Last week when I shared some of my favorite things about being on a cruise, I mentioned that sometimes they can take you to places you didn’t even know existed and leave you wanting to return. Porvoo is definitely one of those places.
If you’re like me, then you’ve probably never heard of this adorable place either. Located just outside of Helsinki, the small town happens to be the second oldest city in Finland and quite the hidden gem. Its proximity to the city (just about an hour away) makes it a popular summer weekend escape, but we found ourselves there in early spring, on a chilly but sunny day, and it was still just as lovely to explore.
Located on the Porvoo River, tiny homes and historical buildings line the banks, and cobblestone streets are the real deal. And while we certainly expected to find some charming little cafes and shops, we were more than pleasantly surprised at the first place we stumbled into for a cup of coffee, Cafe Postres.
Every detail in this place was cozy, welcoming, and oh so Scandinavian in design. We were swooning over the food as much as the gorgeous handmade dishes and cups that they were served in! The cafe actually sells these locally made pieces as the best kind of souvenirs to take home.
Through the little cafe, on the other side of the small open kitchen is the restaurant Meat District. I absolutely loved the vibe in here! Light wood and lots of black, with some very cool details. I also love the way the spaces in this rambling building were divided into unique sitting areas! These little tables with casual lounge chairs were my favorite.
Seeing as we were the only ones in the cafe, I got to roam through and take quite a few photos before they were even set up for the day. I’m obsessed with those chairs and tables, and the long communal bar seating in one of the other rooms.
Of course, we only had so much time, and I had heard that the antique shopping here was one of of the biggest draws to Porvoo for tourists, so of course I had to check that out!
We wandered through the tiny streets (there are only a few!) and discovered some fun shops like Bypias which looked like a dreamy catalog that you’d want to live in…
And right next door was this fun antique shop and yes, I wanted to steal the pink Fiat (obviously) and those yellow chairs.
And while there were many little home & antique stores lining the streets, my favorite was Jokikadun Antiques. The shelves there are filled with gorgeous glassware and dishes – an entertainer and blogger’s dream! I managed to grab a few little treasures, but given more time probably would have come back with bags FULL of vases, coupes, dishes, and who knows what else.
After a few hours in this historic town, we boarded a boat (not this one!) and sailed down the river to a lovely little lunch before heading back to Helsinki for a quick tour of the city before we had to be back on the ship. If you’re curious about the itinerary, you can take a look at it here!
We only caught a glimpse of a few major landmarks and buildings, but the Rock Church really stole the show. Purple pews and modern architecture literally built into a rocky cave – you can imagine how good the acoustics were here! It was pretty amazing.
Have any of you been to Helsinki?! As usual, I wish I could have had more time there to explore the city as well, but I have to say it was so nice to enjoy a day in a smaller town. If you find yourself in this part of the world with a day to get out of the city, Porvoo is your place!!