Six things to see and do in Porvoo

Merchant houses

The city of Porvoo is just east of the Helsinki area. It is Finland’s second oldest city, established around 1380. Walking in the old city it is easy to take a make believe journey back to a time when salt, furs and tar were tranported by boat. On one side of the Porvoo river are the old merchants’ houses and warehouses painted with boiled red earth paints (consists of rye flour, iron sulfate, iron oxide and water).
(Number 1) On the other side there are nice walking paths and a park area with marked trails.

Merchant houses
Merchant houses along the Porvoo river

Number 2. Experience the atmosphere of the old town. The old town has narrow and steep cobblestone streets and is built around the church at the top of the hill. Little shops, cafes and restaurants line the streets.

Along one of these little streets are two little gems.
Number 3.

Toy store Riimikko. Such an inspiring toy store for old-fashioned play.

Number 4
Cafe Helmi, a quaint little coffee and tea shop. The building was built in the late 1700s. It has tiny little rooms for customers to choose from.

Cafe Helmi

Out back there is a courtyard.

like a secret garden…
Carrot cake and Apple and nut tart

Number 5.
At the top of the hill is the Church. During summer months on Tuesdays and Thurdays there is a free mini organ concert at noon lasting fifteen minutes. The city of Porvoo has been burned many times during its history. Danish pirates burned it in the early 1500s, the Russians have managed to burn it a total of three times. Most of the buildings that are standing today have been built in the late 1700s.

History of Porvoo http://www.porvoo.fi/index.php?mid=1111

Number 6. Porvoo today. Opposite of the old town is the flourishing new city. We had read a review of the Bistro Sinne restaurant in the Helsingin Sanomat and decided to give it a try since it had received such high marks. We were not disappointed. The customer service was excellent and our waiters were very informed. What makes the Sinne restaurant interesting is that it has focused on making food close to home. Close by they have their own fields for produce and in the restaurant a wall of herbs is used for garnishing dishes. We enjoyed our dinner and are definitely coming back again.

Liked the use of constrasting elements of concrete and plywood.
Wall of herbs
Finnish style prosciutto, an air dried beef and fresh herbs and thinly sliced asparagus. Absolutely delicious.
Herring and new potatoes
Pork cheek, asparagus and spruce shoots
Whitefish fried crisp, mushroom foam, cauliflower, lentils and rice
Dessert. Créme Brulée, basil sorbet and strawberries. House made vanilla ice cream with strawberries and salmiakki meringue
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