Europe > Nordic countries > Finland > West Coast (Finland) > Finland Proper > Archipelago Sea > Turku
Turku (Swedish: Åbo) is the oldest city and former capital of Finland. It was settled during the 13th century, making it one of the only few – and by far the largest – medieval cities in Finland. Turku is the cradle of Finnish culture, since over the years it has played an important role as the gateway to Finland for international influence. Nowadays Turku is a vivid city with clusters of maritime and medical business.
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, Turku 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.
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.
- 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 Turku market square. Trading took place on this historic site as early as 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 Finnish name, Turku, is an archaic Russian word for 'marketplace' (turgu). The name of the Italian city, Trieste, comes from the same Indo-European origin. Turku Market Square has long been one of the largest and finest on the south coast. The etymology of the Swedish name Åbo is unclear. One possible explanation is that the city was named Åbo by Swedish settlers because it was a settlement (bo) on the Aura River (å).
The year 1229 is regarded as the year in which the City of Turku was founded. Excavations in different parts of the city centre have provided more light on the city's history. 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 state 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.
During Swedish rule, Turku was the largest and most important city of its region, as well as being a major city of the Swedish Kingdom. 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, Estonia. Turku remained the Finnish capital until the year 1812. 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" 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.
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 employs directly and indirectly 8000 people. In addition to this, follows employment effect to foreign companies.
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. Nowadays Turku is a major academic town for Finland: there are two universities (one with Finnish, one 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. A true local speciality you will find in few other Finnish cities are the floating bars in the river Aura. 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 hometown. 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 Turku dialect has many influences from Swedish and historically also from Estonian, and it can from time to time sound even a bit like Estonian. The city is also famous throughout Finland for its processed mustard called Turun Sinappi, though ownership and production was controversially moved abroad in 2008, with production being resumed in Finland in 2014.
- 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.
- 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.
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). The best time to visit is definitely the warm period from late May to early September. 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 center too.
Current weather forecasts can be checked at the Finnish Meteorological Institute website.
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), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
Turku Airport (TKU)
- 1 Turku Airport (TKU IATA) (8 km north of the city centre). Is a compact airport with 2 terminals for check-in
As of September 2021 Air Baltic flies to Turku from Riga, Wizz Air from Gdansk and Skopje, and Air Leap from Mariehamn (and Stockholm?). Wizz Air will start flights from Larnaka, Kaunas and Kraków later in the autumn. TUI charter flights will likewise start in the autumn.
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 (free transfers for two hours, 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)
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 ExpressBus coach connection from Helsinki-Vantaa to Turku bus station operated by Vainio, departing from platform 54 (?) in front of the international flights terminal. 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.
The Onniflyer service of Onnibus.com is typically a bit cheaper and faster (two hours), but has only eight round-trips per day. The Onnibus buses are red double-deckers with free Wi-Fi but little legroom. They depart from platforms 23 and 24 in front of Terminal 2. Book ticket online in advance for a cheaper price.
VR, the state-owned railway company, operates all the domestic routes as well as the connections from Vyborg, Saint Petersburg and Moscow in Russia. Turku has three VR operated Railway stations: the 2 Central railway station ("Turku", service M-F 08:10–17:15) on the northern edge of Turku's central business district, 3 Kupittaa railway station ("Kupittaa") 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. Trains arriving from the direction of Helsinki first stop at Kupittaa and then arrive at the central station, while trains from Tampere arrive directly at the central station. Some of the trains continue onward to the harbour, which is handy if you are connecting to a passenger ferry towards Stockholm or Mariehamn. Kupittaa has limited service (tickets bought in advance or from a machine), the harbour none. Only the central station is manned. From the central station you can purchase all domestic train tickets and train tickets from Finland to Saint Petersburg, Moscow and Vyborg, and InterRail cards to Europe.
Links between Turku and the rest of the country 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 to Rovaniemi in Lapland (10–15 hr, often with a transfer to a day train in Tampere). There will be a reconstruction of the main railway station in 2022. During the works, trains from Helsinki stop in Kupittaa and won't go further. There will be a bus from the Kupittaa station to the main railway station (?) and the harbour. Unclear what will happen to the trains from Tampere, or via Tampere such as those from the north.
From abroad, except Russia, you have to travel via Stockholm and take a ferry cruise from there. This can be a scenic and environmental friendly option, and if you travel by rail otherwise, 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 take the walk or a bike ride. If you have registered with the bike sharing system and paid the fee you can borrow a bike for free (for 30 min; see By bicycle below for details).
Matkahuolto operates the 5 Turku bus station, where long-distance services usually terminate, 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 (Market Square, 800 m). Matkahuolto has abandoned the station building and now uses the freight terminal across Läntinen pitkäkatu (the facilities will open again in autumn 2021, unclear whether also Matkahuolto, with ticket sale and freight, will move back). 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.
- Matkahuolto Turku, Läntinen Pitkäkatu 7–9. M–F 07:00–19:00, Sa 09:00–15:00, Su closed.
Normal bus 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. All these connections are either express or special express (there are also a few "regular" connections, if you search for them). 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).
Also Onnibus has connections to Turku. Tickets to these buses vary in price, cheapest well in advance on the Internet, for same day usually about €10 bought from online, €15–20 from Helsinki if bought when boarding (with busy services often sold out). Timetables and tickets at their own web site.
NanoBus is a low cost bus operator between Helsinki and Turku. Its one way tickets cost about €3–5 when bought from their own website (in August 2020, prices may raise when they get their market share).
There is a Fölläri station at the bus station (by Aninkaistenkatu); if you have registered and paid you can borrow a bike to get onward (see below for details).
The most scenic way to get to Turku is by taking a passenger ferry across the Baltic Sea, from Stockholm or from Kapellskär, Norrtälje, in Sweden. The 6 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 buses depart at the port. With light luggage, grabbing a fölläri bike or strolling along the river to the centre can be a nice option (3 km to Kauppatori, buses within reach all the time).
The two biggest ferry lines are the Finnish Viking Line and the now Estonian TallinkSilja. Both operate two departures each day from Stockholm via Åland: one in the morning, arriving in the evening, and one in the evening, 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 available). Evening departures provide adequate night club activities on board if you want to cut loose before arriving. All ferries between Turku and Stockholm 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 purchases on the ferries tax-freely.
For those with vehicles (e.g. a car or bikes) there are also more quiet ropax ferries from Kapellskär (either directly or via Långnäs) to Naantali 20 km from Turku, by Finnlines. Local buses serve Naantali, tickets €3/1.50 with transfers included, an additional €5 for a bike.
Looking for special offers may save a lot of money on the ferry passage. In summer, book early if you have a car, especially if it exceeds standard dimensions.
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.
During the summer of 2020 ferry routes were started also from Tallinn and Hiiumaa in Estonia and Riga in Latvia, as passenger traffic from Stockholm was diminished. The connections proved popular, so it is possible that some of them will get established in some form after the pandemic.
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 Turku Yacht Club's 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 (in the absolute centre; bridge height 3.6 m), but only for short visits, perhaps a nice tour if you have a suitable dinghy.
- 7 Turku Guest Harbour, Läntinen Rantakatu 57 (in the centre, 2 km from Kauppatori), ☏ , . 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.
- 8 Ruissalon Telakka, Hevoskarintie 23 (Ruissalo, opposite Port of Turku), ☏ . 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 (€3/1.50). Café and pizzeria. Toilets and showers, but no fuel or septic tank emptying. €25.
- 9 TPS Guest Harbour, Pursiseuranranta 30, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 10 Ruissalo Marina, Ruissalon puistotie 618, ☏ (10:00–19:00), (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.
Turku is well connected by roads to other parts of Finland. Main routes are national road 1 (E18) from Helsinki, 8 (E8) from Tromsø, Vaasa and Pori along the west coast, 9 (E63) from Kuopio, Jyväskylä and Tampere, and 10 from Hämeenlinna. Road 40 circulates Turku. E18 is a high-speed controlled-access highway all the way from Russia. Roads 8 and 9 are high-speed highways 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, 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.
Turku has an excellent public transportation system, and its buses reach every corner of the city. The hub for the local bus traffic is normally the Market Square, Kauppatori (Swedish: Salutorget), which is in the central business district and often considered the midpoint of the city. In 2018–2021, however, there are construction works, and most bus stops are moved away temporarily to nearby roads. Most main sights are within walking distance from the square. A bike is the quickest way to get around and bikeways are generally good, although not always fast (try a nice trip along the river).
- 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.
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. A four-year experiment with salted winter routes in the centre started 2017 (12 km first year; Civitas eccentric). These routes lead along the river, around the campuses and through the central business district. Elsewhere bikeways 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.
