Christmas in Porvoo © Visit Porvoo
Christmas in Porvoo © Visit Porvoo

Want to experience the magic of Christmas in Finland? No need to travel all the way up North, Porvoo is a small historical town in Finland, around 30 minutes’ drive from Helsinki. It’s a very old village with lots of history, beautiful wooden buildings, and a wonderful restaurant scene. In addition, Porvoo has several cozy Christmas markets and beautiful boutiques for some serious shopping.

Haiko mansion and spa

Let me start with the famous Haiko mansion. The first writings on the manor date back as far as the 14th century. It’s the perfect destination for couples and families. The old hotel makes a lasting impression with its range of outdoor activities and beautiful spa. There is also a Bollinger champagne bar, which in itself is a fascinating trip back in time, but in the summer, you can also buy a bottle and have a picnic somewhere in the hotel grounds. There are cute garden pagodas, a sandy beach as well as several piers, where one can set up a picnic and enjoy a glass of bubbly while admiring the Porvoo archipelago. The history of the manor is exhibited as its art gallery. Haiko is a bit outside of Porvoo center and you need a car (or taxi) to reach it.

Winelover in the center of Porvoo

El Patio restaurant © El Patio
El Patio restaurant © El Patio

Bistro Gustaf, also known as “Paris of Porvoo”, is a French restaurant with a comprehensive a la carte and drinks menu. In addition, Gustaf also serves lunch and café fare and organizes all kinds of events, such as wine tasting evenings, shellfish week, and champagne nights. The popular restaurant is not only interesting because of its kitchen, but also has an elegant interior design.

Bistro Sinne, is a modern restaurant next to the Porvoo river with focus on local produce. Sinne serves lunch, dinner and brunch and is the place to enjoy tastes from the Nordic forest. The journey of tastes takes you to local farms, and the people behind the ingredients. Special diets are well considered. There is a broad selection of artisan wines form Burgundy, Rhone as well as Germany.

Finally, El Patio is an atmospheric restaurant in a cozy 19th century wooden house. In the winter, the dining hall is lit with candles, and in the summer,  guests can enjoy their meal on the idyllic terrace under the Silver Willows. Try out the Spanish tapas, wines and a la carte dishes.

Porvoo’s Christmas Markets

Christmas in Porvoo © Visit Porvoo
Christmas in Porvoo © Visit Porvoo

Porvoo hosts two different Christmas markets: one at the Porvoo Art Factory (inside, cozy and warm) and one at the town hall square (outside, freezing cold, but atmospheric). The market at the town hall square is held on the 8th and the 9th of December between 10 and 16.

The Art Factory Christmas market has been organized already for the last ten years. Its full of warmth and magic. Avanti-hall and its entrance are good places to do some Christmas shopping: the stalls are gushing with interesting Christmas products, local treats and artisan goods. The market is open from the 14th to the 16th of December between 10-16. If you are lucky, you might even meet Santa Claus.

If you are in Finland, get ready for a Christmas overload at Porvoo’s fine and cozy restaurants and its wonderful markets. You can try out two different ready-made tours on our Tripsteri App, or make your own Christmas walk in Porvoo. Don’t forget to buy some traditional Brunberg chocolates from the little concept store in the old town. The vegan buckthorn marmalade, berry chocolate and mint chocolate drops are deelicious!

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