The bear castle
Pori’s Swedish name, Björneborg, literally means “bear castle”. The history of Pori as an old industrial city can clearly be seen from the city’s architecture. Beautiful neo-renaissance buildings manifest the former wealth and the picturesque red-bricked industrial facilities along the Kokemäenjoki river make the message even more prominent.
Now the city is experiencing its second rise, as Pori attracts lots of students and the city center is being revamped. The old buildings are getting modern neighbors.
A buzzing student city
PoriJazz, Yyteri, SuomiAreena, Kirjurinluoto,… There is always something happening in Pori! And for the rare weekends when not: the 8,000-people strong student body of Pori will organise something. The remarkable presence of students is prominent in the street view. In addition to cosy cafés and student bars, you can see young people relaxing on the beautiful river bank or shopping in the centrum –or, maybe in the shopping mall located in an old cotton factory!
All photos in the image gallery are from Visit Pori.
Population: around 85,000
Foreign nationals: 2,1%
Total area: 1,155 km2
Warmest month: July, +21.7C°
Coldest month: February, -9C°
Currency: Euro (€)
Kokemäenjoki river runs through Pori to the Gulf of Bothnia. The geological uplift after the last ice age has been fairly prominent in Pori, and thus a delta has formed to the west of the city. The recreation area of Kirjurinluoto is an island connected to the mainland by bridges.
Climate and weather
The climate in Pori is maritime, and there is substantial snowfall in the wintertime. The sea makes the winters milder and the summers cooler than in continental areas. The coldest month is February, with an average temperature of -9C°, while it gets hottest in July, with an average temperature of 21.7C°.
At the heart of the city is the marketplace that offers seasonal local ingredients and handcrafts. The central is also filled with small boutiques, while the surrounding shopping malls provide all the national and international stores. The biggest shopping mall in the municipality, Puuvilla, is actually located in an old cotton factory, and nowadays is the home for over 100 stores!
Food and drink
The food and drink scene is especially prominent in the central of the city, and there is something for anyone in the numerous various cafés, restaurants, pubs, and bars. Pori features numerous places to eat at, and there is no shortage on ethnic restaurants either.
The central has a buzzing night life scene, and the presence of students is notable. Various bars and clubs serve the customers until the early hours. In the summertime, head to Eteläranta, the river bank, where there are many nice terraces where to enjoy the warm summer evenings.
Central Pori is comfortably small to be relatively easily explored by foot, or in the summer on a bicycle. The most 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 center) and the Yyteri sand beaches (about 15 km away) can be reached with a bus.
The bus station of Pori is located in the central square in the centre. From the centre square there are good local connections to the town and to the neighbourhoods everywhere. The airport has also excellent connections to everywhere in Europe and all the major cities in Asia.
Pori railway station and bus station are located in the city center. Since the Pori station is a terminal train station, railway traffic is quite moderate. Pori is only connected to Tampere with 13 daily departures by the Tampere–Pori railway. Bus traffic is very busy instead. Pori has more than 100 intercity buses with major Finnish cities Helsinki, Turku and Tampere as well as smaller places like Rauma and Vaasa. Public transport is managed by the city owned bus company Porin Linjat. It has also service to nearby municipalities.
Pori Airport has daily connections to Helsinki Airport and Stockholm Airport. Also, seasonal flights to ski resorts of Lapland as well as charter flights to several Mediterranean countries.
As the rest of Finland, Pori is extremely safe. Just make sure not to fall into the river!
Porin YH-Asunnot owns and rents 1,400 normal apartments, 600 student apartments and maintains some 2,500 residential apartments as well as several other properties.
They offer studios, shared apartments, as well as two-room and three-room student housing. You can have a look at their student residences at http://www.porinyhasunnot.fi/Opiskelijakohteet.
You can find more information about the housing and how to apply from http://www.porinyhasunnot.fi/en.
You get a 30 % student discount on Basic tickets when travelling on long-distance trains, as well as on 10 and 30 journey multi-tickets. You are also entitled to a 50 % student discount when travelling on commuter trains in commuter train services area on single tickets and on 10 journey multi-tickets.
More information: https://www.vr.fi/cs/vr/en/students_new.
For single trips exceeding 60 kilometres, Matkahuolto grants a 50% discount for normal adult tickets. For shorter trips, the discount is smaller. The tickets are always cheaper when purchased online in advance. There is also a five-trip
travel card available for students, that entitles the card holder for five travel times in the specified route. To receive the student discount, you must a full-time student at a Finnish institution, and have a student ID with Matkahuolto stamp on it. Alternatively, you can get a Matkahuolto and VR student ID from any bus terminal.
More information: https://www.matkahuolto.fi/en/.
The local transportation in Pori is organised by Porin Linjat. If you are a full-time student in a higher education institution in Pori, you are eligible for a student discount. The discount applies for 30-day unlimited travel cards, that can be purchased for 42.00 euros, and 40-trip travel tickets, that cost 53.00 euros. For other kind of travel cards, student discount is not applicable. Note: seven euros will be charged for the card itself upon your first purchase.
