Pori (Swedish Björneborg) is a coastal city of 83,000 people (2021) in Western Finland. It was founded in 1558, making it one of the oldest cities in Finland.
Pori is a traditional industrial city, with its former wealth and prominence showing in the Neo-Renaissance buildings in the centre and in several beautiful red-bricked industrial facilities alongside the Kokemäenjoki river. Pori is most famous for the excellent Yyteri beach and the annual international jazz festival in July.
The town of Pori was founded in 1558 by the Swedish king Gustav Vasa, as a strategic center for trade and commerce. The town grew quickly in the following centuries, becoming an important regional center for industry, culture, and education.
During the Finnish War of 1808-1809, Pori was occupied by Russian forces, and the town suffered significant damage during the conflict. However, in the following decades, Pori began to recover and rebuild, with new industries and businesses being established in the area.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Pori experienced a period of rapid growth and modernization, as new transportation links and infrastructure were built. The construction of the Tampere-Pori railway line in the 1890s brought improved transportation and communication to the city, while the electrification of the area in the 1920s paved the way for new industries and businesses to be established.
After the war, the city continued to grow and modernize, with the establishment of several new industries, including manufacturing, shipping, and tourism.
The city has suffered heavily during the economic downturns, especially in the early 1990s, earning a reputation as a somewhat gritty place. Things are looking brighter again as of 2020, with lots of students coming to the city and the city centre being revamped.
Although the city is officially unilingual, there is a Swedish school and some cultural activities in Swedish thanks to the resulting community.
Pori is on E8 along the west coast and at the end of highway 2 from Helsinki and road 11 from Tampere.
- 1 Pori Airport (POR IATA) (almost in the city centre). Budapest Aircraft Service flies from Helsinki. Coaches have a stop ("Pori lentoasema th") near the airport (see Matkahuolto).
If you fly in from abroad, you will most likely end up at Helsinki Airport (HEL IATA). Instead of waiting for a connecting flight, it may be quicker to continue by bus or train (the transfers should be smooth). Also Turku (TKU IATA) and Tampere (TMP IATA) have some international flights.
There are coach connections from Helsinki (3–4 hr), Turku, Tampere (2 hr), Rauma (1 hr), Oulu, Vaasa and Seinäjoki. Ordinary tickets from Helsinki cost about €30–40, but there may be cheaper offers on the net, especially if you buy well in advance. Coming via Tallinn, there may be a coach connection with arranged transfer from the port, mostly via Kamppi. Coming via Stockholm, there may be direct coaches from Turku harbour.
- 2 Pori Railway Station (Porin rautatieasema), Asema-aukio 3 (in the city centre).
All the passenger trains go via Tampere. A one-way adult ticket from Tampere costs around €15, from Helsinki around €40. Tampere–Pori takes 1½ hr, Helsinki–Pori 3½ hr.
Drive highway 2 from Helsinki (3½–4 hr), highway 8 from Turku or from Vaasa (both about 2 hr), or road 11 from Tampere (about 1½ hr). When coming from Helsinki, the advantage of driving on roads 3 and 12 is that most of the route is on motorways. If you want to come by a route which has more rural feeling and interesting places to stop, drive along roads 3, 132, 54, 283, 284, 230 and 2.
Central Pori is small enough to be relatively easily explored on foot or, in the summer, on a bicycle. Most if the attractions are within a short walking distance from each other. The few destinations further away, such as the Sigrid Jusélius Mausoleum (about 3 km from the city centre) and the Yyteri sand beaches (about 15 km away) can be reached by bus. Information about local buses you can find here (web page in Finnish only). You can use route planner to seek local bus routes between given locations and addresses.
The Pori bus station is at the central square in the centre of town. From the centre square there are good local connections to different parts of the town and to the surrounding neighbourhoods everywhere.
By electric kick scooter
- See also: Finland#By motorised scooter
The Pori city bike service is maintained by Rolan Oy. The Rolanbike app, which can be downloaded to your phone, gives you easy access to the locations of the stops on the map, as well as instructions on how to use the bikes.
