Visit the oldest city of Finland, Turku.
Updated: Nov 18
Turku is Finland’s oldest city, founded in the 13th century. Turku (in the Swedish language: Åbo) was the capital of Finland until 1812, a medieval town, and a European Capital of Culture in 2011. The splendid Turku Castle (Turun Linna), and Turku Cathedral (Turun Tuomiokirkko) celebrated in history, are evidence of the city’s long past.
However, the modern Turku is also attractive; streets and squares, theatre, art, design, events, music festivals, the Aurajoki rivers, and university students in pubs and clubs keep the city ‘busy. Especially in the summertime, riverbanks are full of life by people gathering together, enjoying music, events, and festivals.
And for nature lovers, the magnificent Turku Archipelago, and Kurjenrahka National Park are from the best and most spectacular natural attractions in Turku.
Turku Castle is Finland’s largest fortress which is situated at Aurajoki river, Turku Cathedral as the symbol of the city located in the heart of Turku, next to the Old Great Square, and by the beautiful river Aura, Forum Marinum an incredible maritime museum ship which includes full-rigged ship Suomen Joutsen, Qwensel House & Pharmacy Museum as Turku oldest house built in 1700, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova a history and contemporary art museum which is a fantastic combination of old and new, and manifests a way to explore the medieval history and culture of Finland, Luostarinmäen Käsityöläismuseo museum as area of wooden houses which survived the fire in 1827, MoominWorld (MuumiMaailma) at Naantali a magnificent place for families with children to enjoy various activities and workshops including rope courses, skiing, and surfing, Taidekappeli Chapel with a spectacular and unusual structure sitting on a rock in the middle of forest, Sibelius Museum Finland’s most comprehensive musical museum including a section committed to worldwide known Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, the lively and magnificent Turku Market Hall (KauppaHalli) a historic covered market opened to public in 1896 filled with speciality products under a pleasant atmosphere, and the beautiful Main Library, are among the attractions in Turku.
Let’s not forget to mention the music festival Ruisrock, Finland’s oldest and largest annual rock festival held since 1969, and Turku Musical Festival (Turun Musiikkijuhlat) offering a broad mix of music for every taste such as classical and contemporary music, chamber music, recitals, jazz, and opera in amazing location including Turku Cathedral.
And for people interested in nature, it is worth mentioning Kurjenrahka National Park situated 40 km away from Turku, filled with flora and fauna, and owls in the springtime, excellent for hiking trails, and ski trails during wintertime.
Turku Archipelago is among the world’s largest, excellent, and simply beautiful with pure, untouched nature. Many visitors arrive by ferry from Sweden and Åland, Turku is also one of Finland’s main ports of entry. There are old sailing ships in the river, and people can take cruises into the archipelago or to nearby enchanting Naantali. However, the archipelago is accessible by foot, bicycle, connecting vessels, ferries, car, or waterbus.
How to get there
Getting to Turku is possible by air, land, and boat, and getting around Turku by local transport, bus, ferry, bicycle, and car.
Where to eat
Turku offers full and excellent food services for budget and fine dining, as well as for taste. Enjoy a meal in various ordinary and boat restaurants along the Aura River or take a coffee break in Cafe Art, Tiirikkala, or Gaggui.
Where to stay
There are many beautiful cottages in Turku which you can rent with a group or with family. For example *Lomarengas is one of the known cottage providers. If you are more comfortable staying in the heart of the city, services at a walking distance, *Radisson Blu Marina Palace Hotel, is situated in the Aura River viewing beautiful sceneries.