city in the region of Southwest Finland, Finland

Turku (Swedish: Åbo) is Finland's oldest city and the biggest one until the mid 1800s. Believed to have been founded in the early 13th century, it is the cradle of modern Finnish culture and has extensively influenced Finnish history. Turku's fantastic culinary scene has earned it the nickname "the Paris of Finland" and the city has been called "Finland's gateway to the West".

Bisecting Turku city centre, the River Aura is the heart and soul of the city: this is where Turku was born, and a large part of city life – museums, sights, restaurants and cafés – is still concentrated on the riverside. The river banks form a national urban park allowing for a pleasant stroll from the Turku Cathedral to the Turku Castle. Close to the river mouth is the island of Ruissalo, with oak forests and 19th-century villas. Turku is at its best in summertime, when it hosts many festivals, including rock festivals, chamber music festivals and a medieval fair. But do not forget the winter atmosphere, if you are lucky you may be able to have a thrilling walk on the ice cover of River Aura.

In addition to the cultural sights and museums, this city of 195,000 people (2021) attracts visitors due to the Archipelago Sea, which stretches all the way from Turku to Åland and on to Stockholm, forming the largest archipelago in the world by the number of islands and islets.

Understand edit

Turku Cathedral.

Greater Turku (as defined here) includes a few surrounding towns and some countryside. Of these Raisio in the nort-west is included here, while Kaarina and Naantali have their own articles, as has the Turku countryside in the north, including (west to east) Masku, Rusko, Paattinen (part of Turku) and Lieto.

Name edit

The origin of the word "Turku" the old Old East Slavic word търгъ (tŭrgŭ), which means "marketplace". The Swedish name of the city is Åbo, the origin of which is unclear.

History edit

See also: Nordic history

Turku is Finland’s oldest city and one of the oldest in the entire Nordic region. The city came into existence at Koroinen on the banks of river Aura, a few kilometres north from the current market square. It was a centre for trade in the 1150s, and in 1229, the bishopric was transferred there as well. The Aura River Valley had already been a prosperous and relatively densely populated area since the Iron Age.

The year 1229 is, somewhat arbitrarily, regarded as the year in which the City of Turku was founded. The construction of Turku Castle began in the 1280s, the Dominican monastery of St. Olof was being built on Samppalinna Hill and Turku Cathedral was consecrated in the year 1300. From this point on, the city held an important position in the Swedish realm and it had staple town charter (the right to conduct foreign trade), assuring that trading was brisk. The German bourgeoisie of Turku held a major role in the early development of the city, and Turku had a community that was part of the Hanseatic League, which dominated trade along the coasts of Northern Europe. The tradition of declaring Christmas Peace has continued from the 14th century to these days (and is broadcast in several countries).

During Swedish rule, Turku was the largest and most important city in what now is Finland, as well as a major city of the Swedish Kingdom. Queen Christina of Sweden founded Sweden's third university in Turku in 1640, following the old Uppsala University and the Academia Gustaviana in Tartu, Estonia. Turku was long the provincial capital of much of the eastern half of Sweden, was capital of the Grand Duchy of Finland in 1809–1812, and remains the seat of the archdiocese of Finland. Russia, after overtaking Finland from Sweden 1809, moved the capital to Helsinki, which was closer to Saint Petersburg and farther from Stockholm. Turku remained Finland's largest city until the end of the 1840s, but its ambitions were dealt a death blow in 1827, when a raging fire destroyed most of the city. Turun palo (the "Great Fire of Turku") is still the largest urban fire in the history of the Nordic countries. The city was almost completely destroyed, and the rest of the major institutions with the exception of the archbishop's seat were moved to Helsinki. The burnt city needed an altogether new town plan, which was drawn up by German architect Carl Ludvig Engel the following year.

The current universities in Turku were inaugurated soon after independence, both to restore Turku's status and as part of the language strife: the bilingualism of Helsinki university was a red rag to the Fennomans, while the Swecomans saw the Swedish language threatened.

Turku is still a gateway to Sweden. The competition between cruise ferry companies led to ferries ever increasing in size and features, which let the Turku shipyard develop into a world leader of building large cruise ships, with customers such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival and TUI Cruises. Turku shipyard directly and indirectly employs some 8,000 people.

In 2011 Turku was the European Capital of Culture along with Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Afterwards Turku has seen a huge boost in domestic and foreign visitors.

People edit

The Aura River's banks are very popular among Turku residents, for walking, biking or enjoying nice weather.

Turku remains a regional capital of Finland Proper and is the third most populous city-region in Finland and the eighth largest urban area in the Nordic countries, with around 330,000 inhabitants living in the Turku sub-region (200,000 in Turku proper).

Turku is a major academic town for Finland: there are two universities (TY with Finnish, ÅA with Swedish as its language) with business schools, a law school and a medical school, and four universities of applied sciences. Consequently, you will find that the city is bustling with young adults. The large number of students means that restaurants, live music clubs and nightlife are ample.

There is a cultural spirit in the city, and some of the proud residents are still irked that Helsinki took over as Finland's capital back in 1812. In other parts of Finland people from Turku are stereotypically thought of as being bit reserved and uppish in their views of their home town. The fierce competition with Tampere in the 1970s on being the country's second city probably influences this. However, if you have a coffee at the Market Square and chat with the locals, you will soon find out that this is not the case.

The Swedish community (ca 5%) has its own institutions and associations. Serving all Finland, ÅA's size is out of proportion to the local Swedish-speaking population, which shows in the demographics and the cultural life. Most of the Swedish-speaking are fluent in Finnish. Among the Finnish, the relation to Swedish is split: there are queues to the language-immersion daycare (and follow-up school) and many are bilingual with Swedish, while non-academic people born before 1965 and many born after the 1980s have a weak Swedish that they may refuse to use.

The Turku dialect of Finnish has many influences from Swedish and historically also from Estonian.

Read edit

Turku Castle.
  • Vares (book series) (Reijo Mäki, 1986–13). Finnish crime literature usually focuses more on police procedurals, or the psychological and sociological fallout from crime. One writer, Reijo Mäki, however, has written a series of books about a private investigator called Jussi Vares. He is your regular hardboiled PI: he drinks, makes love, hates everyone, and gets beaten up and mugged on a regular basis. All Vares books take place in Turku, which is also home to the books' writer. Mäki is a celebrity in Turku, where you can perhaps catch him in his favourite bar, Uusi Apteekki (New Pharmacy).
  • The Home of Dark Butterflies (Leena Lander, 1991). Writer Leena Lander tells the story of a fourteen-year-old boy named Juhani, who is haunted by his traumatic past. Juhani has been shuttled between foster homes and temporary families for the past six years, leaving any prospect of stability in his life a faded dream. When Juhani winds up in a remote shelter for troubled youth known as The Island, he has little idea of how ruthless superintendent Olavi Harjula can truly be. In addition to Harjula and the six other boys, The Island is also home to the superintendent's wife Irene, the couple's two young daughters, and Tynne, who tends to the local livestock in addition to catering all the meals. The island of the story has actually existed, though the boys' home was closed already in 1968. The story was also made into a film of the same name in 2008 and shooting took place on the actual island in the Turku archipelago. The film was also Finland's Oscar nominee for a foreign language film in 2008.

Watch edit

  • Restless (Aku Louhimies, 2000) is a story about Ari (Mikko Nousiainen), a 27-year-old ambulance doctor living in Turku, whose main pastime is one-night stands. He doesn't want to meet any of the girls again because he is certain that commitment equals pain. But one day Ari realizes that he cannot feel anything at all. Then he meets a woman named Tiina (Laura Malmivaara) on the beach. Without really intending to, they start dating each other, reaching the point where Tiina, falling in love, begins to look for commitment. Ari is introduced to Tiina's friends, including two other couples. Ari then ends up having sex with Tiina's two best friends (Ilona and Hanna-Riikka). Meanwhile Tiina continues to love Ari. During this Tiina manages to commit Ari to reluctantly become the father of her to be born child.
  • Vares movies (Aleksi Mäkelä, 2004-2012). Vares books proved so popular in Finland that in 2004 a film was released, starring Juha Veijonen as the detective, and directed by Aleksi Mäkelä, considered by many the number one action-director in Finland. A second film appeared a few years later, and the two films' success led to a series of all together eight films.
  • Man Exposed (Aku Louhimies, 2006) is a comedy-drama film about a rebel minister working in Turku's St Michael's Church, who is suddenly asked to run for bishop. At the same time he is running into problems in his marriage and life in general.
  • Tears of April (Aku Louhimies, 2008) is a war drama film based on the novel by Leena Lander, the film is set in the final stages of the Finnish Civil War. The film tells a story of a captured female Red Guard fighter, Miina, and the soldier Aaro who escorts her to her trial.
  • Love and Other Troubles (Samuli Valkama, 2012) is a Finnish romantic comedy film set in Turku. It stars Emilie de Ravin as Sara, an American line dance teacher, who meets Ville (Jussi Nikkilä), a 25-year-old former child star, and his father (Ville Virtanen), an ex-rock star, who both fall in love with her.
  • The Girl King (Mika Kaurismäki, 2015) is a biographical drama about Christina, Queen of Sweden, who reigned from 1632 until her abdication in 1654.

Climate edit

Temperatures in Turku in 2016: averages, highs and lows
Walk- and bikeway in winter, near the Kupittaa park

Turku, like the rest of Finland, has four distinct seasons. Situated by the Baltic Sea and sheltered by the islands of the Archipelago Sea, Turku has a humid continental climate. Like much of southern Finland, the city experiences warm summers, with temperatures ranging up to 30°C (85°F), and winters with frequent snowfall and temperatures down to about −25°C (−15°F), though mostly between 0 °C (32 °F) and −15 °C (5 °F). The best time to visit is definitely the warm period from late May to early September, when day temperatures typically are 20–25 °C (68–77 °F). If visiting in wintertime and meeting slush, ride somewhat more inland (a local bus can get you far enough) and you will probably find the real snow. Once in a while you can find it in Turku city centre too. In good winters people walk, ski and skate on the ice of the river and there are skiing tracks all around the suburbs. In lesser winters there will still be a shorter skiing track at Impivaara and skating opportunities at Parkin kenttä (by the bus station), in the Kupittaa park and in most suburbs, at least part of the season.

Current weather forecasts can be checked at the Finnish Meteorological Institute website.

Visitor information edit

Turku's official tourist agency is Turku Touring. It serves also the larger region.

  • 1 Visit Turku, Aurakatu 2 (next to the City Hall, near the Aura bridge; at busy times also the back door is open), +358 2 262-7444, fax: +358 2 262-7679, . Sep–Mar: daily 10:00–15:00; Apr–Sep: M–F 08:30–18:00, Sa Su 10:00–18:00. Turku Touring's office offers advice, sight-seeing tours, maps, guide books, souvenirs, bicycle hire instructions, group outings and more.

Get in edit

Turku is well connected to the rest of the country by rail and road, and has flights from Helsinki and Mariehamn. From the west (Åland and Sweden), ferries are the main option, although there are flights for those in a hurry. The ferries take cars. There are a few flights also from across the Baltic Sea and from some more distant places. Turku is a good yachting destinations, for those on the Baltic Sea or ready to make the longer voyage.

By plane edit

Turku Airport (TKU) edit

Passengers boarding a Finnair flight to Helsinki at Turku airport.
  • 1 Turku Airport (TKU  IATA) (8 km north of the city centre). It is a compact airport with two terminals for check-in    

Usually there are flights from Helsinki, Mariehamn, and Stockholm, and from a couple of locations further away, such as Gdańsk or Riga. These latter tend to change as budget airlines come and go.

As of January 2023, Wizz Air flies to Turku from Gdańsk and Rome, SAS from Stockholm, and Finnair from Mariehamn, with additional charter holiday flights operated by TUI and Tjäreborg, among others.

Bus line 1 departs from the airport every 20 minutes and goes via the centre to the Port of Turku. Several hotels happen to be along the route. Tickets are available on board for €3/€1.50 by contactless card, or €4/€2 by cash. Children under 7 years old travel for free when accompanied by an adult, and after 23:00 the trips cost €1 more. Free transfers for two hours included, see Get around for details. The line operates from 05:20 to 00:45. The day's last bus waits as long as 15 minutes if necessary, to allow passengers to catch it. The last buses operate only to Kauppatori, not to the harbour.

Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL) edit

If coming by air, a common option is to fly to the internationally well connected Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport (HEL IATA). Turku is 166 km away from Helsinki and easily reached by plane, train (transfer in Helsinki centre) or coach. With car the voyage by the Finnish national road 1 (E18) takes around 1hr40min.

There is an almost hourly coach connection from Helsinki-Vantaa to Turku bus station operated by Vainion Liikenne, departing from platform 13. Usually the voyage starts with AirBus, with an easy transfer to the Vainio coach at Turvesolmu. The service operates round the clock, although there may be a gap of two hours between services in the small hours of the night. The trip takes between 2 hr 15 min and 2 hr 55 min, depending on whether the service calls in towns on the way. See Matkahuolto. Finnair also has their own coach service to Turku. is typically a bit cheaper, but they leave from the central bus station of Helsinki and not directly from the airport. The Onnibus buses are red double-deckers with free Wi-Fi but little legroom. They also have special restrictions on children, pets and luggage. Book tickets online in advance for a cheaper price; bargains are available if booking early enough.

By train edit

Turku former Central Railway Station
View from Turku Railway Station to Logomo direction at 2018.
  Note: A new railway bridge is being built 2022–2024; trains from Helsinki cannot reach the central station ("Turku") but turn around at Kupittaa instead, until 15 December 2024. The central railway station is at a temporary location from 5 August 2024. Check below for the arrangements.

VR, the state-owned railway company, operates the trains. Turku has three railway stations: the 2 Central railway station ("Turku") on the northern edge of Turku's central business district, 3 Kupittaa railway station ("Kupittaa (Turku)") in the eastern part of the city and 4 Turku harbour railway stop ("Turku satama") in Turku harbour on the western edge of Turku centre. The two first have ticket vending machines, waiting room, toilets, and service for the disabled on advance request; Port of Turku has no service. There are no manned service points in Turku.

The platforms at the central station will be moved on 5 August, accessed by the pedestrian bridge. Services such as lounge, toilets, café and restaurant will be at Logomo, across that bridge as seen from the centre. Traffic from Helsinki will reach the central statation from 15 December 2024. A new railway station will be taken into use in 2026.

Trains arriving from the direction of Helsinki stop at Kupittaa (make sure you ask for that station instead of "Turku", which may give you a double-length journey via Toijala), while trains from Tampere arrive at the central station. Some of the latter continue onward to the harbour, while those from Helsinki offer a connecting bus – handy if you are connecting to a passenger ferry towards Stockholm or Mariehamn.

Also trains from Helsinki will continue to the centre from 5 August 2024, as the new railway bridge gets completed. Until then, there is a VR bus (operated by some bus company) from the Kupittaa station to the harbour, for those with a train ticket to there. Other passengers are served by the normal city buses, paying the normal fares (optionally included in the train ticket). Lines 32 and 42 have their stop 200 m away across the street and either passes each 10 min in daytime, continuing through the centre and by the central station; use either the ascent by the train or the one closest ahead to get to the stop, the latter is more direct but lands you close to traffic, watch out for your children. There are also a few other lines passing by (there or at another stop). The centre is at walking distance (2 km) and a route is signposted. In 2022–2024 the parking by the station exit is chaotic (check directions and have a bit extra time), as passenger volumes are much larger than normally.

The trains from or via Tampere are not affected by the special arrangements, other than concerning transfers towards Helsinki (which mostly must be done by the ordinary buses). However, platforms and services will be moved a few hundred metres.

Links between Turku and the rest of the country (except Satakunta) are frequent and excellent, although not hourly any more. There are connections from Helsinki and Tampere, travel time approximately 2 hours, Jyväskylä (3.5 hr), Kuopio (5.5 hr) and Oulu (7 hr). There is also an overnight car and sleeper train connection from Rovaniemi in Lapland (10–15 hr, often with a transfer to a day train in Tampere – if a sleeper cabin is suggested also for the remaining journey, check how much you pay for that add-on). Some of the services have a "restaurant" car (café/pub with sandwiches etc., mostly no real dining, although there may also be simple meals available), most others a cart with drinks and snacks. The IC2 services have a family car, with space for prams, a playing corner upstairs and the accessible toilet doubling as family room.

From western Europe, you can travel by train to Stockholm and take a ferry cruise from there. This can be a scenic option, and most of the European railway companies offer discounts for the ferry connection.

A few buses (including lines 32 and 42) pass the Kupittaa and Turku stations on their way to the centre, just cross the street and wait for one, if you don't want to walk (2 and 1 km to Kauppatori, respectively; the route to the centre is signposted from Kupittaa) or take a bike ride. There are bike sharing stations by the railway stations in the summer season (April–October); see By bicycle below.

By bus edit

Turku bus station seen over Aninkaistenkatu. The platforms are behind the station building.

Long-distance services usually terminate at 5 Turku bus station, as do some regional services. The station is at the northern edge of the city centre within walking distance from the central railway station (1 km) and Kauppatori (the market square, 800 m). Matkahuolto abandoned the station building; facilities are open again (R kiosk, timetable displays, café, hamburgers and snacks), but Matkahuolto (with ticket sale and freight) still uses the freight terminal across Läntinen pitkäkatu. The bus station has good local bus connections, although it is not the hub for them. There are stops for local and regional lines at a few different places on or around the station, note where your bus stops. Some coach lines arriving at the station continue to the Port of Turku, if needed. If going there, tell that when buying your ticket and when boarding. By the station are Hotel Helmi, the café of which offers breakfast, lunch, light meals and take away, and three hamburger restaurants (Hesburger, Mac Donald's and an independent).

  • 6 Matkahuolto Turku, Läntinen Pitkäkatu 7–9. M–F 07:00–19:00, Sa 09:00–15:00, Su closed.

Normal coach connections from Kamppi in Helsinki leave for Turku more or less every half an hour during the day and every hour or two during the night. Coming via Tallinn, there may be a coach directly from the port, mostly via Kamppi. Direct connections and connections with transfer are available from Helsinki-Vantaa airport. All these connections are either express or special express (there may also be a few hard-to-find "regular" connections). Tickets cost around €30 (round trip around €55) for adults, around €20 for children aged 12–16, €15 for children aged 4–11 and Finnish students (ISIC not accepted). Children under the age of four travel for free. Cheaper tickets can often be had in advance on the net (check also the individual companies' websites).

There are normally more or less hourly connections from Tampere and Pori in daytime, and each two hours from Vaasa, some all the way from Oulu. For timetables, for the above mentioned or other connections, see Matkahuolto.

Also Onnibus has connections to Turku. Tickets to these buses vary in price, cheapest well in advance on the net, for same day usually about €10 when bought online, €15–20 from Helsinki if bought when boarding (with busy services often sold out).

Direct bus services from Saint Petersburg are provided by Ensi-Bus and Transgold (check whether the sanctions have affected them).

By ferry edit

Viking Grace passing Ruissalo island on its way to Stockholm.

The most scenic way to get to Turku is by taking a cruise ferry across the Baltic Sea from Sweden, from Stockholm or Kapellskär (Norrtälje) via Mariehamn or Långnäs, Åland. The 7 Port of Turku is next to Turku Castle and is easily accessible on bus line 1, which travels between the port and the airport via the centre. The port also has its own railway and bus station (by the Viking terminal) and some trains and coaches depart at the port (see By train and By bus above).

To get from the port to the centre, buses 1 and 1B run frequently at the ferry arrivals and stop by the terminals. The buses still get crowded at these times and the boarding is a bit chaotic, as people are searching for their money, card or phones; try to minimise the hassle you are causing. Some drivers don't speak English or Swedish, but there is certainly some polyglot around. If you are getting off before Kauppatori, try to get a seat or stand close to the middle (or back) door. Regardless, the ride is reasonably smooth and people tend to be helpful. Taxis are also available, of course.

With light luggage strolling along the river to the centre can be a nice option (3 km to Kauppatori, buses within reach all the time). A new ferry terminal is planned to be ready for use in 2025; there will be changes in arrangements during the construction works.

The main cruise ferry option is Finnish Viking Line with daily departures from central Stockholm: one in the morning (via Mariehamn), arriving in the evening, and one in the evening (via Långnäs), arriving in the morning. For a scenic view, and less expensive prices, a morning departure is advisable. Going in the night, you avoid one night at a hotel, but the effective sleeping time is short, as you are probably waked up for cleaning of the cabin well before arrival (generous, although not cheap, breakfast is available). Evening departures provide adequate night club activities on board if you want to cut loose before arriving; there is entertainment also on the day cruises.

Estonian Tallink (formerly Finnish Silja, sometimes still using that brand) also operates a cruise ferries from Sweden, in summer two daily arrivals from Stockholm, in winter one daily departure from Kapellskär via Långnäs, arriving in Turku 16:30 and returning in the night.

There are also more quiet ropax ferries from Kapellskär via Långnäs to Naantali 20 km from Turku, by Finnlines. By bus, take line N14 from the harbour and transfer to line 6 or 7 in Naantali centre (local bus fee, transfer included). Two new ferries were taken into use in the winter 2023–2024, intended to attract more leisure travellers, still more quiet than the alternatives. When comparing prices, note costs of meals, included on some ferries. Pedestrians are welcome from Kapellskär (check whether this is true also in summer), but not when the ferries call in Långnäs in the night. Bikers should wear reflective vests in the harbour areas.

Nearly all ferries make a brief stop in Åland, in either Mariehamn or Långnäs. Due to this stop, plus a Finnish-demanded exception to European Union rules, passengers can make duty-free purchases on the ferries. The tax-free prices tend to be slightly cheaper than prices on the shore, but are seldom bargains; know the on-shore price levels if you want one.

Looking for special offers may save a lot of money on the ferry passage. Prices vary from day to day according to demand, with a one-way overnight cruise typically from €30–100/cabin (Friday or Saturday evening departures tend to be more expensive). A "fuel fee" may be added (since 2022, due to extraordinary fuel prices), for cruise offers also a voucher (guaranteeing minimum spending aboard). In summer, book early if you have a car, especially if it exceeds standard dimensions. Youth travelling by themselves should check age restrictions.

It is also possible to take smaller ferries from Åland, connecting islands of Åland and the Archipelago Sea with each other and with the mainland. Using the small ferries is more complicated and possibly more expensive, but can be rewarding. See Åland#Get around, Korpo, Brändö and Houtskär.

By yacht edit

Summer scene at Turku guest harbour.

Many people also from other regions, including Helsinki, spend their summer vacation yachting around the Archipelago Sea surrounding Turku. The Sea of Åland and the Gulf of Finland, coming from Sweden and Estonia respectively, can easily be crossed in a day, while a voyage directly from Gotland requires overnight sailing. There is an abundance of minor guest harbours on the remaining distance through the archipelago.

Turku Guest Harbour is on the Aura river halfway between the port and Kauppatori, while the TPS guest harbour, Ruissalo Marina and Ruissalon Telakka are on the scenic island of Ruissalo, with buses (line 8) to the city centre once an hour or half an hour in daytime. Except Telakka, they have fuel stations and septic tank emptying. There is also a free mooring site above the Aura bridge, but only for short visits without high mast, perhaps a nice tour if you have a suitable dinghy (bridge height 3.6 m; max 3 hr 08:00–22:00).

