VISIT RAAHE Be part of our story!
Raahe region is located in Finland on the shore of the Bay of Bothnia. The sea and our rivers have shaped us into what we are now, living by them, living from them, traveling across them. We welcome you to feel the gentle and sometimes unyielding sea breeze on your face and hear it hum in the treetops of the forests in the inland.
Here the best parts of disparities unite.
We are particularly proud of our unpretentious way of life where the best parts of urban and countryside, industry and responsibility, productivity and silence, darkness and light unite. Our collective heartfelt legacy is the clean nature and we intent to keep it that way, clean and accessible, also for you to enjoy.
Minds and hearts open for new, embracing the old.
Let us be your guides to the things that make us happy in the destinations the locals love. Wanha Raahe, the soulful old wooden town of Raahe from the 18th century and the golden era of sail ships is one of the best preserved in Finland. Archipelago of Raahe is awarded as The Finnish Outdoor Destination of the Year 2016. Raahe region in coastal Finland offers plenty of possibilities to experience local history, art, strong maritime as well as contemporary culture, spiced up with a versatile selection of events.
Be happy, live like a local.
You are warmly welcome. Who knows, maybe you'll stay.
Category: We recommend
Art and architecture, Parks and landscapes
Address: Rantakatu 50, 92100 Raahe
Kari Juva Sculpture Park
The sculpture park consisting of sculptor Kari Juva’s works was established in Raahe in the summer of 2008. Constructed in the Raatihuoneenpuisto park, it contains 19 pieces.
Born in Helsinki in 1939, Kari Juva lives in Espoo. He spent his childhood and adolescence in Pyhäjoki and Raahe, among other locations. Juva’s art can also be enjoyed at Pyhäjoki Church, for which he designed the wall relief “Ten Virgins” in the 1970s, and in front of the Town Hall, where the bronze piece “Pauhalla” (On the Shoal) is located. Its miniature, the Pauhavene boat can be found in the Town Hall’s ball room.
Category: Art and architecture, Parks and landscapes
Culture and history, We recommend
Old Raahe is one of the best-preserved 19th-century wooden towns in Finland. Not a museum area but a living town district, Old Raahe tells the tale of the construction of a town and life in it from centuries ago to the modern day.
Take a journey through time!
Built on a former Lapp hut site, the town was originally quite modest. According to a town plan map drawn in 1659, the oldest picture of Raahe, the then 10-year-old town only comprised less than a dozen blocks, many of them nothing more than small strips. There were only two longitudinal streets and three cross streets. The drawing shows that the town was surrounded by a customs wall with two customs points: the eastern one outside the crossing of today’s Brahenkatu and Reiponkatu streets, and the southern one at the end of Pitkäkatu (now Kauppakatu) street, approximately at the location of today’s Koulukatu street. Even back then, the town had a busy port, located at the packhouse, which is now the Packhouse Museum. There was no shortage of wood for construction, and stones were procured from the islets in the archipelago, for instance. Founded by Count, Governor-General Per Brahe the Younger by order of Queen Christina, the town materialised “as if by magic”.
The town was constructed according to Renaissance regularity, following a strictly regular town plan. Residential buildings were constructed longitudinally to the street, whereas annexes and outbuildings, such as merchants’ storage facilities, bakery, sauna, cowshed, stable, privy, refuse heap, woodsheds and other sheds, were built near the edges of the plot. Gradually, these separate buildings turned into sort of fortification walls around the plots. The large plots of the Raahe bourgeoisie were mainly located close to Pekkatori Square and along the main streets. Retail trade was conducted “on the plot”, and shops opening into the street became more common in the 19th century. Join the Pekka statue and take a moment to look at life in the town, followed by coffee and pastries at the delightful café of the Trade House of Lang.
The history of forbidden and unhappy love comes to life at the Sovelius House
The town’s oldest preserved residential building, the Sovelius House dates back to the 1780s. Converted into a shipowner and merchant museum, the house charms visitors with its atmosphere even today. In the courtyard area, the Renkitupa holiday home offers accommodation with the smell of the sea and soul of the old town. The story of unhappy love features members of two of the town’s famous families. Be sure to ask to hear the story when you visit.