For getting out of the city, bikes can be loaded on the local buses (including regional buses in the Föli cooperation) for €6 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 likewise a flat €6.
The city tourist office can suggest cycling routes (there is a bike route map of the city and surrounding towns on the net). They also rent bikes (€23/day).
- Polkupyörävuokraamo (in the harbour), ☏ . Bike rental. €14/day, €63/week.
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.
The Fölläri bike sharing system is ending in September 2021. Continuation in some form is planned for the summer of 2022, but as of September, whether it will be the same or different is still not known.
In May 2018, the City of Turku started renting 300 citybikes called Föli-fillari ("Föli-bike") or fölläri in 34 different “bicycle stations”. Most are along the river, from the harbour to the ÅA campus, some elsewhere in the centre, from the central railway station in the west to the hospital and Kupittaa station in the east and from Martti in the south to Ikituuri in the Student village in the north, two in Ruissalo (part of the summer only) and one in the Skanssi suburban shopping area.
You register your phone number (which works as ID; leave out the "+" but include country code), your credit card, and optionally your e-mail address and your Föli card number on the net ("nice" user interface that does not necessarily work) and pay a fee for one use (€2 + for time exceeding 30 min) or for a first 30 day period (€6/30 days + for time exceeding 30 min/ride, renewed and charged automatically – if you want just one period, you can cancel immediately). The 30-day Föli cards include the borrowing right, but you still need to register. This is as of August 2021, the payment system has been changing.
Return the bike to a Föli station in 30 min and there are no additional charges. If you paid for 30 days (or have a Föli card including the biking right) you can borrow the bike again immediately or borrow another when you like. Use the bike slots if possible, but what counts is that you lock the bike at the station, are in Wi-Fi range from it and the returning gets registered.
If you borrow a bike for more than 30 min you pay €1/hr up to 2 hr and €2/hr up to five hours (€8), which is the maximum borrowing time (€80 fine for missing that deadline).
In winter the fölläri bikes have studded tyres, but some problems: the gears are usually frozen in freezing temperatures, many bikes are out of order (frozen lock, battery dead) and returning bikes fails more often than normal. Otherwise they work reasonably well also in snowy streets.
If your returning the bike was not registered, usually due to transient Wi-Fi problems or your not pushing the OK button to confirm, you cannot borrow another bike until the issue is sorted out by contacting the Föli office (M–Sa, limited hours). If the first attempt does not succeed (the red flashing led should turn to flashing green) you may have to unlock and relock the bike and again push OK twice. If the bike gets confused, pushing "P" (for temporary parking) tends to return a sensible state. If returning does not work and it is off hours, you might want to keep the bike until you find a working station. Charges for exceeding time will be returned as you explain the situation in answering the receipt e-mail.
Those who have a library card can also borrow bikes from the main library in summer (until 30 September), for free. Return the bike before the library closes in the evening.
There are several bike shops offering service for bikers. Here some of them:
- 1 Bikestation, Kirkonmäentie 3, 21570 Sauvo (35 km from Turku), ☏ . The only bicycle service and shop specialized in Rohloff bicycles and gears in Turku region. Also mobile power supply (powered by hub dynamo) and hand made wheels for bike travellers.
- 2 Visan polkupyörähuolto, Yliopistonkatu 8 (in the corner of Aninkaistenkatu and Yliopistonkatu), ☏ . Competent bicycle shop hidden in a back yard. Does not sell only mainstream stuff.
- 3 Raispo, Itäinen Pitkäkatu 38-40, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 10:00-18:00, Sa Su 10:00-14:00. Bike shop with bike service.
By electric kick scooter
Swedish Voi, German Tier and American Lime rent electric kick scooters for use in the centre. Install the smartphone app, check where the nearest scooter is, check price, unlock with the app, drive, park it in some sensible location in the allowed area (mind the vision impaired) and release it with the app. The companies aim to keep the scooters available also in winter, conditions permitting, but the vehicles are not ideal in snowy or slippery conditions. Minimum age, imposed by the companies, is 18. Riding two on one scooter is not allowed, although not too rare.
The scooters should follow rules for bikes, even though people usually drive them on the pavement where bike lanes are missing (which is allowed only for smaller children). If you do, slow down and keep your distance when passing people. They have a top speed of 20 km/h (12 mph), which is plenty; acquaint yourself with the scooter and its controls somewhere safe. In some areas the scooters enforce a lower speed (5–6 km/h).
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.
- Monitori, Aurakatu (in KOP-kolmio by Kauppatori), ☏ (M–F 08:00–15:00 Sa 09:00–14:00), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. You can also use the Föli Digitransit route planner to seek local bus routes between given locations and addresses. The route planner used seems to be the same at both websites, with options to include driving, and to tune walking and transfer preferences. The planner works well in most situations, but some sanity checks are needed: the planner can guess at destinations with "similar" spelling (if you do a spelling mistake or use a name not in the database), and may behave oddly when no suitable bus is found for whatever reason. You can also use Nysse mobile app for journey planning.
Most buses go through the centre, with the area around Kauppatori serving as hub – but distance between some stops is long, as the roads around Kauppatori are closed during construction works (2018–2021?). Now most "hub" stops have been moved one block down toward the river, to Linnankatu or its surroundings, some to Puutori square two blocks toward the bus station. Most regional buses now start from the bus station. Most lines now use the Aurasilta bridge instead of the Tuomiokirkko bridge. There are also other fundamental changes in the routes in the centre.
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. 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. Transfer by the cathedral, Puutori or some other suitable stop may be more convenient than using the central stops, as these are spread out during the works at Kauppatori.
Destinations are mentioned in Finnish 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.
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. Regional buses with destinations outside the Föli area are part of the cooperation inside it, but for trips out of the area you cannot use Föli tickets at all (notably 7xx, 8xx and 9xx via Kaarina). Some of the regional buses have stops like local buses in the Kauppatori area (fewer during the construction works), some at Puutori, and some depart from the bus station.
A single ticket is €3 (children 7–14: €1.50), and is valid for unlimited transfers within two hours of the ticket's purchase. In the night (23:00–04:00) tickets cost €1 more. Notes of more than €20 are not always 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).
If you intend to take the bus more than twice a day (read: in more than two 2-hours periods), it becomes economical to ask the bus driver for a 24-hour ticket, priced €7.50. The bus office at Kauppatori and the tourist office sell cards for one day and more, costing €7 for the first day, €3 for each additional day up to a week, €30 for two weeks and €5 + €52 per thirty days (€20 for ten additional days). On 25 November 2019 the price rises with €1 for the 1–7-day tickets and €2 for the 14 day ticket.
Bus tickets can also be bought through the Föli app, which also shows the live bus time-tables and has a route-planner, or (single tickets) by mobile payment without the app when boarding.
You can also use NFC payment with Visa, Mastercard or Eurocard (Diners Club and American Express do not work) or a mobile device with Apple Pay, Pivo or Google Pay: the payment card or mobile device is displayed to the reader device, which then says "Lähimaksu hyväksytty" ("Proximity payment accepted"). The system calculates the fare combining all trips paid with the card/device: a new single ticket fee (€3) will not be charged until the two-hour changeover period has ended, and a day ticket (€8) or 7-day ticket (€26) will be substituted when those are relevant.
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 €2.20/1.20, 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, in R kiosks 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 (e.g. 13 going to Impivaara, "uimahalli", half of the time), 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 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. 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 bus 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 – Airport The line to use to and from the airport and seaport. Departs from the airport and seaport every 20 minutes on weekdays and Saturdays, twice an hour on Sundays, more often to/from the harbour at ferry arrival/departure times. Much cheaper than taking a cab. Passes the bus station in the centre of Turku between Kauppatori and the airport (except the extra harbour services, which turn at Kauppatori).
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 go all the way to the park.
99 Ilpoinen / Uittamo – Skanssi – Länsikeskus – Perno / Pansio A long suburb sightseeing line bypassing center, one-way ride takes over 1 hour.
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.
Before the deregulation quick 1–3 km trips would cost in the €8–15 vicinity, and you should not have to pay much more now. Most companies add a fee per kilometre and a fee per minute, more or less doubling the nominal price. 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.
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 Kajon) 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, ☏ . 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, ☏ (head of office), toll-free: 0800-02120 (booking), ✉ email@example.com. 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, ☏ 0100-0700 (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 €7.90; 1–4 persons €1.29/km + €0,79/min, 5–8 persons €1.69/km + €0,79/min.
