Situated in the southwestern corner of Finland, accessible by boat, train, car or bus, is the small city of Turku. It draws tourists taking the ferry from Stockholm, Sweden, and boasts a city built along a river. In fact, several of the restaurants, cafes and lodgings are located in boats along the river. The older east side of the river is known as being “on this side of the river” and the newer, more modern side is known as being “on the other side of the river.” Both sides have something to offer.

Turku, Finland

Take a Stroll Along the River

Locals take pride in the river and hold it close to their hearts. In fact, they say that the river is the heart of the city. So you must walk or bicycle along the river. You will find cafes and restaurants both along the river and in boats in the river. They also have some nice sculptures along the river.

Turku, Finland

 

Turku, Finland

 

Turku Cathedral

On this side of the river (the old side), you should step into the Turku Cathedral, located along the river. This 700 year old church is beautiful inside. You can walk in and take a look, or pay a little to visit the museum if you like.

Turku Cathedral, Turku, Finland

 

Turku Cathedral, Turku, Finland

Luostarinmaaki Handicrafts Museum

This historic open air museum is located close to the Turku Cathedral and the river, also on this side of the river, and holds the city’s oldest buildings. Dating back to the 18th and 19th century, visiting this museum is like stepping back in time. Especially since many of the buildings have people dressed in and acting like they are from the 18th or 19th century.

Luostarinmaaki Handicrafts Museum, Turku, Finland

In 1827, Turku experienced a devastating fire and these buildings are the only ones that survived. When they decided to open this museum, they restored the buildings to the early 19th century.

Luostarinmaaki Handicrafts Museum, Turku, Finland

If you’re looking to learn a bit about the history, of Turku, head over to the Luostarinmaaki Handicrafts Museum for a couple hours.

 

Turku Castle

I highly recommend visiting the Turku Castle. The castle is large and spread out and has a varied history from the 1280’s to the present day. Through time, different groups ruled the castle. They have preserved the history and there are distinct differences between the medieval part of the castle and the renaissance part. In addition to serving as a castle, Turku Castle served as a prison, storehouse and barracks. Bombings in 1941 ruined the castle, but it was later restored. This is a place you can really get lost in and learn a lot.

Turku Castle, Turku, Finland

 

Turku Castle, Turku, Finland

 

Turku Castle, Turku, Finland

The Market in the Main Square

In the main square of Turku, there is a fresh open market daily. Here you can buy fresh, local fruits and vegetables. When I was there in the summertime, I enjoyed the local berries that were in season. There are a few vendors selling prepared food if that is what you are looking for.

 

Turku Art Museum

This museum was recommended to me by a local and I really enjoyed it. They have art from classical periods to modern, so there is something for everyone. It is big enough to have a variety of art on display, but not so big that you feel overwhelmed.

Outside the Turku Art Museum, Turku, Finland

 

Turku Art Museum, Turku, Finland

 

Wander Through the City

There is so much more to see and do in this city. There are a lot of delicious restaurants, lots of places to shop, and lots of museums. I rented a bicycle for the two days I was there and rode all over the city, seeing what the different areas are like. I liked exploring the residential areas as well as the area made for visitors. I used a digital map to find hole in the wall, delicious places to eat, and cute little hidden coffee shops. There really is something for everyone in Turku.

 

Get Out of the City

There are so many great places to explore around Turku. I rode my bicycle to another island to see the botanical garden, which is free and open to the public. I usedthe bike path and found a nice little local beach along the way. It was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for a little while. I was impressed by the sculptures in the garden, as well as the Japanese garden area.

Botanical garden, Turku, Finland

 

Botanical garden, Turku, Finland

Europeade

I was in Turku during the same time as Europeade, which is an international folk dance festival. I was able to watch folk dancers from all over the world dance on stages set all over the city. It was fun to see what different culture’s dances are like, and seeing both young and not so young dancers. It was like walking back in time in Turku with people dressed in traditional clothes walking all through the city.

Europeade, Turku, Finland

 

Europeade, Turku, Finland
Turku, Finland
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10 thoughts on “Turku, Finland

  • February 8, 2018 at 10:16 PM
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    Nice, seems the Turku, Finland has a lot of history with their museum, arts and the castle. That’s good that you were able to rent a bike to roam the place, I bet it’s relaxing with the view in the river too 🙂

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  • February 8, 2018 at 10:54 PM
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    I’ve never been to Finland, looks charming! I love seeing the young people dance in their traditional dress, very fun! And the restaurants in the boats themselves would be a unique way to dine! Thanks for sharing!

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  • February 9, 2018 at 1:13 AM
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    It sounds like you had a wonderful time exploring Turku. Thanks for the photos; the town looks very charming.

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  • February 9, 2018 at 1:19 PM
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    Turku looks like a really cool city! Europeade sounds like a fun event. Sometimes the best part of traveling is the unexpected cultural experience that awaits.

    Reply
  • February 11, 2018 at 11:27 AM
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    Turku looks like a really nice town.
    I love the picture you have chosen for the Turku art museum. I have only been once to Finland – and i would really like to explore it some more

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  • February 11, 2018 at 11:40 AM
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    I didn’t even know about Turku but after reading this seems like I’ll have to add another stop in my upcoming Finland trip 🙂

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  • February 11, 2018 at 12:04 PM
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    This looks like a fascinating excursion from Stockholm and easy to get to as well! It is always fun to stumble upon a random festival when traveling 🙂

    Reply
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  • February 18, 2018 at 6:08 PM
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    I love Finland! I’ve been to many cities in Finland like Tampere and Oulu, but never made it to Turku, though it is on my list. While I find that Helsinki is a great city, I love visiting these smaller cities. They have a lot to offer. Finnish people are so friendly too!

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