The 2 towns of the title are similar. One is a tourist town in Denmark and the other is in Finland. Their main similarity is they are both culturally rich and encapsulate the overall spirit of the country is which they are found. I like visiting small towns like these 2 when Ruth & I travel. You learn far more about a country in places like these than you can in cities.
Roskilde is 19 miles west of Copenhagen and has been around for more than 1,000 years. It was a Viking seaport on Zealand, an island at the end of a fjord. It was founded by a Viking named Harald Bluetooth. It retains its first millennium feel and has twisty streets to wander and stimulate the imagination. Over time it developed into a town of factories and machine shops. Early on Roskilde was an important market town and the scene of tobacco warehouses. They have been replaced by research parks. It was no surprise to me that a tool museum is here. Roskilde has always been a center for learning with high educational standards. It has also been a royal hangout like York in Great Britain with an oversized cathedral in which many kings and queens are buried.
It has always been a boatbuilding center too. Denmark’s 10th largest city, Roskilde’s focus completely changed about 70 years ago. In 1962 five original Viking ships were found, recovered, and excavated. As a result of this the Danish museum of ships opened in Roskilde. It could easily be called a Viking ship museum with some vessels that were afloat in the 11th century on display. If you are a fan of the Viking Era and/or loved Game of Thrones, Roskilde is your kind of destination when travel is possible again.
One summer Ruth & I went from one Scandinavian country to the next. We began in Denmark and ended in Finland. Porvoo is Finland’s Roskilde. Finland’s 2nd oldest town and, like Roskilde is a day trip from Copenhagen Porvoo is a day trip kind of place east of Helsinki. Around since 1346, Porvoo thrives as a tourist destination because of some red warehouses along its river. These 2 towns are even about the same size. Both have full time charm and were once major trading posts and market towns. Both have waterfront settings, connected old homes that have been restored, and streets that are fun to wander in. The wooden warehouses that are Porvoo’s attention-getters are on the Porvoonjoki River.
Scandinavian trivia. There is no proper word for “please” in the Danish language. Finns are the top coffee drinkers in the world. Per person consumption is 12 Kg per year.