From the cathedral upstream the river is shallow; there are shallows especially in the middle of the river and perhaps at the bridges, some rocks elsewhere. There is a portage at the Halinen rapids and dam north of the centre; upstream from there it is a popular canoeing route.

  • 8 Turku Guest Harbour, Läntinen Rantakatu 57 (in the centre, 2 km from Kauppatori), +358 400-880-051, +358 400-536-613. City guest harbour. Good services, including non-free laundromat. May be full in peak season. For size over 15m×5.2m, check special arrangements. €28–45; in season with beam <3m and without reservation: €32; big boats €1/foot.
  • 9 Ruissalon Telakka, Hevoskarintie 23 (Ruissalo, opposite Port of Turku), +358 400-330-413. Former boat yard; some of the yachts built here again call the harbour home, and part of the moorings are reserved for classical yachts. From here to the centre you can either take the water bus (daytime in season, bikes free) or walk 400 m to the bus stop for a 12-min ride with line 8. Both options use the Föli tickets. Café and pizzeria. Toilets and showers, but no fuel or septic tank emptying. €25.
  • 10 TPS Guest Harbour, Pursiseuranranta 30, +358 44-376-2655, . Marina of one of the local yacht clubs. On the island Ruissalo, a 20-minute bus ride (line 8) from the centre. Services include sauna and Wi-Fi. Restaurant. Guiding to the mooring from the fuel pier, off hours look for orange cones instead. €20.
  • 11 Ruissalo Marina, Ruissalon puistotie 618, +358 2 445-5926 (10:00–19:00), +358 2 445-40 (off hours). By the Ruissalon Kylpylä spa hotel near the western end of the island, a 25-minute bus ride (line 8) from the centre. Reservation recommended. €30.

By car edit

Sign at the Archipelago Trail

Turku is well connected by roads to other parts of Finland. Main routes are national road 1 (E18 until Piikkiö) from Saint Petersburg and Helsinki, 8 (E8) from Tromsø, Vaasa and Pori along the west coast, 9 (E63) from Kuopio, Jyväskylä and Tampere, and 10 from Hämeenlinna. E18 is a high-speed controlled-access highway all the way from Russia, but deviates towards Naantali along the Turku bypass (road 40), stay on highway 1. Highways 8 and 9 are motorways for some distance outside the city. Turku can be reached from Helsinki in around 1 hr 40 min in summer and 2 hrs 40 in winter. The former main road from Helsinki, now regional road 110, is somewhat slower but allows your seeing more of the landscape.

From Sweden or Åland, use the above mentioned ferries. Those to Turku and Naantali, and on the routes from Åland via Korpo or via Brändö and Kustavi, all take cars.

There are a few scenic roads around Turku as well:

  • The Archipelago Trail (Skärgårdens ringväg, Saariston Rengastie) allows travellers to access the archipelago without a boat of their own. Part of the "trail" can be used when coming from Sweden via Åland: drive to Långnäs and take the ferry to Korpo, or use the ferries via Brändö and Kustavi.
  • Hämeen Härkätie leads to Turku from Hämeenlinna and is the most important road of early Finnish history. The route was once used by merchants, pilgrims, and kings. Along the route, with small detours, you will find a splendid array of interesting sites, such as museums, churches and shopping spots. If you want to really experience a journey in time, you can stay at an old manor house or inn along the way.
  • The partly medieval King's Road (Kuninkaantie, Kungsvägen) leads to Turku along the south coast all the way from the eastern border of Finland, passing Helsinki. It is part of the old post roads, dating back to the 14th century, that lead from Stockholm to Christiania (Oslo) and Bergen on the Atlantic coast (of Norway), and, crossing the Archipelago Sea, via Turku to Viborg (now Vyborg in Russia). The modern tourist route is extended all the way to Saint Petersburg. You can see lots of medieval churches, museums and old villages along the road.

By bike edit

Bikes can be taken on the ferry from Sweden or Åland for €5–12. The fee on trains and coaches is similar. Onnibus does not take bikes.

For getting in from Åland, the Archipelago Trail can be used, taking a ferry to Korpo, Houtskär, Iniö or Kustavi and continuing along the trail from there.

The Eurovelo 10 route around the Baltic Sea goes through Turku. From the east (Vaalimaa–Helsinki–Ekenäs–Salo) it is developed and signposted (not the Russian leg though). From the north it is developed from Vaasa to Turku, but not yet signposted as of 2022.

Get around edit

Turku has an excellent public transportation system, and its buses reach every corner of the city. The hub for the local bus traffic is again the market square, Kauppatori (Swedish: Salutorget), which is in the central business district and often considered the midpoint of the city. The construction works of 2018–2022 are finished, and most buses are back. Most main sights are within walking distance from the square. A bike is the quickest way to get around and cycleways are generally good, although not always fast (try a nice trip along the river), and missing from many roads in the centre.

By foot edit

See also: Turku riverside walk

The vast majority of the city's sights are within a kilometre or two from Kauppatori. The river Aura passes through the centre, and its banks are very popular, allowing for a pleasant stroll from, say, the national shrine of Finland, the Turku Cathedral, to the Turku Castle, which used to house Swedish Kings – or upstream to experience some countryside.

Turku Touring, the official tourist agency of the city, offers different walking tours for visitors. There are also leaflets with self guided walking tours, such as Sculpture walk, ArchitecTour, Romantic Turku and Stepping it up. You can get a map from the main library (Linnankatu 2) or the tourist information (Aurakatu 2). If you have a smartphone you can download a Citynomadi app and get a map there.

By bicycle edit

The fastest and most flexible way of seeing Turku is on a bike. There are good bike paths mostly as needed, although at the very heart of the city you have to know the routes or sometimes join car traffic, or get off the bike unless sufficiently experienced; not all the best routes are obvious. Some routes in the centre are brushed and salted in winter: along the river, around the campuses and through the central business district. Elsewhere cycleways and roads are not always maintained sufficiently in the winter for easy (in the centre: safe) biking, but local hardcore cyclists are biking throughout the year.

Main biking routes are well signposted. In the centre there are often temporary disruption of these routes (markets, roadworks etc.), and bicycle arrangements are then often neglected. This is more seldom a problem elsewhere. The map at can show biking routes: open the layers menu in the upper left corner, choose Traffic, then Bicycle paths, and use the check boxes. Regional biking route 1 goes to the tip of the recreation island Ruissalo, route 2 to Naantali, route 4 to Naantali via Raisio centre, route 9 to Lieto along Hämeentie, route 10 to Piikkiö via Nummi, Varissuo and Littoinen, route 11 along Uudenmaantie via Kaarina and Piikkiö to Paimio, route 12 via Hirvensalo and Satava to Kakskerta,

For getting farther out of the city, bikes can be loaded on the local buses (including regional buses in the Föli cooperation) for €3 at the driver's discretion, i.e. probably when there are not too many passengers. Cost on coaches varies by company, often about the price of a children's ticket for longer voyages, sometimes a flat €6.

The city tourist office can suggest cycling routes. They also rent bikes (€23/day).

Bike theft is common and vandalism happens. A lock gives some protection. If leaving the bike close to the river it should be locked to something.

Bike sharing edit

Fölläri bike sharing is since 2022 in cooperation with Donkey Republic, with 700 three-geared bikes (as of 2023 not equipped for winter use).

You will need an app; using the bikes requires a smartphone (Apple/Android; Sailfish Android emulation does not suffice) with Bluetooth and GPS enabled. There are 70 stations, half of which virtual (just leave the bike in the designated area found by the app and register the end of journey as usual). Most of the virtual stations will be outside the centre and they will get moved at times, depending on usage patterns. The hire can also be ended outside stations, for an additional fee.

Usage for one hour at the time costs €2 per time, €6 per month or €35 for all season (April to October or December, weather permitting). Additional time costs €2 for 1 hr, €5 for 4 hr, €12 for a day. Thus, for a one-off one-day rental, the cost is €14. The monthly or seasonal payments count as Donkey Republic membership in other towns; it seems you can use such a membership also in Turku. Usage (except the fee for additional time and usage in other towns) is included in the 30 day Föli bus tickets.

  • Donkey Republic customer service, +358 2 4885-8185. M–F 07:00–21:00 Sa–Su 10:00–21:00. Customer service for the Fölläri bikes.

Other options include:

Bicycle service edit

There are several bike shops offering service for bikers. Here some of them:

  • 1 Visan polkupyörähuolto, Yliopistonkatu 8 (in the corner of Aninkaistenkatu and Yliopistonkatu), +358 2 231-1191. Competent bicycle shop hidden in a back yard. Does not sell only mainstream stuff.
  • 2 Raispo, Itäinen Pitkäkatu 38-40, +358 40-557-7158, . M-F 10:00-18:00, Sa Su 10:00-14:00. Bike shop with bike service.

By electric kick scooter edit

Swedish Voi, German Tier and Norwegian Ryde have electric kick scooters for rent, to use in the centre. Dott seems to be coming. See Finland § By motorised scooter. Don't drive in Kauppatori, but park in the vicinity.

By bus edit

Turku city bus, line 1, by the castle
Water bus (passenger ferry) on the river

Tickets are harmonized with some of the surrounding municipalities: Raisio, Naantali, Kaarina, Rusko and Lieto, as the "Föli" cooperation. Tickets are handled as if all buses serving the area were local, except for lines 117, 118, 119 and 802. Coaches without line numbers are not covered.

  • 12 Monitori, Aurakatu (in KOP-kolmio by Kauppatori), +358 2 262-4811 (M–F 08:00–15:00 Sa 09:00–14:00), . M–F 08:00–18:00, Sa 09:00–14:00. Bus customer service now across the street from the old office, combined with municipal services. Address, hours etc. need updating.

Information about local buses can be found at the Föli pages. There are several map views (e.g. one showing the current locations of buses) and tailored timetable views (such as for a specific stop) and a route planner. The planner works well in most situations, but some sanity checks are needed: the planner can guess at destinations with "similar" spelling, it thinks "Bus station, Turku" means the one in the port, and it may behave oddly when no suitable bus is found for whatever reason. You can also use the Nysse mobile app for journey planning.

Most buses go through the centre, passing Kauppatori. However, city bus stops are spread out along a few blocks of Eerikinkatu and Aurakatu and regional buses mostly depart from Puutori/Trätorget (one block diagonally towards the bus station) or from the bus station. To avoid walking a few hundred metres, you can often transfer at some other stops, shared or closer one to the other. The routes in the centre were changed in 2022, so don't trust older information.

Lines 4xx and 6xx north- or north-eastward to or via some part of Lieto, lines 7xx eastward to or via Piikkiö (except 702 and 72x), line 20 and line 206 leave from Puutori; lines 702 and 72x via Piikkiö towards Kimitoön and lines 8xx and 9xx to or via Pargas from the bus station. The rest of the 2xx and 3xx lines have their stops near Kauppatori.

There are few 'circle lines', so usually if you need to transfer, you will need to take one bus to the centre, then transfer there to the bus taking you to your final destination. Often the most convenient transfer point is the stop before or after the stop by Kauppatori. The Föli route planner does a good job at finding optimal transfer spots for specific times, optimising for speed or optionally minimising walking. As buses generally go in two directions from the centre, make sure that you are taking the correct numbered bus in the correct direction as well.

Destinations are mentioned on some stops and alternating between languages on most buses, but you should still note the numbers of the lines you intend to use. If going towards Kauppatori it is mostly enough to know on what side of the street to stand. Many buses announce the next stop by voice and display.

Buses passing the municipality border mostly have 3-digit numbers (notable exceptions: lines 6 and 7). Buses not reaching Turku (often minibuses with sparse schedules) have their number prefixed with a letter, such as L for Lieto – but "P" means Turku lines meant primary for seniors. There are some quirks, e.g. some regional buses use stops for city buses, others those for coaches (notably 702, 90x). To add to the confusion, a few coach stops have had their signs changed to bus stop signs (there have been similar changes elsewhere in the region). The main stop affected is the one at the cathedral, where all services along Uudenmaankatu stop by either of the signs.

Regional buses with destinations outside the Föli area are usually part of the cooperation inside it, but for trips out of the area you cannot use Föli tickets even to the border (notably 7xx, 8xx and 9xx via Kaarina, and some 4xx buses through Lieto). A few such buses (117–119 and 802) don't take Föli tickets at all. Electronic displays and timetables at bus stops ignore some regional buses.

Single tickets are valid for unlimited transfers within two hours of the ticket's purchase. They can be bought with debit/credit cards (Visa, Mastercard or Eurocard) that have contactless (EMV-NFC) payment enabled, with the Föli app or in advance for €3, children 7–14: €1.50. Bought by cash from the driver they cost €4/2. If you want tickets for other than a single adult, tell the driver and show your card to the device only when the correct option has been registered. In the night (23:00–04:00) tickets cost €1 more. Notes of more than €20 are usually not accepted. Persons in wheelchair and the person assisting travel for free, as does a person with an infant or toddler in a baby carriage (use the middle door, the driver will help with the wheelchair ramp; there is usually sufficient space). Children under 7 years old need a ticket only when travelling alone.

If you intend to take the bus more than twice a day (read: in more than two 2-hr periods), it becomes economical to ask the bus driver for a 24-hour ticket. The electronic payments should do this automatically and subtract already paid single tickets from the price, given that you use the same card or smartphone all the time. They also keep count of the 2 hr transfer period.

The office at Kauppatori, R kiosks and other service points sell cards for one day and more, costing €8 for the first day, €3 for each additional day up to a week, €25 for ten days, with €1.50 for additional days. The equivalent can also be bought in the app. If you are going to travel much also outside the Föli area, check the Seutu plus tickets (single, 10-trip and 30-days tickets available for a rang of regions).

Those staying more than a few days or travelling as a group may want to check other options also, e.g. "value cards", with which trips (including transfers) cost €2.50/1.20, plus €1 in the night. For groups, ask for a group card (ordinary children's cards are personal, adults' cards valid for three persons). Show the card to the machine once for each person the first time, once for all the group at "transfers". Value (and days) can be added on the Internet, in the Föli bureau and at some other locations.

Once upon the time modifier letters (as in 12A and 12B) got removed and numbers changed (in this case to 32 and 42). The lines are ordered according to these associations: 1, 2, 2A, 3, 30, 4, ... Often the associated lines behave the same most of the route, but have different destinations in one end. In a few cases the destination varies without any change in line number, usually with a sign in the front window of the bus. The corresponding notes in the timetable are often incomprehensible without some understanding of the individual lines, but usually you know when you need to understand them and can ignore them otherwise. The worst trap is some extra rush hour buses on long lines stopping prematurely: check that you get the one going all the way to your stop.

Timetable booklets (fetch one from the Föli service point) give starting times at the ends of the route and at Kauppatori, and an estimated duration of the trip to or from Kauppatori. Some lines are (only or additionally) listed in groups, with information for common (possibly intermediate) destinations. Sometimes a line being in the booklet twice is not evident, check carefully if relevant. The timetables at major stops instead give the estimated passing time of the bus (and line number, as lines are grouped together). A timetable booklet can be bought from the Monitori office at Kauppatori (€1). A map is for sale separately (€2; not including the neighbouring towns, nor the extreme points of Turku). School buses, night lines, rush hour lines and lines serving the elderly, and the quirks of these, are partly handled in their own maps, chapters and booklets, although tickets are valid as usual.

Some interesting or useful lines include:

  • 1 Seaport – centre – bus station – airport The line to use to and from the seaport and airport. 1B skips the airport leg. Departs from the airport and seaport every 20 minutes on weekdays and Saturdays, twice an hour on Sundays, more often to and from the harbour at ferry arrival and departure times. Much cheaper than taking a cab. The route happens to pass by several hotels.
  • 8 Centre – Railway station – Ruissalo The bus route through the large Ruissalo island, a popular summer destination with beaches, villas, a botanic garden and a nature reserve.
  • 14, 15 Saramäki – Oriketo – centre – Erikvalla / Kakskerta Bus lines which go to islands of Satava (14) and Kakskerta (15), which have beautiful countryside and archipelago nature to enjoy. 40-min ride from Kauppatori (one way).
  • 21, 23 Centre – Paattinen – Tortinmäki Long countryside route which you can ride at no more cost than the ordinary city bus ticket. Tortinmäki is a 6-km walk (or bike ride) from Kurjenrahka National Park, in season some of the services extend to the park.
  • 32, 42 Varissuo – Pansio/Perno via railway stations Between a major suburb and a major employer (the shipyard), so frequent. The routes go via the Kupitta railway station, Kauppatori and the central railway station. Line 32 also passes near the exhibition centre.
  • 99 Ilpoinen / Uittamo – Skanssi – Länsikeskus – Perno / Pansio A long "suburb sightseeing" line bypassing the centre; a one-way ride takes over an hour.
  • 180 water bus Martinsilta – Pikisaari and Ruissalo A water bus using Föli tickets, bikes free; late May through August, some September weekends). See By ferry below.

By taxi edit

Aura street in central Turku.

Taxis are abundant and easily available throughout the city. There are three crunch times when getting a taxi might be problematic: the morning and evening ferry departure times (particularly in summer), around 08:00 and 21:00, and the bar closing times (particularly on weekends) around 04:00.

Quick 1–3 km trips cost in the €8–18 vicinity (the 10-km 15-min example ride mostly costs around €35) – prices have gone up with the deregulation as Helsinki-based companies have harmonised prices across the country. Taxis generally accept major international credit cards.

At the railway station and similar places there may also be a "Kimppataxi" offering rides together with strangers (cf minivans in some countries), which in some cases is considerably cheaper. Don't be afraid of "wild" drivers found at the railway station or other busy taxi stands (and available by a call), just check that their prices aren't rip-offs – which could be a problem in the night. Any taxi should have the yellow taxi sign and a meter.

Most taxis use the Taxidata call centre. There are several other companies, including Taksi Länsi-Suomi (serving most of Finland Proper), the Helsinki based companies (at least Menevä) and some small ones, but their cars are mainly found at certain taxi ranks. If using their call centres it might be wise to check that there is a taxi available nearby before committing. Pre-booking is free for some of these competitors. Like elsewhere in Finland, the taxis belong to smaller companies with just an agreement with the call centre.

  • Taxidata, +358 2 100-41. Also bookable by app. Calling centre used by most taxis. €1.67/call+pvm/mpm (app free); flag-fall M–F 06:00–18:00, Sa 06:00–16:00 €3.90, other times €6.90; €1.10/km + €0.90/min for 1–4 passengers or €1.59/km + €0.90/min for 5–8 passengers. Example: 4 persons 5 km in the evening, 30 km/h, called by phone: €1.67+6.90+5.50+9+mpm = €23.07+mpm.
  • Menevä Turku, +358 50-471-0470 (head of office), toll-free: 0800-02120 (booking), . Also bookable by app or web. Fixed price based on calculated route and time if destination address given when booking by app or web. Flag fall M–Sa 06:00–18:00: €4, other times and holidays: €7; 1–4 persons €0.90/km + €0.90/km, 5–8 persons minimum €20, €1.60/km + €0.90/min (July 2020).
  • Taksi Länsi-Suomi, +358 20-003-000 (extra charge?). Serves most of Finland Proper. Call centre in cooperation with Taksi Helsinki. Available also through the Valopilkku app. Flag fall M–F 06:00–20:00, Sa 06:00–16:00 €4.90, other times €8.90; 1–4 persons €1.49/km + €0.99/min, 5–8 persons €1.89/km + €0.99/min.
  • iTaksi, +358 10-212-0000 (extra charge?), . Also bookable by app or web. Fixed price based on calculated route and time if destination address given when booking by app or web. €4.00/6.00+€0.90/km+€0.85/min.
  • Yango. Yango is a Russian company which offers cheap fares. €6.00+€1.10/km+€0.40/min (Starting fare includes 5 min and 2 km).
  • Smartphone apps: Valopilkku, 02 Taksi, Uber, Taksinappi, Bolt

By ferry edit

Föri crossing Aura river in front of the guest harbour.
  • 13 Föri. 06:15–21:00 daily, in summer 06:15–23:00, replaced by boardwalk in cold winters. This city ferry shuttles people and their bikes (no cars allowed) across the Aura River since a century, first taking passengers in 1904. Beloved by Turku citizens, the little orange ferry covers a grand distance of 78 metres and takes about a minute and a half. A running local gag is to ask visitors if they have taken the trip from Turku across to Åbo on the Föri yet; actually, both sides of the river are called the same, Åbo is just the Swedish name. Incidentally, the name comes from the Swedish färja and is related to the English word "ferry". Free.    
  • Föli water buses. 2022: daily 23 May–28 Aug, Sa–Su until 17 September. Every 45 min, round trip 1.5 hr. First departure 10:15, last return back by Martinsilta 19:55, an additional evening tour to and from Telakka in June–July. m/s Ruissalo and m/s Jaarli go from just downstream from Martinsilta (eastern, left bank) to the Kansanpuisto park on Ruissalo (this call skipped around the Ruisrock event), via Forum Marinum and either Pikisaari on Hirvensalo or the Telakka marina on Ruissalo. Tip: Take a bicycle with you without extra fee if the ferry is not too crowded. Ordinary Föli ticket, bikes free.
  • 14 Jakke Jokilautta. River ferry Jakke is a café ferry going up and down the river all the way from the castle to the cathedral. Along the way you can enjoy refreshments and the wonderful views of the city. Some of the cruises are also guided. There are five stops along the river for the ferry: Tintå restaurant, Pharmacy museum, Esposito, Turku guest harbour and Crichton street. The ferry always stops at the Pharmacy museum and Crichton street, and if there are people waiting for the ferry, also on the other stops. €5/2 (children 3–14), family (2+2) €12.

Archipelago cruises edit

Ukkopekka on its way from Naantali to Turku.

There are a number of cruises in and tour boat connections to the archipelago, e.g. to the island Vepsä, a recreational area of the city (1–2 hours), to Nagu parish village or Själö (2 hr across Airisto, back in the evening), to Utö in the very outskirts of the Archipelago Sea (5 hr; twice a week, overnight stay at the island necessary due to the distance) or to Naantali with the Moomin world, Kultaranta (the summer residence of the President of Finland) and a nice wooden old town. Most ferries taking passengers to the archipelago can be found between Martinsilta bridge and Föri. Some of the tours are available only in summertime, others continue as long as ice conditions permit.

On your way out from the city you can see the old ships by Forum Marinum, Turku castle, the harbour and Pikisaari and Ruissalo with their old charming villas, before you reach the open Airisto.

  • 15 s/s Ukkopekka (just downstream of the Martinsilta bridge). Family-owned steamship. Archipelago cruises from Turku to Naantali (day cruises; 1 hr 45 min each way, immediate return or 2 hr in Naantali) and to the island of Loistokari (evening cruises, dance at the Loistokari pier, buffet meal included) in the summer season. Naantali: €24 single, €29 return, family €66/80, lunch €14; Loistokari: €48–55; children 3–12/3–14 half price.    
  • 16 m/s Rudolfina, +358 2 250-2995, +358 40-846-3000, . Lunch and diner cruises. €30–40, including a meal.  
  • 17 Rosita, +358 2 213-1500, . With m/s Lily you can depart for a two-hour cruise in the Airisto or spend the entire summer's day (or a few) on the Vepsä island. The voyage is an hour each way. There is a café on board. The main deck consist of a bright 100-person lounge, with a 40-seater cabinet downstairs and a large deck and sun terrace upstairs. Also plain cruises. Return €20/9, single €12/6, family €47, pets €4; children 0–11; reduction €2/ticket on internet.
  • 18 m/s Norrskär, Läntinen Rantakatu 37, +358 400-176-684, . 2021: 8 May–19 September Sa–Su, 12 Jun–29 Aug daily; 09:30 or 10:00 from Turku, 11:15 at Själö, 12:15 in Kyrkbacken, start from Kyrkbacken 16:00 or 16:15, back 18:15 or 18:30. Connects Turku with Själö and Kyrkbacken. Times with guided tours on Själö. Kiosk on board. Lunch possible in Själö or Kyrkbacken. Själö or Kyrkbacken single €25/15, return €37/23; bike €6, return €10; children 3–15 years.

