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Kaffebar at Old Rauma
Kaffebar is a cafe inside an old wooden house at a main street. It has also a terrace.

Old Rauma - an UNESCO Destination in Finland

  • By Finnoy Travel
  • July 15, 2022

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Rauma is a small town in Western Finland. It is 92 kilometres north of Turku, and 50 kilometres south of Pori. The town is known for its paper and maritime industry but above all, this historical town is well-known for its old, colourful wooden architecture. Old Rauma's architecture alone is a reason to visit the town.

Old Rauma

The wooden city centre of Rauma is called Old Rauma (Vanha Rauma in Finnish). Old Rauma was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1991 because of its unique wooden architecture and its well-preserved medieval town layout. It is not just a dusty outdoor museum but the area is a lively city centre where people live and perform daily activities. Old Rauma is a combination of old colourful wooden architecture and modern living. You can see vibrant houses painted red, green, yellow and many other bright colours.

Old Rauma is a travel destination not only for Finns but it attracts international tourists yearly. On summer days, you can hear many languages spoken in cosy boutiques. Another good sign of internationality is the presence of ethnic restaurants. Surely, the town serves also tasty Finnish specialities.

Cars are allowed to be driven around Old Rauma but you do not necessarily need one to be able to move around. The area of Old Rauma is small that you can explore easily on foot. Altogether, there are 600 buildings in Old Rauma and approximately 800 residents living in the centre. The oldest buildings date from the 18th century, as two fires in 1640 and 1682 destroyed much of the town. The current layout of the town centre still retains much of its medieval structure.

There are main streets, a central square and many alleys. Residential buildings are located near the main streets, whereas the ancillary buildings were constructed along narrow alleyways. Buildings are inhabited by private individuals but some of the buildings along the main streets are in business use.

One of the main streets at Old Rauma
You can also drive on the main streets but walking is a much nicer way to move around.

Old Rauma was almost destroyed by fires but a few buildings and ruins survived from medieval times. The Church of the Holy Cross contains several medieval paintings so it is one of the main attractions in Old Rauma. Another church, the Church of the Holy Trinity burned in the fire of 1640. The only other ancient stone building is the Old Town Hall, which was constructed in 1776.

Holy Cross Church
The Church of the Holy Cross is one of the main attractions in Old Rauma featuring medieval paintings.
Old Town Hall at Rauma
The Old Town Hall is the oldest surviving building in Old Rauma.

How to Reach Rauma?

Rauma can be reached in a few hours from Southern Finland. For example, you can travel from Turku or Helsinki to Rauma Centre with a few euros by Onnibus. The city is also easily reachable by car and there are plenty of free parking places. There is a railway connection to Rauma but it is not in passenger use. Therefore, there are no active train connections to Rauma.

Our Day Trip to Rauma

We had a day trip from Helsinki to Rauma in July. Rauma is a summer town so June to August is the best season to visit Old Rauma. It is a good idea to combine in your itinerary a visit to Turku and Rauma. For example, we continued from Rauma to the port of Turku and had cruises on Viking Grace and Baltic Princess. There are also more hotels in Turku so accommodation prices are lower.

There are two alternative routes from Helsinki to Rauma. You can drive via Turku or directly from Helsinki to Rauma. Surprisingly, the route via Turku is faster because the road is in better condition . A straight route is more environmentally friendly and a wiser choice to save your expensive fuel.

We parked our car at a free parking area along Kaunisjärvenkatu. Even though you can drive into the old town, it's best to move around by strolling to appreciate more the small details of the beautiful streets of Old Rauma. Too many cars in the old town may also disturb people.

A woman on the bench
This sculpture of a woman sitting on a bench is one of the first things you will see upon entering the main street of Old Rauma.

What to See in Old Rauma

Rauma is full of interesting events so visiting Old Rauma while attending also an event gives you a more memorable trip. However, there is still much to see and experience without any special event in mind.

An Art Handicraft boutique in Old Rauma
Locally made Art Handicrafts are one of the attractions of Old Rauma.


On a sunny day, strolling in the small alleys of Old Rauma is rewarding. You can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and admire the colourful old wooden architecture. Old Rauma is a combination of wooden houses, gardens, alleys and old-style businesses.

An alley at Old Rauma
It is nice to walk along these nice alleys. Remember, this is not a museum but people live in the area.
Old Rauma
The centre of Old Rauma is relatively small so a few hours is enough to see every corner.