- iTaksi, ☏ (extra charge?), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
- 11 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. 2021: Daily 24 May–30 Aug, Sa–Su until 19 September. Every 45 min, round trip 1.5 hr. First departure 10:15, last return back by Martinsilta 19:55. m/s Ruissalo and m/s Jaarli go from just downstream from Martinsilta (eastern, left bank) to the Kansanpuisto park on Ruissalo, via Forum Marinum and either Pikisaari on Hirvensalo or the Telakka marina. Tip: Take a bicycle with you without extra fee if the ferry is not too crowded. €3/1.5 (ordinary Föli ticket), bikes free.
- 12 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.
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.
- 13 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.
- 14 m/s Rudolfina, ☏ , , ✉ email@example.com. Lunch and diner cruises. €30–40, including a meal.
- 15 Rosita, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- m/s Norrskär, Läntinen Rantakatu 37, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
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 often free, otherwise expect to pay €1–2/hr in the centre, less in the outskirts, where even free lots can be found.
Parking halls, such as the underground 16 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. When parking in the street in winter and spring, note times reserved for maintenance. The roads around Kauppatori are now (2018–2021) mostly closed for through traffic.
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
- 1 Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, Itäinen Rantakatu 4–6, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Indoor gardens M–Su 10:00–17:00, outdoor gardens M–Su 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, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 4 Brinkhall Manor, Brinkhallintie 414, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 5 Ett Hem ("A home"), Piispankatu 14 (Just a short walk away from the Cathedral upstream, opposite the Sibelius Museum.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. May–September; closed for repairs spring 2019. 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. Adults €5, children €4.
- 6 Healthcare Museum, Kunnallissairaalantie 20, ☏ . Every last Mon 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.
- 7 Forum Marinum, Linnankatu 72 (Just after the guest harbor when going downstream towards Turku Castle, you can't miss it, bus line 1), ☏ , fax: . 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.
- 8 Luostarinmäki (Cloister Hill), Vartiovuorenkatu 2, ☏ . 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.
- 9 Old Great Square (Vanha Suurtori), Vanha Suurtori 7 (across the parks by Turku Cathedral), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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 10 Old Academy Building and the 11 Old Town Hall
- 12 The Qwensel House and Pharmacy Museum (Apteekkimuseo), Läntinen Rantakatu 13, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. 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.
- 13 The Scout Museum of Finland, Läntinen Pitkäkatu 13, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 14 Turku Castle (Turun linna), Linnankatu 80 (near the harbour, bus 1), ☏ . Daily 10:00–18:00; reduced hours and closed Mon in Oct–Mar low season. A must for everyone visiting the city, Turku castle is one of Finland's most popular tourist attractions. The castle, which used to house Swedish royalty, is the largest castle in Finland, and dates back to end of the 13th century. It has been carefully renovated and now it houses also a large museum, which demonstrates the history of the Turku region from prehistory to present day with its frequent exhibitions, events and furnished style rooms. Highlights include the two dungeons and magnificent banquet halls as well as toy and game exhibitions aimed at children. Tours of the stronghold are given hourly in English during high season and they give a good account of the castle's history. €11, optional guided tour €3.
- 15 Turku Art Museum (Turun taidemuseo), Aurakatu 26 (dominates the Puolala hill, between Kauppatori and the railway station), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, with national treasures that include self-portraits, landscapes, Finnish surrealism as well as pop art. These collections are exhibited in the luminous upstairs halls of the museum. 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.
- 16 Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art (WAM), Itäinen Rantakatu 38 (15-min walk from Market Sq, or bus 14 or 15), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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/–.
- 17 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.
Most of the churches are quite frequently used for concerts. In the summer of 2020 only some churches are open. The cathedral is open daily 09:00–18:00 (mind services).
- 18 Turku Cathedral, ☏ . 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.
- 19 St Michael's Church (Mikaelinkirkko), Puistokatu 16 (10 minute walk from Market Square), ☏ , fax: . 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.
- 20 Martin's Church (Martinkirkko), Huovinkatu (By foot 15 min from Market Square), ☏ . 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.
- 21 Orthodox Church (Church of the Holy Martyr Empress Alexandra), Yliopistonkatu 19 (on the north side of Kauppatori), ☏ . 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.
- 22 Turku synagogue, Brahenkatu 17, ☏ . One of two synagogues in Finland. Built 1912.
- 23 St Catherine's Church (Pyhän Katariinan kirkko), Kirkkotie 46, ☏ . 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. Free.
- 24 St Mary's Church (Maarian kirkko), Maunu Tavastinkatu 2 (Bus line 15), ☏ . Jun–Aug: M–F 12:00-17:00. In wintertime open by agreement. Service in Finnish on Sundays at 10:00. 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. Free.
- 25 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.
- 26 Ecumenical Art Chapel (Taidekappeli), Seiskarinkatu 35 (bus 54), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 27 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, indoor accommodation 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, even the most demanding traveller is catered for. There is also a championship level golf course, Aura Golf, founded in 1958 nearby.
- 28 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).
- 29 Hirvensalo, 30 Satava and 31 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 in the winter and ride downhill cars in the summer. Ekvalla beach is on the Satava island (buses 14 and 15). This sandy beach is a good choice for families, sun seekers, and people with disabilities. Whatever your physical impairment you can have a dip as this swimming area has specially designed walkways and a wheelchair ramp into the water. Swimming lifeguards are available during the school summer holiday period. 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.
- 32 Vepsä Island (One hour ferry trip from Turku, ferry leaves from river Aura.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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..
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.
- 1 Easter at Cloister Hill (Annually around Easter, 15 to 16 April in 2017), Cloister Hill (Luostarinmäki) outdoor museum, Vartiovuorenkatu 2. 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 between 7 to 15 €4, Children aged between 4 to 6 €1, Family ticket €13.
- 2 [dead link] Maritime Markets (April and October) (Along the river Aura). M–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.
- Vappu (Annually between 30 April and 1 May). In Finland, Vappu (Walpurgis day and May Day) is one of the four biggest holidays along with Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, and Midsummer (Juhannus). Walpurgis witnesses the biggest carnival-style festival held in the streets of Finland's towns and cities. The celebration, which begins on the evening of 30 April and continues to 1 May, typically centres on copious consumption of sima, sparkling wine and other alcoholic beverages. Student traditions are one of the main characteristics of Vappu, and you'll see lots of students on the streets wearing a traditional student cap. On 30 April evening streets are filled with party people and a large market is held in Market Square with vendors selling cheap carnival paraphernalia. On 1 May the parks, especially the Vartiovuori Park, are filled with hungover Finns having a picnic. There are also working union parades around the city centre and politicians from all different parties giving speeches.
- 3 New Potato Festival (Mid June, 15 to 16 June in 2018), Courtyard of the Brewery Restaurant Koulu, Eerikinkatu 18, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The New Potato Festival, or Neitsytperunafestivaali in Finnish, 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.
- 4 The Medieval Market (End of June), Vanha Suurtori 3 (Old Great Square), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
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 attend the real princess school as well as enjoy watching the wild boars. 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.
- Juhannus (Midsommar). Annually on Saturday between 20–26 June. Juhannus Eve Friday is usually also a day off. Juhannus (Midsummer Festival) 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. 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.
- 5 International Market of Turku (Mid-June), Around Old Great Square, Vähätori and the banks of river Aura. 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.
- [dead link] The Night of Arts (Mid-August, 16 August in 2018), Around Turku Central Business District. Night of the Arts is a versatile cultural event that is held annually in mid-August around the city centre. The venues include the Fortuna-block, Vähätori, Puutori, 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 (Annually third Sunday of September), Events take place all around the city. 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.
Advent and Christmas
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.
Most every choir gives some kind of Christmas concert in or immediately before Advent. The church arranges sing-alongs with collect to their development aid.
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).
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.
Christmas peace is declared at noon of Christmas Eve in the Old Great Square, with thousands of spectators (programme starts 11:30). 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. 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.
- 6 Christmas Market at the Old Great Square, Old Great Square. Four weekends before Christmas (last 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 in 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.
- 7 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.
- 8 [dead link] Seikkisrock (16-17 June in 2018). A two-day festival, organized in early June since 1999 at Turku Adventure Park, 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 festivals main focus is on music, but available is 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 ”Worldvillage” with the themes of tolerance and sustainable development. Adventure Park, activity center for children and families, which is in the district of Kupittaa, 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. Advance ticket €10, at gate €12. Under 2 year olds free.
- 9 Ruisrock (Beginning of July, 6 to 8 July in 2018), Ruissalo Island, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 center 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. Under 7 year old get in free with an adult with a ticket. People over 70 get free entrance and can use a ferry connection from Aura river free of charge.
