Day trip from Helsinki to Porvoo – strong recommendation

Strong recommendation for day trip from Helsinki to Porvoo, a second oldest city in Finland. Porvoo has beautiful old town with narrow streets and picturesque wooden houses. Just perfect place to stroll around and enjoy feeling of old times. Many small shops around offering handicrafts, antiquities, cloths and toys. Also many pretty and tasty coffees shops, restaurants and bars. There is also a church to visit – old cathedral build in 15th century. Town is so lovely, I got marred there years ago and  I always have this really special feeling when visiting!

A week ago I once again visited this lovely town. This time we had lunch in Fryysarinranta – lovely restaurant by the river. We enjoyed fresh summer buffet with different kind of fish and salads. I strongly recommend to taste their fish soup. In Fryysarinranta you can sit on a terrace by the river or inside in old wooden house (middle picture above from there). I also visited Cafe Paahtimo – I had glass of wine in their lovely terrace by the river.

I also recommend you to try Restaurant Meat District – newish restaurant in old lovely building in center of old town. There are many lovely places around and easily found when walking around old town.

 

How to get to Porvoo? Well, Porvoo is situated 50 kilometers from Helsinki and it is easily reachable by car, bus or even bike or boat. Buses to Porvoo leave in Helsinki from Kamppi terminal and it takes around one hour. Check bus schedule here. If you want to bike, it is good to know that there is biking path for most of the way. However, maybe 15-20 kilometers there is no special biking path but that part is easy and safe to bike as well. Finest way to travel is to take boat Runeberg. Boat takes 3.5 hours and you can enjoy Finnish archipelago while traveling. Finest day you’ll have if you take boat in the morning, then stay in Porvoo as long as you please and in the evening take bus back to Helsinki. Porvoo is a small town so no need to stay over for longer time – day is enough.

Anna

ps. There is maybe cutest toy store ever in Porvoo. It is called Riimikko (sign in below picture). Very strong recommendation! You can find Muumi postcards there as well as shown picture below.

Try these affordable lunch places in Helsinki

There are several lunch restaurants in Helsinki that main stream tourist guides don’t mention but we think these are essential part of our lunch culture and wanted to dedicate couple of posts for them. In the first post, I’ll go through some university restaurants in the city centre of Helsinki that are also open for general public.

Before introducing the lunch places, a bit of background on the tradition. Since 1943 Finnish students and pupils have had the right to free meals during school days. It consists of a warm main course, a side of vegetables, bread and a drink.

(Examples of Finnish school meals. Pictures by Elli.)

This tradition has gone from schools to working life and universities. Student meals are subsidised and many employers provide lunch benefits. Most often people will go out for lunch and enjoy a hot meal with affordable prices from 8 to 10 euros.

These self-service restaurants offer homefood (a direct translation of the Finnish word which means meals made at home) which include drink, main course, sallad, bread and sometime coffee or even dessert. These restaurants are mostly located in university buildings – feel free to go inside and look for the restaurant.

Student/University restaurants
These restaurants are open also for general public. There are differnt prices for students as  their meals are subsidised. The highest price on the menu is generally for everyone else and they vary from 6-10 euros.

Päärakennus
This restaurant is located in Helsinki University’s main building. It’s on the ground floor. Just turn right after entering the building.
Fabianinkatu 33
Mon-Thu 8.30am-5pm and lunch 10.30am-4pm. Fri 8.30am-4.30pm and lunch 10.30am-3.30pm

Porthania
Porthania’s restaurant is located in the University block and is convenient to visit while exploring the city centre.
Yliopistonkatu 3, elevator to 2nd floor
Mon-Thu: 8am-4.40pm, lunch 10.30am-4pm. Fri: 8am-4pm, lunch 10.30am-4pm

Hanken
Hanken’s restaurant is very popular among students. It can get crowded around lunch time but worth of trying if you are around.
Arkadiankatu 22
open Mon-Thu 8.00-16.30, Fri 8.00-16.00. Breakfast Mon-Fri 8.00-10.15 Lunch Mon-Fri 11.00-15.00

Chydenia
Chydenia’s restaurant is located in the basement and has quite nice atmosphere.
Runeberginkatu 22-24
Open Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, Lunch 11am-1.30pm

Proffa
Runeberginkatu 14-16
Open Mon-Fri, Lunch 11am-1.30pm

Latin Market Metsätalo
Fabianinkatu 39
Mon-Thu 7.45am-4.30pm and lunch 10.30am-4pm. Fri 7.45am-3.30pm and lunch 10.30am-3pm