Porvoo is situated at the mouth of the river Porvoo (Porvoonjoki). The banks of the river invite visitors for a nice stroll.
Porvoo's picturesque old town is located on the eastern side of the River, where at Jokikatu several restaurants can be found. Among them is the Restaurant Ship Glückauf (see my Restaurant Tips).
If you just walk past the bridge and go to the other side of the bank, you will see the best place to take pictures at Porvoo. This is where most photographers take pictures of the wooden houses. And you will look good in your pics too! Happy Kodak moment! (Just be careful and don't fall in the water...but the slope is not too bad)
Porvoo is the second oldest town in Finland (founded in 1346), and one of the counrty’s six medieval towns. It is famous because of the wooden houses (the Old Town or Gamla Stan in Swedish) that you see by the river canal. The river Porvoonjoki flows through the town which is situated on the southern coast of Finland, approximately 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Helsinki.
Fondest memory: Walking around the town of Porvoo and buying sweets at their main grocery
When visiting Finland, remember that unlike her neighbors, Finland is on the Euro system. At this point, we had already visited Tallinn, Estonia and St. Petersburg, Russia which used their own native currency or took American dollars in some cases.
As Porvoo was the first real stop in Finland on our day long tour, we had not previously changed money. Some of the best exchange rates are at banks and we easily found the TA-UUDENMAAN OSUUSPANKKI in the center of Old Town Porvoo. For 50 USD we received 36.20 Euros after commission.
Fondest memory: The bank is convenient to all the attractions in Old Town and also close to the Tourist Info. Center
Brunberg's chocolate factory is unique Porvoo style. Brunbergs is a brand that everyone in Finland knows, it's good quality chocolate, altough not as big as Fazer is. But is national and it has roots in Porvoo since year 1871. Nowadays the factory is still located in Porvoo. The corner stones of Brunberg have always been high quality, unique products and flexibility.
Fondest memory: You can visit in Factory Shop, which is about 2 kilometers from Old Town. But believe me, the best and most delicious way to buy Brunberg's products is in Old Town. There is a Brunberg's shop in Välikatu and you can eat there candy's before you buy single one. So you can taste which one is best or are they all. Eat as much as you can=) Well, not as much, the sales women can be angry;) No, they won't, they love tourists and they are proud if their products are liked by foreigners.
Shop in old town Porvoo
phone +358-19-548 42 35
Sun 12-16 (Dec. 1st - Dec. 22nd 2002)
Porvvo official tourist office located just in the centre of the city. There is a lot of information, maps, brochures etc available free of charge. The office staffs are very friendly and will be able to speak to you in 5 languages at list.
Porvoo official tourism web has lots of information available also in Swedish and English.
You can find also PDF brochures on-line in French, Spanish, Italian, German & Russian.
Porvoo is a small town about 35 km to the east of Helsinki.
It is surely worth a day visit especially during the spring or summer.
Fondest memory: The old city, I visit here every year for a day trip and I am always enjoying it.
Love sea and islands? Think that wind is something you like? Don't like to be crowded places and prefer nature and strong waves? Pellinki, island in the Porvoo archipelago is an ideal place for you. This extremely beautiful island is located about 80 kilomters from Helsinki to East and about 30 kilometers from Porvoo downtown to South.
There lives about 290 people in Pellinki around the year, but in summer there is lots of summer people. There is own church, elementary school and handel from where you can buy food.
Fondest memory: You need to take a ferry to get to Pellinki. I don't knwo why I like this place so much. It is not easy to reach, living in the winter there is pretty rough and if you need for example hospital, it is not so quickly to get there. But who said life have to be comfortab;e and easy always?
.... near the Cathedral we spotted a small group of youngsters, they were difinitely foreign tourists. I decided to figure out what nationality they were, but was really confused by their accent. Gilis assumption was that they were French, I didn't belive it, I said - No, they don't sound like French, absolutely not.... Ok, if they are French, then they are from the North or from the South of France (though I'm not an expert in French accents!)....
Eventually we decided to ask them where they were from, the answer was
- From France!!!
- And where in France?
- From Paris, of course!
This humble man in disguise is the one, whithout whom we wouldn't made it to Porvoo, our guide, our driver, our everything in that trip. I take off my hat and bend my head in your tribute, the best of the best!
Favorite thing: Apart from just idle wondering along Old town streets and seing all the minor things, go to the top of the hill to see the Catheral, it's a true land mark of the town and it would be real pity to miss it.
Favorite thing: Flower decorations of houses and windows are rather typical throughout Europe but Finnish decorations have its own fler; you'll never mix it with any other country.... Go to Porvoo, spot it and see it your own way....
Favorite thing: Errr, not a typical Porvoo windows here, but I liked them. Unusual things always attract me and these look very unusual - narrow, multi cubical glass framed by old brick walls, wooden shutters..... hey, breathe their history....
This wonderful lighthouse, called Söderskär, in front of Porvoo is getting worse condition because no one seems to be interestd in take care of it. All of the Finnish lighthouses has been automated nowadays and that's way houses like Söderskär are just memories from the time when there lived a lighthouse keeper with his family.
Söderskär lighthouse automated in year 1957, but it switch off 1989, I don't know the reason. Maybe it was not necessary anymore.
After that the small buildnings there has been ownership by Finnish game warden, but the lighthouse has been without administrative commitee.
Fondest memory: That is so sad, that those beautiful and important monuments like lighthouses, are without protection. It wouldn't cost that much to reapir the Söderskär and make it for an tourist palce or just a place where tourists can visit. or maybe somebody can buy it for a summer cottage, it is so near by Porvoo.
Who could protect this lonely lighthouse, which has been an important part of our history?
Since last five years there has been an active public discussion about new bridge.
Nowadays there goes two birdges over the Porvoo river, the other one is very old and it is still in the orginal place. If you look at the map in porvoo travelogue, you'll see that bridge has been in that place since 18th century. This old bridge goes from semetary to Old Town.
The other bridge is the big one, which is in use all the time. It brings you to the heart of Porvoo, between old and new town, across Mannerheiminkatu. This is the still the main bridge.
But there will be the new one, according the lates news. Covernment of Porvoo voted for new bridge, the votinfg was very strict. The place for the new bridge will be in the end of Aleksanterinkatu, near the boats like Runeberg. Today there goes bridge for pedestrain street. The nwe bridge will decrease the heavy traffic some way, i don't knwo how. But now it is sure that the new one is coming. Discussion, taht lasted over 10 years is over.
There is some nice things that are good to know when you are going to Porvoo. Porvoo is second oldest city in Finland and it has very colorful and interesting history.
A long time ago...
The Porvoo Castle was built on the hill and the town was named Borgå ("castle river") in Swedish. you can still see some remains of this castel in Linnanmäki.
The Porvoo parish and the church originated in the 13th century. The church was first built of wood, later of stone. It was founded high on the hill to dominate the town.
Six towns were established in Finland during the Middle Ages. Some of them grew to be towns without any official order having been issued. This was the case with Porvoo, which got the town rights after Turku in the 14th century. The story tells that in 1346 Maunu Eerikinpoika (Magnus Eriksson), then the King of Sweden, visited Porvoo and granted the town rights there and then.