- Turku Modern (Annually in July, 13–16 July in 2018), ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 10 Down by the Laituri (DBTL) (End of July, 26 to 28 July in 2018), Downtown Turku. If you are down, don’t hesitate to feel so by down by the laituri! Finland´s oldest and most legendary city festival takes place in downtown Turku annually in end of July. 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 every year. With most of the acts performing pop and rock music, this multicultural event is centered on the east bank of the River Aura, around the Turku City Theatre. €55-165.
- 11 Aura Fest (Beginning of August, 10 to 12 August in 2018), Barker Park next to river Aura. One of the largest Hiphop and Urban music festivals in Finland, is held annually right next to river Aura. In 2015 the festival took place in Barker Park, just a kilometer away from the central Market Square. Performers include practically all the top domestic Hiphop and urban music performers as well as international guests.
- Turku Music Festival (Annually in August, 10 to 22 August in 2018), Around Turku, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Turku Music Festival is the oldest continuously running festival in Finland. This diverse city festival offers large orchestral concerts, chamber music, recitals, jazz and outdoor events as well as experiences for the whole family. A variety of Turku’s stunning venues, both modern and historical, are being imaginatively used to host performances from the best in their field.
- 12 Turku Jazz (Beginning of March, 8-10 March in 2018), Concerts mainly in Logomo.. 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.
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 13 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.
- 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.
- 14 Paavo Nurmi Games, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, ✉ email@example.com. 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. Beginning of September, 7 September in 2019. 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 is to double the distance every year. In 2015 the distances for running were 250 m (directed to people with reduced mobility), 2.6 km and 5.2 km which Hyysalo will run as well. A half-marathon is in sight for 2018 then will already be up to a full marathon.
- 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".
Theater, performing arts and cinema
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.
- 15 Turku City Theatre (Turun kaupunginteatteri), Itäinen Rantakatu 14 (by the Theatre Bridge), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 16 Logomo, Köydenpunojankatu 14 (behind the train station), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 17 Turku Philharmonic Orchestra (Turun filharmoninen orkesteri), Aninkaistenkatu 9 (by the Puutori square), ☏ . 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.
- 18 Swedish Theatre of Turku (Åbo Svenska Teater), Eerikinkatu 13 (by Kauppatori), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 19 Linnateatteri, Linnankatu 31, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 20 Samppalinna Summer Theatre (Samppalinnan kesäteatteri), Paavo Nurmen Puistotie 3 (by the Samppalinna mill in the park Urheilupuisto), ☏ . Samppalinna summer theatre, fifty years old, is Finland’s largest summer musical theatre. It specializes in musicals.
- 21 Kinopalatsi (Kinopalatsi Cinema Complex), Kauppiaskatu 11, ☏ (€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.
- 22 Turkuhalli (Gatorade Center), Artukaistentie 8, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 23 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.
- 24 [dead link] Veritas Stadion (football (soccer) stadium), Hippoksentie 6, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
Sports grounds and parks
- 25 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.
- 26 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.
- 27 Hohtogolf Westcoast (Glow Minigolf and Curling), Yliopistonkatu 17 (underground -- entrance is next to the Turku Orthodox Church), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 28 Skating worm (Luistelumato) (Kupittaanpuisto, behind the sports hall), ☏ . 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.
- 29 Park Field Artificial Ice Rink (Parkin kenttä), Tuureporinkatu 2, ☏ . M–F 08:00–22:00, Sa 10:00-21:00, Su 09:00–21:00 (maintenance daily 15:45–16:45); tickets and equipment rental M–F 17:00–20:00, Sa Su 12:00–18:00. Big skating field, usually most for ice hockey. Sometimes music and most 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). €2; wristband: €8+€16/10 entries.
- 30 Impivaaran jäähalli, Eskonkatu 1 (Bus 13 and 18.), ☏ . 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.
- 31 Varissuon jäähalli, Suurpäänkatu 2 (Bus 32 and 42.), ☏ . 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.
- 32 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.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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, ☏ (administration), (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. 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).
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.
- 33 Flowpark (Climbing park), Skanssinkatu 10, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 34 Kiipeilypalatsi, Vesilinnantie 1 (a cube-formed building on the hill in the TY campus behind the cathedral), ☏ . 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
For skippered yacht cruises or yacht chartering, see Archipelago Sea. Here are options for smaller vessels and quick trips:
- 35 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), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 36 Sea kayaking (Aavameri) (bus 8 from Puutori to Saaronniemi, walk to the beach), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 37 Saaristomeren melojat, Rykmentintie 55 (Uittamo, bus line 13), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 38 Aurajokisäätiö, Valkkimyllynkuja 2 (Myllärintupa by Halistenkoski rapids), ☏ . 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.
Due to its location at the shores of the Archipelago Sea, Turku has a number of great beaches, some of them really close to the city center. There are also two outdoor pools, 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.
- 39 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:
- Turku's Winter Outdoor Swimmers Club, Rykmentintie 51 (Ispoinen Beach), ☏ . 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.
- 40 Ruissalo camping beach is the favourite of many locals. It is at the very end of the Ruissalo Island (bus line 8) and on a beautiful summer day you can really feel the archipelago here.
- Saaronnniemen saukot arrange winter swimming at Tammirannantie 39 (and swimming in summer, too).
- 41 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
Outdoor pools, arenas and water parks:
- 46 JukuPark Waterpark, Kurrapolku 1, ☏ . 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.
- 47 Kupittaa Outdoor Swimming Arena, Kupittaankatu 10 (in the middle of the Kupittaa park), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 48 Samppalinna Swimming Stadium, Volter Kilven katu 2, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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:
- Caribia, Kongressgränden 1 (in the hotel in the student village, near Posanka). Indoor water park. Also one normal swimming pool.
- 49 Impivaara Swimming Centre, Uimahallinpolku 4 (last stop of bus 13 when marked "u" in the timetable; 18 passes reasonably close), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 50 Turun uimahalli, Rehtoripellonkatu 3 (in the student union's house). First swimming hall of Turku. Clothing optional, with genders separated by day of week.
- 51 Ulpukka, Eeronkuja 5 (1 km south-west of Raisio centre (along Nesteentie); bus lines 220 and 221 from Turku pass by), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Foxtrot, waltz, jive, cha cha, what have you ... The dance pavilions are an essential part of Finish summer for many, although not any more for a majority. The ones below are probably the most popular ones in the Turku region:
- 52 Uittamon paviljonki, Rykmentintie 29 (bus no 9 towards Katariina, bus stop "Tanssilava"), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Dances 12 May–17 Sept: F 20:00–01:00, Su 19:00–00:00. Dance pavilion by the sea. Also dance courses. Mostly €15.
- 53 Littoisten lava, Vanha Littoistentie 153 (bus 2B or 2C, last bus back 23:20), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 18 May–31 Aug: Th 18:00/19:30–23:00. Dance pavilion by the Littoistenjärvi lake in Kaarina. Dance course Thu 18:00–19:20 included in the price of the dance. Mostly €12 (under 25 years old half price).
- 54 Valasranta, Valasrannantie 363, Yläne (60 km from Turku), ☏ . Summer: Sa 20:30–01:30. Dance pavilion by the Pyhäjärvi lake. €16–18.
- 33 Kuralan Kylämäki – Village of Living History (Kuralan Kylämäki), Jaanintie 45 (Bus lines 2 and 2A), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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. 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.
- 34 Adventure Park (Seikkailupuisto), Kupittaankatu 2 (Bus line 32 (jump out at the bus stop just before the corner of Kerttulinkatu and Sirkkalankatu)), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
- 2 University of Turku (Turun yliopisto), ☏ . 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. Turku University offers its libraries, institutes and museums for Turku residents and visitors to use as well. It offers lectures for children and has an open university for anyone to role in. Turku Open University offers several courses also in English.
- 3 Åbo Akademi University (Åbo Akademi), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 4 Turku University of Applied Sciences (Turun Ammattikorkeakoulu), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 5 Novia University of Applied Sciences (Novia), Henrikinkatu 7, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 6 Turku City Library (Turun kaupunginkirjasto, Åbo stadsbibliotek), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M–F 09:00–20:00, Sa 10:00–16:00, Su 12:00–18:00. 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. It is a great place to just chill, check e-mail, 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. The library even lends bikes. free.
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 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.
- 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 centrepoint of Turku's western city centre is traditionally, without a doubt, the market square, with shopping centres, department stores and independent shops in the surroundings. The market square itself has been a popular shopping and meeting place and an authentic tourist attraction, with possibility to have a coffee with the locals or buy groceries from the stalls of many local producers. In 2018–2010, a parking cave is being built under the square, so the market activity goes on in a more restricted scale, in the part in front of the Orthodox Church. The bus stops, which used to line the streets around the square, have been scattered around in the nearby streets.