By car edit

Parking lots by the street are sparse at rush hours, but otherwise you should be able to park your car for a while quite near the place where you are going. Short time parking is often free; public paid parking is €3.60/1.80/0.60 per hour depending on area M–F 09:00–20:00 and Sa 09:00–17:00, Sundays and nights free (as of 2023). In the outskirts, free parking lots can be found. Private paid parking usually has no free hours, but can be cheaper for long stays. When parking in the street, especially in winter and spring, note times reserved for maintenance.

Parking halls, such as the underground 19 P Louhi (stairs/lift to Kauppatori and the pedestrian street) usually have plenty of free space. Q-Park also operates several parking halls in central Turku. Most of the largest hotels have their own parking halls.

By funicular edit

  • 20 Kakola funicular. The Kakola funicular opened in 2019, takes passengers up to the Kakola hill. The first funicular in Finland, it's more of an elevator as it lacks a driver. Kakola was known for the prison that operated there until 2007 after which the buildings were renovated into offices and apartments. Riding the funicular is free of charge but as it has been riddled with problems since the opening, and has become infamous for being out of service every now and then there's a chance you don't get to try out ride at all.    

See edit

The vast majority of the city's sights are within a kilometre or two from Kauppatori. Two sights in the city are considered above others (by Finnish visitors): the medieval castle, which is the symbol of Turku, and Turku cathedral, the national shrine of Finland, but there are several more modest pearls to find. Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova invites visitors to explore the medieval history and culture of Turku and to reflect upon thought-provoking contemporary art. Luostarinmäki is the only larger part of the city that survived the great fire of Turku in 1827. Nowadays it houses an open air living handicrafts museum, with local artisans working in traditional ways. The biological museum has dioramas showing Finnish fauna of different biotops. The museum of art has a collection from the time of national awakening in the 19th century, besides more modern works. The Museokortti card gives free entrance to most museums.

History and museums edit

Entrance of Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova.
  • 1 Aboa Vetus et Ars Nova, Itäinen Rantakatu 4–6, +358 20-718-640, . 11:00–19:00. Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova combines history and contemporary art; Aboa Vetus tells about the history of Turku and about archaeology, with a nice touch for children. Ars Nova is a museum of modern art. The permanent exhibition of Aboa Vetus illuminates the medieval life of Turku. The museum consists of the ruins of stone buildings exposed in archaeological excavations. Now you can actually step in and walk on the medieval streets of Turku, which used to be buried underground. The largest museum shop in Turku, Laurentius museum shop, is by the entrance. It sells jewellery, toys, cards, books and other souvenirs. The museum also houses M Kitchen and Café, the brunch of which is especially popular among Turku residents. In the summertime the Linnateatteri theatre company also performs comedy in the museums courtyard. €10/7/5.50, family ticket €24, children under 7 free.    
  • 2 Botanical Garden, Ruissalon puistotie 215, +358 2 276-1900, . Indoor gardens daily 10:00–17:00, outdoor gardens daily 08:00–20:00. The Turku University Botanical Garden on the Island of Ruissalo is both a centre for scientific research and a public showcase for the fascinating world of plants. The outdoor and indoor gardens display over 5000 species and varieties of plants. In the greenhouses are a wide range of succulent plants and a collection of tropical species. Next to the modern greenhouse is the outdoor garden where the edible plants, roses, meadow flowers, rock plants and exotic trees and shrubs all flourish. Another distinguishing feature of the new landscapes are the artificial ponds containing colourful waterlilies and other wetland plants. There's also a cafeteria on the garden premises. Indoor gardens €6/4/free, Outdoor gardens are free.
  • 3 Biological Museum, Neitsytpolku 1, +358 2 262-0340, . Tu–Su 09:00–17:00, Mondays closed. The Turku Biological Museum is a diorama-museum that resides in a beautiful wooden Art Nouveau building. Thirteen nature scenes present the fauna and flora of Finland, from the archipelago all the way to the fells of Lapland. The Biological Museum has altogether 30 common Finnish mammals and 136 bird species on display. The Biological Museum is great for all those interested in nature and cultural history. The Museum was established in 1907 and most of the Dioramas date back all the way to that period. There are also varying small-scale exhibitions and other types of annual events held at the museum. The museum is a popular visiting destination for school groups and it is also a suitable visiting destination for younger children. A small museum shop sells postcards, posters and other assorted items related to the museum. Right next to the Museums is the wonderfully green Sports Park of Turku (Urheilupuisto). adults €5, children €3, children under 7 years free, family €13.  
    Brinkhall Manor
  • 4 Brinkhall Manor, Brinkhallintie 414, +358 440-940-048, . 24 Jun-17 Aug: Tu–Su 10:00–18:00. The Brinkhall Manor, on the island of Kakskerta, can trace its history back to the 16th century. The manor consists of some 20 buildings and 34 hectares of park, gardens, agricultural land and forest as well as sea and lake shores. Brinkhall’s neoclassical main building was built in 1793. In the beginning of the 20th century major renovations were carried out, also in the classical style. Brinkhall´s English garden was one of the first in this style in Finland in the beginning of 19th century. A few years ago Brinkhall provided the location for a historical TV-drama series called Hovimäki, which became widely celebrated in Finland. Before filming, the manor had been empty for decades. Now Brinkhall Manor has a café, where you can also find the Interior Museum and exhibitions. In mid July Brinkhall is the site of a music festival Brinkhall Soi.
    Ett Hem -Museum
  • 5 Ett Hem ("A home"), Piispankatu 14 (Just a short walk away from the Cathedral upstream, opposite the Sibelius Museum.), +358 20-786-1470, . In their will Alfred and Hélène Jacobsson donated their 19th century house to the Swedish university of Turku, Åbo Akademi, as a museum. The idea was to preserve the atmosphere of upper class life in Turku. They owned a two storey building at Hämeenkatu 30, designed by the German architect Carl Ludwig Engel. Later the interiors were moved to more humble surroundings and the museum is now in a wooden Empire-style building. The age and style of the different artefacts vary, but as a whole "Ett hem" ("A home") is decorated according to the neo-renaissance principles. The museum has both a cultural and historical value. Especially important is the art collection, where most of the famous Finnish artists of the Golden Age of Finnish art, the period around 1900, are represented. A virtual version available at Digimuseo, the real one closed during demolition and construction works by the museum (2022–2023?). Adults €5, children €4.  
  • 6 Forum Marinum, Linnankatu 72 (Just after the guest harbor when going downstream towards Turku Castle, you can't miss it, bus line 1), +358 2 267-9511, fax: +358 2 267-9515. wintertime: Daily 11:00–19:00. The Forum Marinum Maritime Centre is a lively and versatile centre for maritime activities, comprising a national special maritime museum, and the Finnish Navy Museum. There are temporary exhibitions and a very interesting boat and ship collection: two tall sail ships, Suomen Joutsen (Swan of Finland) and Sigyn, four naval ships and several smaller vessels, ranging from a steam harbour tugboat to a police boat. The museum ships are open during the summer months only, while the exhibitions are open throughout the year. The museum also houses a Café Restaurant called Daphne, which serves café delicacies and a tasty, varied buffet lunch. The Museum Shop offers maritime gifts and other articles, literature and high-quality textiles. €9/5/– for the museum; €6/4 ships.    
  • 7 Healthcare Museum, Kunnallissairaalantie 20, +358 2 266-2421. Every last Monday of the month 16:00–18:00 and by appointment. At the Turku Health Care Museum you get an insight into the history of healthcare. How were people treated for such things as tuberculosis or polio? What instruments would you find in the operating room? At the Turku Health Care Museum you can see the evil of diseases such as cholera and tuberculosis, view medical and autopsy equipment, electro-shock devices, as well as the operating room and the instruments used. The museum also displays artefacts from maternity and childcare clinics as well as items from medical schools from years ago. See an example of a baby carriage box that the midwives and nurses used to carry the new born babies of mothers with tuberculosis to the Joulumerkkikoti nursery to keep them safe from infection. Another attraction is an entire collection of uniforms for hospital personnel. Many of the styles were abandoned because of the conflict concerning the money spent on uniforms. Of pride of place in the middle of the museum is the Heideken exhibition showing christening gown, baptismal font, Bible, and the maternity hospital with its equipment. €4, children under 16 years free.
    Kuralan Kylämäki – Village of Living History
  • 8 Kuralan Kylämäki – Village of Living History (Kuralan Kylämäki), Jaanintie 45 (Bus lines 2 and 2A), +358 2 262-0420, . summertime Tu–Su 10:00–18:00, also open around Christmas. Kylämäki in Kurala is a village of living history, where visitors can travel back in time to a typical farm of south-west Finland in the 1950s, complete with authentic scents and rural atmosphere. It is made up of four farms with buildings standing at their original sites. The Kylämäki Village is ideal for families with children, since touching and experiencing is allowed – and there are corners with period toys and playing equipment. The village has been inhabited since the 7th century. In the summer months, you can see women at their domestic chores in the Iso-Kohmo House, making juices and jams, or dairy treats traditionally prepared around Midsummer. Visitors get to participate in some of the farm's tasks, such as hay making and handicraft: 1950s-style items out of clay, paper, yarn or fabric, tablet weaving with plant-dyed yarns and making leather belts and pouches. The themes vary, check in advance to time right. There is also an experimental archaeology workshop. In addition to research, it lets children explore prehistoric working methods and test their hunting skills using ancient weaponry. There is cooperation with revival associations. The workshop is open all year round. Free.  
    Women with baskets at the Luostarinmäki outdoor museum.
  • 9 Luostarinmäki (Cloister Hill), Vartiovuorenkatu 2, +358 2 262-0350. In 1827 a fire destroyed almost all of Turku. The Luostarinmäki area (then a quite poor area in the outskirts of the town) was the only larger part of the city that was saved. Now the area is preserved and it houses the Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum (Käsityöläismuseo), an outdoor museum with charming late 18th century wooden house quarters. All the buildings are in their original places, which is extremely rare in an outdoor museum. Over thirty workshops from different fields of craftsmanship display the City's handicrafts history and old dwellings. During the summer season, the museum's workshops have craftsmen working there every day. The museum's shops, postal office and cafeteria serve customers round the year. The highlight of the year are the Handicrafts Days in August. During the days, masters of different professions, i.e. Golden Apple Guild masters and apprentices get together and their products are sold in the museum's shops. €7/4/4, family €18.    
  • 10 Old Great Square (Vanha Suurtori), Vanha Suurtori 7 (across the parks by Turku Cathedral), +358 2 262-0961, . The Old Great Square area is part of the old Turku city centre. Today, this exceptionally handsome milieu serves as the perfect setting for such events as the annual declaration of Christmas peace and the Medieval Market. The Old Great Square was a major traffic hub, marketplace and administrative centre from the 13th century to the beginning of the 19th century. Today, the square has four historically significant buildings: the Brinkkala Mansion, Old City Hall, Hjelt Mansion and Juselius Mansion. The old buildings have been fully restored for use as cultural venues. The Old Great Square comes to life with a wide variety of events. At Christmastime, the square is transformed into a Christmas Market, and in the summer it is time for the Medieval Market. Old Great Square and its vicinities are home to several important neoclassical buildings including the 11 Old Academy Building and the 12 Old Town Hall
    The Qwensel House, with the Pharmacy Museum.
  • 13 The Qwensel House and Pharmacy Museum (Apteekkimuseo), Läntinen Rantakatu 13, +358 2 262-0280, . 2 May–31 Aug and 25 Nov–6 Jan, Tu–Su 10:00–18:00. The Qwensel House is the oldest bourgeois housing from the autarchic times that has survived in its entirety in Turku. The house was built approximately in the year 1700 to an area that was reserved for the nobility in the city plan put up by Count Per Brahe the Younger. A pharmacy from the 19th century has been furnished in the shop wing of the building. The pharmacy has a material room and a herb room, two laboratories and an office. The office has the oldest surviving pharmacy interior in Finland. The exhibition wing of the building has an extensive collection of pharmacy utensils on display. There is also a pharmaceutical research laboratory and pharmacy history exhibition in the wing. In addition to the main exhibitions, there are also varying smaller exhibitions and events held at the museum every year. The former stable, outhouse and barn are at the northern end of the baker wing of the building. The Pipping family used to have an orchard by the Linnankatu Street. The cafeteria, in the Pharmacy Museum's inner courtyard, is a charming spot of old milieu in the heart of the city. During the summer there are chickens and roosters in the yard and you can really feel you have travelled back in time. The café serves home-made pastries prepared according to recipes from the 18th century. Also their teas are worth checking. The two chambers, are in the wing that was housed by the building's owners in the 18th century. The chambers have been furnished in 18th-century fashion. The same wing used to have a kitchen, a chamber, maid's chamber, a shed, a carriage shed and an granary according to fire insurance documents from 1791. Adults €4.50, children 7–15 €3, 4–6 €0.50, 0–3 free, Family admission (2+2?) €9.50.    
  • 14 The Scout Museum of Finland, Läntinen Pitkäkatu 13, +358 2 237-7692, . 1 September–31 May Sa 12:00–15:00 or by agreement (additional €8). Finland's Scout Museum is a national special museum that is maintained by the Finnish Scouting Museum Association. It displays uniforms, insignia, flags and literature related to the scout movement in Finland. €2/1.
  • 15 Turku Castle (Turun linna), Linnankatu 80 (near the harbour, bus 1), +358 2 262-0300, . Daily 10:00–18:00; closed M in Sep–May low season. Turku castle is one of Finland's most popular tourist attractions. The castle, which at times housed Swedish royalty, is the largest castle in Finland, and dates back to end of the 13th century. In addition to telling about the castle and its history, the castle functions as the general historic museum of the region. There are two loops, one around the old (Medieval and 16th century) part, one around the new part. Some of the rooms have been renovated to the style of different periods in the castle's history, although with scarce furniture, some are pure exhibitions. A room redesigned as church in the 19th century still functions as such. Tours of the castle are given hourly in English during high season (check!) and they give a good account of its history. There are also a children's workshop and children's tours. Private tours can be arranged even in off hours, book well in advance. There are many steep and narrow staircases in the old part and there are few shortcuts, check if that might be an issue. €14, students etc. €7, children (7–15) €5, family (2 adults, up to 4 children) €29–33, students of the field and museum staff (ICOM) free; public guided tour €3, private tours €70–300.    

Art edit

Turku Art Museum
  • 16 Turku Art Museum (Turun taidemuseo), Aurakatu 26 (dominates the Puolala hill, between Kauppatori and the railway station), +358 2 262-7100, . Tu–F 11:00–19:00, Sa Su 11:00–17:00. The Art Museum's Art Nouveau building was opened to the public in the spring of 1904. Since the beginning, the museum has presented important works by Finnish and international artist, focusing on Nordic art in particular. Well represented are works from the era known as the Golden Age of Finnish art, around 1900. There are national treasures including self-portraits, landscapes, Finnish surrealism as well as pop art. The museum's national romantic granite façade rises at the end of Aurakatu. Tours are available in Finnish, Swedish, English and Russian. €10/6, children under 16 for free.  
    Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art
  • 17 Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art (WAM), Itäinen Rantakatu 38 (15-min walk from Market Sq, or bus 14 or 15), +358 2 262-0850, . Tu–Su 10:00–18:00, except Th 10:00-19:00. Named in honour of the artist and sculptor Wäinö Aaltonen (1896–1966), born in Turku, the museum offerings include changing exhibitions, new and experimental art projects, and various cultural events. The museum is on the east bank of the Aura River close to the Myllysilta bridge. The permanent exhibition is based on the art collection of City of Turku, which includes a large collection of works by Wäinö Aaltonen himself. Temporary exhibitions focus on Finnish and international modern art. The museum also houses Café Wäinö which offers lunch and small art exhibitions on the café walls. €10/4/2/–.    
  • 18 Sibelius Museum, Piispankatu 17. Tu–Su 11:00–16:00, W also 18:00–20:00. 150 m from the Turku cathedral is a low modern concrete building that houses the most significant museum of music in Finland and is named after the famous Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. The museum building, itself considered as a pearl of modernist architecture, exhibits the life and music of the master composer as well as an interesting collection of musical instruments from all around the globe. The museum also organizes exhibitions and events. On Wednesday evenings the Chamber Music Hall hosts concerts during the spring and autumn season. €5/3, guiding included, children under 18 free; concerts €12/10.    
  • Art galleries. Turku is home to a number of smaller art galleries scattered around the city. The Turku Artists’ Association maintains a list of the galleries.

Churches edit

Most of the churches are quite frequently used for concerts.

  • 19 Turku Cathedral, +358 40-341-7100. Daily 09:00–18:00; note services and other events; main services Su 10:00 in Finnish, 12:00 in Swedish, 14:30 in German and 16:00 in English. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Finland’s first bishop, St Henry, Turku Cathedral, on the hillock of Unikankare, is Finland’s National Sanctuary. It was consecrated in 1300 and is considered to be Finland’s most valuable historical monument as well as the mother church of the Lutheran Church of Finland. It is familiar, even dear to practically every Finn. Its bells chime at noon over the radio throughout Finland, and they also proclaim the Christmas peace to the country. Every part of the cathedral reflects the details of Finland and Turku's history; resting under the protection of the arches are bishops, captains of war, and one queen, Catherine Månsdotter of Sweden. The south gallery of the cathedral houses a museum, which takes you on a journey through history from the early 1300s. Displayed in the museum, among other things, are sculptures of saints, and church silverware from the Catholic era. Tours run 09:00–19:00 mid-September to mid-April and 09:00-20:00 mid-April to mid-September. Free. Museum upstairs is €2/1/1.    
    St Michael's Church.
  • 20 St Michael's Church (Mikaelinkirkko), Puistokatu 16 (10 minute walk from Market Square), +358 40-341-7110, fax: +358 2 261-7112. Jun–Aug: M-F 11:00–18:00, Sa 10:00–13:00, Su 11:00–13:00. The western skyline of the city of Turku is dominated by Michael's Church which was consecrated in 1905. It was designed by Professor Lars Sonck. When he won the competition for the church in 1894, Sonck was only a 23-year old architectural student. Michael's church is a distinguished example of the neogothic style in architecture. It is a long church with three aisles, galleries and a multifaceted choir. In addition to the main entrance there are also doors at each corner of the church. The sacristy is behind the choir. The main spire rises to a height of 77 meters from the foundations. Many locals favour it as a wedding Church. Free.    
  • 21 Martin's Church (Martinkirkko), Huovinkatu (By foot 15 min from Market Square), +358 40-341-7120. Open by agreement. Service in Finnish on Sundays at 10:00. Martin's parish was founded in 1921 after which the parish council decided to build a church of its own. The church was consecrated on the 450th anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther, on 12 Nov 1933. The designers of the church were the architects Totti Sora and Gunnar Wahlroos. The church represents architechtual functionalism. Martin's church is a long church with three aisles with very narrow side aisles. The church has a functional and singular practicality of its own. The barrel-vaulting of the roof is one of the most outstanding features of the church. The whole altar wall is covered with an "al secco" painting of the Saviour nailed to the cross at Golgatha. This massive work is 15 m high and 9.5 m in breadth. At the time of painting this was the largest painting of its type in the whole of Scandinavia. Free.    
  • 22 Orthodox Church (Church of the Holy Martyr Empress Alexandra), Yliopistonkatu 19 (on the north side of Kauppatori), +358 2 277-5443. Daily 10-15. Main church of the Turku orthodox parish, affiliated with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The church was built by the plans of architect Carl Ludvig Engel and was ordered by Czar Nicholas I of Russia on 5 January 1838. Construction, which began in 1839, cost 67,886 rubles and was completed in 1845. The church was consecrated on 2 September 1845. The church was dedicated to Alexandra, the spouse of Diocletian who had publicly became Christian and thus suffered a martyr’s death on 23 April 303. Most of the icons of the iconostasis have been made in Valaam Monastery. There is also another Orthodox church in Turku, a small wooden one by the Russian consulate, under the Moscow Patriarchate.    
  • 23 Turku synagogue, Brahenkatu 17, +358 400-526-009. One of two synagogues in Finland. Built 1912.    
  • 24 St Catherine's Church (Pyhän Katariinan kirkko), Kirkkotie 46 (by the Student Village), +358 2 261-7130. Open by arrangement, and special events. St Catherine's Church represents old medieval church building tradition. Although it was completely destroyed and has undergone several renovations, it has preserved something of its original appearance and retains the basic plan of a medieval Finnish church. There is a cemetery by the church. Free.    
  • 25 St Mary's Church (Maarian kirkko), Maunu Tavastinkatu 2 (Bus line 15), +358 40-341-7140. Jun–Aug: M–F 12:00-17:00. In wintertime open by agreement. Service in Finnish on Sundays at 10:00. Probably built in the 1440s, partly later in the 15th century. According to folk tradition, St Mary's Church was built at a place where sacrifices had been performed in heathen times, in the village of Räntämäki. It had also been the site of the village burial ground and a place of assembly. The village of Räntämäki was renamed after the patron saint of the Church, St Mary, and in the records it is sometimes referred to as the parish of Räntämäki, sometimes as St Mary's. The church took the name of St Mary from the nearby episcopal church of Koroinen, its original patron saint having been the first Bishop of Paris, Saint Dionysios. More of the original decorations have survived than in most other Finnish Medieval churches. There is a cemetery by the church. Free.    
    Interior of the Ecumenical Hirvensalo Art Chapel.
  • 26 Kakskerta Church (Kakskerran kirkko), Kakskerran kirkkotie 110. Kakskerta Church was built in 1765–1769, and dedicated in 1770. It was designed by Christian Schroder, and is oblong in shape. The altarpiece is from the 17th century, and the interior of the church was renovated in 1940 after the plan by Erik Bryggman. The belfry was designed by C. Bassi in 1824.    
  • 27 Ecumenical Art Chapel (Taidekappeli), Seiskarinkatu 35 (bus 54), +358 2 265-7777, . Tu–F 11:00–15:00 (May–Aug 11:00–16:00), Th 11:00–18:30, Sa Su 12:00–15:00, except during private events. Wooden chapel with art exhibitions. Built 2004–2005. €3, guided tours €5.  
  • 28 Turku cemetery (Turun hautausmaa, Begravningsplatsen i Åbo) (3 km south-east from Kauppatori, by Uudenmaantie (road 110) towards Helsinki). 24 hr daily. The main cemetery of Turku, inaugurated in 1807, now covering 60 hectares (150 acres). The old part, closer to the centre, is the more interesting one for most, where there are many graves with elaborate sculptures. There are also a Jewish and an Orthodox part inaugurated in the 19th century, the Muslim Tatar part from 1915 and the Catholic part from 1936. In the old part there is the Resurrection Chapel from the 1940s (easiest access from Hautausmaantie 21) and by the new part (by Skarpkullantie 2) there is the Holy Cross Chapels from the 1960s. If you just want to see an ordinary Finnish cemetery, there are smaller ones e.g. by St. Catherine's Church and by Saint Mary's church. Free.    
  • 29 Buddhist monastery (Buddhalaistemppeli), Moisiontie 225 (Yli-Maaria, 11 km from the centre by Tampereen Valtatie, highway 9, most of the lines 21–23x). Vietnamese Buddhist monastery and temple, one of three in Finland.

