The oldest town in Finland has a lot to offer.
Turku, located in the southwest of Finland on the coast of the Archipelago Sea, is one of the country’s most historically significant cities. It was Finland’s first capital and has a rich history that dates back over 800 years. Here are some of the highlights and must-visit sights in Turku:
Riverside area: The banks of the River Aura, which flows through Turku, is the favourite place of all Turku people, and visitors alike. There are many restaurants and cafes, beautiful buildings, old cargo ships turned into bars and restaurants ships. It’s a lovely area for a walk.
Turku Castle: A medieval castle that dates back to the 13th century. It has been used as a defensive fortress, a grand ducal residence, and a prison. Today, it houses a museum that offers a journey through Finnish history.
Turku Cathedral: Dating back to the 13th century, this is the mother church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Inside, you can delve into the history of the church and the city. Along with 19th century frescoes there are several paintings and artefacts from the medieval times. The cathedral also houses tombs of prominent figures in Finnish history.
Turku Archipelago: Turku is the gateway to the world’s largest archipelago, with over 20,000 islands stretching out into the sea. This is a beautiful collection of islands, with several offering accommodations, activities, and local delicacies. The archipelago trail is a popular way to explore them, either by bicycle or by car. Also, you can take cruises or rent boats to explore these scenic islands.
Luostarinmäki Museum: An open-air museum that offers a glimpse into pre-industrial Turku. The area survived the great fire of 1827, and the wooden houses and workshops have been preserved to showcase the lifes of the people and the trades and crafts of the time.
Aboa Vetus Ars Nova: A unique combination of history and modern art. Aboa Vetus showcases the archaeological remains of medieval Turku, while Ars Nova is a museum of contemporary art.
Forum Marinum Maritime Centre: A museum dedicated to Finland’s maritime heritage, it features both indoor exhibitions and a fleet of historic ships you can explore.
Even more interesting museums: The Biological Museum offers a journey through different Finnish landscapes, showcasing the flora and fauna found in each. Turku Art Museum showcases Finnish art, from 19th-century classics to contemporary pieces. Qwensel House and the adjacent Pharmaceutical Museum offer visitors a unique glimpse into the domestic and medicinal life of the 18th century.
Turku Market Hall: A great place to sample Finnish foods and local delicacies, this historic market hall has been in operation since 1896.
Turku Architecture: Turku boasts a diverse range of architectural styles reflecting its rich history and cultural evolution. From medieval structures to modern designs, Turku’s architecture offers a vivid tapestry of eras and influences. Also, the world-famous architect Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino Aalto were active in Turku in 1920’s and furthered the rise of functionalism and modernism in Finland,
When in Turku, it’s also recommended to indulge in local Finnish cuisine, explore the surrounding nature, and perhaps catch one of the many cultural events or festivals that the city hosts throughout the year.
The City of Turku is committed to long-term climate work together with companies and communities in the region. And Turku aims to be carbon neutral by 2029 and climate positive from then onwards. To achieve this, climate actions from all areas of the society are needed. Also from tourism. Thus we encourage our visitors to choose public transportation and prefer sustainable walking or bicycle tours over bus tours.
Let us help you to get the most out of a visit in our beautiful town.