The city of Turku is one of the most famous cities in Finland. It is the oldest city and the former capital of the country. Turku is famous for its cultural events, the unique nature of the region and several historical sights. Most tourists come to the region in the summer. The city can be conveniently reached by ferry from Stockholm.
The city is located in the south-west of Finland, on the Baltic Sea coast. Distance from Turku to Helsinki is about 170 kilometers, to St. Petersburg about 250 kilometers, to Stockholm about 215 kilometers.
Turku population is approximately 187,564 people (2016). It is the fifth largest city of Finland. Turku is also the official Christmas city of Finland. The Declaration of Christmas Peace is traditionally held at noon at the Old Great Square 24 December.
The town of Turku was founded in late 13th century, making it the oldest city in Finland. In the Middle Ages, Turku was the seat of the Bishop of Finland. At that time the city had name Åbo. The residence of the bishop and the Dominican monastery did the Abo city religious and educational center of Finland. It was the largest city in Finland, an important trading center and port, one of the largest cities in the Kingdom of Sweden. Already in the Middle Ages, Turku (Abo) was known as the scientific and cultural center. First university (1640, Royal Academy of Turku) and the first printing house of Finland were founded in the city. The capital was moved to Helsingfors (Helsinki) for political reasons in the early 19th century.
The city is situated on both banks of the Aura River. Aura River divides the city on two parts. Seven bridges connect the river banks. In the lower reaches of the Aura River, people also carries across the river a small ferry “Föri”.
The city was founded on the left (southern) bank of the river, and there are located the Turku Cathedral, the Academy, the old city center, City Hall and the first school.
Look location of interesting and useful tourist points on a map of Turku.
How to get to Turku
The most convenient way to get to Turku is via Helsinki, Stockholm and Riga. Helsinki has regular bus and rail connections with Turku. Turku has a regular ferry service to Stockholm (Sweden). The ferry is not only an opportunity to get to Turku and Stockholm. You can spend a fun time on the ferry while traveling. Tourists’ can also get to Turku by plane from Helsinki, Stockholm and Riga.
You can check availability and cost of tickets online.
Port of Turku
Port of Turku is the oldest port in Finland. The first mention of the port refers to 1154. The port is located on the Baltic Sea coast, to the west of the city center. The port serves over four million tons of cargo and over four million passengers for the year. Ferries to Stockholm and the Åland Islands depart every day from Turku port (Turun satama). Passengers serve ferries “Silja Line” and “Viking Line”. There are also less frequent connections to popular holiday destinations such as several cities in Spain.
Turku Airport (Turun lentoasema) is one of three largest international airports of Finland. The airport is located about 5 kilometers to north of the city center. The airport serves flights to some cities in Finland and international flights. It serves approximately 450,000 passengers per year, being the fourth busiest airport in Finland by the number of passengers (in 2012) and second busiest airport by the amount of cargo tons (in 2012).
Address: Turku Airport, Lentoasemantie 150, 20360 Turku, Finland.
Look location of interesting and useful tourist points on a map of Turku.
Sights and attractions in Turku
According to statistics, the most visited places in Turku in 2013 were:
- Cultural Center Logomo. 260 thousand visitors.
- Museum of Contemporary Art Aboa Vetus. 181000
- Cathedral. 175 thousand visitors.
- Maritime Museum Forum Marinum. 122,600 visitors.
- The medieval castle. 121,300 visitors.
- Botanical Garden in Ruissalo. 40 thousand visitors.
- Museum of Art. 39,700 visitors.
- Luostarinmäki. 31 thousand visitors.
Turku Cathedral is the main Lutheran church of Finland (Tuomiokirkko). The cathedral was originally built out of wood in the late 13th century, and was dedicated as the main cathedral of Finland in 1300, the seat of the bishop of Turku. The cathedral was badly damaged during the Great Fire of Turku in 1827. It is located in the heart of Turku next to the Old Great Square, by the river Aura.
St. Michael's Cathedral
Beautiful Lutheran Church was built in years1899-1905.
Address:: Puistokatu 16, Turku, Finland.
