Porvoo, one of the six medieval towns of Finland, is located on the southern coast of the country, 30 miles east of capital Helsinki. Cobbled streets, quaint shops, charming houses and whimsical stores all add to the beauty of this town. Here are pictures of the old town, the famous Porvoo Cathedral, some escargot liquid courage and overall silliness. If you have enough time on your hands, do squeeze in a day trip from Helsinki to Porvoo via a Ferry/boat. It takes about 40-50 minutes to get there and once you land in old town, you can simply stroll down the cobbled streets or stop by one of the many cute cafes or boutiques. You can find more information on it’s tourism website. Another excellent day trip to consider is one to Tallinn, the capital of neighboring Estonia. You can read this guide by my blogger friend Carol on what to see in Tallinn in one day for planning and inspiration.
if you have more time in hand and are itching to get away from Helsinki, here are some other fantastic getaways/ day trips from Helsinki that you must read! Here is another excellent article on “best places to see Northern lights” which features Finland since this is a phenomenon you don’t want to miss! Besides Porvoo, you can also visit St. Petersburg from Helsinki if you have more time since these two cities are well connected. Here is a post on top things to see in Saint Petersburg if you are planning for more trips outside of Finland. For a detailed guide on the city of Helsinki, read this post on what to see in Helsinki and for mouth watering Finnish cuisine, read this post on Finnish food!
Our conference organizers had arranged for this trip and so we got a guide to explore our surroundings once we landed at the docks. Old town Porvoo has an idyllic setting and there are several signs for the church, cafes and museums. Since we had 4-5 hours to ourselves, I decided not to go to a museum but chose to walk around instead. The church or Porvoo Cathedral, was originally made of wood (later reconstructed in stone) and is the seat of Finland’s Swedish-speaking diocese. The bell tower of this church has a beautiful green mount and stands separately.
Besides the church, the wooden houses, the yachts on the waterfront and the quaint boutiques, there are several cafes here where one can grab a bite or drink. We stopped at one of them and while I got a glass of wine, my friend boldly opted for an escargot martini which did come with a snail’s shell in it! We also saw beautiful porcelain figurines on the windows of the residents. Overall, Porvoo is a beautiful little town that is not to be missed if you every visit Helsinki. I highly recommend spending a few hours here to witness the idyllic Scandinavian life. Read my other Finland related post on the fortress island Suomenlinna here.
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