Exploring Turku: Top 10 Things to Do in Finland’s Oldest City

by Alice

Nestled along the southwestern coast of Finland, Turku stands as a testament to the country’s rich history and vibrant culture. As Finland’s oldest city, Turku offers visitors a wealth of attractions, from ancient castles to modern museums. Whether you’re drawn to its historical sites, scenic landscapes, or lively events, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this charming city. Here are the top 10 things to do in Turku that you won’t want to miss.

1. Turku Castle: A Glimpse into the Past

No visit to Turku is complete without exploring the iconic Turku Castle. Dating back to the 13th century, this medieval fortress offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into Finland’s history. Wander through its ancient halls, admire the impressive architecture, and learn about the castle’s role in shaping the region. Be sure to join one of the guided tours to uncover the secrets hidden within its walls.


2. Turku Cathedral: A Architectural Marvel

Standing tall in the heart of the city, Turku Cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Dating back to the 13th century, this stunning cathedral is one of Finland’s most cherished landmarks. Step inside to marvel at its soaring arches, intricate carvings, and beautiful stained glass windows. Don’t forget to climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views of Turku and the surrounding area.


3. Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum: Step Back in Time

For a taste of Turku’s past, head to the Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum. Located in the historic wooden quarter of the city, this open-air museum offers a fascinating glimpse into traditional Finnish life. Stroll along cobblestone streets lined with wooden cottages, and watch as skilled artisans demonstrate ancient crafts such as weaving, pottery, and blacksmithing. It’s a truly immersive experience that’s perfect for history enthusiasts of all ages.


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4. Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova: Where History Meets Art

Combining archaeology and contemporary art, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova offers a unique cultural experience in the heart of Turku. Explore the underground ruins of the medieval city of Turku at Aboa Vetus before venturing into Ars Nova to discover cutting-edge contemporary art exhibitions. With its thought-provoking displays and interactive exhibits, this museum is sure to captivate visitors of all interests.

5. Turku Archipelago: Nature’s Playground

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and discover the natural beauty of the Turku Archipelago. With over 20,000 islands scattered along the coastline, this breathtakingly beautiful region offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventures. Whether you’re sailing between islands, kayaking along tranquil waters, or hiking through picturesque landscapes, the Turku Archipelago is a paradise for nature lovers.

6. Market Square: A Feast for the Senses

Immerse yourself in Turku’s vibrant culinary scene at the Market Square. Located in the heart of the city, this bustling marketplace is a feast for the senses, with stalls selling everything from fresh produce to local handicrafts. Sample traditional Finnish delicacies such as smoked salmon, reindeer stew, and Karelian pastries, or pick up some souvenirs to take home with you. Don’t forget to visit the market’s iconic food trucks for a quick and delicious meal on the go.

7. Turku Biological Museum: Discover the Wonders of Nature

Delve into the natural world at the Turku Biological Museum. With its extensive collection of specimens and interactive exhibits, this museum offers a fascinating insight into Finland’s diverse ecosystems. Explore displays on everything from native wildlife to marine biology, and learn about the importance of conservation and environmental stewardship. It’s a great educational experience for visitors of all ages.

8. Vartiovuori Observatory: Reach for the Stars

For a truly unforgettable experience, head to the Vartiovuori Observatory and reach for the stars. Perched atop a hill overlooking the city, this historic observatory offers visitors the chance to gaze at the wonders of the night sky through powerful telescopes. Join one of the guided stargazing sessions to learn about the constellations, planets, and other celestial phenomena visible from Turku. It’s an experience that’s sure to leave you feeling inspired and awestruck.

9. Turku Art Museum: A Treasure Trove of Art

Discover a world of artistic beauty at the Turku Art Museum. With its impressive collection of Finnish and international art spanning centuries, this museum offers visitors a journey through the evolution of artistic expression. From classic masterpieces to contemporary works, there’s something to inspire and delight art lovers of all tastes. Be sure to check out the museum’s rotating exhibitions and special events for an extra dose of creativity.

10. Turku Music Festival: A Symphony of Sound

Experience the magic of live music at the Turku Music Festival. Held annually in August, this prestigious event attracts top musicians from around the world to perform in venues across the city. From classical concerts to jazz performances, opera productions to chamber music recitals, there’s something for every musical taste to enjoy. Immerse yourself in the enchanting melodies and vibrant atmosphere of this world-class festival for an unforgettable cultural experience.

In Conclusion

Turku offers a wealth of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in history, art, nature, or music, there’s something for everyone to discover in Finland’s oldest city. So pack your bags, and embark on an unforgettable adventure in Turku, where the past meets the present in a harmonious blend of culture and charm.



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