Finland’s second oldest city is just 20 miles from the capital of Helsinki (a little over an hour via the regular bus service, or three and a half hours by steamboat in summer). Found on the coast in the Uusimaa region, Porvoo dates back to medieval times; its Old Wooden Town, cobbled streets, riverfront, doll-house style architecture and red-ochre painted riverside warehouses make it especially picturesque. The city’s antique and vintage shopping attracts many collectors, and its cafes create a vibrant pavement culture – do try the city’s unique speciality of Runeberg Torte, an almond rum cake named after the country’s National Poet.
RUNO Hotel Porvoo
This Nordic-style design hotel showcases Finnish art and traditions, in contemporary surroundings, with furnishings inspired by American Shaker pieces. Beautiful original features, many carrying cultural history have been carefully preserved, including sections of the façade that depict mythical characters from Finland’s national poem. Rooms are categorised as small, medium, large, extra large and accessible, as well as three suites all have a custom-made serigraphy painting. Dine on Finnish and Karelian dishes at Runo Kitchen and Finnish schnapps in the bar. Upstairs, the Runo Attic Spa includes a firelit lounge, a calming space to relax.