- Valopilkku (Taksi Helsinki). Taxis ordered by smart phone app. Pricing not told on the web.
- 02 Taksi. Smart phone app offers address-based routing and gives price offers from different taxi companies.
- Menevä, ☏ (head of office), toll-free: 0800-02120 (booking). Also bookable by app or web. Fixed price based on calculated route and time if destination address given when booking by app or web. Flag fall M–Sa 06:00–18:00: €4, other times and holidays: €7; 1–4 persons €0.90/km + €0.90/km, 5–8 persons minimum €20, €1.60/km + €0.90/min (July 2020).
- iTaksi, ☏ (high cost?), firstname.lastname@example.org. Smart phone app offers address based routing and calculates price according to them. €4.00/6.00+€0.90/km+€0.85/min.
- Smartphone apps: Taksinappi
- 1 City Hall. The riverfront in Pori has several prominent Neo-Renaissance quarters; especially the City Hall (with its park) by Carl-Ludvig Engel is worth a look.
- 2 Pori Cathedral. The Gothic-style Pori cathedral (that built instead of the castle that gave Pori its names: borg=castle) is also on alongside the river just a stone's throw away.
- 3 Porin Teatteri. The theatre building and its neighbouring house Hotel Otava, the world's first theatre house built for performances in Finnish.
- 4 Reposaari. This seaside fisher village outside the city is filled with picturesque wooden buildings. Especially recommended for summertime visits.
- 5 Sigrid Jusélius Mausoleum (in the main graveyard). The Sigrid Jusélius Mausoleum has paintings of the famous Finnish painter Axel Gallén-Kallela. Free.
- 6 Viikkari (Itätulli) (by the eastern border of the city centre). Viikkari, or the 5th district, consists solely of old wooden buildings. There's nothing to see in particular, but the area has a unique "bohemian" character and is best enjoyed by just walking around. It is a popular location to live in for local artists as well as underground musicians.
- 1 Pori Jazz Festival: . Quite big names, like Santana, Simon & Garfunkel and Alicia Keys have played here, and John Legend was to play in 2022. The focus isn't on jazz any more, although jazz & blues can also be found. One of the biggest (if not the biggest) festivals in Finland. Favourite festival of the slightly older crowd. Eight days in mid-July. (date needs fixing)
- Porispere: . A rock festival in late July or early August. (date needs fixing)
- 1 Yyteri sand beach. One of the largest and certainly one of the best beaches in Finland.
- 2 Ice hockey. In the winter, see an ice hockey game of Porin Ässät ("The Aces"). Although the team isn't as successful as it used to be, the redcoats are still an essential part of the city culture – especially the Saturday games boast an excellent atmosphere and draw in large crowds. You see the traditional Ace of Spades logo a lot around the city during the Finnish Professional Hockey League season, which begins in September and ends around March/April. Tickets (€10–25) are available at the Sokos department store in downtown, or at the Lippu.fi website
- 3 Pori National Urban Park (along the river banks). Contains a free smallish children's theme park, a theme based golf link and small streams of water. Full range disc golf course. It is lush green during summer. The most prominent monuments of the Pori National Urban Park are the industrial buildings on the north bank of the Kokemäenjoki, the Neo-Gothic central church of Pori and the Junnelius place, now used as the City Hall and one of the best examples of Neo-Renaissance buildings in Finland. The National Urban Park also contains one of the most beautiful bridges in Finland architecturally, the Pori bridge; the Old Courthouse; the unique collection of stone buildings, "stone Pori"; the Juselius mausoleum, and Kirjurinluoto island, made famous by the Pori Jazz Festival.
- 1 Puuvilla, Siltapuistokatu 14, ☏ , email@example.com. Satakunta's largest shopping center.