There is a total of 11 libraries and one library bus in the Pori area. They are all part of Satakirjastot library network, that consists of all public libraries in the Satakunta region. Your library card, that can be received free of charge, is valid in all Satakirjastot libraries, and gives you access to their online services too.
More information about the libraries in Pori and Satakunta, as well as their services and access to their online service, can be found from https://www.satakirjastot.fi/web/arena/welcome.
In Finland, the meals for students are state supported, and thus healthy, nutritious, and very affordable.
Here you can find a list of the student restaurants catering in Pori: https://asiointi.kela.fi/opiskelijaravintolahaku/OpruokaApplication?karttalinkki=eng08000609.
More information about student meals and meal subsidies can be found from http://www.kela.fi/web/en/meal-subsidy.
In Finland, the health care of students is organised by Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS, in Finnish: Ylioppilaiden terveydenhoitosäätiö, YTHS). The FSHS services are available for all students studying on Bachelor’s or Master’s level at universities and have paid their student union membership fee to a student union that is affiliated with the FSHS.
Those studying for a Licentiate of Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine degree are also entitled to use the FSHS’s services. The health services are not available for Doctoral students, so if you are admitted to Doctoral level studies, please contact your university for advice and options on local health care.
If you are studying at a university of applied sciences (UAS), the health care services are usually provided through municipal health care providers. You can find more information on your health care arrangements from your UAS directly.
Please note that even when your student status makes you eligible to access the student health care services, this does not replace the need for a valid insurance.
You can find more information from FSHS website: http://www.yths.fi/en/ or directly from your own UAS or university.
Pori Jazz Festival
Pori is widely known for its international jazz music festival, established in 1966. Today Pori Jazz is one of the major jazz festivals in Europe as well as one of the largest culture events in Finland. The nine-day festival is held annually in July. Many renowned musicians have played the festival over the years, including artists like B. B. King, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Kanye West and Santana.
Yyteri is located 17 kilometres out of the city center. The six-kilometre-long beach is one of the largest in Baltic Sea. Part of the area is designated as a unisex nudist beach. Tourist facilities in Yyteri include a hotel and spa, camping park and a golf course. It is also very popular among windsurfers.
The Jusélius mausoleum
The mausoleum was built as a memorial for a young girl named Sigrid who passed away at the age of 11. She was the daughter of businessman F. A. Jusélius. Jusélius wanted to honor the memory of his precious daughter in a dignified and permanent manner. The mausoleum is one of Pori’s most well known sights.
Villa Mairea was designed by the most famous Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto. The villa is one of the most successful examples of the modernist style in architecture and one of Aalto’s most widely known designs. Villa Mairea was completed in 1939 and it has become a popular destination for architects from around the world.
Pori Art Museum
Pori Art Museum has been famous for its modern art exhibitions for over 30 years and has from the beginning focused on the new phenomena of the visual arts. The basic collection belonging to the Maire Gullichsen Art Foundation, contains mainly Finnish art from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day, with the emphasis on the post-war period.
Satakunta Museum presents the history of Satakunta province and the city of Pori. The collections include over 80,000 artifacts and other objects. Museum’s archives include over 300,000 photographs, maps and architectural drawings. Satakunta Museum is located near the city center by the river Kokemäenjoki. The museum was established in 1888 and it is one of the oldest historical museums in Finland. The present museum building was completed in 1973.
Kirjurinluoto is a lush park area right by the city centre. It is a popular location for summer frolicking. The three-hectare play park for children, exhibition gardens, scenic outdoor routes, a beach by the river and a chance to encounter various animals make sure that this park provides you with things to do for days.
In the Pori region, there is a continuous hiking trail network totalling to 360 kilometres. In addition to a great hike in amazing Nordic nature, the route has plenty of options for accommodation, eating, and – obviously – sauna and swimming in lakes.
Lido Open-Air Swimming Pool
Build in the 50s, the open-air pool has ever since been a popular among the locals as well as visitors alike. Still sporting the 50’s architectural vibes, the pool is built to conform the terrain, and features a full-scale diving tower, a water slide, and several pools.
Satakunta Garden Information Centre
In fact, a horticultural advice centre for the region assisting gardening professional and enthusiasts alike, the centre also features beautiful gardens. The Hanhipuisto park and the Polsa route both are stunningly pretty, and since they are the centre’s display areas, the places are always extremely well taken care of.
The northernmost district of Pori, Ahlainen, is a former maritime village and renowned for the surrounding nature, sea, and beautiful buildings. The village is of great cultural significance, due to its skilfully constructed wooden houses and traditional picket fences. The oldest church in the Pori region, constructed in 1796, is also located in Ahlainen.
The Korsman House museum is the home of the fictional family Korsman, and decorated to portray the famlly’s life in 1951. The family has two children, and the house is designed to share the 50s atmosphere and to show the childhood of the grandparents of today’s children. All items can be touched and examined.
Pori National Urban Park
The Pori National Urban Park is a continuous area of green and blue within the city. Without leaving the park, you can explore the Kokemäenjoki river delta, walk through city and oserve important historical builidings, and keep on going until you reach the Isomäki recreation area and the countryside surrounding Pori.
See Visit Pori to find more about amazing things to experience!