Turku is a city in the Southwest coast of Finland at the mouth of Aura River and it is a thriving city with a rich cultural heritage, a vibrant history and some of the most forward-looking people. Turku is Finland’s oldest town and is considered to be a gateway to the West. Today, Turku is a vibrant modern city boasting medieval cobblestone streets, old sailing ships, museums, castles, cathedrals, festivals, events, music, theatre, art and design.
The best way to get a taste of the culture and lifestyle of one of Europe’s oldest towns is to indulge in some of the best things to do in Turku, which include a tour of the scenic riverside, steamship cruise around the various local islands, the iconic Turku Castle, Panimoravintola Koulu, Flowpark Oy, Turku University Botanical Garden and the Medieval Market. Turku is also home to numerous museums like the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, Pharmacy Museum, Turku Art Museum, Sibelius Museum, Waino Aaltonen Museum of Art, Museum Ett Hem, Kylämäki Village of Living History and cathedrals like The Turku Cathedral and Archangel Michael's Church. Other top things to do in Turku include visiting the Cosmic Comic Café, Flow Park, Viikinkiravintola Harald, The Old Great Square and the Kustö - Kuusito Castle. The cultural life of Turku has much to offer to its visitors, ranging from numerous museums, art galleries, theatres and concert halls to castles, cathedrals and outdoor activities like kayaking and hiking. Turku also hosts various internationally renowned festivals, the most famous of which are oldest rock festival in Europe, Ruisrock and the Turku Music Festival which attracts internationally acclaimed classical musicians every year. With such an exciting itinerary, it is a must for every avid traveller to visit Turku at least once.
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#1 of 41 Things to do in Turku | Added 1432 times in trip plans
Linnankatu 80, 20100 Turku, Finland
10:00 am - 06:00 pm
Found in 13th Century at a time when City was not even in place and was just one of the major trading squares. Turku Castle is one of the oldest building in Finland. Situated on the banks of Aura River, this medieval building has played many a roles – a guard, an affluent palace, seat of a Government, as a prison, a warehouse and as a barrack! The castle is now also a home to a museum that and has become one of the most visited by locals and a popular tourist destination among tourists.
Museum has on display an interesting exhibition, including furniture and medieval costumes that depicts Castle’s journey from its early days till today.
Pay a visit to the gift shop – Fatabur Museum shop – to buy gift and souvenirs for the loved ones and enjoy a delectable meal or a cup of coffee at their in house restaurant and cafe – Duke John’s Cellar.
#2 of 41 Things to do in Turku | Added 1528 times in trip plans
Tuomiokirkonkatu 1, 20500 Turku, Finland
09:00 am - 06:00 pm
Turku Cathedral is Finland’s national shrine and mother Church of Lutheran Church of Finland. Its religious and historical importance is such that every noon when the bells ring, they are broadcasted over the national radio!
Also do visit the Museum at the Cathedral’s south gallery – an exhibition that tells the story right from 1300’s till the present time!
Finish your visit to the Cathedral by visiting Domcafe – in one of the brick vaults of Cathedral – discuss the history and exhibitions with friends and family or just enjoy a cup of coffee if you are still overwhelmed with the majesticity of all!
#3 of 41 Things to do in Turku | Added 1323 times in trip plans
Linnankatu 2, 20100 Turku, Finland
09:00 am - 08:00 pm
An archaeological marvel Turku Main Library is a combination of Old building and new building a beautiful fusion of old and modern architecture! New building makes use of modern day technology to make available printed and electronic versions of various books, magazines, periodicals and other collections at the Library. Arrangement of books and other forms of publication content wise and floor wise make it easier for the visitors to look for the material they need or would like to explore.
There is even a children’s zone where they can explore and read all they can from story books to comics or even do their homework in a modish library. Young adults can showcase their talent or socialize at Games club!
With many branches and a mobile library, Turku City Library reaches out to neighbourhoods. It also delivers books at the doorsteps to those who have subscribed for home delivery.
#4 of 41 Things to do in Turku | Added 1207 times in trip plans
Vartiovuorenkatu 2, 20101 Turku, Finland
10:00 am - 06:00 pm
Spend at least half a day exploring the only area in Turku that survived Great Fire in 1827 the greatest fire in Finland and in the whole of Scandinavia. Luostarinmaki Handicrafts Museum is an open air museum that consists of wooden houses and workshops. These buildings and blocks are still in their original locations and there is a market organized during summers where traders sell their products from the 18th Century wooden shops dressed in medieval costumes! Quite a sight!
The museum has been awarded “Golden Apple” by FIJET and is one of the most visited attractions and manages to pull huge crowds every year!
#5 of 41 Things to do in Turku | Added 1307 times in trip plans
Itainen Rantakatu 4-6, 20700 Turku, Finland
11:00 am - 07:00 pm
Housed in Rettig Palace, these museums were combined in 2004 and now are one of the top attractions in Turku and in the whole of Finland as well. Aboa Vetus is a museum below ground and has on display exhibitions that talk about the City in medieval times whereas Ars Nova focuses on modern art through pictures, sculptures and sometimes even moving images.