- 5 Turku Market Hall (Kauppahalli), Eerikinkatu 16 (50 metres from Kauppatori downstream along the Eerikinkatu), ☏ . 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.
- 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 (Kauppakeskus Hansa or Hansakortteli), Yliopistonkatu 20 (adjacent to Kauppatori). 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 and the classy department store Stockmann. A number of cafés and restaurants.
- 8 KOP-Kolmio (KOP-Triangle), Aurakatu 8, ☏ . M–F 10:00–20:00, Sa 10:00–18:00, Su 12:00–16:00. KOP-Kolmio is a smaller shopping centre next to Kauppatori and the larger Hansa 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 Skanssi (Kauppakeskus Skanssi), Skanssinkatu 10 (4 km from the city centre, 20 minutes with bus line 9, fölläri bike station), ☏ . M-F 08:00–21:00, Sa 08:00–18:00, Su 12:00–18:00. 90 special stores, a hypermarket, a wide variety of cafés and restaurants, an indoor playground, dog sitting service and underground parking.
- 10 Mylly (Kauppakeskus Mylly), Myllynkatu 1–99, Raisio (in Raisio, ten minutes' drive on the E18 highway from Turku centre; 30–40 min with 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.
- 11 Stockmann. M–F 09:00–20:00, Sa 09:00–19:00, Su 11:00–18:00. In the centre of Turku at the Hansa Shopping Center, the Stockmann first-class department store offers a wide selection of products from foods to top fashion and electronics, with selected products from Finnish design brands like Arabia, Iittala, Marimekko and Aarikka. There is also a visitor centre which provides visitors with advice and help on tax-free purchases and buying tickets to events and venues. Opposite to the department store at the shopping center lies Stockmann's bookstore, Akateeminen Kirjakauppa. There is also a café with great lunch and an excellent supermarket at the basement level of the store.
- 12 Wiklund, Eerikinkatu 11, ☏ . M–F 08:00–21:00, Sa 09:00–20:00, Su 11:00-18:00. Next to the Market square opposite side of the Hansa Shopping center, Wiklund is a first class department store. It services are built for women 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.
- 13 Turku Design Now! -Shop, Läntinen Rantakatu 13 A, ☏ . M–F 11:00–18:00, Sa 11:00–16:00. TDN shop is owned by a collective of Turku-based designers who sell interior decor goods, accessories, clothing for adults and children, ceramics, popular Turku-themed products, and for example Kotona Design's wonderful magnetic chalkboards. Ingenious products are designed and, in most cases, also manufactured in Finland. The shop carries products from, among others, KUI Design, Punainen Norsu, Klo Design and Tonfisk Design.
- 14 Televisio Lifestyle Store, Hämeenkatu 32, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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, jewelry, accessories and little bit of art as well. Everything in store is from young Finnish and Nordic designers.
- 15 [dead link] Sisutuksen koodi, Linnankatu 19, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M 11:00–618:00, Tu–F 10:00–18:00, Sa 11:00–14:00. Sisustuksen koodi (The interior code) is a interior design store in the centre. It sells functional high-quality furniture and everything else you might need to furnish your apartment. You'll also find great Finnish design brands from here such as Artek, which was founded by legendary Finnish architect couple Alvar and Aino Aalto.
- 16 Sylvi Salonen, Linnankatu 14 (the Fortuna quarter in the centre), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 17 Marimekko. M-F 09:00-20:00, Sa 10:00-19:00, Su 12:00-18:00. A cornerstone of Finnish design and fashion is Marimekko, known around the world for its fresh and bold patterns and prints. You can find a number of Marimekko shops in Turku, including, amongst others, in the shopping centres of Skanssi and Mylly, with the largest store being in the Hansa Shopping Centre.
- 18 Punainen Norsu (Red Elephant), Forum shopping centre, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Baobab Kids & lifestyle, Yliopistonkatu 11, ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 20 [dead link] 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, jewelry, 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.
- 21 Joutomaa, Kellonsoittajankatu 8, ☏ . 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.
- 22 VintagEija`s, Maariankatu 10 (a few blocks from the Market Square), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 23 Boutique Minne, Kaskenkatu 2, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 24 8raita, Yliopistonkatu 11, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 25 Asema, Läntinen Pitkäkatu 22, ✉ email@example.com. Tu–F 12:00–18:00, Sa 12:00–15:09. 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.
- 26 Iki-Pop, Linnankatu 7, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 27 Kaakko, Yliopistonkatu 38, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu–F 12:00–18:00, Sa 11:00–14:00. Founded in 2004 Kaakko sells and buys second-hand vinyl records and has almost 9000 records in stock with daily arrivals – that's probably the largest selection of vinyl records in all of Turku. If you're not able to visit the store, you can find all the records online as well.
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 regions 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 Turku Market Hall. Sausages lovers will also enjoy the wide selection of sausages at Turun Mestaripalvi Oy. On the side you can have a slice of another regional speciality, the Archipelago sweet malt bread. 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.
For fast food, you will generally need to pay under €10 any time, Burger meals are around €5–9 (including drink and fries). Lower end restaurant meals with some simple pasta or soup with water or a soft drink is usually around €10–20. For proper restaurant meals with a high-grade steak and good wine, expect to pay at least €30–60. Generally, proper restaurants are open until 22:00–23:00, on weekends maybe an hour longer. Fast food chains, pizzerias and other such places are open later at night, some as late as 03:00–05:00. In some establishments, the bar may remain open for drinks even though the kitchen has closed and no food is available.
Lunch and brunch
Most restaurants have offers at €7–10 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. When you are in the city and want to grab something to eat you can check the Turku lunch options page and prices to decide where to go.
- 1 Arvin Grilli ja Lounas, Nosturinkatu 5, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M–F 06:00–15:00 (lunch 10:30–13:30). Great price quality relation. Lunch €6.90, soup lunch €5.50 including salad, bread, milk and coffee.
- 2 M Kitchen & Café, Itäinen Rantakatu 4–6 (In the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova museum), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 11:00–19:00, lunch served M–F 11:00–14:00, Sa Su brunch 11:00–15:00. Serves a very nice lunch, including some great vegetarian choices. Saturday and Sunday it may be packed, since the brunch on the weekend is one of the best ones in the city. Reservation helps, or you need to time your visit early or late. Lunch of the day M–F €8–10; brunch €19,90.
- 3 Elvina Café, Yliopistonkatu 15 (near Kauppatori), ☏ . 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.
- 4 Fontana Café, Aurakatu 1 (Opposite City Hall and Turku 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.
- 5 Honkapirtti, Albert Ravilan raitti (Ruissalo island), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M–F 11:00–17:00, Sa Su 10:00–17:00. East Karelian-style large cabin, that has for decades been a stopping point for people enjoying the nature on the island. Unpretentious lunch consisting of traditional pea soup and delicious pancakes. Coffee table also has a range of traditional delicacies, cakes and pies.
- 6 PullaPuoti, Puistokatu 3, ☏ . 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 Café Sirius, Linnankatu 2 (inner yard of the city library), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M–F 09:00–19:00, Sa 10:00–16:00, Su 12:00–17:00. Salty and sweet delicacies, coffee products and ice cream. On weekdays it also serves lunch 11:00–15:00.
- 8 Kitchen and Cafe Stockmann, Kristiinankatu 11 (inside Hansa Shopping center), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M–F 09:00–20:00, Sa 09:00–19:00, Su 11:00–18:00. Café Restaurant of the Stockmann Department Store. Family friendly large café that serves everything from breakfast to lunch.
- 9 Unica Restaurants, Rehtoripellonkatu 4, ☏ . Unica, owned by the Student Union of the University of Turku, owns several student restaurants around the campus area behind Turku Cathedral.
- 10 [dead link] W Café, Eerikinkatu 11 (inside Wiklund Department Store), ☏ . M–F 09:00–20:30, Sa 09:00–18:00, Su 11:00–17:30. Home cooking styled lunch. Good views of the Market Square. Family friendly; ball pit for kids.
- 11 ÅAS student cafés (Gadolinia Kb), Hämeenkatu 22, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Cafés of the student union of ÅA. Most cafés are close to Piispankatu behind the cathedral, Kåren on Hämeenkatu opposite buildings of the Old Great Square, in the house of the student union by Erik Bryggman (second floor). Kåren is quiet except around noon, when all the cafés have queues. Most cafés are open only around lunch hours during terms, Arken also in summer, Gadolinia serves lunch until 19:00 during terms and is open also during the Christmas break. Lunch for outsiders: €4.60–8.
- 12 Teboil Herkku, Rautatehtaankatu 1, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 10:30-16:00, Sa 11:00-16:00. Home cooking styled lunch and dessert. €10.70.
