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11 Interesting Things to Do in Turku, Finland

Priya Johnson Jun 22, 2024
Finland's oldest city - Turku is a city that has literally risen out of the ashes. Having 75% of the city destroyed in a fire in 1827, the city's historical monuments incurred major damage and were reconstructed. Let's find out more about this heroic city.
Turku Castle
This castle was built in the 1280s as a fortress and has withstood many battles. Although it incurred a lot of damage, restoration has kept it intact.
This granite castle is a precious piece of Finland's history. A guided tour around the place will help you understand Finland's past.
Turku Cathedral
Consecrated in the 1300s, this magnificent cathedral is Finland's national treasure. It's even the national shrine of the country.
Severely damaged in the fire that devoured the city, this cathedral was resurrected from the ashes and today it's a glorious structure standing in the center of the city. The apex spire was added after the fire.
Old Great Square
Situated in the heart of the city, this city square is lined by four famous buildings like the Old City Hall, Juselius Manor, Brinkkala Mansion and Hjelt Mansion. Step inside these mansions and enjoy great art galleries.
Christmas Market opens up at the Old Great Square during the weekends in December. It's a wonderful place to meet the locals and purchase a variety of souveniers to take back home.
Handicrafts Museum
This open air museum is actually the only district area of Turku that escaped the destructive flames of 1827.
It comprises 18 blocks of 18th and 19th century buildings that have been preserved intact till today. Walk around the blocks and take a step into the past. Marvel at this historic neighborhood and learn all about the lives of the locals in the 18-19th century.
Watch craftsmen work on different traditional crafts like weaving, carving, pottery, book binding, and a number of other trades. Purchase lovely handicrafts from the museum shop and even take a look at the iconic post office with their special watermark.
Kupittaa Park
The biggest city park in all of Finland, this park also happens to hold the title of Finland's oldest city park. The park offers a plethora of activities for the entire family and the best part is, it's free.
The adventure park, traffic city and outdoor pool are highlights of this park. Their bird pond is also a wonderful place to spend time. All kinds of outdoor sports and picnicking is possible here.

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Bicycle Tour of the City
Bicycles are available on rent here, so rent a bike and enjoy peddling along the cycling path. Since it's a scenic city, it's a wonderful way to tour the city without having to shell out anything extra.
River Aura
Touted as the heart and soul of the city, this river runs in the center of the city and adds to the charm of Turku. Enjoy a meal along one of the riverside cafes and relax into the sunset.
Cruises from Turku Harbor
Opening into the Baltic Sea, the Turku archipelago cruise is worth taking. On this cruise, you can view the historic city from the waters and also enjoy a visit to Turku archipelago.

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Ice Skating over River Aura
In the winters, River Auro freezes completely and when declared safe, it is open for ice skating. It's an amazing experience skating over this natural ice skating rink with the city monuments as your backdrop.
Sauna and Ice Swimming
Even though Tampere is deemed the sauna capital of Finland, don't miss out on the opportunity to enjoy a lovely sauna combined with the unique ice swimming experience.
Ice swimming is literally jumping into ice water and then getting out of the freezing water and running into the warm sauna. It may sound bizarre, but it's definitely worth a shot. It's relaxing and a fun activity when done with friends.
Turku Food Tours
Another interesting way to tour the city and learn more about the culture is by getting to know their food culture better. Sign up for guided tours or purchase a food card that will lead you to the best dishes and restaurants in the city.