Nature edit

Evening view at Ruissalo.
  • 30 Ruissalo Island (5 km from Kauppatori. Travel past the harbour district and you cannot miss signs pointing towards Ruissalo. Bus line 8 in every 30 minutes. During summer also a ferry connection.). The unique nature, culture and history of the fascinating Island of Ruissalo is to be found flanking the Turku estuary. Once the hunting island for the court of Turku Castle, the island is easily accessible by land or by sea. The oak forests, charming 19th century villas, Ruissalo Spa hotel, Ruissalo nature reserve, Ruisrock rock concert, Honkapirtti (pea soup daily 11–16, Su also fish soup – the Karelian house is worth a visit for lunch or a bun despite the short menu) and the Botanical Gardens have all combined to make the island famous. Scenic and well-maintained bike paths offer comfortable distances for the whole family. The rocky outcrops, beautiful sandy beaches, distinctive nature, rolling fields and pretty gardens will lead to love at first sight for all who visit the island. There is a camping area at Saaronniemi on the outermost tip of the island. The tourist services of this well-equipped camping and caravan park include beaches, barbecue sites, saunas, a small shop and various amenities including hot showers and a laundry. With mini-golf, volleyball, badminton and basketball courts, a fitness trail, playgrounds and a café-restaurant. Many of the facilities of the campsite are available also to non-guests There is also a championship level golf course, Aura Golf, founded in 1958 nearby.    
  • 31 The riverside upstream from Tuomiokirkkosilta bridge (right bank) or Åbo Akademi (left bank) make for a very nice stroll or biking trip. Between Tuomiokirkkosilta and the railway bridge there is a walking path close to the water on the right, north-western bank (not for bikes), elsewhere the route is above the river in park-like milieu, upstream (from Vähäjoki and Koroinen, and near Halinen) also in agricultural landscapes. A café in Koroinen on Sundays, sometimes with handicraft exhibitions or workshops, the Myllärintupa café with canoe rental by the Halinen rapids in summer (Tu–Su 10:00–18:00; also small scale exhibitions). Bikers could continue upstream to Vanhalinna in Lieto, a hillfort with splendid views (mansion by the hill in use by Turku university; café, summer theatre and exhibitions in or by the mansion if you time right).
    Pikisaari on Hirvensalo seen from Ruissalo.
  • 32 Hirvensalo, 33 Satava and 34 Kakskerta are three large islands in line right off the coastline of Turku. The parts facing the city are suburbs, with winding roads lined with often nice villas, while much of the islands are countryside with fields and natural forest. The bus lines 50–56 reach different parts of Hirvensalo, while 14 and 15 continue to Satava and Kakskerta, which once were an independent municipality. Pikisaari on Hirvensalo faces the shipping lane. Today, Hirvensalo is a haven for single-family homes and good, clean living. Some famous names from Hirvensalo are sculptor and academic, Wäinö Aaltonen and artist Jan-Erik Andersson, whose unique leaf-shaped house is near the Hirvensalo bridge. Hirvensalo also has a sports centre, where visitors can ski downhill in the winter and ride downhill cars in the summer. On the last island of the three, Kakskerta (bus 15) you can enjoy lovely archipelago nature, the golf course at Harjattula or the site of the TV series Hovimäki at Brinkhall Manor. There is also a stone church from the 1760s.
  • 35 Vepsä Island (One hour ferry trip from Turku, ferry leaves from river Aura.), +358 50 411-4963, . Open during the summer season only, from 1 June to 31 August. Vepsä island is a beautiful island in the Turku archipelago. From the vantage point on the rugged rock, you can see glittering waters and awesome landscapes of Airisto. On the way up, you can search for geocaches, if you want. Former hiding place of smugglers hides nowadays modern hobbies and hobby equipments. You can go for a walk, swim on a child safe beach, have a barbecue, take a sauna bath, play miniature golf, and enjoy other summery activities. People who like water sports can rent a boat or a canoe. One of the new activities is sumo wrestling in air filled suites. After an active day you can eat in the island's own café-restaurant. Ice-creams and snacks are for sale also in a kiosk. You can go to Vepsä for a one day trip, or stay for a longer time. Cosy summer cabins offer you warm surroundings to stay over night, and are very popular among visitors. There are three saunas to hire, one of them is reserved for enterprises. You can reserve the representation sauna and a barred hot tub beforehand. Three close-by islands – Mustaluoto, Vähä-Tervi and Pikku-Vepsä – are charming targets to visit and available for Vepsä visitors. Return ticket for the ferry €16/6. Cabin €55–90/night, tent site €5/person..  

Itineraries edit

Do edit

Turku is especially lively during the summer season, from the latter part of May to early September, as well as around the Advent and Christmas period in December. The banks of the river Aura are regarded Turku's summertime living room. The shores are the setting for many urban events and are also popular for picnic and relaxing.

Theater, performing arts and cinema edit

Turku Swedish Theatre 2018

For chamber music, check also the weekly concerts at the Wäinö Aaltonen and Sibelius museums. One-off performances can be harder to find, as information channels vary.

  • 1 Turku City Theatre (Turun kaupunginteatteri), Itäinen Rantakatu 14 (by the Theatre Bridge), +358 2 262-0030, fax: +358 2 262-0065, . The main theatre building on the banks of river Aura has gone through a thorough renovation. Turku City Theatre offers performances on four different stages. It offers serious drama, musicals and children's theatre, including visiting productions. €30–50/15–40.    
  • 2 Logomo, Köydenpunojankatu 14 (behind the train station), +358 29-1234-800, . Logomo is in an old locomotive workshop, and was the main venue for the Capital of Culture year in 2011. It is next to the Turku city centre and the Central Railway Station. It provides spaces for several exhibitions and major performance throughout the year. It also has a café and a shop.
  • 3 Turku Philharmonic Orchestra (Turun filharmoninen orkesteri), Aninkaistenkatu 9 (by the Puutori square), +358 2 262-0804. Ticket office: M–F 11:00–17:00 and before events. Turku Concert Hall, built in 1952, was the first concert hall in Finland. It is mainly used by Turku Philharmonic Orchestra (chief conductor Leif Segerstam). Usually €21/9.
  • 4 Swedish Theatre of Turku (Åbo Svenska Teater), Eerikinkatu 13 (by Kauppatori), +358 2 277-7377, . This is Finland's oldest theatre. The beautiful theatre house reached its 175th anniversary in January 2014. The big scene reflects the age, with splendid decorations, the moderate size allowing quite an intimate experience. Here most performances are musicals or traditional drama. There are two smaller scenes, which also offer more experimental theatre and children's plays.
  • 5 Linnateatteri, Linnankatu 31, +358 2 232-1215, . Linnateatteri is a professional theatre, which performs both in the house and the garden. Linnateatteri has over the last decade presented such comical shows as the Amazing History of Turku and the Amazing Near-history of Turku. In addition to comedy and stand-up performances there's also drama, concerts and children theatre among its repertoire. During summer you can also catch up with Linnateatteri on the courtyard stage of Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova.
  • 6 Samppalinna Summer Theatre (Samppalinnan kesäteatteri), Paavo Nurmen Puistotie 3 (by the Samppalinna mill in the park Urheilupuisto), +358 2 232-9050. Samppalinna summer theatre, fifty years old, is Finland’s largest summer musical theatre. It specializes in musicals.
  • 7 Kinopalatsi (Kinopalatsi Cinema Complex), Kauppiaskatu 11, +358 9 131-191 (€1.97/min + pvm/mpm). This modern cinema complex opened in Turku in the spring 2001. All 9 auditoriums has been invested in the audience comfort. Seat rows are strongly staggered and leg room between rows is optimal. The technique is the highest quality with digital sound and big screens. around €12.

Sport arenas edit

  • 8 Turkuhalli (Gatorade Center), Artukaistentie 8, +358 2 21-900, . This ice hockey and music arena hosts large public events and the games of TPS (Turun Palloseura), Turku's number one ice hockey team. It offers a large arena and grandstands in addition to smaller function rooms. Restaurants serve before the entertainment, during the intermission or at breaks, and often even after the event. Big screens and TV monitors ensure the arena atmosphere fills the restaurant and lobby areas.
  • 9 Marli Areena (Ice Hockey Arena), Hippoksentie 2. Marli Arena is next to the Kupittaa park, and is primarily used for ice hockey. It is the home arena of TuTo (Turun Toverit) hockey team. TuTo plays in the second highest ice hockey league in Finland, Mestis, but the atmosphere in the games can be even better than in the TPS games, since the fans really love the team and arena is compact. Tickets are also less expensive and the Marli Arena is just around 15 minutes walking distance away from the city center.
  • 10 Veritas Stadion (football (soccer) stadium), Hippoksentie 6, +358 2-2722-00, . In the heart of Turku at the Kupittaa Park, Veritas Stadium is Turku's number one football stadium. Both Turku-based teams play in the national league of Finland – FC Inter and FC TPS – play on the grounds of the stadium.

Parks and sports grounds edit

  • 11 Kupittaa Park (Kupittaanpuisto) (Near the Turku city centre, on the east bank of the river Aura, around 15 minutes walk from the Old Great Square and Cathedral). Finland's largest and oldest city park is popular for picnic as well as for children and sports. There are ice skaters in the winter, in-line skaters in the summer, skateboarders, cyclists, ballplayers, petanque enthusiasts and everyone out for some exercise. Urban athletes can catch some air and grind some rails at the skatepark. Pump some iron at the Turku city's official gym or hit the lanes at the bowling hall. Kupittaa Park also offers families with kids the ever popular Traffic-City, Adventure Park, Kupittaa Outdoor Pool and the Sports Wonderland for Kids (Sundays 17:00–19:00 in the sports hall, free). Watch birds in action at the Bird Pond. Visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to picnicking. The wide-open lawns of Kupittaa Park are perfect for everything from football to croquet, while frisbees and kites vie for space in the skies above. One end of the park is dominated by the Veritas Stadium, which is the home pitch of local football teams, TPS and Inter. And when it's time for a bite to eat, Kupittaa Pavilion will serve up a tasty treat right in the heart of the park. Veritas Stadium is also home to the full-service Olè restaurant.  
    • 12 Adventure Park (Seikkailupuisto), Kupittaankatu 2 (Bus line 32 (jump out at the bus stop just before the corner of Kerttulinkatu and Sirkkalankatu)), +358 44-907-2986, . M–Su 10:00–17:00. Just on the edge of Kupittaa Park, the Adventure Park is the ideal environment for encouraging imagination and creative play. You are allowed to get wet in the mushroom fountain and get a thrill from the zip line. In addition to a large assortment of playground stuff in the lush park area, to be used freely, the adventure park offers guided activities from art and handicraft workshops to songs and music at the music playschool, and theatre performances. There is a kiosk where you can buy ice cream, drinks and snacks. It is also possible to grill your own food at the barbecue sites. Nearby in the park there is a bouncy castle and a traffic town. Free.  
  • 13 Hohtogolf Westcoast (Glow Minigolf and Curling), Yliopistonkatu 17 (underground -- entrance is next to the Turku Orthodox Church), +358 2 253-4355, . W–Th 17:00–21:00, F 17:00–00:00, Sa 12:00–00:00, Su–Tu closed. At Hohtogolf Westcoast is a glow-in-the-dark 15-hole miniature golf course with over-the-top mechanized special effects and a special "horror" section. Fun thing to do in a group, especially after a few drinks from the bar. As a new feature they also offer a small curling track. €10/12.
  • 14 Urheilupuisto Sports Park (in the Turku city centre, on the east bank of the river Aura behind the City Theater). Urheilupuisto is home to the Paavo Nurmi Stadium and many other sporting facilities. This extensive parkland holds many places to exercise, come winter, come summer. In addition to the Paavo Nurmi Stadium, there is e.g. the Karikon lenkki running track, tennis courts, basketball courts, a volleyball court, an artificial turf playing field and a frisbee golf course. In the winter months the Sports Park, naturally, has its ice field and a popular sledding hill. Turku Trojans, one of the oldest American Football teams in Finland, plays its games on the upper field of Turku Sports Park.  

Winter sports edit

Slopes at the Hirvensalo Ski Resort
  • 15 Skating worm (Luistelumato) (Kupittaanpuisto, behind the sports hall), +358 50-554-6300. Equipment rental M W F 17:00–20:00, Sa Su 10:00–18:00, from middle Dec, unless raining. Meandering skating lane forming a circle, 5–6 m wide and 500 m long. Skate rental (also hiking skates), hot drinks for sale. Roller skating in the summer. Free; skates: adults €5, children €1; hiking skates €5/2hr, €12/week; roller skates €5; drinks €1; skating free.
  • 16 Parkki Artificial Ice Field (Parkin kenttä), Tuureporinkatu 2, +358 50-431-0016, . 2023: from 4 December; M–F 08:00–21:00, Sa 10:00–20:00, Su 09:00–20:00 (maintenance daily 15:45–16:45); tickets and equipment rental M–F 17:00–19:00, Sa Su 10:00–16:00. Big skating field, usually most of it for ice hockey. Sometimes music and most of the area for general skating. Skates and hockey sticks for rent. The entrance fee can be paid at the entrance when manned, otherwise by pre-bought tickets ("Exercise Wristband", can be used for several persons) or mobile phone (0600- number posted at the gate, enter immediately after calling). €3.50; from 2024: prime time at counter €8/4, other times by mobile €3.50/3.50; wristband: €8+€16/10 entries, from 2024: €8+€60/30.
  • 17 Impivaaran jäähalli, Eskonkatu 1 (Bus 13 and 18.), +358 2 262-3550. M 14:00–14:50, 16:45–17:35, W 13:45–14:35, Sa 10:30–11:20. Indoor ice field, skating for the public (no ice hockey) at certain hours when not in other use.
  • 18 Varissuon jäähalli, Suurpäänkatu 2 (Bus 32 and 42.), +358 2 262-3570. M–F 13:45–14:35, Th also 18:00–18:50, Su 10:00–10:50. Ice field in an underground hall, skating for the public (no ice hockey) at certain hours when not in other use. Free.
  • Minor skating fields. There are minor skating fields in most residential areas, without artificial cooling and thus more dependant on weather. Some have ice hockey rinks, some have changing rooms. Free.
  • 19 Hirvensalo Ski Resort, Kakskerrantie 111 (at the Hirvensalo Island on the southern side of the city 5 km from the city centre. You can reach Hirvensalo from the market square of Turku on the Turku city bus lines number 14, 15, 51, 53 and 55. The centre also offers a lot of parking places for private transport.), +358 45-106-3011, . There are four well managed and lit slopes at the Turun Hirvensalo Ski Centre in Turku: 1, 2 and 3-slopes and a slope for children. There are three lifts in Hirvensalo. The longest slope is 300m and the greatest altitude difference is 60m. The degree of difficulty of the slopes ranges from easy to difficult and there are several boxes and rails. Hirvensalo Ski Centre is the perfect place for both beginners and experts, without mentioning families. Services also include Slope café, ski school, and equipment rental. €17–28.
  • Cross-country skiing, +358 50-554-6219 (administration), +358 50-523-8447 (equipment rental). There are skiing tracks in most suburbs, as jogging routes are transformed to skiing routes, with groomed tracks and a lane for freestyle skiing (80 km maintained by the city in good winters). The Nunnavuori routes (0.35 and 1 km on flat ground, 1.7 km in easy hilly terrain) are maintained also in adverse weather, which gives them the longest season (in 2021–2022: from 5 Dec). At one of its starting points, Eskonkatu/Kurrapolku near Impivaara, there is equipment for rent (Sa–Su 11:00–16:00; equipment to be returned 20 min before closing) and coffee, warm juice and snacks for sale (by a charity; usually somewhat longer hours than the rental; sausage €1, coffee and bun €2). Many of the routes have lighting 06:00–22:00. Free; equipment €5/3/1 (children: <20yrs).

Climbing edit

Be aware of the inherent dangers of climbing. Safety cannot be guaranteed even if the businesses take security seriously. Make sure you have understood the instructions. Children usually need permission from their custodians, must respect instructions, and might need to be accompanied.

  • 20 Flowpark (Climbing park), Skanssinkatu 10, +358 400-864-862, . May–Oct: M–Sa 12:00–20:00, Su 12:00–18:00. Closed Nov–April except around special Winter Feast days in January. Adventure trails up in the trees. There are fifteen different trails and nearly one hundred missions, where you can test your balance, coordination and nerve. For the high ropes adventure trails children must be at least seven years old and 120 cm tall. For the smaller fast and fearless climber there is a specially built children's trail closer to ground. Flowpark is in the leafy green courtyard of shopping centre Skanssi, with good transportation connections from the centre. Day ticket €22.
  • Irti Maasta, Myllynkatu 1142 (in the shopping centre Mylly, Raisio), +358 400-820-037, . M–F 14:00–20:00, Sa–Su 10:00–18:00. Climbing centre with playful routes and challenges. Weight limits: 15–150 kg. Automatic belaying. No age limit, but children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. €16.
  • 21 Kiipeilypalatsi, Vesilinnantie 1 (a cube-formed building on the hill in the TY campus behind the cathedral), +358 45-670-5991. Tu–W 15:30–20:30, Sa 13:00–17:00, groups also by agreement. Climbing walls inside a former water tower. Not solo, as you need your own belayer. Newcomers to the sport are welcome, but must tell about being inexperienced. Belayer instruction included. Minors need parent's permission, children under 14 need an adult belayer. €11 + harness, shoes and magnesium €4.

Boating and canoeing edit

For skippered yacht cruises or yacht chartering, see Archipelago Sea. Here are options for smaller vessels and quick trips:

  • 22 Låna, Linnankatu 3 (the river shore at Vähätori, by Tuomiokirkko bridge). Open boats (max 8 persons) for cruising down the river and back, perhaps while having a picnic (speed limit on the river 6 km/h i.e. 3 knots), with electric motor. Also Buster Rent boats available, but rent those at the guest harbour instead (not ideal for cruising the river, and you get the whole day for the price of 3 hr). €60/hour, €100/2 hours.
  • Buster Rent (delivery at the guest harbour or by trailer), +358 20-769-1270, . Open or semi-open boats for rent, with outboard motor. Usable also for longer voyages given suitable weather. Two berths in the biggest boats. €140–400/one day, weekend €330–800; trailer included; trailering by agreement.
  • 23 Sea kayaking (Aavameri) (bus 8 from Puutori to Saaronniemi, walk to the beach), +358 44-980-7788, . Jun–Aug: M 10:30, F 17:00 (Puutori 10:00/16:30), by agreement other days throughout the year. Day or evening tour with kayak and guide (7 or 3½ hr) from Ruissalo. Register before 17:00/12:00, pay online. The day and evening tours do not require previous experience and moderate fitness is enough, trips are tailored to suite the participants (3–8 in the group). Also longer full service guided trips and supported solo expeditions with transportation from and back to Turku are available. Evening tour €65; day tour €110/person; child reductions for 8–12 and 13–15 years old; rental: first day €60.
  • 24 Saaristomeren melojat, Rykmentintie 55 (Uittamo, bus line 13), +358 41-456-5223, . Tu Th 17–20, Sa Su 11:00–15:00 or 11:00–17:00 (check!). Local canoe/kayak club, equipment for rent. Also short and three-evening courses. Quick intro on-site, if you need more advice, ask in advance (instructions about equipment etc. in Finnish on the website). Pay in cash. Kayak €10/hour, €40/day, €80/weekend, €120/week; twin or canoe €20, €60, €120, 180; courses €40/100.
  • 25 Aurajokisäätiö, Valkkimyllynkuja 2 (Myllärintupa by Halistenkoski rapids), +358 44-553-7408. 1 Jun–31 Aug: Tu–Su 10:00–18:00. Kayak/canoe rental for trips on the river. Also guided tours. Kayak €19/two hours, €39/one day; canoe €24/€39; guide €36/hour.

Swimming edit

Impivaara Swimming Centre
Ice Swimming at the Ispoinen Beach is a popular hobby among locals during the winter months

Due to its location at the shores of the Archipelago Sea, Turku has a number of great beaches easily reachable from the city centre. There are also two outdoor pools (0.75 km and 1.7 km from Kauppatori), a water park, indoor swimming pools and arenas. Most indoor facilities – and some outdoor ones – are open round the year.

Turku has a number of free beaches around the city.

  • 26 Ispoinen Beach is within easy reach from Turku Centre by bus number 9 or 13. Swimmers can even access the beach during the winter since there is a sauna and option for ice swimming, when the water is frozen over:
  • 27 Ruissalo camping beaches are the favourites of many locals. They are at Saaronniemi at the very end of the Ruissalo Island (bus line 8) and on a beautiful summer day you can really feel the archipelago here. A few separate beaches of different character.
  • 28 Ekvalla beach is on the Satava island (bus lines 14 and 15). When the Finnish summer gets hot, this sandy beach is a good choice for families and sun seekers as well as disabled. Whatever your physical impairment you can have a dip as Ekvalla beach has specially designed walkways and a wheelchair ramp into the water.

Lifeguards are supervising swimming on all of the beaches mentioned above during the school summer holiday periods from the beginning of June to the end of August.

  • Other smaller beaches include
    • 29 Brinkhall beach,
    • 30 Moikoinen beach,
    • 31 Sorttamäki beach and
    • 32 Maaria beach.

Winter swimming:

  • 33 Saaronniemen saukot arrange winter swimming at Tammirannantie 39 (and swimming in summer, too).
  • 34 Turku's Winter Outdoor Swimmers Club (Turun avantouimarit), Rykmentintie 51 (Ispoinen Beach), +358 44-377-5475. M 15:00–19:45, W 15:00–20:45, F–Sa 15:00–19:45, Su 15:00–20:45. Sauna, ice swimming and club room. Members are happy to help newcomers. Non-member single ticket: adults €5.20, children under 16 €1.50, accompanied children under 7 free.