These unique museums both entertain and educate visitors at the same time.
#6 of 41 Things to do in Turku | Added 1267 times in trip plans
Eriksgatan 18, 20100 Abo, Finland
11:00 am - 11:59 pm
Enjoy a delectable lunch at midday or hang out with friends and family during evenings or even late at night (brewery is open till 2 AM!) at the largest brewery restaurant in Finland! Brewery makes 4 regular beers and a cider, apart from seasonal brews throughout the year.
If planning a visit during summer, do make it a point to visit beer garden at the brewery.
#7 of 41 Things to do in Turku | Added 500 times in trip plans
Lantinen Rantakatu 13, P.O. Box 286, 20101 Turku
10:00 am - 06:00 pm
Whether or not you understand science and medicine, a visit to the Pharmacy museum is sure to leave you pleasantly surprised as to how the people survived without the modern day medicines.
It also gives visitors a peek into the lives of upper middle class people that lived through 18th Century as the museum is housed in one of the oldest houses in Turku. Museum also has on display some of the fascinating pieces of furniture from around that time as well as pharmacy related equipment.
Enjoy a cup of coffee at the end of your visit in Museum’s backyard cafe.
#8 of 41 Things to do in Turku | Added 931 times in trip plans
Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Finland
11:00 am - 07:00 pm
A museum whose building is a work of art in itself! Built in 1904, it was designed by Professor Gustaf Nystrom to be constructed in National Romantic style! Since the beginning, the Museum was focused on collecting art pieces made by the leading Finnish and international artists as well! Museum now has on display approximately 6000+ wonderful pieces of art.
Museum is also a proud owner of art works made during 19th and 20th Century the period recognized as “Golden Age of Finnish Art”. Museum also holds temporary exhibitions from time to time to allow artists to showcase their talent, especially in visual arts!
#9 of 41 Things to do in Turku | Added 231 times in trip plans
Skanssinkatu 10, 20730 Åbo, Finland
10:00 am - 08:00 pm
Test your skills at high rope adventure tasks and get your dose of adrenaline rush at this Adventure Park with activities that will push you beyond your comfort level! Perfect for a day out with friends and/or family with sixteen trails to be explored and approximately 100+ missions to be completed! It even has children’s trails!
Only restriction this Adventure Park has for high rope adventure tasks is for children to be of at least seven years of age and 120 centimetres in height!
#10 of 41 Things to do in Turku | Added 508 times in trip plans
Biskopsgatan 17, 20500 Turku, Finland
Only museum in Finland dedicated to Music and is named after Country’s most famous composer of all times Jean Sibelius!
Main exhibition speak volumes about the history and evolution of music and its varied instruments! Museum has over 1900 music instruments, of which approximately 300 are on display ranging from European folk music to instruments procured from all over the World!
Apart from the Main exhibition, Museum has a dedicated collection on Sibelius that has on display various items – manuscripts, music sheets, letters, pictures and articles giving visitors a chance to learn about the life and his work!
A must visit for all art and music lovers. It might prove to be an interesting visit for all the history buffs as well!
#11 of 41 Things to do in Turku | Added 621 times in trip plans
Ruissalon puistotie 215, Turku 20100
10:00 am - 05:00 pm
Both the gardens combined are home to over 5000 species of plants! In the greenhouse, one will find succulent and tropical plants whereas outdoor garden has plants like rose, medicinal and edible plants, rock plants and many more! Although an hour might be a good time if you are in City for a day or two and would like to catch up on other attractions, but if you are a plant lover, then a couple of hours spent at the garden would be totally worth it!
Learn more about the plants through guided tour or just stroll through these beautiful gardens! Enjoy a cup of coffee at the cafeteria at the end of your visit.
#12 of 41 Things to do in Turku | Added 960 times in trip plans
Allegatan 16, 20100 Abo, Finland
10:00 am - 06:00 pm
Declared a Church in 1905, this Church was built in German Neo-Gothic style exterior and an Art Nouveau interior by a very famous architect of that time – Lars Sonck! It is the top choice for people when it comes to hosting weddings and private events!
Main tower of the Church is approximately 77 metres high and like a lighthouse, is visible from far out at sea.
#13 of 41 Things to do in Turku | Added 72 times in trip plans
Vanha Suurtori 3, 20500 Turku, Finland
12:00 pm - 08:00 pm
Be a part of Finland’s largest medieval market! It is held at four different locations - the Medieval Market at the Old Great Square, Turku Castle, Turku Cathedral and the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova museum.
Market has a wide array of environment for all the visitors – artefacts and handicrafts, delicious food, informative lectures, guided tours and live entertainment!
#15 of 41 Things to do in Turku | Added 434 times in trip plans
Once an important military base, this remote island near Turku is one of the most visited attractions! Uto is approximately a 6 hours journey from Turku by bus and boat. Stay a day or two at this remote Island and explore the Island either on your own or take a guided tour to understand and learn about the history of this beautiful and charming Island!