By Lättähattu train to Porvoo from Helsinki...
Just 50 kilometers from Helsinki, Porvoo is a perfect day trip during the warm summer months. It is Finland's second oldest city, dating back to the middles ages and it is one of six medieval towns in the country. The old town, vanhakaupunki in Finnish is beautiful, especially in the summer. It is picture perfect with it's quaint cobbled streets, maze of narrow lanes, pastel coloured wooden houses and idyllic parks blossoming with flowers. On a sunny day the river (Porvoonjoki) creates a flawless reflection of the bright red shore houses on the water - probably the most photographed scene in Finland! They were painted with red ochre paint in the late 18th century to honor King Gustav III's arrival, making them look stunningly beautiful. It is the scene that has welcomed visitors to Porvoo for over 300 years. In times gone by, the red shore houses used to store exotic delicacies from countries far away as historically Porvoo was a trade center but today, most are apartments, shops, restaurants or privately owned. Just like everywhere in Finland, the city is host to numerous interior design stores with styles ranging from modern to antique. Timeless and enchanting, a day trip to Porvoo by train is a fantastic addition to your trip to Helsinki.
Journal: Read about my travel experience from Helsinki to Porvoo on 17th August 2013
Discover: Learn more about the train traveling on the Porvoo heritage railway (2013)
Timetable: Porvoo Museum Railway operates one return service to Porvoo from Helsinki on a few summer Saturday's. The train departs Helsinki Central Railway Station in the morning, and follows the mainline as far as Kereva. From Kereva the museum train follows a branch line to Porvoo passing through Hinthaara and rural Finnish countryside with picturesque red cottages surrounded by green fields and pine forests (Route Map). The journey time is approximately 1 hour 45 minutes. In the afternoon the train returns to Helsinki giving passengers about 3 hours in Porvoo.
Tickets: Approximately €32 return.
Departure dates from Helsinki: 10.06, 01.07, 15.07, 22.07, 12.08, 26.08, 16.09, 09.12.2017 (Saturday's)
Alternative travel options include...
By m/s J.L Runeberg: From Helsinki's main Market Square (Kauppatori). Departures are three to five times a week between May and September. Visit the m/s J.L Runeberg website.
By local or express bus: The quickest option direct from Helsinki bus terminal. It is the only public transport option if visiting in the Winter and it has frequent departures all year round.
Travel information last updated on 9th March 2017. For more information visit the Porvoon Museorautatie website (in Finnish only).
By steam train or hand-car along the Jokioinen Museum Railway…
The line which the museum train now operates over was the last commercially operated narrow gauge railway in Finland. It ceased operations in 1974 and the museum was subsequently established on February 2nd 1978. It is a 750 mm gauge railway running between Humppila and Jokioinen stations. Minkiö station at the half-way point, houses a collection of carriages and locomotives and a small café. Steam trains operate mainly on summer Sundays, however a few additional summer Saturdays are also timetabled to operate. On days the steam train does not operate, it is possible to hire a hand-car from Minkiö station. With the handcar you can travel at your own pace through the lovely open Finnish countryside, stopping as often as you like and even having the chance to grill some sausages at an ex gravel pit siding.
Getting to Humppila VR station is straightforward with train connections available from Helsinki, Turku or Tampere. On the days when the steam train is operating, it is just a short walk to Humppila station (see below for example connections on 16th July 2017, however it is best to check both VR and Jokioinen Museum Railway websites to confirm train times). On non-operational days, getting to Minkiö to hire a hand-car is more challenging however between Monday and Friday, it is possible to catch a bus from Humppila VR railway station to Minkiö station crossing (google map directions: Search google maps for bus stop name 'Minkiö as th'). The bus takes around 10-15 minutes and costs €4.70 however departures from 'Humppila' station are only at 07:00, 10:10, 12:40 and 15:35. Useful departures back from 'Minkiö as th' are at 12:25 and 15:10. For detailed bus times check Matkahoulto.
Journal: Read about my hand-car rental experience on 3rd August 2015
M-F - train connects to 10:10 bus departure to Minkiö / Forssa - last possible bus arrival back at Humppila is at 15:30
SUN - train connects to 10:20 steam train departure to Jokioinen - last possible steam train arrival back at Humppila is at 15:46.
Return ticket approximately €50
Dates: Jokioinen Museum Railway operates steam trains on Sunday's between 4th June and 27th August 2017m plus a few other selected dates
Tickets: €14 return from Humppila to Jokioinen
Hand-car Rental: From 1 hour at €10 to a full day at €25
Travel information last updated on 9th March 2017. For more information visit the Joikioinen Museum Railway website.