Outdoor pools, arenas and water parks:

  • 35 JukuPark Waterpark, Kurrapolku 1, +358 400-174-640. 7 Jun–10 Aug: daily 11:00 to 17-19:00. JukuPark is a paradise for the whole family 3 kn from Turku center. At JukuPark, come rain or shine, you're sure to get soaking wet! You’re guaranteed a great day with many spectacular water-slides, large heated swimming pools, sunbathing areas together with saunas, shower rooms and the Pirate Island water-world for the little ones. When hunger surprises there are Juku Park’s grills, cafés, kiosk services and terraces available. €21, children under 4 year free.
  • 36 Kupittaa Outdoor Swimming Arena, Kupittaankatu 10 (in the middle of the Kupittaa park), +358 44-907-2702, . Mid-May to mid-Aug: daily 10:00–19:00. Kupittaa has offered facilities for swimming for over a hundred years. It's next to the Adventure Park and is a favourite of families especially. In addition to the large 50-m pool, there is a smaller 25-m pool, a 0.6–0.9 m deep children's pool as well as a play area for the little ones and a lawn area for relaxation. The pool area has a kiosk. The nearby Blomberginaukio square offers ample parking. Adults €5.50, discount groups €3, children under 16 €2.5, children under 5 years free.
  • 37 Samppalinna Swimming Stadium, Volter Kilven katu 2, +358 2 262-3590, . From mid-May to mid-Sept: M–Th 06:00–20:00, F 06:00–19:00, Sa Su 08:00–19:00. A refreshing oasis in the middle of the city, on a warm summer day Samppalinna is really popular with the locals. An olympic-size swimming and diving boards where swimmers can jump from the tower. Children have their own pool and there is sunbathing among the stadium’s sunny banks; a park area included: picnics possible, basic play yard. The changing areas are indoors, good sauna and shower facilities. The lockers can be locked with a 50-cent coin. Adults €5.50, discount groups €3.50, children under 16 €3, children under 5 years free.  

Swimming halls and indoor water parks:

  • 38 Caribia, Kongressgränden 1 (in the hotel in the Student Village). Indoor water park. Also one normal swimming pool.
  • 39 Impivaara Swimming Centre, Uimahallinpolku 4 (last stop of bus 13 when marked "u" in the timetable; 18 passes reasonably close), +358 2 262-3588, . M–Th 06:00–20:00, F 11:00–18:00, Sa Su 09:00–17:00. The stunning and newly renovated facilities are named after characters and places in author Aleksis Kivi’s classic novel, Seven Brothers. The swimming area comprises eight pools, called Venla (50 m), Juhani (25 m), Tuomas (diving pool), Aapo (multipurpose pool), Simeoni (family pool), Timo (teaching pool), Lauri (paddling pool) and Eero (cold pool). Impivaara gyms Jukola, Toukola and Männistö have comprehensive and spacious strength training and aerobics facilities. Single entry €8/5/3 (children fare for 4–16 years old); 10-time card €60/40/24.  
  • 40 Turun uimahalli, Rehtoripellonkatu 3 (in the student union's house). First swimming hall of Turku. Clothing optional, with genders separated by day of week.  
  • 41 Ulpukka, Eeronkuja 5 (1 km south-west of Raisio centre (along Nesteentie); bus lines 220 and 221 from Turku pass by), +358 44-797-1681, . Winter: M Tu Th F 06:00–21:00, W 11:00–21:00 Sa–Su 11:00–18:00; summer: M Tu Th F 06:00–09:00, 13:30–21:00, W 13:30–21:00, weekends closed; entry min. 1 hr before closing. Swimming hall. Nice also for children. Accessible for the mobility impaired (ask for directions). €5–7 (mornings cheaper), students €4.50, children 5–15 years €3, family (2+3) €16; 2 hr.

Social dancing edit

The Uittamo dance pavilion

Foxtrot, waltz, jive, cha cha, what have you ... The dance pavilions are an essential part of the Finnish summer for many, although not any more for a majority, and some keep dancing all year. Pavilions in Turku and Raisio and popular ones in the surroundings include:

  • 42 Huvilintu, Linnuksentie 39 (Raisio countryside, 12 km from Turku centre: turn left from highway 8 north of Raisio centre, towards Kustavi (road 192), after 1 km turn towards Piuha along Maskuntie, after 1 km more turn right to Linnuksentie, drive 390 m, the pavilion is to your left; by bike you can also follow the cycleway along road 8 and reach the other end of Linnuksentie; bus 300 gets you to the Kirjakallionkatu stop across Kustavintie, 1.8 km from the pavilion, the last bus back at midnight), +358 2 437-2830 (during dances), +358 44-782-1323 (otherwise), . Late April to mid-September Sa 19:00–23:00, July also Th 13:00–17:00. Dance pavilion. Guarded cloakroom. Also beer at the café. €20+€2.
  • 43 Uittamon paviljonki, Rykmentintie 29 (bus no 9 towards Katariina, bus stop "Tanssilava"), +358 44-906-1910, . Dances mid May–August: F 19:00–24:00 (spring) or Su 18:00–23:00, dance courses M 17:30–19:30 (beginners) 19:30–22:30 (advanced). Dance pavilion by the sea. Also dance courses. €20.
  • 44 Littoisten lava, Vanha Littoistentie 153 (by the Littoistenjärvi lake and beach in Kaarina; bus 2B or 2C, last bus back 23:20), +358 45-894-8383, . 18 May–24 Aug: Th 18:00/19:30–23:00. Dance pavilion run by Sekahaku (see below). Dance course Th 18:00–19:20 included in the price of the dance. Separate courses most other evenings. Mostly €16, under 25 years old €5; 10 and 17 Aug 2023 €18/10; courses €13/5.
  • 45 Valasranta, Valasrannantie 363 (by Pyhäjärvi in Yläne, 60 km north from Turku), +358 40-647-4187, +358 2 256-3605. Mid May–Sep: Sa 20:00–01:00. Dance pavilion by the Pyhäjärvi lake. €20.

The main library has free dances in its yard, Tuesdays 17:00–18:15, from late June to late August (with weather reservation). Mostly old couples (the generation which never attended dance courses), mostly Finnish tango, waltz and humppa, and you might be unlikely to be asked to dance – but asking somebody to should be possible regardless of whether you are a man or woman.

In the winter season, part of the dancing crowd is found at Pyrkivä and Aura:

  • 46 Pyrkivä/Sekahaku, Tuureporinkatu 2 (near the bus station, across Aninkaistenkatu), +358 45-894-8383 (enquiries), . F 18:30/20:00–23:30; courses M W Th 18:00–21:15 Tu 19:30–21:00 Su 17:00–20:15. Dances with mostly skilled dancers. While the hall is a multi-purpose one, it is quite nice, and you'll mostly be looking at dancers or the orchestra anyway. One dance is presented in a course preceding the dancing proper, starting from beginner level but with something also for those who know it. The dance proper starts with pairs formed at random, dancing only one dance each; the rest of the night there is the normal asking scheme, with mixed asking in the last set. You can keep to your own pair if you wish, but few do. Café.
    The courses (1½ hr) range from beginners' (perusteet) to advanced level (jatko), usually in a series of two, where you should start from the first unless you pick up reasonably quickly. For the intermediate level ("keskitaso") you should know the basic steps or pick up very quickly. Pairs are formed in a rotating system, so you can turn up alone or in a single-gender group (you can form your own pairs, but that is usually not optimal). Instruction is usually in Finnish, so you have to use your eyes and occasionally ask your pair. The courses W 19:45 and Su 17:00 are for people with little or no dancing experience and have the youth price for all (some advanced dancers participate, facilitating learning). For the courses, take your own bottle of water.
    €17, youth under 25 years €6; course, cloakroom and water included; separate courses €14/€6.
  • 47 Auran Nuortentalo (25 km from Turku centre by Highway 9 towards Tampere, 4 km before the main settlement; the namesake bus stop or Aura may have usable services, but probably not in the night). October–April Sa 19:00–24:00. Dances popular among young and old alike, with many of the dancers coming from Turku. Women may want to bring company to get introduced on the floor. €18–25.

Events edit

Tivoli Sariola comes to the Kupittaa Park for Vappu
  • 48 Maritime Markets (Along the river Aura). A long weekend in April and October; Th–Sa 09:00–18:00, Su 09:00–16:00. Traditional and very popular markets are held every April and October on the riverfront right in the Turku city centre. Archipelago Market in April and Herring Market in October bring fish delicacies as well as handicrafts to the riverside. Both markets bring professional fishermen from the Archipelago Sea to the heart of the city to sell their products, some still straight from their boats. Also e.g. sea-buckthorn juice, honey and bread are sold, in addition to meals and standard market fare.
  • Walpurgis night and May Day (Vappu) (main events at Vartiovuori, Puolalanmäki, Kauppatori). 30 April–1 May. Vappu is one of the four biggest holidays in Finland, along with Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, and Midsummer. Walpurgis witnesses the biggest carnival-style festival held in the streets of Finland's towns and cities. Student traditions are one of the main characteristics of Vappu, and you'll see lots of students – and former university students – on the streets wearing a traditional student cap. In the evening Swedish students, or anybody identifying with them in some way, gather on Vårdberget (Vartiovuori), to mingle and listen to the student choirs of ÅA (18:00, broadcast by YLE), while the Finnish students similarly gather in Puolalanpuisto. At 19:00 they join at the Lilja statue by the river (to give her a student cap), and the rest of the eve streets are filled with party people. A market is held in Kauppatori with vendors selling cheap carnival paraphernalia. On May Day the parks, especially the Vartiovuori Park, are filled with Finns having a picnic, many treating their hungover. There are also working union parades around the city centre and politicians from all different parties giving speeches.  
  • 49 New Potato Festival (Neitsytperunafestivaali), Courtyard of the Brewery Restaurant Koulu, Eerikinkatu 18, . Mid June. The festival celebrates the opening of the early-harvest potato season in June. It’s a true cultural feast of fabulous flavours and local food. The very first crops from the Turku archipelago will reach the River Aura shores with this traditional ceremony. During the festival, the potatoes will be enjoyed with local fish treats and herring. The festival will also include competitions for best recipes, getting to know different potato varieties and cultivation methods. The new potatoes from Finland Proper are unique plants with gastronomic qualities to match other celebrated European seasonal products like asparagus, globe artichoke and truffle. The flavour is unique to early potatoes of Finland Proper and neighbouring countries with a similar climate.
  • 50 The Medieval Market, Vanha Suurtori 3 (Old Great Square), +358 40-132-9992, . End of June; Th F 12:00–20:00, Sa Su 12:00–18:00. This is the best (and original) Medieval Market in Finland. Follow the rows of market stalls at the Old Great Square and take a trip back in time to Medieval Market with performing groups, jesters and minstrels. People working at the festival dress up in medieval costumes and act out scenes in the middle of the street, rather than on stages, giving you a feeling you're genuinely in medieval Turku (the theme is some specific year, and you may hear references to "current" events).
    In the area for work displays artisans will demonstrate medieval working methods. Visitors can watch the smith working away at their forges, see how beer is brewed using ancient recipes and touch freshly tanned leather. At the children's activities area the smallest of the family can get into baskets of a roundabout. The Old Town Hall hosts events for science, art and fashion. The whole family can enjoy the medieval amusement.
    Medieval costumes for adults and children are available for hire at the event. Medieval-style food, clothes and souvenirs available on site.
    Free of charge, but charges for food, drink and souvenirs.
    A Medieval band playing at the Turku Medieval Market, by the river
  • 51 International Market of Turku, Around Old Great Square, Vähätori and the banks of river Aura. Mid-June; W–Sa 10:00–20:00. The key idea of the International Market is to bring different countries and provinces around the world to showcase their specialities. There are around 100 traders from around 35 countries taking part in the market. Europe has usually a strong presence, but there are also traders from America and Asia. From the market you'll usually find For example, authentic Dutch cheese merchant, French bakeries, different delicacies from Italy, Bavarian sausages and German bakeries as well as artisans from such countries as Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Spain. Finnish provinces are also presenting their own specialities.
  • Midsummer (Juhannus/Midsommar). The weekend between 19 and 27 June. Juhannus (Midsummer) is a main national holiday in Finland. Originally a celebration of the summer solstice, it is typically spent with friends and family at a summer cottage away from the city, either partying or relaxing (many leave already in Thursday, as the main celebration is in the eve, on Friday). Large bonfires are lit on the islands Ruissalo and Vepsä. Otherwise the streets are often empty, even though some people have acquired a new habit of spending Midsummer in town.  
  • Tall Ships' Races (mooring downstream from the bridges; parade of sails on Airisto). Next edition 18–21 July 2024. The Tall Ships' Races have become a semi-regular event in Turku. Every few years sailing ships large and small moor in the river on their Baltic Sea race, offering opportunities to visit some of the vessels, including schooners, barques and full-rigged ships, and attending programmes arranged for spectators and crews. The event usually attracts half of the city's population. Some vessels offer cruises to Airisto. The parade of sails is best seen from a boat, but most spectators flock to the shores of Kuuva on Ruissalo.
  • Airisto Classic Regatta (on Airisto, moorings at the guest harbour Telakka). 2023: 27–30 July. Yearly race for classic yachts (those of wood or riveted plates built before 1970), arranged by Airisto Segelsällskap in cooperation with Telakka. About 30 yachts, some built in the 1920s. Most participants are from Finland, some from Sweden or farther away. In 2025, the world championship of the 8mR class will be held in Turku.
  • The Night of Arts, Around Turku Central Business District. Mid August. A versatile cultural event that is held annually in mid-August around the city centre. The venues include the Fortuna-block, Vähätori, Puutori, Piispankatu, the Turku Main Library Courtyard, as well as book stores, museums and galleries. Programme usually includes musical and art performances, literature, theatre, dance, museums and street culture.
  • Turku Day, Events take place all around the city. Third Sunday of September. The shops in the city centre are open, there are markets and bazaars in different parts of the city, open houses and guided tours, museums and music, art and dance. The day culminates with fireworks at the Samppalinna Park hill at 21:00.

Easter edit

Easter is celebrated in the churches, with many services. Specifically, you might want to experience the Orthodox Easter Vigil, even if not Orthodox yourself. There are several concerts with Christian music, particularly, passions may be performed. There may be a reenactment of the Way of the Cross.

  • 52 Easter at Cloister Hill (Påsk på Klosterbacken), Vartiovuorenkatu 2 (Cloister Hill outdoor museum,). Around Easter; 10:00–16:00. Cloister Hill outdoor museum offers a unique perspective to Easter traditions in Finland. During the festivities you can participate in egg rotation competition and explore the different traditions of decorating Easter eggs. Professional Easter egg decorators are performing as well as confectioners who make Easter eggs and bunnies out of marzipan. This event is especially recommendable to visitors with children. Adults €6, Children aged 7–15 €4, 4–6 €1, Family ticket €13.

Advent and Christmas edit

The student choirs' concerts in the cathedral mark the start of Advent

The Christmas season starts more or less with the turning on of Christmas lights in the pedestrian part of Yliopistonkatu a week before Advent. The market at the Old Great Square opens, department stores and many shops have nice Christmas displays in their windows, Christmas music is played, Charity bazaars in many schools, parish halls, etc. Usually the first snow has come and melt away, and there will probably again be snow several times during Advent. With good luck the snow will stay. White Christmases are quite common, but there is no guarantee.

The lights on the Christmas tree of the cathedral are turned on the Saturday a week before Advent begins (programme usually begins at 17:00). The big spruce arrives and is risen the preceding Wednesday at about 13:00–14:00, perhaps worth watching if you are around. A "light path" in the form of light installations for a few days (2023: 6–9 Dec) get many people out on a walk along the river in a happy mood.

Most every choir gives some kind of Christmas concert in or immediately before Advent. Among the most ambitious are the ones by the student choirs of Åbo Akademi (BD and Flora) and Akademiska Orkestern, in the cathedral on Friday and Saturday leading to Advent (classical music from the 16th century to world premières, including some beloved Christmas songs); most seats are sold out days before, but a few are often left to be got at the door an hour before the concerts. The Church arranges sing-alongs with collect to their development aid.

Many museums, also some that otherwise are closed in winter, have displays or events related to the season; table settings and food of Christmas in different times and social classes are shown at the castle, the Qwensel house and the handicraft museum. Handicraft workshops (such as of making candles) are arranged at the Adventure park and Kurala. There are also events at other institutions, such as candle light swimming at Impivaara and Petrelius.

Independence Day, December 6th, is celebrated by the philharmonic orchestra by two free day concerts (tickets are distributed a few weeks in advance). The latter, starting 15:00, can be seen on screens at the Old Great Square. There are services in the churches (mostly at 10:00). Charity bazaars. The students have a torch parade to the war graves (start 18:00). People light candles in their windows (originally a silent protest against Russian oppression), which makes for a nice evening stroll. A few associations arrange balls, the one of Turku folk dancers (Rytky) is open for the public, with a dance course in the preceding weeks.

On December 13th, Lucia is crowned in the morning, blessed in the cathedral in the evening (be early if you want a seat), and then performing in the Hansa shopping centre. Programme for the rest of the season is changed yearly but generally Lucia and her company will be seen on many occasions, mostly in retirement homes and the like, but also e.g. at the Christmas market.

The ecumenical plea for peace is made in the cathedral in Advent (2023: 14 Dec), to be broadcast on television before noon on 24 December. The audience should arrive at latest 17:40, the event starts at 18:00.

Christmas peace is declared at noon of Christmas Eve in the Old Great Square, with thousands of spectators (programme starts 11:30; if you are early you can get glögg, gingerbread and words for the national anthem, have some coins for the servings). The Swedish service in the cathedral afterwards welcomes also the international audience. Most people are going to spend the evening and the Christmas Day with their family; the city will mostly close. Bus traffic in town continues to 20:00 and is the suspended for Christmas Day. The main library is open 11:00–18:00 on Christmas Eve, with also some programme. Lights on the graves. Services in the churches. Some restaurants are open also in Christmas, but booking a table may be necessary. The cruise ferries may have cruises instead of route traffic.

Christmas Market at the Old Great Square
  • 53 Christmas Market at the Old Great Square, Old Great Square. Four weekends before Christmas (the last one the 3rd Sunday of Advent), 11:00–17:00. The Old Great Square fills with high quality handicrafts, Christmas delicacies and various music, theatre and circus performances. And of course, there’s also Santa Claus and his family! In addition, you can enjoy the lovely winter weather with a cup of warm glögg or a bowl of Christmas porridge (in the Brinkkala yard), find something nice at the Christmas ornaments’ exchange point, get warm and escape the hustle and bustle to an indoors café (e.g. upstairs in the Brinkkala house) or to the Christmas concerts of the Old Town Hall.
  • 54 Christmas Market at Kauppatori (Joulutori), Kauppatori. 25 Nov–23 Dec, M–F 12:00–19:00, Sa 10:00–16:00, Su 12:00–16:00. Much smaller market, but open daily.

Music festivals edit

Ruisrock atmosphere in 2008
M. A. Numminen performs at DBTL in 2006.

There is some music festival in Turku nearly every weekend in summer (all back after the pandemic). Here some, in more or less chronological order:

  • 55 Turku Jazz (mainly in Logomo). Beginning of March; 2024: 1–10 March. Second oldest jazz festival in Finland. Performers include leading Finnish jazz musicians and special international guests. Concerts are held in restaurants and entertainment venues throughout the city of Turku.  
  • Turku Modern, . Annually, 2023: 26–27 May. Turku Modern, the festival for electronic music, storms Turku clubs and galleries annual in July. It brings forward top foreign artists and accomplished domestic performers focusing on electronic and dance music. It takes place in central Turku on the banks of the river Aura in clubs, bars, stages and especially the charming river boats.  
  • 56 Ruisrock (Kansanpuisto, Ruissalo), +358 44-966-1384, . Beginning of July, in 2023: 7–9 July. Ruisrock, founded in 1970, is the second oldest rock festival in Europe, and the oldest still going in the Nordic countries and Finland. During the three-day event fans are offered international names, domestic stars and the hottest new acts. Ruisrock attracts almost 100,000 visitors every year from Finland and abroad and it is the biggest music festival in Turku. The festival has attracted world-famous artists throughout its lifetime including such names as Nirvana, Björk, The Cure, Bob Dylan, Bon Jovi, Ozzy Osbourne, Pet Shop Boys, Oasis, Aerosmith and Rammstein. The festival takes place in the Ruissalo Island, right next to central Turku. The area where the festival takes place is divided into two sections, Niittyalue ("meadow section") and Ranta-alue ("beach section"). Introduction video for the festival can be seen in YouTube. Festival site can be reached with the festival bus or by bike from Turku city centre. The festival buses run from Turku city centre to the festival bus station. There is a clearly marked walking route of about 2 km (about 1.2 miles) between the festival bus station and the festival site. Three-day ticket €175, 2 days €155, 1 day €99; children under 7 years free with a paying adult; people over 70 free.    
  • 57 Down by the Laituri (DBTL) (Turku centre). End of July. Finland´s oldest and most legendary city festival, DBTL was sparked into life in the late 1980s by the rock-club of the Student Union of the Turku University. Its popularity spread like a blaze and nowadays it attracts around 70,000 visitors. Mostly pop and rock. €55–165.    
  • 58 Aura Fest. Annually in early August, 2023: 11–12 Aug. €90–200.  
  • 59 Turku Music Festival (Turun musiikkijuhlat) (around Turku), +358 2 262-0812, . Annually in August, 2023: 10–24 Aug. Large orchestral concerts, chamber music, recitals, jazz and outdoor events as well as experiences for the whole family. A variety of venues, both modern and historical, are imaginatively used. Turku Music Festival is the oldest continuously running festival in Finland, since 1960.    
  • 60 Seikkisrock (Turku Adventure Park, Kupittaa). Annually, 2023: 18–19 Sep. A two-day festival, organized in early June since 1999, offers a wonderful entertainment for children of all ages and childlike persons. Over the years, numerous leading children´s music artists and special guests have had performances at Seikkisrock. The festival's main focus is on music, but there are also crafts and art workshops, plays, circus, magicians and dancers – not forgetting the bouncy castle. Non-governmental organizations are also involved in the event; they are presented to children in their own ”World village” with the themes of tolerance and sustainable development. The Adventure Park offers verdant, comfortable and stimulating environment for the Seikkisrock. Performances that take place at two stages and smaller shows throughout the area guarantee great and memorable festival experience.  

Expos edit

Turku Hall, next to the Turku Fair and Congress Center, hosts number of big concerts and hockey tournaments.

There's a great number of expos and fairs held in Turku annually. Most of the fairs take place outside the summer season in autumn and spring. Large part of these fairs take place in the 61 Turku Fair and Congress Center, which is a diverse setting for fairs, meetings, congresses and grand public events.

  • Turku Fine Art and Antique Fair (Annually end of March, 18 to 19 March in 2017), Turku Fair and Congress Center, Messukentänkatu 9-13. Turku Fine Art and Antiques Fair is a premier trade event where a vast array of antiques and art are exhibited. More than 10,000 people visit the fair annually and witness how world renowned artists and antique collectors gather in this exhibition and showcase their art and antique collections.
  • Turku International Book Fair (Beginning of October, 5-7 October in 2018), Turku Fair and Congress Center, Messukentänkatu 9-13. The Turku International Book Fair is Finland’s oldest book fair. The Turku Fair and Congress Center hosts the annual event, which brings together visitors, program creators and exhibitors from all over Finland and abroad. The Turku Book Fair garners an abundance of praise and publicity thanks to its solid reputation, long history and cozy atmosphere. The mingling of visitors and exhibitors enables spontaneous encounters between authors and readers. The fair plays host to a variety of events, large and small. The first Turku Book Fair was held in 1990, and in 2012 an all-time record was set, with 25,000 people attending the fair. Each year, the Turku Book Fair selects one country as the special focus, in addition to a Finnish-focused theme.
  • Turku Food and Wine Fair (Beginning of October, 5-7 October in 2018), Turku Fair and Congress Center, Messukentänkatu 9-13. Arranged at the same time as the Turku International Book Fair. The Turku Food and Wine Fair is one of autumn’s highlights in the city. In October, thousands of food, wine and culture enthusiasts will gather at the Turku Fair and Congress Centre to find new products and services, experience new tastes, learn and shop.