There are plenty of inexpensive restaurants and cafés on and around Kauppatori. Around the university campus you will found many student restaurants with cheap lunch also for outsiders (see Lunch above; some timing is needed to avoid long queues). Hesburger is the dominant burger chain in Turku, and you will find several of these in the city centre. Pizzerias are frequently kebab-pizzerias, offering Turkish kebab and Italian pizza dishes on their menu. You will also find a lot of these in the centre. Unfortunately, the restaurants offering the finest kebabs are in the suburbs. During the lunch time, at least 11:00–14:00, most restaurants have offers for less than €10.
- 13 Hesburger. Open from early morning to dusk, some of them even round the clock. Just ask any of the locals: Hesburger burgers really do taste better! Originating from Turku, Hesburger is today the largest hamburger restaurant chain in Finland, surpassing such chains as McDonald's and Burger King. It is still run by the family that started it in the 1960s. It is especially popular in Turku, since the company is still based there and has a large number of restaurants scattered around the city. It is almost hard not to pass one when walking around the city centre. You'll find four Hesburgers just around the Kauppatori area. €5-10. If you are in a hurry you can also order the food through their mobile app (Android / iOS) and you'll be able to pick it up faster (This also works if you arrive and the line is very long).
- 14 Kiinanmuuri (Great Wall of China), Sirkkalankatu 27 and Vähä-Hämeenkatu 1. Kiinanmuuri is known in Turku as one of the best Chinese restaurants in the city. 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 couple of days on one portion, try the take away to get even larger portions of food.
- 15 Kortteliravintola Kerttu (Quarter Restaurant Kerttu), Läntinen pitkäkatu 35 (near the railway station), ☏ . 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 weekend they have a special Hamburger Buffet, that is very popular among locals. Staff is very friendly and welcoming whenever you wish to stop by.
- 17 Latte Café, Kristiinankatu 5. Sweet little café, which also serves very inexpensive lunch. Huge list of different coffees from every corner of the earth. 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.
- 18 Nummis, Vanha Hämeentie 19, ☏ . 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. €7–10.
- 19 Rax Buffet, Aurakatu 12, ☏ . M–Th 11:00-20:00, F 11:00-21:00, Sa 11:00–19:00, Su 12:00–19:00. Rax 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.
- 20 Taco Nito, Aurakatu 3, ☏ . Owned by Mexican brothers, Taco Nito serves simple but very tasty finger food in the Turku city centre. 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.
- 21 Yasukon Keittiö (Yasuko's Kitchen), Yliopistonkatu 26 C (second floor), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 22 Delhi Darbar, Hämeenkatu 8, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 10:30–22:00, F 10:30–23:00, Sa 12:00–23:00, Su 12:00–22:00. Probably the best Indian restaurant in Turku, Delhi Darbar serves excellent and authentic Indian food. Short walk from the Cathedral.
- 23 Ristorante Dennis (Dennis), Linnankatu 17, ☏ . M-Th 11:00–23:00, F 11:00–23:30, Sa 12:00–23:30, Su 12:30–22:00, lunch M–F 11:00–15:00. Well known and respected Italian Family restaurant in Turku has served locals since 1975. It is famous for its pizzas, succulent pastas, salads and other Italian dishes. It is particularly family friendly, and especially during the weekend reservations are advisable! You can also order out or have take away. If you visit during the summer, ask to be seated on the outdoor roof terrace of the building! Also vegan food.
- 24 Hiili, Aurakatu 6, Second floor, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 16:00–23:30, Sa 14:00–23:30, Su 14:00-20:00. Hiili offers an American BBQ experience with nice views to the heart of Turku. Menu includes pulled pork, BBQ ribs and other American delicacies. Hiili chefs have developed their own BBQ sauces and meals from local ingredients.
- 25 Kado Sushi, Inside the Market Hall, Eerikinkatu 16, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 is famous for its light and healthy reputation. The best components create the finest flavours: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, delicious – different tastes working in harmony. From Kado you can also order takeaway and enjoy your meal alone or in a group.
- 26 Kobe sushi, Martinkatu 3 (20 minute walk from city centre or by bus line 9), ☏ . Tu-F 11:00-21:00, Sa Su 12:00-21:00. Kobe sushi offers authentic Japanese food. Sushi buffet is one of the best in Turku and price is about €13.
- 27 Pippurimylly (Pepper Mill), Stålarminkatu 2, ☏ . M–F 11:00–23:00, Sa 12:00–23:00, Su 12:00–21:00, kitchen closes 1 hour before closing time. If you want to try something bit further away from the city center, Pippurimylly (Pepper Mill) is a nostalgic option. It's a traditional family-owned restaurant that has served locals for decades. It uses Finnish products and is well known for its steaks.
- 28 Sergio's, Läntinen Rantakatu 27, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M–F 16:00–23:00, Sa 13:00–23:00. Sergio's Restaurant is an authentic Italian restaurant in a 1787 wooden house by the river Aura. Most of the ingredients are imported from Italy, so the food is of quality and taste. Also, as a rule, the staff is Italian, but the service is of course also in Finnish and English. Sergio's serves authentic Italian cuisine: pizzas, pasta, fish, meat, risottos, vegetarian dishes and Italian desserts. Good wine selection as well.
- 29 Trattoria Romana, Hämeenkatu 9, ☏ . Authentic Italian trattoria, owned by Italians. Excellent value for money. Try their unrivalled pizza Margarita.
- 30 Viking Restaurant Harald (Viikinkiravintola Harald), Aurakatu 3 (between Kauppatori and Auransilta bridge), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 31 Wanhan Paronin Kellari (Old Baron's Cellar), Yliopistonkatu 37, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu–Th 14:00–22:00, F Sa 14:00–00:00. Don't be fooled by the humble entrance. A little bit off the city centre Wanhan Paronin Kellari is an atmospheric cellar restaurant that has many medievally decorated small compartments. Food includes seasonal products as well as steaks and game. Value for money is surprisingly good.
- 32 E. Ekblom, Läntinen Rantakatu 3, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. W Th 17:00–23:00, F Sa 17:00–01:00. E. Ekblom is a comfortable high quality wine restaurant at the heart of the city. Its carefully selected wines offer wide variety for customers to choose from with seasonal changes. Ekblom is 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 Aura.
- 33 Gustavo, Linnankatu 1 (Vähätori, next to the bridge), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Th-F 11:00-14:00 and 17:00-22:00, Sa 15:00-22:00. Mediterranean kitchen with a Scandinavian twist. Tip: gather 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.
- 34 Kaskis, Kaskenkatu 6 A, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Try to book your table in advance.
- 35 Ludu, Linnankatu 17, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu–F 11:00–14:00 and 17:00-23:00, Sa 17:00–23:00. Ludu is a small fine dining restaurant that serves European food. It also has excellent wine selection and changing seasonal products on its menu.
- 36 Mami, Linnankatu 3 (Vähätori), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 37 Pinella, Vanha Suurtori 2, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Lunch: Tu–F 11:00–15:00, Sa 12:00–15:00. À la carte: Tu–F 17:00–23:00, Sa 16:00–23:00. Bar: Tu–Th 17:00–23:00, F Sa 16:00–01:00. Pinella is a landmark building on the river. It has been transformed into a new contemporary bar and restaurant, creating a fresh chapter in its history as an important cultural and artistic venue.
- 38 Restaurant Samppalinna, Itäinen Rantakatu 10, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Restaurant Samppalinna – opened in 1832 – is a spectacular wooden villa with terraces on the banks of the River Aura. In summer the restaurant provides great experiences for lovers of good food, drink and theatre.
- 39 Roster, Tuomiokirkonkatu 6, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M 11:30-22:00, Tu-F 11:30-23:00, Sa 15:00-23:00, Su 12:00-18:00. In a nice historic milieu next to the Turku Cathedral, Roster offers great place to wine and dine. Have a drink before dinner in a fancy cocktail bar. And another after the dinner too.
- 40 Smör, Läntinen Rantakatu 3, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The menu changes according to the seasons combining ingredients and flavors. Midst the milieu of the cellar vaults, Smör serves at lunchtime and in the evening.
- 41 Suomalainen Pohja, Aurakatu 24, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M–F 11:00–20:00. Club Restaurant Suomalainen Pohja (Finnish Base) was built in 1980 and was designed by architect Sigvard Eklund. Club's interior 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.
- 42 Tintå, Läntinen Rantakatu 9, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, next to the River Aura near the Aura Bridge on the west bank of 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.