- 2 Isokarhu, Yrjönkatu 15. Isokarhu mall is a large shopping mall in the heart of the city, alongside the pedestrian zone. In it are located franchises of the most common Finnish and international chains ranging from H&M to Intersport. What you can't find inside, is very probably sold in a store located right next to it (it's a small town afterwall). There are some nice cafe's as well.
- 3 Kauppahalli, Yrjönkatu 12. The old market hall is a nostalgic experience. The hall sells local products ranging from fish to vegetables. It opens early in the morning and stays open through the afternoon. Good place to take it easy for a while and have an old-fashioned cup of coffee with a sweet bread. But be warned: the retro has a downside in the average age of visitors being probably over 70 years. Old people have also a saying "when you come to Pori, we put you in a pärekori (chip basket) and get you around the tori (market square).
- 4 BePop, Yrjönkatu 22. A shopping mall in the northern end of the pedestrian zone, also has several small stores. It's also a crazy example of the building boom of the "casino economy", with a huge structure (in pastel colors) but very little commercial space. There's a nice view if you bother to climb to the top bridge that crosses the "alley".
- Outlet stores Tactic board games, Karjarannantie 2 km west of the city. Open M–F 08:00–16:00. Bakeries/cafes Mäkilän leipomo: Raja-Hiltantie 3 M-F 07:00–15:00; Jauhopojat Uusikoivistontie 73 open M–F –17:00, Sa 08:00–13:00.
The normal price for restaurant meal is €20–30. Fast food is obviously cheaper. Kebab and pizza are at almost every corner of the town. The price range is €5–10. These joints are often open until early in the morning. There is a list of lunch offers for each day.
- 1 Tori (Market place). Typical and local products are fried or smoked river lampreys (season is at autumns) and self-made meat pies of Ojala. Market square is open from early morning till 14:00. Typical food is also "porilainen" and it is known all over Finland. Porilainen is a street food dish in Finnish cuisine made from white bread and a half-inch slice of thick sausage. It usually contains diced sweet onion, chopped pickled cucumber, ketchup, mustard, and in some cases mayonnaise. Porilainen resembles a hamburger or a hotdog.
- Hesburger. The Finnish equivalent to McDonald's. There are many franchises, such as the one at the market square, which is open until 05:00 in the morning. Meals €6-10.
- 2 Bucco, Hallituskatu 22. Popular Italian restaurant at Hallituskatu. Reservation might be a good idea at least in the weekends.
- 3 Ravintola Raatihuoneenkellari, Hallituskatu 9. Probably the most upmarket restaurant in Pori, situated in the cellar of the city hall.
- 4 Lounaskahvila ROLL, Itäkeskuksenkaari 1-3, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 10:00-13:00. Lunch restaurant. €10.
- 5 Ravintola Sofia, ☏ , email@example.com. School cafeteria with extremely tasty food. You can take as much you want (including bread a salads), which means you never leave empty. Students pay just €2.60. Open only on workdays €8.50 for everything.
- 6 Mekani by Huikoo, Konepajanranta 2 B, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 10:30-14:00. Lunch restaurant. €10.90.
- 7 Kahvila-Ravintola Bepop, Yrjönkatu 22, ☏ . M-F 10:30-15:00. Lunch restaurant. €10.
- 8 Ravintola Woitto, Tekniikantie 2 (Winnova Tiedepuiston Palvelukatu), ☏ , email@example.com. M-F 11:00-12:30. Lunch restaurant. €9.
- 9 Lounasrasvintola Gomee, Radanvarsi 2.
- 10 Ravintola Maku, Puunaulakatu 20.
- 11 Ailav, Juhana Herttuan katu 17.
- 12 Sininen Lounashuone, Mikkolantie 14.
- 13 Ravintola Galle, Gallen-Kallelankatu 6.
- 14 Ravintola Liisanpuisto, Liisankatu 20.