Sport events edit

Paavo Nurmi Stadium
  • Watch football at FC Inter Turku. They play soccer in Veikkausliiga, the top tier in Finland. Their home ground is Veritas Stadium, capacity 9400, in Kupitaa district east of town centre. They share it with Turun Palloseura or TPS, who yo-yo between the top and second tiers.
  • 62 Paavo Nurmi Games, +358 2 431-0812, . June, 11 June in 2019. The first Paavo Nurmi Games was arranged in 1957 as a birthday present to Nurmi on his 60th birthday. During his career Nurmi took 9 Olympic Gold medals and was among the first athletes to be nominated in the IAAF Hall of Fame. The tradition has gone on ever since and the event is held every year at the Paavo Nurmi Stadium named after the legendary runner. Now a track & field classic, the Turku Paavo Nurmi Games are part of the EA Premium Permit circuit.
  • Paavo Nurmi Marathon, Around central Turku and Ruissalo island, +358 2 431-0811, . 17 august in 2019, 12:00–. Paavo Nurmi was a Finnish runner who achieved 9 gold and 3 silver medals in the Olympic games during his career. He was born in Turku and is celebrated by a number of sporting events every year. One of the highlights is Paavo Nurmi Marathon, which is one of the leading running events in Finland. One can choose to participate in the full marathon, half marathon or a 10-km races. The total number of participants has been around 3500 runners annually. The beautiful route of the marathon showcases the most attractive sides of Turku from the shores of the river Aura to Ruissalo Island and back. Right after the start the runners pass by the famous Paavo Nurmi statue, sculpted by Turku born sculptor Wäinö Aaltonen.
  • Challenge Turku, Swim, bike and run, Around central Turku and Ruissalo island, . 10 to 11 August 2019. Want to provide yourself with a new kind of challenge? The triathlon is ideal for those looking for variation, because it includes swimming, cycling and running.
  • FightBack Run. Saturday in beginning of September. No-one in Finland is unaware of Pekka Hyysalo and his Fight Back charity project. Hyysalo, a young man from Turku, had his promising career as freestyle skier cut short after a serious head injury in 2010. Hyysalo fought his way from the hospital bed to get back on his feet, teaching his body to do everything from scratch, from eating to tying his shoelaces. In September 2014 he ran for the first time in the FightBack Run. The first FightBack Run had a distance of 2.6 km and the plan was to double the distance every year, for a full marathon in 2019. Now there is a 2.7 km circle route in the centre, along the river, to be run or walked as many times as you can during 2 hr. There is also a 300-m route for the mobility impaired. Participants: €25, €0 for children < 10 years and the accessible route; after-run dinner €65.
  • Ruissalo races. End of September, 21 September in 2019. The traditional Ruissalo races are organized on the end of September in the beautiful island of Ruissalo next to central Turku. The distances to choose from are half-marathon called "Ruisrääkki" and 10-km run "Ruisriikki".

Learn edit

Academy House used to be the main building of the Turku Academy, but nowadays it houses the Turku Court of Appeal.

Turku has a long academic history: Queen Christina of Sweden founded the first university of Finland in Turku in 1640. At that point it was only Sweden's third university following Uppsala University and the Academia Gustaviana in Tartu. Nowadays Turku is still a major academic town in Finland and because of this the city is bustling with students. Almost 20 per cent of Turku residents are students and many of them are exchange students or otherwise from abroad. The universities have many courses in English and some study programs targeted at exchange students, often in cooperation between the universities. Both universities are legal deposit repositories, which means they have everything of value printed in Finland since the 1920s, usually available at least for reading in both or either, if requested a day or a few in advance.

Students can either rent on the private market or apply for a room or flat for students through the Student Village Foundation or, students at ÅAU, from its student union. Rents for the student rooms and flats are mostly in the range of €225–1,000/month, including heating, water, internet etc., and access to some communal facilities. Exchange student can borrow a set of basic utensils from the student unions.

  • 3 University of Turku (Turun yliopisto), +358 2 333-51. The University of Turku is the second largest university in Finland only behind the University of Helsinki. It houses over 20,000 students in seven faculties: Humanities, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Medicine, Law, Social Sciences, Education and Economics. It offers lectures for children and has an open university for anyone to role in. Turku Open University offers several courses also in English.    
  • 4 Åbo Akademi University (Åbo Akademi), +358 2 215-31, . Åbo Akademi is the only Swedish-language university in Finland. It is at the forefront of research in such areas as biosciences, computer science, democracy, human rights, material sciences, process chemistry and psychology. It houses around 6,000 students, of which 1/7 are from abroad, and has special collections and museums for visitors to enjoy. Many courses are in English and there are several exchange programs. ÅA also has an open university and is partner of Hangö sommaruni, together with i.a. Novia.    
  • 5 Turku University of Applied Sciences (Turun Ammattikorkeakoulu), +358 2 330-000, . TUAS, one of the leading universities of applied sciences in Finland, hosts 9,500 students studying for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Its academies and faculties range from economics to art, technology, environment and healthcare. It also offers three English taught Bachelor's and two Master’s programmes as well as open studies for anyone willing to join.    
  • 6 Novia University of Applied Sciences (Novia), Henrikinkatu 7, +358 6 328 5000, . Instruction in Swedish, with some courses and modules offered in English. Novia's campus in Turku offers courses in e.g. tourism, social services, design and maritime management.
  • 7 Turku City Library (Turun kaupunginkirjasto, Åbo stadsbibliotek), Linnankatu 2 (between Kauppatori and the cathedral), +358 2 262-0624, . M–F 09:00–20:00, Sa Su11:00–17::00. Libraries could be boring in other cities, but not in Turku. Turku City Library is open every day and most city residents have taken to it as their second living room. The old and the architecturally distinguished new building also offer facilities for many events and exhibitions. Weekly sing-alongs and dances in the yard in summer. It is a great place to just chill, check e-mail (free Wi-Fi; "15 min" computers available without library card), charge one's phone (USB-C/-mini/Iphone), read a newspaper (quite some foreign ones available), have a coffee or lunch at the inner courtyard's restaurant (or own snacks at a specific table by the newspapers) or enjoy a book from the wide selection of foreign language literature. Free.    

Buy edit

Yliopistonkatu next to the Market Square is a pedestrian zone; there are a variety of services in it

There are plenty of opportunities to part with your cash in Turku. The city centre is full of major retail and independent shops. Shopping in Turku is generally more affordable than in Helsinki, but, as with the rest of Finland, it is by no means cheap by international standards. The numerous second-hand and antique stores represent a unique shopping alternative.

If arriving in the night, there are grocery stores that are open 24 hr daily (except perhaps some holidays), including Citymarket Kupittaa and some K-market and Sale stores (in or near the centre). Some more grocery stores are open to 23:00 or 24:00, most close 21:00 or 22:00, often earlier in the weekend.

Money edit

Getting cash is rarely a problem, as ATM's ("Otto") are common around the centre and they can be operated with international credit and debit cards (Visa, Visa Electron, MasterCard, Maestro). Currencies other than the euro are generally not accepted, but at least the Swedish krona is accepted on the ferries from Sweden, and the Stockmann department store accepts the krona, dollars and pounds. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, but know your PIN and be prepared to show your passport or ID card. Some stalls at Kauppatori accept only cash, and you may be out of luck with cards also at some small-business stalls at temporary markets.

Most bank offices do not handle money exchange.

  • 3 Forex Bank, Eerikinkatu 13 (by Kauppatori), +358 2 251-8620. M–F 10:00–17:30 Sa 09:30–17:00 Su closed. The most convenient place to change currencies in most situations, unless you can use ATMs. However, rates can be bad even for big currencies.

As a rule, tipping is never necessary, although appreciated by some service personnel (see Finland#Tipping). Cloakrooms (narikka) in nightclubs, theatres and better restaurants often have non-negotiable fees (usually clearly signposted, €2 is standard), and – in the few hotels that employ them – hotel porters will expect around the same per bag.

Traditional shopping edit

Turku Market Hall
  • 4 Market Square (Kauppatori). M–F 07:00–18:00, Sa 07:00–15:00; best in summer before 14:00, when most farmers leave. The centre point of Turku's commercial centre is, without a doubt, the market square, with its market and surrounding shopping centres, department stores and independent shops. The market square itself has been a popular shopping and meeting place and an authentic tourist attraction – locals dominate and many do some of their grocery shopping here. Have a coffee and watch the scene, or buy groceries from the stalls of many local producers (those with just a bench sell their own, those selling from trailers are mostly selling produce of others, although e.g. a few fish stands buy from local fishermen or sell own catch). If you are on a budget, check the units, as no per kg prices are required. In 2018–2022, a parking cave was being built under the square, but the market activity and most bus stops have returned.    
  • 5 Turku Market Hall (Kauppahalli), Eerikinkatu 16 (50 metres from Kauppatori downstream along the Eerikinkatu), +358 2 262-4126. M–F 08:00–18:00, Sa 08:00–16:00. Completed in 1896, the Turku Market Hall brings a delightful atmosphere reminiscent of times gone by. The old and new meet in the corridors. The market hall, which extends the length of an entire block, was designed by architect Gustaf Nyström. There are traditional meat and fish counters, delicatessen and speciality shops, bread, milk and cheese shops as well as restaurants and cafés. Stop by the fish shop S. Wallin, try some reindeer meat from Poronlihan erikoisliike Heinonen or buy some cheese at Juustopuoti. Have a coffee and cake in Aschan Blue Train café or shop for souvenirs at the nostalgic Wanha Turku Kauppa (Old Turku Store). There is also a great lunch court at the market hall, where you can choose to eat either ethnic or domestic food.    

Shopping centres edit

View inside the Hansa Shopping Centre
  • 6 Forum (adjacent to Kauppatori, the block towards the river). Smaller than Hansa, with less mainstream shops. Local design and even second hand.
  • 7 Hansa, Yliopistonkatu 20 (adjacent to Kauppatori, on the downstream side). M–F 07:00–21:00, Sa 07:30–19:30, Su 10:00–19:00. More than 150 shops found under one roof, Turku’s oldest and largest shopping centre with a number of specialist shops, including some nice Finnish design brands, and the classy department store Stockmann. A number of cafés and restaurants.
  • 8 KOP-Kolmio, Aurakatu 8 (adjacent to Kauppatori, across the street from Hansa), +358 2 6516-6680. M–F 10:00–20:00, Sa 10:00–18:00, Su 12:00–16:00. KOP-Kolmio is a smaller shopping centre. It offers mostly fashion stores and a few cosy cafés. Also the Föli customer service, combined with Turku social services etc. The building is mostly home to companies, on the upper floors of the building, including the local branch of Yleisradio (YLE), Finland's national broadcast company.
  • 9 Mylly, Myllynkatu 1–99 (in Raisio, 10 min drive from Turku centre; 30–40 min by bus line 300). M–F 10:00–21:00, Sa 09:00–18:00, Su 12:00–18:00. A hundred shops, cafés and restaurants. Free play area and childcare points. Consistent opening hours across all stores (except Alko and office services). Plenty of parking.
  • 10 Skanssi, Skanssinkatu 10 (4 km from the city centre, 20 minutes by bus line 9 towards Vaala), +358 40-195-3742. M–F 08:00–21:00, Sa 08:00–18:00, Su 12:00–18:00. Ninety special stores, a hypermarket, a wide variety of cafés and restaurants, an indoor playground, dog sitting service and underground parking.

Department stores edit

The department store Stockmann in central Turku
  • 11 Stockmann (in the Hansa shopping centre). M–F 09:00–20:00, Sa 09:00–19:00, Su 11:00–18:00. Regarded a bit upmarket, Stockmann has products from top fashion to electronics, including Finnish design brands like Arabia, Iittala, Marimekko and Aarikka. There is also a visitor centre which provides advice and help on tax-free purchases and buying tickets to events and venues. Opposite to the department store in the shopping centre is the bookshop Akateeminen Kirjakauppa, formerly part of Stockmann like the excellent supermarket in the basement. There is also a café with great lunch.
  • 12 Wiklund, Eerikinkatu 11 (by Kauppatori), +358 10-76-5020. M–F 08:00–21:00, Sa 09:00–20:00, Su 11:00-18:00. Wiklund offers women's and men's fashion, beauty, home and children, outdoor activities and exercise, as well as entertainment. Department store services are complemented by the Café Wiklund, a hair salon, Alko wine and alcohol store, pharmacy, shoemaker and Eurokangas fabric store.

Design edit

This design bag asks in Swedish "Varför Paris, vi har ju Åbo" (Why Paris, when we have Turku)

National brands, such as Finlayson, Iittala and Marimekko, are found in most department stores, although they also have their own shops. Marimekko has shops in the shopping centres of Hansa, Mylly and Skanssi.

  • 13 Baobab Kids and lifestyle, Yliopistonkatu 11, . M–F 10:00–17:00, Sa 10:00–15:00. Baobab Kids & lifestyle is a shop aimed for families with children. Their products range from kids clothing from 56cm up to 128cm, a selection of pregnancy clothing, nostalgic wooden toys, retro bags and backpacks, as well as some lovely gifts.
  • 14 Casagrande, Linnankatu 9-11 (at Forum Kortteli), +358 2 231 4693, . M–F 10:00–18:00, Sa 10:00–16:00. A toy store with a comprehensive selection, selling everything from traditional toys to puzzles, craft tools and fun children's costumes. Founded in 1912 by the Italian-born Antonio Casagrande, the family business is today one of the oldest toy stores in the country.
  • 15 Idea Estradi, Humalistonkatu 4. M–F 10:00–17:00, Sa 11:00–14:00. Idea Estradi sells only Finnish handmade products: interior decoration, business gift, souvenirs, jewellery, bags, candles, ceramics and glass products, paintings, soft toys, textiles, towels, cards, and everything else you can think of to need from a handicrafts shop.
  • 16 Joutomaa, Kellonsoittajankatu 8 (between the cathedral and Kupittaa), +358 50-362-8003. Tu–F 11:00–17:00. Joutomaa (literally meaning Wasteland) is a small and funny gift shop, which is full of lovely hand-made treasures for yourself or for a friend. Most of the design products are made by the owner Reetta Isotupa-Siltanen, who is specially famous for her cards and prints, which combine old gloss photos which she has found and prints made by herself. She also has a great online store.
  • 17 Niinmun Design, Eerikinkatu 13 (by Hansa), +358 40-756-1567, . M–F 10:00–18:00 Sa 10:00–16:00 Su 12:00–16:00. Women's clothing and accessories, timeless design inspired by the archipelago. The clothes are mostly sewn in Finland, most fabrics woven in Europe.
  • 18 Punainen Norsu (Red Elephant), Forum shopping centre, +358 44-501-1510, . M–F 11:00–18:00, Sa 11:00–15:00. Punainen Norsu (Red Elephant) is a children's clothing line originating from Turku. All the colourful and graphic clothes are made mostly from recycled materials.
  • 19 Sylvi Salonen, Linnankatu 14 (one block from Kauppatori, near the back entrance of the Qwensel house), +358 20-766-0830, . This boutique is in an old stall building of the 1880s in central Turku. It was founded in 1928 by Sylvi Salonen, who started selling her own embroidery designs. Nowadays Sylvi Salonen still offers a wide selection of embroidery and handwork accessories but also high quality gifts and trendy home décor items, Finnish handicrafts, Home décor and Scandinavian design. Also a versatile range of tableware accessories, candles and lanterns.
  • 20 Televisio Lifestyle Store, Hämeenkatu 32, +358 2 231-0400, . Tu-F 11:00–19:00, Sa 11:00–16:00. Near the east end of the Aura Bridge, in a secluded courtyard, you'll find a personal boutique offering a wide selection of clothes, shoes, bags, hats, jewellery, accessories and little bit of art as well. Everything in store is from young Finnish and Nordic designers.

Vintage edit

  • 21 VintagEija`s, Maariankatu 10 (a few blocks from the Market Square), +358 50-574-6034, . Tu–F 12:00–18:00, Sa 11:00–14:00. VintagEija's sells gift, vintage wear and accessories, specializing in American style vintage. There is a rockabilly and burlesque atmosphere in this small boutique, with clothing from 1940s, 50s and 60s. In addition they sell new garment which have been made in the style of vintage for both men and women.
  • 22 Boutique Minne, Kaskenkatu 2, +358 50-516-6124, . W–F 11:00–17:30. Boutique Minne, in the Kaskenmäki Hill in central Turku, is a small boutique and sewing workshop selling and making women's vintage clothing. Minne's range includes lovely vintage dresses and new production of bridal and formal wear for women. You'll also find new and old accessories, jewellery, local arts and crafts, and unique design.

Record stores edit

  • 23 8raita, Yliopistonkatu 11, . M–F 10:00–19:00, Sa 10:00–17:00. 8raita sells all kinds of records ranging from second-hand CDs and LPs to music DVDs and other products. It also has a good online-store and staff that can give you great recommendations.
  • 24 Asema, Yliopistonkatu 32, . Small independent store that sells second-hand and new LPs. Music concentrates more on hiphop, soul, funk, jazz, reggae, punk and electronic. They also sell services ranging from film editing to lighting design.
  • 25 Iki-Pop, Linnankatu 7, . This personal tiny record store, opposite the Main City Library, sells second-hand CDs and LPs, but the main focus is on vinyl. This is a real haven for those who like to dig through loads of old goodies and find the one you've been looking everywhere.

Eat edit

Turku and other parts of Finland Proper are home to the more western influenced Finnish cuisine, which has features, especially from Sweden, Denmark and Germany. The long traditions of farming and fishing in the area have contributed to the local food culture. Fish, especially herring – the regional fish of Finland Proper – has been at the heart of the region's culinary traditions for centuries. It is eaten all year round salted, fried, grilled and smoked. In addition, perch, whitefish and pike are often used. You must also remember to try the famous raisin sausage, a regional speciality which you can buy for example from the Market Hall. Another regional speciality is the sweet malt bread from the archipelago: skärgårdslimpa. As a dessert enjoy a good cup of coffee together with pulla (cinnamon roll) or Piispanmunkki ("Bishops Doughnut"), as people here call the traditional North German pastry Berliner.

Lunch offers, meals at kebab-pizzerias and fast food meals (including drinks and chips) usually cost €8.50–12.50. Simpler proper restaurant meals of some simple pasta, a soup or a salad, with water or a soft drink, are usually around €10–20. For meals with a high-grade steak and good wine, expect to pay at least €30–60. Proper restaurants are often open until 22:00, with the kitchen closing at 21:00. Some restaurants keep the bar open until later in the night. Fast food chains and some kebab-pizzerias, grills and other such places are open later at night, some as late as 03:00–05:00.

Lunch and brunch edit

Summer terrace at the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova courtyard.
The lunch café Kåren

Most restaurants have offers of €8.50–12.50 at lunch time, mostly at least weekdays 11:00–14:00. There are also lunch restaurants or cafés serving meals only at lunch time, including student cafés and lunch restaurants for big workplaces, often having a very affordable price also for outsiders. For the student cafés some timing may be needed to avoid long queues (don't try them 11:30–12:30). A few student restaurants serve cheap lunch also later or in the weekend. The department stores Wiklund and Stockman have family friendly cafés that can come handy.

  • 1 Amica Mäntymäki, Luolavuorentie 2 (K-floor), +358 40-482-8556, . M–F 10:30–13:30. The staff restaurant at the main health station, which is also open to outsiders. €10.15, dessert €1.00.
  • 2 Elvina Café, Yliopistonkatu 15 (near Kauppatori), +358 2 536-8502. M–F 09:00–18:00, Sa 11:00–15:00. In a 1920s building, seeking an atmosphere of that time. Lunch and café products.
  • 3 Fontana Café, Aurakatu 1 (opposite the city hall and tourist office near Aura bridge). M–Th 10:00–22:00, F 10:00–23:00, Sa 11:00–00:00, Su 12:00–20:00 (brunch served 12:00–16:00). Fresh products from own bakery. Bar opens in the evening. Popular brunch in weekends.
  • 4 Honkapirtti, Albert Ravilan raitti (Ruissalo island), +358 44-756-7922, . M–F 11:00–17:00, Sa Su 10:00–17:00. East Karelian-style large cabin, since decades a stopping point for people enjoying the nature on the island. Unpretentious lunch consisting of traditional pea soup and delicious pancakes. Its coffee table also has a range of traditional delicacies, cakes and pies.
  • 5 Kaarea TYKS U restaurant, Kiinamyllynkatu 4, +358 20 764 9850, . M–F 10:30–-13:30. Staff restaurant in the U building of Turku University Hospital, also open to outsiders. Sale of surplus food after lunch 13:30–13:40. €7.55–€9.15.
  • 6 PullaPuoti, Puistokatu 3, +358 2 236-2121. M–F 08:00–17:00. Close to the Turku Police Station and Hostel Turku. Pastries, snack foods, coffee and filled sandwiches and cakes. For lunch you can choose a soup, salad, pan pizza or pasta. Assortment of gluten-free products.
  • 7 Teboil Herkku, Rautatehtaankatu 1, +358 10 583 9900, . M-F 10:30-16:00, Sa 11:00-16:00. Home cooking styled lunch and dessert. €10.70.
  • Unica Restaurants, Rehtoripellonkatu 4, +358 2 232-5444. Unica, owned by the Student Union of the University of Turku, has several student restaurants around the campus area behind Turku Cathedral. Outsiders: €9.
    • 8 Assarin ullakko and Brygge, Rehtorinpellonkatu 3 (below the university hill on the Kupittaa side; own entrances, upstairs). M–F 10:30–20:00 Sa 10:30–18:00 Su 12:00–16:00; Brygge bar W–Th 18:00–21:00 F 18:00–22:00 Sa 16:00–22:00. In the student union's house.
  • ÅAS student cafés (Gadolinia Kb), Hämeenkatu 22, +358 2 215-3703, . Cafés of the student union of ÅA. Decent everyday food. Lunch for outsiders: €8.50.
    • 9 Arken, Fabriksgatan 2 (near Piispankatu on a cross street, in the yard). M–Th 08:00–15.30 F 08:00–15:00; lunch 11:00–15:00, F 11:00–14:30; open also in summer. In the main Humanities building of ÅA, a renovated former iron manufacture. The cuisine has a tad more foreign influences than at most of the student restaurants.
    • 10 Aurum, Henriksgatan 2 (ground floor, main entrance, to the right). M–Th 07:30–18:00 F 07:30–14:30 Sa 12:00–15:00; lunch M–Th 10:30–18:00 F 10:30–14.30 Sa 12:00–15:00. In a big 2020s university building, shared between ÅA and TY, with science and technology.
    • 11 Kåren, Tavastgatan 22 (across Hämeenkatu from the Old Great Square quartier; main entrance, upstairs). 11:00–14:00. The student union's house, by famous architect Erik Bryggman, with office, banquet hall and student housing in addition to the lunch restaurant, which usually is quiet except at noon – which allows a slightly more home-made touch, e.g. the bread is often their own. The house is also an event venue, and there is a private bar and grill restaurant on the ground floor: Suntti.

Budget edit

Hesburger originates in Turku, and is the largest hamburger restaurant chain in Finland.

For lunch, see #Lunch and brunch above.

