thumb|250px|Kayaking past Old Porvoo

18 things to do

All Places Finland

Porvoo Cathedral

A heavy, squat, white stone building, this church wins no awards for architectural innovation, but it's among the oldest and largest in Finland, with parts dating back to the 11th century. Predating the Reformation, it was originally a Catholic church, but was somewhat crudely converted into a Protestant one later on by removing icons and painting over murals. The building was burned down four times between 1300 and 1700, and took a direct hit from a bomb in 1914 — miraculously, the bomb fell through the roof, but did not explode. The roof was burned by an arsonist in 2006, but the damage was repaired and it's now open again, with some of the Catholic-era murals restored in the process.

SEE   —  Map


One of Finland's most famous confectioners, this family-run business was founded in 1871 and is best known for their ''Pusu'' ("Kisses"), or giant puffs of flavored whipped cream encased in a thin chocolate shell. (Until recently, they were known somewhat politically incorrectly as "Negro Kisses".) Brunberg's liquorice (''lakritsi'') is another local favorite, and don't miss the chocolate truffles either. Most products are actually made at a factory on the outskirts of town (Teollisuustie 19 B, Mon-Fri 9 AM-5 PM, Sat 9 AM-3 PM), but their always-crowded Old Town shop is considerably more convenient.

BUY   —  +358 19-5484235 —  Välikatu 4


The name means "happiness", and this charming small hotel in the heart of old Porvoo (the building was built in 1840) was boutique before they invented the word. Four rooms decorated in various retro styles from ''Functional'' (as in the 1920s architectural movement) to ''Manor''. Breakfast included.

SLEEP   —  Kirkkotori 3


A dance club located in the basement of a downtown building. It is quite busy, filled with youth from Porvoo and the surrounding area. To see such a busy club in contrast to the typical daytime Porvoo is an interesting juxtaposition.

DRINK   —  Mannerheiminkatu 20 C

Porvoo Museum

History and art museum in the heart of the Old Town, housed in the former City Hall (1760). The Diet of Porvoo was held here, and today it showcases artifacts from peasant life and a collection of old photographs.


Famous restaurant that specializes in a rather un-Finnish delicacy, namely snails. Snails from €10 per half dozen, mains (not all of which involve snails) from €20. Lovely indoor terrace in summer.

EAT   —  +358 19-5231020 —  Välikatu 8

Cafe Cabriole

A lunch restaurant, cafe and bakery with a good location in the center of Porvoo near both the Porvoo River and the oldtown. Also catering service, many different kind of cakes and different menus to order.

Pariisin Ville

Another quirky small hotel in the heart of Old Porvoo. Ten rooms named and individually decorated after merchants and artisans who once worked in the building, ranging from tar merchants to glass blowers.

SLEEP   —  +358 19-580131 —  Jokikatu 43

Haikko Manor

Old feudal manor turned luxury spa and hotel by the seaside, popular with Finnish honeymooners. Features a Japanese-style ''Yorokobi'' bath section.

SLEEP   —  +358 19-57601 —  Haikkoontie 114

Wanha Laamanni

Classy restaurant in a building dating back to 1790, now serving up modern fare with a Finnish twist: try the deer carpaccio or tar-flavored salmon.

EAT   —  +358 20-7528355 —  Vuorikatu 17

Cafe Fanny

Pleasant cafe right on the old market square in the heart of old town, with indoor and outdoor seating. The homemade cakes are excellent.

DRINK   —  Välikatu 13

Porvoo Camping Kokonniemi

Camping and caravan ground plus 10 cabins for up to four people. Showers, sauna, kiosk, BBQ shelter, playground. Open June-August only.

SLEEP   —  +358 19-581967 —  Uddaksentie 17

Porvoo Coffee Roastery

Licensed bar and café in a converted brick warehouse by the river. Riverside and floating terrace tables available.

Porvoo Doll and Toy Museum

Contains over 1000 dolls and hundreds of toys dating from 1800 to 1990. Open from June 1st to August 10th only.

SEE   —  Jokikatu 14

Gasthaus Werneri

Basic guesthouse, 400m from the bus station. No breakfast, but free use of kitchen facilities.


Pleasant, centrally located business hotel. Breakfast and sauna (weekdays only) included.

SLEEP   —  +358 19-584455 —  Piispankatu 34

Porvoo Hostel

HI-affiliated hostel in a Porvoo-style red wooden building. 33 beds in 10 rooms.


Has a popular restaurant.

SLEEP   —  +358 19-54761 —  Rauhankatu 27

About Porvoo

Finland's second oldest city (after Turku), Porvoo has been around since the 13th century, although most of the present buildings date to the 19th century. In 1809, Finland's nobles assembled at the Diet of Porvoo to affirm the country's conquest by Russia.

Today, tourists flock to pad about the cobbled narrow lanes of Old Porvoo (Vanha Porvoo), which has survived the sprawl of the modern city around it remarkably intact. The place is particularly popular in summer.

Source: wikivoyage