The history of Raahe is full of personalities, powerful men, strong and influential women, sailors and captains soaked in the salty waters of the oceans around the world, ladies and mademoiselles in lace and velvet dresses, tailors, coppersmiths and sailmakers. Craftsmanship was held in high regard in this town made wealthy by maritime transport and trade, and this also shows in the street names. For example, Reiponkatu was named after a ropemaker (repslagaren). The street is long and straight, which was important when making long and thick ropes for large ships. Today, ropemaker Vestberg’s house is known as Sofian Talo (Sofia’s House). Up until the 1980s, it housed a school for girls of limited means, established in 1843 by an influential local lady, Sofia Lybecker, with her mother’s inheritance. The house now hosts artist Vuori’s studio gallery. The Lybecker Institute is still training professionals for the creative industries, albeit at a different address.
Secret gardens hidden from sight
Undeniably the most impressive roof in the old town belongs to Keskuskoulu, the central school, located at the inland end of Koulukatu street. On the same street, you can find Raahe Theatre with an intimate summer theatre in its courtyard. According to a story, the house that stood on the plot before the theatre and its predecessor, the Salvation Army, was surrounded by a typically high, annoyingly tight and fully opaque plank fence that prevented curious eyes from peeking into a most beautiful garden with wonderful southern fruit. Later, the harvest of this legendary garden proved, somewhat modestly, to consist of cherries and strawberries.
Even though driving is allowed in Old Raahe, the best way to experience it is by taking an unhurried walk on the narrow streets. When you walk in the old town in the summer, you can look through the gates and still see the large courtyards and their gardens, emanating the spirit of old times.
Enhance your experience – book a guide!
One of the most popular services in the summer is guided theme tours organised by the Raahe Guides Association. Enjoy the guides’ stories about the people of yore, visits by kings and emperors, the life of sea captains and merchants who had seen the world, daily life, habits and people in the past and today.
Each year, the excitement of approaching Christmas is eased with the Old Raahe Advent Calendar. This involves residents and companies of the old town dressing up their windows in Christmas decor. The windows are unveiled one at a time, from 1 December all the way until 24 December. You can also follow the Advent Calendar on Visit Raahe’s social media accounts and with the Glopas audio guide.
In addition, you can use the Glopas audio guide while touring Old Raahe in the summer. Glopas can be downloaded for iOS and Android devices from app stores.
An archipelago right in front of the town.
Just a stone’s throw away from the heart of the old town, from the pier of Packhouse Museum, the former sailors’ house, you can start a cruise in the award-winning Raahe archipelago. Buy some ice cream and sit down on the pier, just breathe in the fresh sea air, listen to the lilt of the happy town, or enjoy refreshments on the sunny terrace of Ruiskuhuone Café, located in a building formerly used by the fire brigade.
More information about the history of Raahe (in Finnish)
Samuli Paulaharju: Wanha Raahe
Hilkka Aaltonen, Eija Turunen: Vanha Raahe
Liisa Männistö: Jugend-talon kaksi elämää
Pekka Kärki: Suomalainen historiallinen kaupunki
Category: Culture and history, We recommend
The Old Raahe
The Old Raahe is one of the best preserved wooden towns in Finland. The old wooden town part is a unique example of the Finnish tradition of building towns of wood. The decision to preserve the Old Raahe took effect in 1977. Since then about hundred main buildings have been renovated. There are about 350 preserved buildings in Old Raahe.
Old Raahe is not an open-air museum but a living town part. It is an excellent example of the past millennium construction history
and the living conditions through the centuries up to the present da
Address: Brahenkatu 10, Raahe
Phone: +358 (0)46 920 5736
The home of the Utuan sydän brand, which represents elegant Finnish design, can be found by Pekkatori Square in Old Raahe. Designer Piia Vähäsalo’s studio is located in an amazing setting in connection to her shop/showroom on Brahenkatu. Enveloped in the smell of genuine leather, the shop provides an excellent opportunity to browse the diverse and colourful Utua range. Utua’s selection includes high-quality leather products from purses, wallets and rucksacks to accessories. The leather products are made from high-quality Italian leather and hand sewn at a small Greek atelier. The production batches are small, so the range is updated several times a year. You can purchase the products in the shop or order them online. Welcome!