Pizzerias are frequently cheap kebab-pizzerias, offering kebab, falafel and pizza. There are a lot of these in the centre, and eateries in the suburbs are often this kind. Prices are comparable to the lunch offers of other restaurants; their own lunch offers are usually limited to including coffee or offering more options at their lower prices. Unfortunately, the restaurants offering the finest kebabs are in the suburbs. Kotipizza is a slightly more expensive non-immigrant chain, primarily for take-away. There are also pizza restaurants in the mid-range or splurge categories, offering quite another experience.

Hesburger is the dominant hamburger chain in Finland, leaving McDonald's and Burger King as marginal players, and it is especially popular in Turku, where it was founded and still is based. It is almost hard not to pass one when walking around the city centre; you'll find four Hesburgers just around the Kauppatori area. The company is still run by the family that started it in the 1960s. And ask any of the locals: Hesburger burgers really do taste better! If you are in a hurry you can order the food through their mobile app.

There are still some grill kiosks, for a smaller quick meal, primarily sausage, hot dog, makkaraperunat, lihapiirakka, or hamburger.

Beef Kung Po at restaurant Kiinanmuuri
  • Kiinanmuuri (Great Wall of China), . Kiinanmuuri is one of the best Chinese restaurants in Turku. Even though it's usually crowded around noon, decorations are outdated and it seems a bit suspicious, their food is superb. All the ingredients are very fresh and the portions are usually huge. Lunchtime service is really fast. If you're extra hungry or wish to survive a couple of days on one portion, try the take away to get even larger portions.
    • 12 Sirkkalankatu 27, +358 2 233-5968. Lunch 11:00–15:00.
    • 13 Vähä-Hämeenkatu 1, +358 2 250-2888. M–Th 10:30–21:00 F 10:30–22:00 Sa 12:00–22:00 Su 12:00–21:00; lunch M–F 10:30–16:00 Sa 12:00–17:00. Lunch buffet €11.50.
  • 14 Kortteliravintola Kerttu (Quarter Restaurant Kerttu), Läntinen pitkäkatu 35 (near the railway station), +358 2 250-6990. M–Th 10:30–23:00, F 10:30–00:00, Sa 12:00–00:00. Kerttu is a popular quarter restaurant with a reasonably priced menu for both omni- and herbivores. Kerttu is very popular amongst students, and there is even a laundromat in the restaurant for visitors to use, while they are enjoying their meals. On weekends they have a special hamburger buffet, that is very popular among locals. Staff is very friendly and welcoming.
    • 15 Rantakerttu, Läntinen rantakatu 55 (close to the Föri ferry), +358 2 258-8000. M 11:00-15:00, Tu–Th 11:00–22:00, F 11:00–23:00, Sa 12:00–23:00, Su 12:00–18:00. Kortteliravintola Kerttu's sister restaurant.
  • 16 Latte Café and Gourmand, Eerikinkatu 37, +358 449-756-699. M–F 10:00–17:00, Sa–Su during events. Sweet little café, which also serves very inexpensive lunch. Huge list of different coffees from every corner of the earth (to be drank or bought). Menu includes toasts, paninis, salads, and bagels. No need to go to a restaurant because of hunger because the sizes of these foods are big. Atmosphere is very relaxing thanks to jazz and Latin sounds and warm colours. If you feel like you want more privacy, you can go to the back room and sit on the cosy couch. And during summer you can also sit outside.
  • 17 Nummis, Vanha Hämeentie 19, +358 2 250-6144. 10:00–22:00. A pizza and kebab restaurant in the district of Nummi. Serves quite good pizzas and kebabs, but don't expect anything special. €10–15.
  • 18 Rax Buffet, Aurakatu 12, +358 20-766-4911. M–Th 11:00–20:00, F 11:00–21:00, Sa 11:00–19:00, Su 12:00–19:00. Chain. Offers an all-you-can-eat style buffet that includes pizza, barbecue food, salads, ice cream and soft-drinks. Good option if you feel like really filling your stomach for a long time inexpensively. Lunch €12, off lunch hours €14, weekends €16; children 3–6 years €5, 7–11 years €9.
  • 19 Taco Nito, Aurakatu 3, +358 40-653-3112. Owned by Mexican brothers, Taco Nito serves simple but very tasty finger food. Corn, meat, salsa, beans, chili and avocado are cornerstones of the food. Restaurant has continuously had good feedback from customers and has relatively low prices. Around €10.
  • 20 Yasukon Keittiö (Yasuko's Kitchen), Yliopistonkatu 26 C (second floor), +358 440-335-507, . Yasuko's kitchen is a tiny Japanese restaurant that serves everyday home cooked Japanese meals, and some sushi and other more common dishes. Everything is well-prepared and the atmosphere in the restaurant is very authentic. Yasuko's seats less than 20 people, but more than 10 customers mean you might have to wait for your food, but it's worth it.

Mid-range edit

Meal at restaurant Harald in Turku.
  • 21 Delhi Darbar, Hämeenkatu 8, +358 2 233-3988, . M–Th 10:30–22:00, F 10:30–23:00, Sa 12:00–23:00, Su 12:00–22:00. Excellent and authentic Indian food. Short walk from the Cathedral.
  • 22 Kado Sushi, Inside the Market Hall, Eerikinkatu 16, . M–F 11:00–18:00, Sa 11:00–16:00. Kado sushi combines the wholesome delicacies with aesthetic pleasures, all prepared using fresh ingredients. Japanese cuisine.
  • 23 Kobe sushi, Martinkatu 3 (20 minute walk from city centre or by bus line 9), +358 44 9877251. Tu–F 11:00-21:00, Sa Su 12:00–21:00. Authentic Japanese food. Buffet €13.
  • 24 Pinella, Vanha Suurtori 2, +358 50-554-3733, . M–Th 11:00–20:30, F 11:00–22:00, Sa 12:00–22:00, Su 12:00–20:00. Pinella is a landmark building on the river. It is now a Via Tribunali chain pizzeria, serving Neapolitan-style pizzas. €15–20, lunch €12.50.
  • 25 Pippurimylly (Pepper Mill), Stålarminkatu 2 (behind the Sports Park), +358 2 277-3350. M–F 11:00–23:00, Sa 12:00–23:00, Su 12:00–21:00, kitchen closes 1 hour before closing time. Pippurimylly (Pepper Mill) is a traditional family-owned restaurant that has served locals for decades, and little has changed – nostalgia! It uses Finnish products and is well known for its steaks.
  • 26 Sergio's, Läntinen Rantakatu 27, +358 20-769-8585, . M–F 16:00–23:00, Sa 13:00–23:00. Authentic Italian restaurant in a 1787 wooden house by the river. Most of the ingredients are imported from Italy. Also, as a rule, the staff is Italian, but the service is of course also in Finnish and English. Pizzas, pasta, fish, meat, risottos, vegetarian dishes and Italian desserts. Good wine selection as well.
  • 27 Trattoria Romana, Hämeenkatu 9, +358 2 251-9554. A la carte Tu–F 14:00–23:00, Sa 13:00–23:00, Su 13:00–20:00 (kitchen closes 1 hr earlier); lunch Tu–F 11:00–14:30. Authentic Italian trattoria, owned and run by Italians. Excellent value for money. Often crowded. Lunch €13.
  • 28 Viking Restaurant Harald (Viikinkiravintola Harald), Aurakatu 3 (between Kauppatori and Auransilta bridge), +358 44-766-8204, . M 12:00–23:00 Th–F 12:00–24:00, Sa 12:00–01:00, Su 15:00–22:00. Quasi-authentic with furs on the walls and rustic furniture, with some humour. Good food with surprising combinations, such as jam or berries with the main courses. Perhaps the way the Vikings had it, but never mind if not. Toilets called Harald (gents) and Helga (ladies). €18–50, children €9–12; lunch from €12.50.

Splurge edit

Most of the restaurants, cafés and bars have outdoor terraces during the summer season.

The biggest concentration of top restaurants is along the river, at the right bank downstream from the cathedral bridge. Others are scattered around, such as Kaskis, which got a Michelin star in 2022.

  • 29 E. Ekblom, Läntinen Rantakatu 3, +358 2 536-9445, . W Th 17:00–23:00, F Sa 17:00–01:00. Comfortable high quality wine restaurant. Its carefully selected wines offer wide variety with seasonal changes. In a beautiful, respectfully renovated premises on two floors. Kitchen offers sweet and savoury delicacies to accompany the wine, while the summer terrace has great views towards the river.
  • 30 Gustavo, Linnankatu 1 (Vähätori, next to the bridge), +358 46-922-2488, . Th–F 11:00–14:00 and 17:00–22:00, Sa 15:00–22:00. Mediterranean kitchen with a Scandinavian twist. Tip: gather a few Portuguese pinchos with pizza and share with your friends. Do not hesitate to ask anything that surprises you, staff is very kind and helpful. Gustavo also imports wines of its own.
  • 31 Kaskis, Kaskenkatu 6 A, +358 44-723-0200, . Tu–Th 16:00–23:00, F Sa 16:00–00:00, Su M closed. Named after its location on the Kaskenmäki hill, Kaskis was opened in 2014 by three friends. Fine dining influenced especially by Southern European, Scandinavian and Asian kitchens. Michelin star. Try to book your table well in advance, busy times are outsold months before.
  • 32 Mami, Linnankatu 3 (Vähätori), +358 2 231-1111, . Tu–F lunch 11:00–15:00, à la carte 17:00–22:00, Sa à la carte 13:00–22:00, Su M closed. The tiny Mami is considered one of the best restaurants in Turku. It has relaxed service, carefully prepared food and a comfortable and modern environment. The summer terrace offers the most beautiful views. They also serve a great lunch. Lunch €10–25.
  • 33 Restaurant Samppalinna, Itäinen Rantakatu 10, +358 10-764-5391, . Summer only. Restaurant Samppalinna (opened in 1832) is a spectacular wooden villa in the park, with terraces towards the river. For lovers of good food, drink and theatre.
  • 34 Roster, Tuomiokirkonkatu 6 (behind the cathedral as seen from the bridge), +358 9 6128-6850 (chain head office?), . M 11:30–22:00, Tu-F 11:30–23:00, Sa 15:00–23:00, Su 12:00–18:00. Roster offers a place to wine and dine in a nice milieu. Have a drink before dinner in a fancy cocktail bar. And another after the dinner too.
  • 35 Smör, Läntinen Rantakatu 3, +358 2 536-9444, . The menu changes according to the seasons. Midst the milieu of the cellar vaults, Smör serves at lunchtime and in the evening.
  • 36 Suomalainen Pohja, Aurakatu 24, +358 2 251-2000, . M–F 11:00–20:00. Club Restaurant Suomalainen Pohja (Finnish Base) was built in 1980 and was designed by architect Sigvard Eklund. The interiors were designed by an Englishman, Sir George Salmon. The plan has been the basis for an English club activities. Pohja serves traditional fine dining food and atmosphere.
  • 37 Tintå, Läntinen Rantakatu 9 (right bank, by Aurasilta), +358 2 230-7023, . M 11:00–00:00, Tu–Th 11:00–01:00, F 11:00–02:00, Sa 12:00–02:00, Su 12:00–22:00. Tintå is a wine restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere, by the river. It serves more than a hundred different wines, and a short but good menu of gourmet pizzas and tasty lunch on weekdays. Terrace completes the river landscape.
  • 38 Tårget, Linnankatu 3 (Vähätori), +358 400-522-707, . M–Th 11:00–22:00, F 11:00–03:00, Sa 12:00–03:00. Lunch is served M–F 11:00–15:00; those days à la carte is available 16:00–. Italian, international and Scandinavian cuisine. It also houses a great wine-bar, which is one of the hot spots of the city especially during the summer. Trendy but casual bistro-style restaurant.

Gastropub edit

Bartender making a drink in Tiirikkala
  • 39 Hunsvotti, Län­tinen Ran­ta­katu 55 (near Föri), +358 2 258-8000. M–Th 11:00–22:00, F 11:00–23:00, Sa 12:00–23:00, Su 12:00–19:00. A combination of a sports bar and gastropub, since you can order food from the Rantakerttu restaurant to the pub.
  • 40 Löytö, Uudenmaankatu 1 (Near Cathedral), +358 2 233-0203, . M–Th 11:00–00:00, F 11:00–02:00, Sa 14:00–02:00, Su 15:00–22:00. Idyllic cellar underground. lunch €8–12; à la carte €3 (fingerfood) – €32 (steak).
  • 41 Pikku-Torre, Yliopistonkatu 30, +358 2 274-4866. M Tu 11:00–00:00, W Th 11:00–01:00, F 11:00–03:00, Sa 12:00–03:00, Su 12:00–00:00. Pikku-Torre (Little Torre) is combination of restaurant, sports bar and club. It has a good menu full of steaks, burgers and salads. It also serves lunch every day. In the evening it turns more into a bar and nightclub.
  • 42 Pub Niska, Kristiinankatu 1, +358 40-739-1006, . M–Th 11:00–22:00, F 11:00–23:00, Sa 12:00–23:00, Su 12:00–22:00. Pub Niska Turku is a restaurant concept developed by chef Michael Björklund from the Åland Islands. Known for its archipelago pizzas made from fresh, high-quality ingredients that mainly come from Åland. Their list includes filling salads, desserts and a versatile drink selection.
  • 43 Tiirikkala, Linnankatu 3, +358 44-756-6160, . M 19:30:00–00:00, Tu-Th 11:00–22:00, F Sa 11:00–02:00, Su 12:00–22:00. In addition to a good selection of wine and drinks, Tiirikkala offers traditional Danish smørrebrød sandwiches and pastries that are handmade on the site. The interior design of the restaurant is very Scandinavian, reflecting its dishes. It serves Finnish Microbrewery beers from its taps.
  • 44 Vaakahuoneen Paviljonki, Linnankatu 38,, +358 2 515-3300. Pavilion restaurant Vaakahuone is an entertainment complex by the river. It offers live music (for dancing or otherwise), a speciality coffee shop, a pizza restaurant, and an à la carte restaurant. The end of the building also serves as S/S Ukkopekka's ticket office.

Vegetarian edit

  • 45 Kasvis-ravintola, Yliopistonkatu 29 a (in the ground floor of the Betel Church in the yard, door in the short wall, follow the signs), +358 50-326-5122, . M-F 11:00–15:00. Vegetarian restaurant serving a lunch buffet, using mostly organic and locally grown products. Vegans can eat most things offered, just check the whiteboard (vegan alternatives often available when needed) and choose the outs milk for your coffee (but unless you must, try the included teas of the day instead). The dining rooms are bland in spite of the exterior, but the food is good. €7.70–11.50, children 7–12 €5; takeaway €14.50/kg.
  • 46 Kahvila Koroinen, Catilluksentie 2 (by the Koroinen peninsula), +358 40-360-0830 (M–F). Café and bike shop Su 12:00–16:00 (off season); bike repairs Th 14–18. Café with lunch at the former Koroinen farm. The main lunch option usually has a focus on fresh local vegetables, with a nice non-conventional touch. They don't market themself as vegetarian, but most fare seems to be vegan. The association that runs the place, Elävän Kulttuurin Koroinen, furthers handicraft by natural materials, small-scale sustainable agriculture and related themes, which shows. Popular by families. The house is not accessible by wheelchair, but most people sit in the yard anyhow; accessible outhouse toilet 100 m away. Other activities at the site include a ceramics workshop (buy a cuckoo ocarina!) and a shop for recycled bikes (including spares) arranging do-it-yourself bike repairs (oil and pump available around the clock). Also courses and cultural events. Lunch €10, coffee with cake €7.
  • 47 Kuori, Hämeenkatu 8 (200 metres from the cathedral), +358 20-794-0330, . M 11:00–15:00, Tu–Th 11:00–15:00, 17:00–22:00, F 11:00–15:00, 17:00–23:00, Sa 17:00–23:00. Very popular vegetarian restaurant. Tip: try 6 courses tasting menu. Its sister restaurant Roots Kitchen in the market hall is a great place for eating, although it might be crowded during lunch time. Lunch €12.70, tasting menu €56.
  • 48 VG Wok, Rauninaukio (150 m past the railway bridge by the bus station), +358 45-665-1793. M–Th 11:00–18:00, F 11:00–20:00, Sa 12:00–20:00, Su. Really nice vegetarian budget place. Vg Wok has sister restaurants in Tykistönkatu and Arvinkatu. Authentic Asian food. Main dishes €7.50.

Drink edit

The minimum age required to enter bars, pubs and nightclubs differs; for legal reasons, one must be at least 18 to enter places that serve alcohol, but many clubs and bars have higher age limits (mostly 20–24 yrs).

Restaurants and bars have varying closing hours, but generally, the popular nightclubs and discos are open until 04:00. Last call always occurs half an hour before closing time, and is indicated by the bar staff turning the lights off for a few seconds, then turning them back on. They may repeat this a few times in quick succession to make sure the patrons get it. It's generally smart to leave about ten minutes before the last call, to avoid being caught in the rush of everybody trying to leave at once, especially if you are planning to get back to your night spot by a taxi. The times are changing somewhat, as the legislation now allow them to keep open after 04:00, which will probably be the new time of last call.

Night clubs tend to have guarded cloakrooms where you can leave any of your outer garments in exchange for a ticket. Using the coat service is generally considered mandatory even if this is not explicitly pointed out. The cloakroom fee is usually €2 or €2.50. Do not lose the ticket; the bar staff will often not want to hash out ticket confusions during closing time when things are at their most chaotic. If you lose the ticket, you may be told to come back the following day to get your things, expect to be able to prove the jacket is yours by telling the staff the make of the jacket, colour of lining or contents of pockets.

For dancing other than disco, there are a few dance restaurants and cruises, but the main venues for social dancing are the dance pavilions and, off season, a few other locations, where you will find sober and skilful dancers. see Social dancing above. Each of these venues usually have a dance once or twice a week.

Cafés edit

Courtyard of the Qwensel house, with café and the Pharmacy Museum.

There are many cafés in Turku. The ones listed here are not representative, but mostly more odd ones. See also Lunch and brunch above.

  • 1 Café Art, Läntinen Rantakatu 5 (in the centre by the river), +358 40-158-3383. M-F 10:00–19:00, Sa 10:00–17:00, Su 11:00–17:00. Special coffees along with delicious cakes.
  • 2 Aschan, Eerikinkatu 15 (in Hansa Shopping Center). M-F 08:00–20:00, Sa 09:00–18:00, Su 12:00–18:00. Aschan is a café and lunch restaurant, until 2018 a popular confectory and café in Turku, now with franchises in Turku and Helsinki. It sells all kinds of coffee, drinks and sweet and salty bakeries, beard, pies and cakes.
  • 3 Fabbes Café, Tehtaankatu 6, +358 50-535-3647, . M–F 08:00–16:00; lunch 11:00–15:00, late lunch if anything left. Fabbes café is a cosy small café in the beautiful Biskopsgatan area (ÅA campus). 2–3 lunch options, one of which is vegan. Coffee included. They have a nice selection of pies (sweet and savoury), cakes, cinnamon rolls and home-made sweet treats, smoothies, etc. Nearly everything at Fabbe's is baked or produced in house, and you can tell the difference – nothing factory made and no additives. Breakfast €7, lunch €6–7 (late lunch €4), coffee with bun €4.
  • 4 Gaggui, Humalistonkatu 15. Tu–F 10:00–19:00, Sa 10:00–18:00, Su 12:00–18:00. In this tiny café the cakes are the main thing. They are fantastic and made by hand on the site. Coffee is also top-notch and the service is super friendly.
  • 5 Kirjakahvila (Book Café), Vanha Suurtori 1 (in the Brinkkala yard), +358 2 469-1396. M–F 11:00–19:00, often live acoustic music or other cultural events in the evening. At the historical Old Great Square, this is a culture café and a bookshop (books from small publishers, also foreign ones) run by volunteers. Besides books there are also a lot of comics, postcards and posters by local artists for sale. Freshly baked cakes every day. All food vegan. Free wireless Internet available, ask the staff for passwords.
  • 6 Kisälli, Vartiovuorenkatu 2 (next to the entrance of the Luostarimäki outdoor museum), +358 40-630-5988. Tu–Su 09:00–17:00 or by agreement. Old-fashioned style to partly match the location. Self-made fresh bread rolls, buns, doughnuts and pies. Every day there's also pancake and a variety of sweet and savoury pies. And of course, great coffee and other drinks.
  • 7 Nuvola Gelateria, Eerikinkatu 13 (in Hansa Shopping Center). M–F 11:00–20:00, Sa 10:00–18:00, Su 11:00–18:00. The owners, Italians Angelo and Stefano, make traditional Italian ice cream on the site, without any artificial elements. The atmosphere is relaxed and happy with an Italian touch.
  • 8 Kahvila Promenade, Kansanpuistontie 76 (Kansanpuisto ("folk park") in Ruissalo), +358 40-158-8424, . Daily 14 May–30 August and Sa–Su in spring 10:00–18:00. In the park, with view towards the shore. Savoury and sweet pastries as well as a range of coffees, and ice cream.
  • 9 Café Qwensel, Läntinen Rantakatu 13 B (in the courtyard of the Pharmacy Museum, entrance to the yard to the left of the main building), +358 50-395-0021, . Tu–Su 10:00–18:00. Café Qwensel is a charming spot of old milieu in the heart of the city. During the summer there are chickens and roosters on the yard and you can really feel you have travelled back in time. The café serves home-made pastries that have been prepared according to recipes from the 18th century. Also their tea is worth checking. Lunch on weekdays.

Pubs edit

Brewery Restaurant Koulu
  • 10 Brewery Restaurant Koulu, Eerikinkatu 18. Daily 11:00–02:00. The Winestube M–Th 17:00–23:00, F 17:00–02:00, Sa 17:00–02:00. Dining room M–Th 11:00–22:00, F 11:00–00:00, Sa 12:00–00:00. Lunch M–F 11:00–14:00. An old school building converted into a brewery restaurant serving their own and other beers, good food and an excellent selection of wines. A cosy biergarten in the green backyard is open in the summer and is favourite of locals.
  • 11 Seurusteluravintola Uusi apteekki (New Pharmacy), Kaskenkatu 1. Daily 10:00–02:00. Uusi Apteekki (literally meaning New Pharmacy) is a beer pub in a former pharmacy built in 1907. Great selection of beer and spirits, and the decorations alone are worth seeing. In weekend this pub gets really crowded with locals so be prepared to stand while enjoying your beer. If you are lucky, it's also a good place to catch up with writer Reijo Mäki who has written the famous Vares detective stories that are huge in Finland.
  • 12 Mallaskukko, Yliopistonkatu 37. M–Th 14:00–02:00, F Sa 12:00–02:00, Su 14:00-00:00. Another good beer pub in Turku, with a great selection of beers, scotch whiskies and ciders. Mallaskukko truly feels like a living room of the locals. Good place to watch sports from the many TV screens on the walls.
  • 13 Whisky Bar, Yliopistonkatu 19. Su–Th 18:00–02:00, F Sa 18:00–03:00. Whisky Bar in the core downtown of Turku has, as its name suggests, a wide selection of whiskies, but also serves beer and other spirits. Nowadays it is strongly orientated to heavy metal by its music and atmosphere.
  • 14 Cosmic Comic Café, Kauppiaskatu 4 (in the Forum shopping centre). Su–Tu 16:00–00:00, W–Th 15:00–02:00 F–Sa 15:00–03:00. Cosmic Comic Café has a comics gallery and a comical atmosphere, where beer meets comic books, board games and a relaxed "second living room" atmosphere. It's very popular among students, so sometimes it can be very overcrowded. Bar owner Sakke knows everything about beer so do not hesitate to ask for tips.
  • 15 Daily News, Yliopistonkatu 33 (5 minute walk from Market Square), +358 50 5711537, . Daily 09:00-02:00. A plenty of daily newspapers and perhaps the cheapest beer in the heart of the city.

