Finland’s capital city Helsinki doesn’t really have its own old town, as many European capitals do. But worry not – the solution is only 30 minute drive away from Helsinki. Porvoo, which is the second oldest city in Finland by the way, has an amazing and very beautiful, historic old town which I was visiting on a nice spring day last week.
Posing in front of the red store houses, which – I think – date back to 18th century
Last summer we were travelling in Central Europe and visited cities like Prague, Krakow, Nürnberg. Do you know what these cities have in common? They all have beautiful old towns. Sadly, they all resemble each other very much – it’s like temples in South East Asia. If you have seen one, you feel like you’ve seen them all! So after visiting about five old towns in different cities I promised myself I will not visit any place that even reminds me of a old town anymore.
Well, never say never – I have to say that I forgot my promise quite fast. I wanted to visit the old town of Porvoo properly, because I think last time I truly explored the narrow streets of it was years and years ago. Also this old town is a little different from others in Europe. For example the old town of Tallinn in Estonia is already more European like when you think the architecture as well as the one in Stockholm.
Old Town of Porvoo has guesthouses, cafés, restaurants, little shops selling handicrafts and finnish design.. This time I was satisfied with just walking around and taking photos. Easter is just behind the corner so many of the shops had lovely decorations in front of their doors. At this time of the year the old town seemed a little sleepy – I guess the tourists haven’t yet arrived. I know that Porvoo old town is very popular among travellers around the world, especially in summer!
Porvoo Cathedral – built in 15th century
Well, what can I say? It’s just so pretty! And romantic! It’s easy to reach from the capital area, great for a day trip – and why not for a longer stay. Great thing about Porvoo city is that you can pretty much walk everywhere. The old town is only about 5 minute walk away from the centre. There’s of course more in Porvoo, not only the old town – some fine restaurants, The Art Factory, handful of museums.. During your next trip in Finland, make sure you visit this place.