Address: Kirkkokatu 28, Raahe
Phone: +358 (0)10 277 4550
Hotel Raahen Hovi
Hotel, restaurant and conference services in the very heart of the town! At this modern city hotel, comfort and satisfaction are guaranteed! The downtown services and shopping streets are right outside the door, and the beautiful sea and the historical Old Raahe district are but a short walk away. Raahen Hovi is also part of the Tapahtumatalo event services arrangement that provides a window into the vibrant cultural life in Raahe.
Accommodation in the centre of town
Raahen Hovi is the place to enjoy any special moment in your life! Our hotel features 123 elegantly decorated rooms, six of which are suites. The newest rooms were completed in 2017. The rooms are located in three blocks, all in the immediate vicinity of the main building. All of our room prices include a generous buffet breakfast, free parking and Wi-Fi.
Eat well and relax
Our restaurant serves delicious à la carte dishes and refreshments, and you can also take a breather in our laid-back pub. The hotel features an excellent sauna section, which can also be rented for private events. We are happy to tailor the conference room, catering or a comprehensive conference package to your specific needs. We are also well-equipped to provide accommodation for groups and people working on long-term projects.
Conference services for teams small and large
Raahen Hovi conference rooms and services: The Brahe conference room provides an excellent setting for a variety of meetings and training events, even for larger groups of up to 60 people. The amenities include appropriate AV equipment and wireless internet. The furniture can be arranged into a variety of table layouts. The Narri conference room is located on the lowest floor of the main building in the immediate vicinity of the restaurant. It provides seating for 60 people, wireless internet access and modern AV equipment. Our comfortable sauna section can be reserved for private use by groups of up to 15 people. The space is perfect for both get-togethers and meetings.Intended for a maximum of six people, the Pikku Paroni room provides a wonderful setting for smaller meetings of two to five people. You can order catering to any of our conference rooms.
Category: Restaurant, Nightlife, Whole family, Hotel, Kokous ja juhla
Outdoors, Culture and history
The Raahe archipelago, Finnish Outdoor Destination of the Year 2016, is a gem right in front of the town. The compact urban archipelago consists of around 50 small islands and islets. Take a short cruise, spend a lovely summer day on an island, learn about nature formed by post-glacial rebound on a nature trail, listen to audio guides to hear about the history of maritime transport and other stories, savour the peace of uninhabited islands and enjoy the lovely beaches.
You can easily enjoy the archipelago. In the summer, there are daily cruises and Island Hopping trips. You can take part in guided canoeing trips on nearby waters or further to the open sea. We also offer skilled guidance and company for more experienced stand-up paddlers. For boaters, there are mooring points on the islands of Iso-Kraaseli, Kalla, Tasku and Ulkopauha.
Resting huts in the archipelago
The resting huts on the islands of Tasku, Kalla and Ulkopauha are freely available for use by anyone. On Iso-Kraaseli Island, you are welcome to use the outdoor kitchen and fireplace.
A significant part of the archipelago off Raahe belongs to the Natura 2000 network due to its birdlife, vegetation and habitat types. With a total area of 2,240 hectares, the archipelago includes approx. 358.5 hectares of land and shallows and 1,881.5 hectares of water areas.
The Raahe archipelago is the only significant archipelago in the area between Rahja (Kalajoki) and Oulunsalo. The archipelago includes both wooded inner islands near the coast and small, bare islets further in the open sea. The archipelago forms a scenically valuable entity shaped by post-glacial rebound and early means of livelihood, such as cattle herding, fishing and maritime transport.