Turku Castle (Turun linna) is one of Finland's medieval castles. Turku Castle played a major role in the history of Sweden and Finland in the past. The castle is situated at the mouth of the Aura River. Construction of buildings on this place began presumably about 1250. The castle is one of the oldest buildings still in use in Finland. Turku Castle is the largest surviving medieval building in Finland. Turku Historical Museum is operating in the castle now.
Address:: Linnankatu street 80, Turku, Finland.
Cultural Center "Logomo" located in the central part of the city, near the train station and bus station. In the cultural center Logomo concerts, exhibitions, seminars, congresses. Business, private and cultural events can be organized here. The largest room has a capacity of up to 3500 tselovek.
Address: Köydenpunojankatu 14, Turku, Finland.
Ruissalo is an island in the Archipelago Sea and a district of the city of Turku, Finland. In the Ruissalo is situated Botanical Garden of the University of Turku. Every year here is held an international rock festival Ruisrock. Spa Hotel Ruissalo Spa Hotel (Ruissalon Kylpylä) is located on the island. There is a spa and a camping area in the westernmost part of the island. Turku golf course is situated on island. Distance to city center is about 7,5 kilometers.
Museum Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova
The complex of the two museums is located at street “Itäinen rantakatu” 4-6. This is the most visited museum in Turku. The main theme of the museum is modern art and history of Turku. Every two years the museum holds an exhibition of contemporary art “Turku Biennaali”.
Museum of the Sea navigation Forum Marinum is located near the port of Turku. The exposition of the museum devoted to the history of shipbuilding and seafaring Finland and naval forces of Finland. Near the museum, on the waterfront, there are several museum ships.
Address: Linnankatu 22, 20100, Turku, Suomi.
The official website of the museum: www.forum-marinum.fi.
"Vanha Suurtori" square. The square is located in the old part of the city, near the cathedral. The square was a center from which roads leading to different parts of the country began. A lot of different events are held on the square. For example: a medieval fair in the summer, Christmas markets and the proclamation of Christmas peacewinter in winter.
Exhibition center of Turku
Exhibition and Congress Centre of Turku (Turun Messu-ja Kongressikeskus) was built in 1989. This is one of the biggest exhibition centers in Finland.
Address:: Messukentänkatu 9-13, Turku, Finland.
Naantali is the small town located near the Turku. It is one of the most interesting tourist destinations in Finland. Naantali is located about 9 kilometers to west of Turku.
In Naantali, on the Luonnonmaa island, is located summer residence of the President of Finland - Kultaranta (Gold Coast).
Famous children amusement park “Moomin World” is located in Naantali. (Muumimaailma, Moomin Park). The park is based on the Moomin books by Tove Jansson.
Naantali Spa Hotel is one of the most popular spa hotels in Finland. The hotel is located near the center of the city of Naantali.
Hotel address:: Matkailijantie 2, 21100 Naantali, Finland.
Look location of interesting and useful tourist places on a map of Turku.
There are enough places for accommodation in Turku. In the city and its vicinity, travelers can find are hotels, hostels and holiday homes at different prices.
In the center of Turku, close to the Hansa quarter shopping center, the market square, the Turku Concert Hall and the Turku Cathedral, there are hotels: Original Sokos Hotel Seurahuone, Hotel Helmi, Centro Hotel, Cumulus, Scandic Julia.
The Best Western Hotel Seaport hotel is located next to Turku Ferry Port.
The Ruissalo Spa Spa Hotel is located on Ruissalo Island, a 15-minute drive from Turku city center.
Holiday Club Caribia Hotel is located near the Aura River 1.5 km from the center of Turku.
Book your hotel in Turku right now.
Many residents of Finland like spend their summer holidays at the cottage, by the lake or by the sea coast. In Southwest Finland you can spend a nice and relaxing vacation with your family and friends. There are many different sized cottages in the area that are rented for a holiday period. It is easily to rent a holiday home in Finland online. Cottages, holiday homes and apartments renting in Finland is comfortable to do with one of the international booking services (for example booking.com, Interhome or HomeAway).