- 43 Tårget, Linnankatu 3 (Vähätori), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Th 11:00–22:00, F 11:00–03:00, Sa 12:00–03:00. M–F à la carte is available from 16:00 onwards. Lunch is served M–F 11:00–15:00. Tårget offers 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 when you can see the Turku Cathedral and river Aura from its terrace. Trendy but casual bistro-style restaurant.
- 44 Hunsvotti, Läntinen Rantakatu 55, ☏ . M-Th 11:00–22:00, F 11:00–23:00, Sa 12:00–23:00, Su 12:00–19:00. Hunsvotti is next to its sister restaurant Rantakerttu next to River Aura and near Föri. It's a combination of a sports bar and gastropub, since you can order food from the Rantakerttu restaurant to the pub.
- 45 [dead link] Löytö, Uudenmaankatu 1 (Near Cathedral), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 €8-11.60. Á la carte from €3 fingerfood to €32 steaks.
- 46 Pikku-Torre, Yliopistonkatu 30, ☏ . 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.
- 47 Pub Niska, Kristiinankatu 1, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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. The idea is to serve local food produced from high-quality ingredients. Open around the year, it offers Pub Niska’s famous, tasty archipelago pizzas. Archipelago pizza, i.e. Åland-style pizza, is made from fresh, high-quality ingredients that mainly come from Åland. Their list includes filling salads, desserts and a versatile drink selection.
- 48 Tiirikkala, Linnankatu 3, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 its customers traditional Danish smørrebrød sandwiches and pastries that are handmade on the site. The interior design of the restaurant is very Scandinavian reflecting its dishes. Tiirikkala is also a good place to try some Finnish beer, as it serves Finnish Microbrewery beers from its taps.
- 49 Vaakahuoneen Paviljonki, Linnankatu 38,, ☏ . Pavilion restaurant Vaakahuone is an entertainment complex on the banks of river Aura. It offers live music, dancing, speciality coffee shop, a pizza restaurant, and an à la carte restaurant. End of the building also serves as the Steamship Ukkopekka's ticket office.
- 50 Kasvis-ravintola, Yliopistonkatu 29 a (in the ground floor of the Betel Church in the yard, door in the short wall, follow the signs), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 51 Kuori, Hämeenkatu 8 (200 metres from the cathedral), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M 11:00–15:00, Tu–Th 11:00–15:00 and 17:00–22:00, F 11:00–15:00 and 17:00–23:00, Sa 17:00–23:00. Very popular vegetarian restaurant. Tip: try 6 courses tasting menu. Sister restaurant Roots Kitchen in Market Hall is great place to dine, even though it might be little crowded during lunch time. Lunch €7.90–10.40, tasting menu €56.
- 52 [dead link] Tikitak, Maariankatu 1 (Next to Puutori, a 5 minute walk from Kauppatori), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M–Th 11:00–21:00, F–Sa 11:00–00:00, Su 12:00–21:00. Looks like a quite normal kebab-pizzeria but they have a passion for vegan food. Tip: try vöner, vegan version of döner.
- 53 VG Wok, Rauninaukio (some distance past the bridge by the bus station), ☏ . 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.
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/contents of pockets.
The legal drinking age in Finland is 18 for mild alcoholic drinks (up to 20%/40-proof) and 20 for stronger drinks than that, but virtually all establishments sell stronger drinks to 18-year-olds as well. The minimum age required to enter bars/pubs/nightclubs differs; legally, one must be at least 18 to enter places that serve alcohol, but many clubs and bars have higher age limits (20–24 yrs).
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), ☏ . 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 [dead link] Fabbes Café, Tehtaankatu 6, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M–Th 08:00–18:00, F 08:00–16:00; lunch 11:00–16:00, late lunch if anything left. Favorite of the locals and especially students, Fabbes café is a cosy small café in a beautiful area near the university and the cathedral. A few lunch options, one of which 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 (the icecream from a separate small business), and you can tell the difference – nothing factory made and no additives. breakfast €7, lunch €6–7, 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), ☏ . 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 [dead link] Kisälli, Vartiovuorenkatu 2 (next to the entrance of the Luostarimäki outdoor museum), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 10:00–18:00. Old-fashioned style to partly match the location. Self-made fresh bread rolls, buns, donuts 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), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu–Su 10:00–18:00; closed in winter. 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. Lunch on weekdays.
- 10 The Old Bank, Aurakatu 3. Su M 12:00–00:00, Tu–Th 12:00–02:00, F Sa 12:00–03:00. Considered by many to be the best beer place in Turku, Old Bank is, not surprisingly, a former bank turned into a beer pub. It has beautiful interiors, great service and the widest selection of beers in town. If you feel hungry they serve amazing pie filled with reindeer.
- 11 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.
- 12 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.
- 13 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.
- 14 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.
- 15 Cosmic Comic Café, Kauppiaskatu 4 (inside Forum shopping center). Su–Tu 16:00–00:00, We–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.
- 16 Daily News, Yliopistonkatu 33 (5 minute walk from Market Square), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 09:00-02:00. A plenty of daily newspapers and perhaps the cheapest beer in the heart of the city.
- 17 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.
- 18 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.
- 19 Bar Kuka (Bar Who), Linnankatu 17, ☏ . 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.
- 20 Rento, Yliopistonkatu 23, ☏ . 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 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.
- 21 Donna, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).
- 22 Svarte Rudolf, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).
- 23 Papa Joe, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).
- 24 Cindy, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).
- 25 Aussie Bar, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).
- 26 [dead link] Katarina, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).
- 27 Majland, Läntinen rantakatu (River Aura).
- 28 Esposito, Läntinen rantakatu (River Aura).
- 29 Merihelmi, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).
- 30 Bruno, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).
- 31 Wanha Rahtilaiva, Itäinen rantakatu (River Aura).
- 32 Forte, Kristiinankatu 8, ☏ . 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.
- 33 [dead link] Börs Night Club, Kauppiaskatu 6, ☏ . F Sa 22:00–04:00. Downstairs at the Hotel Börs, Night Club Börs is right on the southern side of Market Square. It's one of the biggest night clubs in Turku. They have resident DJs who mostly play latest hit music.
- 34 Chic, Linnankatu 18. F–Su 22:00–04:00. In an old Neo-renessaince-style bank, this is the most posh nightclub in Turku. Showroom offers two stories of great atmosphere: Downstairs Lanson Club is in a beautiful old cellar and has waiters serving you to your table, which is very uncommon in Finnish nightclubs. Upstairs Heineken Bar offers trendy atmosphere with huge screens on the walls showing latest music videos.
- 35 Apollo Nightclub, Humalistonkatu 6, ☏ . 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.
- 36 Dynamo, Linnankatu 7, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 37 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.
- 38 Gong, Humalistonkatu 8. F-Sa 21:00–04:00. One of the leading live music venues in the city, Gong offers a wide range of music from rock to goth, punk, electronica, ska, prog, grunge, indie/alternative on three different stages. Good club for groups or parties.
- 39 [formerly dead link] Naima, Aurakatu 6, ☏ . 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.
- 40 Baaribaari, Aurakatu 14. Bar W-Sa 18:00-04:00, Diskodisko F Sa 22:00–04:00. Age limit 20. Popular especially amongst younger locals, since its age limit is only 20. Next to the Market Square.
- 41 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.
- 1 Ruissalo Camping, Saarontie 25 (bus 8), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 2 [dead link] Naantali Camping, Kopenkatu 20 (500 m from Naantali city centre), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. A camping ground operated by Naantali's tourist office. Vehicles and tents €14 + €5/person, cottages from €50.
- 3 Hostel Borea, River Aura, Linnankatu 72 (by the yard of Forum Marinum), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 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. Single €51, twin €82.
- 4 Bridgettine Convent Guest House, Ursininkatu 15 A, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 5 Guesthouse Tapuli, Kaivokatu 14 (between the university and the Kupittaa park), ☏ . 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.
- 6 [dead link] Hotel Harriet, Käsityöläiskatu 11, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Modern hotel and hostel-quality rooms in the centre. €45/€139.
- 7 Hesehotelli, Läntinen Pitkäkatu 1, ☏ . 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 near central Turku, right next to Turku bus station. 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.
- 8 Interpoint Hostel, Vähä-Hämeenkatu 12 A, ☏ . Operated by the YWCA of Turku, this is the cheapest place to sleep in Turku, but for good reason: It is just 30 mattresses on the floor, and 1 shower. If that is enough for you, then this is your place. €10/person.
- 9 Linnasmäki, Lustokatu 7, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: Reception: Sept–May: 08:30–15:30, June–Aug: 08:00–20:00. Affordable accommodation in peaceful surroundings 4 km from Turku centre. 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.