Old Town Hall

Market square is the central point of Old Rauma. The beautiful Old Town Hall is probably the first thing you will notice. Famous for its yellow colour, the Old Town Hall is one of the oldest buildings in Old Rauma built already in 1776. Nowadays, it is a museum hosting exhibitions.

Old Town Hall of Rauma
It is easy to recognize the Old Town Hall from its yellow colour. There is a museum inside.


There is an active church in Old Rauma and ruins of another one.

Church of the Holy Cross is only a few steps away from the Old Town Hall. It is a medieval fieldstone church. The church was built in 1515–1520 but after that, it was expanded and some of the older parts were rebuilt. The church has a nice garden with benches.

The Church of the Holy Cross
The Church of the Holy Cross is only a few steps away from the Old Town Hall.

The ruins of the Holy Trinity Church are the oldest historical constructions in Rauma. They date back to the medieval period when Finns were newly converted to Christianity. The church was destroyed in a fire in 1640. You will find Holy Trinity Church near the Kaunisjärvenkatu car parking area.


Every visitor to Old Rauma should try at least one cafe. All the cafes have one thing in common: They are more idyllic than international chain cafes in metropolia. The cafes in Old Rauma are inside old wooden buildings and the service is more traditional unlike what most customers are used to, self-service.

Cafe Sali
Café Sali on the market square serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and snacks.
Tullin Cafe
At Tullin Cafe, you can enjoy homemade bakeries, coffee and lunch. The cafe is a great choice to taste Finnish home food.

We visited Wanhan Rauman KaffeBar along the main street. Kaffebar serves fresh salads, homemade cakes, ice cream, drinks and many other delicious items. You have plenty of seating places inside and on the terrace.

Inside Kaffebar
Even though Kaffebar has a nice terrace, we decided to enjoy our drinks inside. The cafe has a cosy decoration and a relaxed atmosphere.


The old town is also a place to eat. You can have snacks in cafes or a full menu in a restaurant. Because the area is international, you will find also international food in addition to local Finnish food. The restaurants are located all around Old Rauma but especially, the cafes are near the main streets. It is a good idea to walk around Old Rauma before choosing a place to eat. After walking through the alleys, you will feel naturally hungry and have a good image of the food options available.

Restaurant Hehku
Spacy and cosy Bar Hehku offers a wide range of quality drinks, wines and beers. The bar has also a terrace.

We ate a Chinese full-inclusive buffet in Wen Jing Restaurant in the market square. The price was affordable, the food selection was good and the food was tasty. The restaurant is in an old wooden house just next to Town Hall.

Fish-lovers can give a try to Restaurant Kalatori.


Museums are a solid part of any old town. Also in Old Rauma, there are museums. We recommend you to check out the details of these attractions: Rauma Maritime Museum, Old Town Hall and a Sailor's home museum, Kirsti. The full museum list is available on Rauma's website.

Old Rauma and water tower
There is a restaurant inside a water tower behind Old Rauma. Having lunch there allows you to see Old Rauma from a new perspective.


Old Rauma is also a place for shopping. You won't find big shopping malls but something much better. Small private-owned boutiques are still giving personal customer service that is slowly disappearing. These personal shops sell clothes, gifts, decoration items and many other things. Together, there are more than 100 hundred shops. Because Old Rauma is small, you can walk from one shop to another. The shops are open from Monday to Saturday during regular business hours. Daytime is the best time to do the shopping because Old Rauma, like all small towns, go to sleep early.

Chinese restaurant sign
In old wooden houses, there are boutiques and restaurants.
A boutique at Old Rauma
Boutiques are not open late in the evening. We recommend visiting Old Rauma during the daytime. The town goes sleep early.

Bottom Line

Old Rauma is a perfect day trip destination. You can reach the town easily from Helsinki either by car or bus. Heading to the town on a sunny summer day rewards you with beautiful views.

The city centre is lively during the daytime so it is recommended to arrive at Rauma early. You may walk around the centre, eat and have coffee. Old Rauma also offers museums and boutiques to buy decoration items and gifts. Don't forget to taste local ice cream. After a day in Rauma, it takes only 1 hour to reach Turku where there are more inexpensive hotels.

Have you been to Old Rauma? What did you like the most? Comment below!

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Destination: Finland

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Readers' Comments (1)

  1. 07-27-2022 at 1:05pm UTC by Taj Mahal Tour : - Unapproved

    Dear, Thanks for the post all the good information has posted in this article.

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