Living History

Late summer Saturday day trip, time-travel on a museum train and an afternoon in Porvoo… 

For those of you who (for some odd reason) have never heard of this place: it is a small, bilingual (Finnish and Swedish) town and a popular tourist destination in south-eastern Finland, about an hour away from Helsinki.

Porvoo Old Town is the main tourist attraction, with its cobblestone streets and old, wooden houses. Even though Porvoo is a medieval town, most buildings in the Old Town (except the cathedral) date from the 18th and 19th century (wooden buildings tend to be rather vulnerable to fires…).

However, Porvoo Old Town is not an open air museum; the old buildings are privately owned homes or businesses, i.e. antique shops, vintage shops, flea markets, artisan shops, restaurants…

I love this little antique shop… it has an excellent selection of reasonably priced mid-century / 1960s designer glassware and porcelain, and I have found a few real gems there.
The other thing to buy in Porvoo is chocolate: both Pieni Suklaatehdas (= The Small Chocolate Factory) and the small but very popular Brunberg chocolate factory shop are also located in the Old Town.

Restaurant Timbaali

Professor M of course loves Porvoo because of the quaint little coffee shops and fabulous restaurants, such as Timbaali. The menu is modern Scandinavian / international cuisine, with excellent fish dishes and the weekend buffet table. The decor is a mix of old and new: a fresh and airy space that looks both vintage and very modern at the same time.

Boutique Hotel Pariisin Ville

And if you feel like staying a bit longer, there are several boutique hotels, such as the small and elegant Pariisin Ville. It has only ten rooms, each beautifully decorated and with complimentary internet access. But this small hotel has a little something extra: 3 of the rooms come with their very own sauna…


Porvoo is only about an hour away from Helsinki by bus / car. However, if you are not in a hurry and enjoy a scenic tour, in summer you can also get there by boat or the heritage railway line museum train.

I hope you enjoyed our little stroll around Porvoo Old Town, 


                                  Linking up with BonnieCamilaAmy and Jessi for

Travel Tuesday

1 Comment

  1. Jessi P
    3 September 2014 / 7:37 pm

    What a great little spot – thanks for sharing 🙂

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