Bars edit

  • 16 Fontti, Kauppiaskatu 5. M–Th 16:00–23:00, F 16:00–04:00, Sa 13:00–04:00. It's in the old customers office of the regional newspaper Turun-Sanomat. Fontti (literally meaning font) is a restaurant and serves great food in addition to drinks and coffees. Service can be little slow but otherwise this bar is nice place to spend your weekend evening.
  • 17 Alvar, Humalistonkatu 7 (Halfway between Central Railway Station and Market Square). M-Sa 14:00-02:00, Su 18:00-00:00. Alvar, in a building designed by the famous Finnish modernist architect Alvar Aalto, is a comfortable place with nice staff and a large selection of beer. Free wireless internet connection is also available for visitors to use. You can also reserve time for a special beer tasting if you visit with a group of friends.
  • 18 Bar Kuka (Bar Who), Linnankatu 17, +358 50-411-6603. Daily 18:00-04:00, Age limit 18. On the corner of Linnankatu and Kristiinankatu, Bar Kuka with its retro 1960s and 70s decoration has a loyal fanbase, who think it's the best and cosiest bar you'll ever find in Turku. Kuka offers lots of live music, DJ gigs, stand-up and theme nights.
  • 19 Rento, Yliopistonkatu 23, +358 20-786-2240. M–W 11:00–02:00, Th–Sa 11:00–03:00, Su 12:00–02:00. Rento, literally meaning casual and relaxed, has probably one of the best locations for a bar in Turku right at the end of the pedestrian street next to the Market Square and Hansa Shopping Center. You can either sit inside or on a nice terrace outside. Large selection of beers and little snacks as well.

Riverboats edit


Riverboats are a unique feature in the Turku cityscape. In the summertime, it is very popular to spend the early evening until midnight or so on one of them, and when it gets a little chilly, move indoors to a restaurant or night club. They are at the riverside of river Aura. Some of them also house fine restaurants while some are mostly just pubs.

  • 20 Donna, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).
  • 21 Svarte Rudolf, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).
  • 22 Papa Joe, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).
  • 23 Cindy, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).
  • 24 Katarina, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).
  • 25 Majland, Läntinen rantakatu (River Aura).
  • 26 Esposito, Läntinen rantakatu (River Aura).
  • 27 Merihelmi, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).
  • 28 Bruno, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).
  • 29 Wanha Rahtilaiva, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).

Nightclubs edit

  • 30 Forte, Kristiinankatu 8, +358 40-091-6403. Daily 22:00–04:00. Forte has been one favourite of the locals since 1996. It tends to be busy thanks to cheap drinks and daily opening hours, as opposed to majority of the other clubs in the city. The concept of 'SuFo' (='Sunday Forte'), MoFo, etc., is widely recognized among students in Turku.
  • 31 Apollo Nightclub, Humalistonkatu 6, +358 40-827-4268. F Sa 22:00–04:00. Age limit 22. Apollo serves live music by bands playing mostly cover music hits by domestic and international stars. Music ranges from rock to pop and disco, old and new. There's also a VIP section which you can reserve. Next door is Armas karaoke bar, which has same opening hours and age limitation.
  • 32 Dynamo, Linnankatu 7, +358 2 250-4904, . Tu–Sa 21:00–04:00. Age limit 20. At Linnankatu, opposite the main library, caters for hipsters with a passion for slightly more eclectic sound. Downstairs indie pop, electro and rock 'n' roll are the main draws, upstairs it's chiefly soul, funk and disco. Live music gigs from hot domestic artists are also frequent. Attracts a healthy number of exchange students.
  • 33 Night Club Marilyn, Eerikinkatu 19. Tu–Sa 22:00–04:00. For the late teens-early 20s crowd, the Night Club Marilyn is particularly popular as a disco/night club. It is the oldest privately owned Night Club in Turku and has seen all the other clubs come and go. In its history it has been chosen as the Best Nightclub in the city on several occasions.
  • 34 Naima, Aurakatu 6, +358 44 444 1234. W–Sa 20:00–04:00. For proper dancing (not night club dancing) in a nightclub setting, Naima is the recommended place in Turku. The age group skews towards the 30s, 40s and 50s. Often music includes live performances by some of the biggest names in Finnish Iskelmä (entertainer music) music.
  • 35 suXes, Yliopistonkatu 9. Daily 19:00–02:00. Turku, like other larger Finnish cities in general, is quite gay-friendly, though public gestures of affection are not common even for straight couples and might raise some eyebrows. You'll fit in at practically all of the clubs in Turku, but perhaps feel specially at home in suXes, the only gay bar and café in Turku. There you can be openly yourself while enjoying the atmosphere, coffee and drinks.

Sleep edit

Camping edit

See also Naantali.

  • 1 Ruissalo Camping, Saarontie 25 (bus 8), +358 2 262-5100, . Camping and indoor accommodation at the outermost tip of the Ruissalo island. The well-equipped camping and caravan area has a beach, sauna, a convenience store and various other amenities, including hot showers and laundry facilities. The entertainment options include mini-golf, volleyball, badminton and basketball courts, fitness trail, playgrounds and a café-restaurant. Open June–August. €40/€160; tent €18+€5/2 per person.

Budget edit

Hostel Borea
Bridgettine Convent Guest House is next to the Catholic Church.
  • 2 Hostel Borea, River Aura, Linnankatu 72 (by the yard of Forum Marinum), +358 40-843-6611, . s/s Bore on the River Aura has unique atmosphere. Built for the Turku–Stockholm route, many remember her as cruise ship in different waters, but now the former steamship is permanently moored on the banks of the River Aura and beside other functions houses an inexpensive hostel with 130 cabins. In most of the (small) cabins there is a private shower and toilet. The prices include linen, towels and breakfast, which is served in the buffet restaurant of the ship. Luggage storage, laundry facilities, and free Wi-Fi. Nearby you'll find the Turku Castle and Forum Marinum. Lots of narrow stairs, not suitable for the disabled. Single €51, twin €82.
  • 3 Bridgettine Convent Guest House, Ursininkatu 15 A, +358 2 250-1910, fax: +358 2-250-3078, . You'll receive a warm welcome and a friendly smile from the Catholic Sisters who run this guesthouse in a central but quiet location in Turku. The rooms are basic and clean, there is secure parking behind the guesthouse and a continental breakfast is included. Only cash is accepted at the moment (July 2020). Single €45, twin €65.
  • 4 Guesthouse Tapuli, Kaivokatu 14 (between the university and the Kupittaa park), +358 2 250-1600. Small guesthouse with cosy rooms with TV. No breakfast, kitchen is available for self service. Toilets and showers are by the corridor. Sauna is warm every day (included). There is also free Wi-Fi. Single €50, double €65.
  • 5 Hotel Harriet, Käsityöläiskatu 11, +358 40-910-3333, fax: +358 2-231-1110. Modern hotel and hostel-quality rooms in the centre. €45/€139.
  • 6 Hesehotelli, Läntinen Pitkäkatu 1 (next to Turku bus station), +358 45-634-3443. Check-in: M–W 07:30–03:30, Th 07:30–00:00, F Sa 24 hr and Sun 00:00–03:00 (following day). Hesehotel is owned by the burger chain Hesburger, and it's on the second floor of one of their biggest restaurants. It has 15 rooms and 46 beds. Room equipment includes air conditioning, a fridge, digital TV and free Wi-Fi. You can order breakfast and other food from the restaurant below and check-in is also done at the counter of the restaurant. Parking space reservation price is €5/day. From €50.
  • 7 Interpoint Hostel, Vähä-Hämeenkatu 12 A, +358 400-821-905. Operated by the YWCA of Turku, this is the cheapest place to sleep in the town, but for good reason: it is just 30 mattresses on the floor, and one shower. If that is enough for you, then this is your place. €10/person.
  • 8 Linnasmäki, Lustokatu 7 (Räntämäki, 4 km from Turku centre; several bus lines 400–500 m from the hostel), +358 2 412-3500, . Check-in: Reception: Sep–May: 08:30–15:30, Jun–Aug: 08:00–20:00. Accommodation in peaceful surroundings, in partnership with the Turku Christian Institute. Guests can use the swimming pool and sauna area. There are plenty of hiking routes with bicycles available to rent during summer. Guests can stay in either a hotel or a refurbished hostel that also offers family rooms and apartments. Individual rooms equipped for disabled guests are also available. Plenty of free parking for guests. Single €60, twin €70.
  • 9 Bed & Breakfast Tuure, Tuureporinkatu 17 C, third floor, +358 2 233-0230, . Check-in: Reception opens at 08:00 and after that you can bring in your luggage when needed. Check-in 14:00–16:00. A cosy, non-smoking guest house that has provides affordable accommodation only three blocks away from the Market Square. 15 rooms, 5 shared showers/toilets along the corridor, a breakfast room and a kitchen. They also have computers and Wi-Fi as well as washing machine and other necessities of a home all free for the guests to use. Breakfast is plentiful and included in the room price. €45/€97.

Mid-range edit

Park Hotel
  • 10 Centro Hotel, Yliopistonkatu 12 A, +358 2 211-8100, . Modern hotel in the inner courtyard of its building block. Family-owned hotel, a bit more personal than the chain hotels in Turku. €110–150.
  • 11 Omena Hotel, Humalistonkatu 7. Check-in: 16, check-out: 12. No reception staff and no breakfast, but prices are considerably cheaper. Booking is done online, and you get a code which you can use to get into the building and onto your room. There are also vending machines for you to buy snacks and food. €80–90.
  • 12 Park Hotel, Rauhankatu 1 (in the Puolala park between the railway station and Kauppatori), +358 2 273-2555, fax: +358 2 251-9696, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Park Hotel is one of the oldest boutique hotels in Finland. In an Art Nouveau building, built in 1902. €140–150.
  • 13 Scandic Hotel Plaza, Yliopistonkatu 29, +358 2 332-00, fax: +358 2 332-0111. Restaurant. Sauna. 24-hour gym. Bike can be borrowed. 125–190.
  • 14 Best Western Hotel Seaport, Toinen Poikkikatu 2 (at the port), +358 2 283-3000, fax: +358 2-283-3100, . Family-owned basic hotel in an old customs house.
  • 15 Sokos Hotel Seurahuone, Eerikinkatu 23, +358 2 337-301, fax: +358 2 337-2200, . A bit more business-oriented than the other Sokos Hotels in the city. The hotel restaurant is intended to be Spanish-style.
  • 16 Holiday Inn Turku, Eerikinkatu 28, +358 2 338-211, fax: +358 2 338-2299, . Moderately priced. Breakfast spread is decent
  • 17 Cumulus Turku, Eerikinkatu 30, +358 2 218-1000, . Mid-priced business hotel.
  • 18 Hotel Helmi, Tuureporinkatu 11, +358 20-786-2770, . Café M–F 06:30–17:00, Sa–Su 07:00–12:00; lunch M–F 11:00–14:30; breakfast M–F 06:30–10:00, Sa–Su 07:00–12:00. Small mid-priced hotel next to the bus station, part of the original station plan. The hotel building is an old gas station, which was owned by Shell, hence the name Pearl. Good basic quality no-frills hotel, very good value for money. The café offers also take away breakfast/lunch/snacks. €95–110; lunch €10.70, breakfast €11.50, children 4–12 €6.90.

Splurge edit

Hotel Marina Palace
  • 19 Radisson Blu Marina Palace Hotel, Turku, Linnankatu 32, +358 20-123-4710, . On Linnankatu overlooking the River Aura Hotel Marina Palace is considered by many to be the best hotel in Turku. It has housed many celebrities visiting Turku, including Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family of Sweden. With well-appointed rooms overlooking the Aura River. You can dine at two on-site restaurants including the popular Grill it! Marina. Fully equipped gym. Quay for guests (bridges too low for sailing yachts).
  • 20 Sokos Hotel Wiklund, Kauppiaskatu 6 (in the Wiklund department store by Kauppatori), +358 2 337-381, . Good discounts are often available if you book a package together with the ferry companies.
  • 21 Scandic Julia, Eerikinkatu 4, +358 2 336-000, fax: +358 2 3360-2211, . Clean comfortable rooms, excellent friendly service, quality breakfast, perhaps the best brunch in town. Fully equipped rooms. Great value for money.

Spa hotels edit

Ruissalo Spa
  • 22 Spa Hotel Caribia, Kongressikuja 1 (by the student village, behind the universities, 2 km from Kauppatori; buses 50–54), +358 300-870-900 (sales; €0.60/min including waiting time max €3 + mvm/pvm), +358 300-870-929 (hotel reception; price like the sales), . Spa for non-guests M–F 12:00–21:00, Sa 10:00–21:00, Su 10:00–20:00. Spa decorated in Caribbean style, popular with families. The hotel also houses lots of conferences and other events. Don't miss the big pink statue in the vicinity by the contemporary artist Alvar Gullichsen; it's a mix between Duck and Pig called Posankka. €140, with spa access €165; parking €1/hr, €13/day; spa €22/16 (students, pensioners and children 4–14 at the reduced price), family ticket (1+3/2+2) €60.  
  • 23 Ruissalo Spa, Ruissalon puistotie 640 (Bus 8), +358 2 445-40, fax: +358 2 445-4590, . Ruissalo Spa is located on and named after the scenic Ruissalo Island. The spa is by the sea and you can choose to swim on the pools or in the sea as well. The location is beautiful and there's a golf course and guest harbour right next to the hotel. Beware though: This is the favourite location for elderly locals, so if you're looking for something more youth-oriented, this might not be the place for you.

Stay safe edit

Risks in Turku

Crime/violence: Low

  • Drunk people on weekend nights, bouncers in clubs, pickpockets

Authorities/corruption: Low

Transportation: Low

Health: Low

Nature: Low

  • Ticks carrying TBE or borreliosis

Turku is generally a safe city.

Turku faces some problems with street violence and organised crime, but common street sense should be enough in most cases. There are no no-go areas.

On weekend nights drunken people may cause annoyance, especially after last call. Swimming in the river is forbidden for good reason: the river banks provide very little access to the shore; what was intended as a quick refreshing dip will result in an expensive rescue operation or worse.

In emergencies, always call 112, which is the general emergency number for police affairs, fire, medical care and social services. If in doubt, it is always better to call and ask.

For non-emergency medical care, the City of Turku provides medical advice over the phone at +358 2 100-23. Lines are open weekdays 08:00–15:00. The hearing-impaired have their own service for the evaluation of medical care, counselling and making an appointment at a health centre. This can be contacted during office hours by sending an SMS message to +358 44-907-3824.

Turku University Hospital's T-Hospital is the region’s accident and emergency hospital, as well as healthcare centre off hours and for non-locals. It provides specialized medical care and treatment around the clock to those who have fallen suddenly ill or sustained injury.

In daytime there are several pharmacies to choose from, some with quite long hours. If you get a prescription, you could ask about the handiest one.

  • 10 Yliopiston apteekki, Yliopistonkatu 18 (by Kauppatori), +358 300-20200 (€0.69/min + pvm/mpm; queuing pvm/mpm). Daily 07:00–23:00. Pharmacy in the centre, with long hours, owned by the University of Helsinki.

Respect edit

  • Avoid walking in the cycle lanes. Dedicated cycleways are clearly marked, but sometimes run directly next to the pavement (sidewalk). On the other hand, when biking close to people, especially on cycleways shared with pedestrians, be careful when passing children, dogs or people who might lose their balance if scared.
  • When waiting in lines, be patient and polite. Finns never jump queues – but make sure you actually stand in the line. If unsure, ask. In many places you are expected to get a queue number from a machine.
  • Do not feed seagulls or pigeons especially in the city centre. Seagulls taking people's ice creams or sandwiches is a real problem in some areas, and feeding them is encouraging that behaviour. Feeding birds is officially prohibited in many areas. In other places it might be allowed and encouraged, but check official advice.

Connect edit

Students and personnel from participating institutions get free Wi-Fi through the Eduroam network.

The city main library (see above) offers Wi-Fi (pick a note with the password or ask) and public computers with Internet access (without booking, mostly there are some free ones). The "15 min" computers can be used without logging in.

Cope edit

Newspaper reading room of Turku City Library, with public computers

Press edit

An assortment of foreign newspapers is available for reading in the main library (see above) and for sale at some locations (e.g. R-kioski at the main railway station or at Kauppatori). Expect to find some well-known ones at least in Swedish, English, German, French and Spanish (although increasingly only their weekly journals are available). At the main library there are also some more odd ones, e.g. from Russian Karelia. The local papers are Finnish Turun Sanomat, Swedish Åbo Underrättelser and the free Turkulainen; many locals also subscribe to Helsingin Sanomat or Hufvudstadsbladet of Helsinki.

Children edit

Most any park has a playground with swings, sandbox, some climbing frames, and perhaps a simple playhouse and some more unusual features. For picnics, the Kupittaa and Vartiovuori parks are popular. The swimming pools of Kupittaa and Samppalinna also have picnic areas. There is a playing corner for small children in the city library (and nice scenes in small exhibits hidden in the shelves and in the floor). The Hansa shopping centre in the centre has a room for children, with family toilet and facilities for warming food. Also several other businesses and shopping centres have some facilities or entertainment for children.

Kupittaa Adventure Park is a large playground area where also older children can enjoy themselves for quite a while.

Kuralan kylämäki is a quiet living history museum consisting of a few farms with life of the 1950s. In the main building personnel are doing their domestic chores, while ready to talk to any visitor. Children will find a play corner with period toys, another in the barn, with bigger equipment, and many opportunities to invent their own plays and games. Sheep flock at the pasture fence to be caressed.

Aboa Vetus allows you to walk in authentic streets in the ruins of medieval Turku. There are computer screens to lead children through the displays in the footsteps of children of the times exhibited, perhaps a sandbox for trying at being an archaeologist, and similar activities.

Turku Castle has Knights' and Ladies' Days, where a group of children is led through the castle, ending with dubbing the participants. Check the language issue.

If you are into biology, the Biological Museum is a pearl. It features stuffed animals in natural landscapes: see wolves and elks, spot the small birds in the tree, an ermine in the snow, and acquaint yourselves to the different biotopes of Finland. Everything beyond glass screens though.

Other museums may or may not suit your children, depending on their interests.

For a longer trip, the Moomin World in Naantali and Zoolandia in Lieto may be worth considering.

You might also want to take a walk in some wood, to eat wild berries fresh from the shrubs – especially if that's something you cannot do at home. Make sure you recognise at least bilberries, which you'll find in most any suburban wood in July–August. Have a map and find any wood reasonably close to a bus stop. For the best experience, prepare a picnic, take the bus and take a walk of a few kilometres. Let the children take their time watching ants and other natural wonders. Don't confine yourself to the broad gravel paths, but immerse in the wood and climb the rocks (in nature reserves you may be confined to the trails, so prefer unprotected woods). You won't get lost: although there are places where you feel like being alone with nature, inside the Turku bypass the nearest house is never more than 500 m away.

Laundry edit

Unless you have laundry facilities at your lodging, you might want to use a laundrette service:

  • 11 24pesula, Uudenmaantie 19 (K-Citymarket Kupittaa; also Mylly, Prisma Länsikeskus, Prisma Piispanristi), +358 10-292-7799 (shared cost?), . Daily, daytime or round the clock. Laundrettes in some shopping centres, self service, no reservations. Detergent included. Pay by card. €6/std machine (9 kg, 30 min), tumbler +€4/30 min.

Dogs edit

See also: Travel with pets#Finland

Popular walks include the river banks east of the railway bridge (i.e. by Raunistula and the Student Village). There are compost containers for litter at some locations, but you can also use normal trash bins.

There are havens in several locations, where dogs can run and play without being on a leash. They have a part for small dogs and another for big ones, use common sense for choosing. Don't go there if your dog is ill, aggressive or could otherwise be disruptive for other dogs.

  • 63 Kupittaa dog haven, Lemminkäisenkatu (at the north-east edge of the park Kupittaanpuisto).
  • 64 Nummenranta dog haven (at the walk on the left river bank, by the Student Village).
  • 65 Jäkäläpuisto dog haven, Jäkäläpolku (Luolavuori, the path to the haven starts at Rätiälänkatu).

Places of worship edit

See Churches above for Lutheran and Orthodox churches, the synagogue and a Buddhist temple. The cathedral has services also for a few expat churches and the Orthodox church has services in a few languages. There is another Orthodox church, belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate, by the handicraft museum (by the Russian consulate). There is a Catholic church by the Bridgettine Convent. There are also places of worship of JW, LDS, Pentecostals, Adventists, the Salvation Army and a few more Christian denominations, and humble mosques.

Consulates edit

Go next edit

Sailing off Ruissalo
  • Archipelago Sea – Stretching all the way from Turku to Åland and on to Stockholm, Archipelago Sea forms the largest archipelago in the world by number of islands and includes a national park. Best way to visit is definitely by bike and camping gear – unless you know how to handle a yacht or kayak or can afford a one-week charter of a manned yacht.
    • The Archipelago Trail is a tourist route of 125 or 250 km, using the roads and inter-island ferries to provide access to the archipelago without a boat of your own – and without backtracking. The route can be taken clockwise or counter clockwise, starting from Turku, and continuing through rural archipelago villages and astonishing Baltic Sea sceneries.
  • Kurjenrahka National Park – Kurjenrahka is the largest and most diverse protected mire area in the region, the park includes also lakes and old growth forest. One of the best-known sights in the park is the old boundary mark of eight municipalities. Usually a day trip destination, hikes can be extended to last a couple of days. Beginning 2018 you can reach Kurjenrahka by local bus in summer.
  • The other chartered towns of medieval Finland were:
    • Porvoo (Borgå) – in Eastern Uusimaa, reachable by E18 or the King's Road.
    • Rauma (Raumo) – with a UNESCO World Heritage listed old town, Rauma can be reached by coach from Turku in 1½ hr.
    • Ulvila (Ulvsby) – by Pori in the north of the historic Turku and Pori province
    • Naantali (Nådendal, Vallis Gratiæ) – with the summer residence of the President of Finland Kultaranta, the theme park Moomin World and a beautiful wooden old town, 20-min away by local bus.
    • Vyborg (Viipuri, Viborg) – in its heyday the most metropolitan of Finnish cities; past Porvoo, now in Russia.
  • Åland islands – If you have a day or two to spare there are overnight and day ferries to Sweden and the Åland Islands. Stockholm is 10 hours away, Mariehamn on the Åland islands about 5 hours. While the big ferries take you directly from Turku to the Åland mainland, you can also do some island hopping by taking a smaller ferry operated by Ålandstrafiken from Korpo or Kustavi in the Archipelago Sea.
Routes through Turku
END  W   E  KaarinaHelsinki
PoriTurku countryside  NW   SE  END
StockholmNaantali  W   E  KaarinaHelsinki
END  SW   NE  Turku countrysideTampere
END  SW   NE  KaarinaHämeenlinna

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