoo is the Old Town. Especially beautiful at summer time and also at winter time when the narrow alleys are covered with snow and the days are dark... romantic! There are only wooden buildings in the Old Town area. I like this part of town very much as it has a certain athmosphere in it. Also there are quite many small shops to visit, where one can buy Finnish handicraft's, antiques, products for sauna and also there are quite many cafees and few restaurants and at summer - there are plenty of tourists.

Be aware that the tiny shops in the Old town are mainly open from Mon-Fri 9am -5pm and Saturdays 9am - 2pm. Most of the shops are closed on Sundays. This is a pity.

I can not help mentioning that Porvoo has been a home for the Finnish national poet, who composed the words of the Finnish national anthem:J.L Runeberg. His home is Finland's oldest home museum, opened to public in 1882.

Porvoo was a home also for one of the leading Finnish painters Albert Edelfelt, who lived 1845-1905. During 24 summers in Porvoo archipelago (Haikkoo mainly) he painted 220 artworks, which most of them were rewarded in salongs of Paris. He used the local people as models to his paintings.

WINTER: Enjoy the atmosphere of Old Town; the silence, the contrast of dark day and white snow and street lights. Pop in for a glass of hot chocolate into a one of the many cafes to rest your feet and warm up your cold fingers (cold weather, remember?).

Maybe in February - March you will see people walking on the ice of the river enjoying the sunny winter day. But do NOT go walking on the ice just like that 'cos where there is a flow -> the ice is thin and will not bear your weight.

Porvoo is a real summer town. The town is full of small happenings all weekend (bicycling race, concerts, flea markets etc).

Check out the Market Place at city centre (this is at the main bus station), open 07am-04pm Mon-Sat. Enjoy a cup of Finnish coffee in a local booth or buy fresh bread or get some fresh, tasty strawberries !
If you are looking something really Finnish and traditional you should head to Tanssisaari on Saturday evening. There is traditional Finnish dance ball on an island (you can get there by taxi). The program, which Saturdays there are dances and who is playing, is on their netpage. Check out the Net page if you are interested and if you have questions I'd be glad to reply to you. ;-)

The Avanti! Chamber Orchestra holds its regular summer festival in June-July every year (for closer info, contact me or town tourist information office).

Go WILD and rent a bicycle! See more in shorter time and get the opportunity to enjoy the summer day. Why not? The traffic is not chaotic and the bicycling roads are good.

AUTUMN: Autumn weather is normally grey and rainy but if you are lucky you will see all the maple trees in the colours of autumn on a sunny day...

I honestly can not say anything about the nightlife in Porvoo. However it is obvious that in such a small city as this is, there are not much night life.

Map of Porvoo helps you to locate attractions, accomodations, street addresses, parking etc, just do note that the language selection is done from the selection bar.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:near the capital (lol), beautiful wooden Old Town, special athmosphere
  • Cons:lack of nightlife?
  • In a nutshell:small town near the capital, idyllic
  • Intro Updated Jun 15, 2013
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Reviews (29)

Comments (26)

  • Apr 27, 2008 at 9:47 AM

    A lot of information in your web site

  • flyingscot4's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2007 at 6:57 AM

    Hello Maj, Lovely town and super descriptions. I wish that I could be as concise. Your photographs are excellent and really help in the telling of your stories. You have a great philosophy as well. You sure make me want to visit Finland. Slainte!

  • Feb 16, 2007 at 10:06 AM

    hi there you have loverly pages with some really cooooool pictures!

  • Jun 6, 2006 at 11:52 AM

    Hi Maj, I was just checking through your Porvoo Page again. The web pages are great. Thank you!

  • Mandy23's Profile Photo
    Feb 26, 2006 at 9:54 PM

    Very good page about your hometown.

  • delcity's Profile Photo
    Feb 9, 2006 at 2:57 PM

    great page on what looks to be a great place to visit or live.

  • Johnny_CA's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2005 at 8:54 PM

    good thing i visited porvoo in the summer! i don't know if i could walk through snow that thick like on your homepage with the bicycle! porvoo is very charming!

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Nov 12, 2005 at 3:21 AM

    Fabulous updates here..I think I have to come back to Porvoo to visit the Little Chocolate Factory ... and now I also know where to place my order at Nakki Kustaa ... *verybigsmile*

  • deeper_blue's Profile Photo
    Nov 11, 2005 at 2:48 PM

    Great pics, beautiful place, kippis

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Nov 11, 2005 at 2:34 PM

    It's an idyllic little town, indeed. And you've managed to show it in perfect way. It's not surprising that the town attracted many artists. It's a pity I skipped it when I was in Helsinki.

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