The main city center area is full with bars and nightclubs. They are situated at/near the main street Yrjönkatu. The age limit is usually 18 years, but to some clubs it's 20. If you are 18 years old, you can negotiate, and you may sometimes enter the bar/nightclub. Bartenders often ask younger customers to present their identification card. If you are in Pori at the summer, go to Eteläranta, there are many nice bars and much to do.
Bars and pubs
- 1 Rattis, Yrjönkatu 27 (opposite the bus station). Most genuine Pori experience can be found here. Also Jazz jams on Thursday nights, with local students performing.
- 2 Tullibaari, Itsenäisyydenkatu 44. The Tulli Pub on the other side of the square gets occasionally pretty "genuine", too.
- 3 Beer Hunters, Antinkatu 11 (next to the market square). Nice selection of beers, has its own little brewery.
- 4 Havana Bar & Coffee, Liisankatu 7. In the Finnkino movie theatre building (Promenadikeskus), draws in local 'hipsters'.
- 15 One for the Road, Otavankatu 7 (two blocks west from the market square and then south). Known to locals as "Irkku". An Irish pub with delicious toasts, reasonable prices and a unique atmosphere.
- 5 Bar Kino, Itäpuisto 10. Live music on Thursdays. Most popular live venue in Pori. On weekends regular, quite popular club with mainstream dance music.
- 6 Cabaret Discotheque, Yrjönkatu 9. A newer, popular club that is a part of a chain of discotheques bearing the same name around Finland. The queue can get very long, so after midnight you might have difficulties getting in.
- 7 PK (Punainen Kukko), Itäpuisto 13. A nightclub aimed at a somewhat older (but certainly not less drunk) clientele. There are several floors, with electronic dance music in the basement, karaoke in the middle floor, and Finnish 'schlager' (iskelmä) in the largest dance floor.
- 8 Amarillo, Vaakuna. Amarillo and Vaakuna are located in the Sokos Hotel Vaakuna next to the market square. Amarillo has a restaurant and a relatively popular bar, and as the place closes around 01:00, people tend to the Vaakuna club upstairs. It tries to distinguish itself as a somewhat more elegant club experience. On a Pori scale, anyway.
- 1 Hostel Buisto, Itäpuisto 13, ☏ , fax: . 17 rooms with 42 beds in the centre of Pori.
- 2 Matkakoti Musa, Putimäentie 69, ☏ . 5 rooms with 12 beds.
- 3 Omenahotelli, Itäpuisto 1. Number of rooms: 57
- 5 [dead link] Yyterin leirintäalue (Yyteri camping area), Yyterin santojentie, ☏ . 75 cottages near the Yyteri sand beach. Four-person cottage costs €45/night.
- 6 Matkakoti/Gasthaus Marita, Satamapuisto 2 (Located on the island of Reposaari), ☏ , . 11 rooms with 25 beds.
- 7 Matkakoti Tiira, Santojentie 9, ☏ . 17 beds near the Yyteri sand beach.
- 8 Yyterin Kievari, Yyterin santojentie 10 A, ☏ . 20 beds (+20 in the summer) near the Yyteri sand beach.
- 9 Scandic Hotel Pori, Itsenäisyydenkatu 41, ☏ . 170 beds in 82 rooms. Rooms from about €70.
- 10 Hotelli Cumulus, Yrjönkatu 24, ☏ . 172 beds in 109 rooms. Internet access available in rooms.
- 11 Yyterin Kylpylähotelli, Sipintie 1, ☏ . 230 beds in 113 rooms. Price includes use of sauna and baths. Located on Yyteri sand beach. Double rooms for €94, single rooms for €73..
- Lavia - A rural village and former municipality, today part of Pori.
- Ulvila - neighbouring medieval town.
- Rauma - Finland's third oldest town with a beautiful wooden old town, less than a hour away by car or bus.
|Routes through Pori|
|Vaasa ← Kristinestad ←||N S||→ Rauma → Turku|
|END ← Mäntyluoto (Pori) ←||NW SE||→ Ulvila → Vihti|