- 10 [dead link] Bed & Breakfast Tuure, Tuureporinkatu 17 C, third floor, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 11 Centro Hotel, Yliopistonkatu 12 A, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Centro Hotel is a modern hotel with a personal touch in the centre of Turku, in the inner courtyard of its building block. This family-owned hotel is perhaps bit more personal than the chain hotels in Turku. 4 minutes to the Market Square but at a peaceful location. €110–150.
- 12 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.
- 13 Park Hotel, Rauhankatu 1 (in the Puolala park between the railway station and Kauppatori), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 14 Scandic Hotel Plaza, Yliopistonkatu 29, ☏ , fax: . Hotel Scandic Plaza enjoys a central location in the heart of the city and is close to popular Turku attractions. It's in the city centre, close to Market Square and the pedestrian zone full of stores. Hansa shopping centre and Stockmann department store are also opposite the hotel. There's also a 24-hour gym and wind down with a relaxing sauna and you can borrow a bicycle from the hotel reception or enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant. 125–190.
- 15 Best Western Hotel Seaport, Toinen Poikkikatu 2, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Hotel Seaport is in the Turku harbour, next door to the Turku Castle. The family-owned hotel is an old customs house turned into a hotel. It's simple, but the location is good as especially if you travel by ferry, and the value for money is good.
- 16 Sokos Hotel Seurahuone, Eerikinkatu 23, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Three blocks towards the harbor from the Marker Square is Hotel Seurahuone. It's a cosy, personal business and leisure hotel that is perhaps bit more business-oriented than the other Sokos Hotels in the city. The Hansa and Forum shopping centres are by the same street, only a few blocks from the hotel. Seurahuone also houses a Spanish-style Sevilla restaurant
- 17 Holiday Inn Turku, Eerikinkatu 28, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. A short walk from Market Square, this hotel is clean, convenient and moderately priced. Breakfast spread is decent and included in the price. Overall this is a good hotel especially for a short business visit to Turku.
- 18 Cumulus Turku, Eerikinkatu 30, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Centrally located next to the Holiday Inn Turku, Cumulus is a nice mid-priced business hotel. Hotel features comfortable rooms, a cosy lobby and a bright and spacious breakfast restaurant. Hotel also has a well equipped restaurant.
- 19 Hotel Helmi, Tuureporinkatu 11, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Helmi (Pearl) is small mid-priced hotel next to the Central Bus Station. Hotel building is an old gas station, which was owned by Shell, hence the name Pearl. It is a good basic quality hotel, no frills and flourishes, so don't expect them, but very good value for money. €95–110.
- 20 Radisson Blu Marina Palace Hotel, Turku, Linnankatu 32, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, baroque-style rooms overlooking the Aura River, it offers premium lodging at the city centre. You can dine at two on-site restaurants including the popular Grill it! Marina, and take advantage of enticing benefits like complimentary access to the fully equipped gym.
- 21 Sokos Hotel Hamburger Börs & City Börs, Kauppiaskatu 6, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Formerly the Grand Hotel Börs, this hotel dates back to 1904 and the hotel restaurant is even a few years older than that. Most rooms are in a newer house. The City Börs diagonally across the street is simpler and cheaper, with the combined reception in Hamburger Börs. The entire complex has many restaurants and bars with a great nightclub making this a popular nightspot among the locals. Hotel services include indoor pool and sauna. Good discounts are often available if you book a package together with the ferry companies.
- 22 Scandic Julia, Eerikinkatu 4, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Clean comfortable rooms, excellent friendly service, quality breakfast, perhaps the best brunch in town, central location at a stone's throw from the cathedral and river Aura promenade. Fully equipped rooms. Great value for money.
- 23 Spa Hotel Caribia, Kongressikuja 1 (by the student village, behind the universities, buses 50–54, 20-minute walk from city centre), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Spa Hotel Caribia, on the outskirts of the centre, is good choice for families. It has a big spa decorated in Caribbean style. It also houses lots of conferences and other events. Don't miss the big and pink statue outdoors by the contemporary artist Alvar Gullichsen; it's a mix between Duck and Pig called Posankka.
- 24 Naantali Spa Hotel, Matkailjantie 2 (Naantali, 15 km from Turku; bus 6, 7 and 7A), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. In a modern building, Naantali Spa has roots dating to the 18th century, even the Russian Czar has paid a visit. The resort includes several restaurants, a variety of rooms, a large spa and beauty and pool services. The spa is the only Scandinavian member in the Royal Spas of Europe -affiliation. The resort is also well known in Scandinavia for arranging conferences. Off-season weekday rates can drop as low as €69/person but climb dramatically in high season.
- 25 Ruissalo Spa, Ruissalon puistotie 640 (Bus 8), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
Risks in Turku
Turku is generally a very safe city. 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’s Welfare Division provides medical advice over the phone at ☏. Lines are open weekdays from 08:00 to 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 a SMS message to ☏ .
Turku University Hospital's T-Hospital is the region’s accident and emergency hospital. It provides specialized medical care and treatment around the clock to those who have fallen suddenly ill or sustained injury. The T-Hospital is on the other side of the railway and highway 1 near Kupittaa railway station, at Savitehtaankatu 1.
- 7 [dead link] Turku Central Police Station, ☏ (non-urgent). M–F 8–17 (shorter hours for many matters).
- 8 Turku University Hospital Emergency Department, Savitehtaankatu 1, ☏ . 24 hours daily. Call for advice before coming, queues are often long.
- Emergency social services can be contacted through 112, in business hours (weekdays 08:30-15:30) instead call ☏ . Also life management.
- Avoid walking in the cycle lanes. Dedicated cycle paths are clearly marked, but sometimes run directly next to the pavement (sidewalk). Turku cyclists are subject to a comparatively hilly landscape and are unwilling to slow down and lose momentum. Usually, however, they are careful, signal clearly and use their bells, meaning that straying tourists most often are just sworn at.
- When waiting in lines, be patient and polite. Finns never jump queues – but make sure you actually stand in the line. If unsure, ask.
- Finns usually don't complain to people who are doing things (in their opinion) wrong. They will just look at your foolish behaviour and swear silently to themselves. You might be embarrassing yourself but Finns might think that complaining about it will make an even bigger scene.
- Many Finns are not very open to strangers in public, especially in public transport. They may feel very uncomfortable and embarrassed if you try to start a conversation on the bus. If you are lucky enough to be invited to someone's home you will discover that Finns behave very differently and will be very social. Most Finns speak English very well and are more than happy to refresh their skills by talking to tourists.
- 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. If you'd like to feed birds you can head to the Kupittaa Park, since there is a Bird Park where you can feed the birds as long as the food is healthy for the birds.
SparkNet is the largest WiFi network in Finland. It is free to students of the schools and universities in the city and city personnel. Others can purchase the connection from SparkNet's website.
Students and personnel from participating institutions get free Wi-Fi through the Eduroam network.
In addition to the SparkNet much of Turku is blanketed with Wi-Fi hotspots. Most cafés and bars offer wireless internet connection without requiring a person to be a paying customer. Some restaurants will do this as well, but may insist that you purchase something.
The city main library (see above) offers public computers with Internet access (without booking, mostly there are some free ones). The "15 min" computers can be used without logging in.
Getting or exchanging money 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 travelling to Sweden, and the Stockmann department store accepts the krona, rubles, dollars and pounds. Forex Bank has an exchange office at Eerikinkatu 13 (by Kauppatori) and is usually the best place to change currencies. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, but be prepared to show your passport or ID card.
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.
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 Market Square). Expect to find some well-known ones at least in Swedish, English, German, French and Spanish. 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.
- 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.
- 55 Kupittaa dog haven, Lemminkäisenkatu (at the north-east edge of the park Kupittaanpuisto).
- 56 Nummenranta dog haven (at the walk on the left river bank, by the Student Village).
- 57 Jäkäläpuisto dog haven, Jäkäläpolku (Luolavuori, the path to the haven starts at Rätiälänkatu).
- 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.
- 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 circular 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.
- Naantali – Travel around 20 minutes with local bus to see the summer residence of the President of Finland Kultaranta, the Moomin World theme park and the beautiful wooden Old Town of Naantali.
- Rauma – with its UNESCO World Heritage listed old town, Rauma can be reached easily by bus from Turku. Travelling time is approximately 1½ hours. Rauma is the third oldest town in Finland behind Turku and Porvoo.
- 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.
|Routes through Turku|
|END ←||W E||→ Kaarina → Helsinki|
|Pori ← Turku countryside ←||NW SE||→ END|
|Stockholm ← ←||W E||→ Kaarina → Helsinki|
|END ←||SW NE||→ Turku countryside → Tampere|
|END ←||SW NE||→ Kaarina → Hämeenlinna|