Landing ban for protection during bird nesting season
To prevent disturbance of nesting birds, landing is prohibited on the key bird islets and islands. Landing ban on the following islands from 15 April to 15 July: Saapaskari, Kakkonen, Selkämatala, Kallanriutta, Rääpäkänriutta, Vesimatala, Isokivi, Kurikka, Kusiini, Kanttikivet. Landing ban on Rääpäkkä from 1 May to 20 July. Landing ban on Jyry from 1 May to 15 July.
Category: Outdoors, Culture and history, We recommend
About the storyteller
My name is Tiina Tiirola, and I was born and raised in the village of Pirttikoski in Pyhäjoki. I have lived in other parts of the world but my heritage always drew me back. I work in Pyhäjoki and live in the village centre with my family. Even so, my home will always be Pirttikoski. I am the secretary of the Pirttikoski village association and, as one of the village residents, I do my best to help the local community.
#WITHTRUELOVE Deep roots by the Pyhäjoki River
Although I currently live in the Pyhäjoki village centre, my identity is strongly tied to the village of Pirttikoski. Looking back on the summers of my childhood, the first thing that comes to mind is playing and swimming in the river. We were free to enjoy ourselves how we liked. No adults had the time to come watch over us, with all the work to be done on the fields or in the cowshed. We, too, took part in the work tasks since early childhood, but whenever we had a moment to spare, we went to the river to swim – or just play and have fun.
The river is what still draws me to the area. The allure never fades despite the transitions from warm summer days, colourful autumn nights, clear wintry weather to springtime. The atmosphere by the river never stays the same for long. The mind stays calm witnessing the peaceful movement of the water and the colours of the sky reflected on its surface. And the rapids have an appeal of their own.
Experience life on the river and its banks from near and far
The river is always full of life. You can watch fish dart around in the water and observe birds, such as swans, mallards or other weary travellers from afar, nesting on the banks. The best way to experience the river is to get on it with a row boat, canoe or SUP board. In the winter, the river is ideal for skiing and hiking. The tracks criss-crossing on the snow reveal that the area is full of all manner of wildlife. In the spring, you can experience the awesome power of nature as the ice breaks and is carried away by the strengthening current. You can also see migratory birds and new leaves sprouting from tree branches. In the autumn, the water reflects the wonderful colours of nature, multiplying their beauty.
Following the river from the village centre home to Pirttikoski
The roads on the banks of Pyhäjoki River are ideal for observing life and seasonal changes in the environment. They are perfect for hiking and biking. You can follow the northern bank from the village centre to Pirttikoski and return along the southern bank. This amounts to about 18 km of travel. Those looking for a longer route can continue along the river from Pyynpuho all the way to Hellaamäki. In the summer, the swimming spot by the Kuusiniemi bridge in Pirttikoski provides a wonderful place to rest and relax. You can take a swim, roast some sausages on an open fire or use the eco-toilets. You can also sit in the swing and simply enjoy the river flowing by. Should you want to get on the river itself, a boat provided by the village association is available at the beach. You can hop in it and row from the Antin koski rapids to the Tirilän koski rapids to, once again, gain an entirely new perspective on the river.
Flowing beauty at all hours through the seasons
Pyhäjoki is so much more than just any river. It cuts through the Pirttikoski village, with a small island at the heart of the village centre, and continues on its path towards the sea. It is a sight to be experienced regardless of the season – a sight that can also demonstrate its devastating power during flood season. The river is a monument to the beauty of nature that can be enjoyed at all hours and in all seasons, with the proper respect to the environment and the flowing waters.
Category: We recommend
Culture and history, Sights
Pehr Brahe statue
Pekkatori square is a pivotal part of the Old Raahe. This square, representing the closed corner square type and conforming to the ideals of Italian Renaissance, was included in the town plan designed by Gustaf Odenwall after Raahe burned down in 1810. Soon after the fire, several exceptionally unified business buildings representing the construction fashion of the 19th century were built around the square. The buildings have been preserved with meticulous care up to the present day. In the middle of the square there is a statue of Count Per Brahe, Queen Kristina’s governor general, made by Walter Runeberg. The statue was erected in 1888 and has been looking towards the sea for over 120 years. Last year Pekkatori square was restored.
Category: Culture and history, Sights, Art and architecture