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Best things to do in Turku

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Finland  /  Southwest Finland  /  Turku

Top 15 things to do in Turku

1. Turku Castle

Explore the medieval Turku Castle, a historical monument that has protected the Aura River since the 13th century. Built in the 1280s as a military fortress to provide protection to the surrounding area and river, this castle is one of the oldest buildings in Finland that is open to the public. View the imposing symbol of medieval architecture, which has survived centuries of sieges and different reigning groups. Experience the original grandeur of this fortress, completely renovated in 1993, with a guided tour that will outline the structure's architectural, cultural, and historical relevance to Finland and other Nordic countries.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. Sea Fortress Suomenlinna, Helsinki

Visit World Heritage Site Sea Fortress Suomenlinna to see a sea fortress built on a collection of six islands. This ruggedly beautiful spot is a favorite among both locals and tourists. The fortress was built in 1748 and inhabited by Swedes and Russians until 1918, when it became a part of independent Finland. View the impressive fortified structure, constructed by the Swedish crown to withstand attacks from 18th-century Russia (who eventually overtook the islands in 1808). Nowadays the site supports a town with civilian inhabitants and draws visitors from the mainland of Finland.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Sea Fortress Suomenlinna:

3. Bike Rental - by Carfield

Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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4. Ispoinen Beach and Sauna

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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5. The Archipelago Trail

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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6. Sa-int Maanpuolustusmuseo

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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7. Turku Cathedral

Visit Turku Cathedral, the national shrine considered by many to be Finland's most important historical monument. This cathedral is the mother of the Lutheran Church of Finland dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Henry, Finland's first bishop. Visit the medieval structure, established in 1300, and see the immense work of renovations after the 1827 Great Fire of Turku. Tour the cathedral museum to learn about Finnish history since the 14th century. Listen to the church bells at noon as you walk along the Aura River.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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8. Adventure Park

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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9. Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova

Walk through the ruins of Finland's oldest city while at the same time viewing pieces of modern art at Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, a museum of history and contemporary art. At its inception in the 1990s, the institution was meant to host only contemporary art. However, when the builders accidentally discovered an ancient town below ground, the world received this unconventional venue. Ask for a guided tour of the site to get a comprehensive overview of the collections, or walk through the medieval cellars and eccentric exhibit halls at your own pace. You will see works by masters such as Picasso and Warhol, as well as artwork by Finnish artists of the 20th century.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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10. Kupittaa Park

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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11. Kirjais

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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12. Helsinki Cathedral, Helsinki

A product of Russian expansionism in the region, Helsinki Cathedral was built by architect Carl Ludvig Engel as the pinnacle of the city's Senate Square. The cathedral was constructed between 1830 and 1852 in the neoclassical style as a tribute to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. After Finland gained independence in 1917, it became a Finnish Evangelical Lutheran cathedral. Take in views of the structure's distinctive green domes and white pillars and walk through the church to appreciate its Greek cross layout. Over 350,000 tourists visit this cathedral every year.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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13. Turku University Botanical Garden

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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14. St Henry's Ecumenical Art Chappel

Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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15. Turku Art Museum

Turku is a city on the southwest coast of Finland at the mouth of the Aura River, in the region of Southwest Finland. Turku, as a town, was settled during the 13th century and founded most likely at the end of the 13th century, making it the oldest city in Finland. It quickly became the most important city in Finland, a status it retained for hundreds of years. After Finland became part of the Russian Empire (1809) and the capital of the Grand Duchy of Finland was moved to Helsinki (1812), Turku continued to be the most populous city in Finland until the end of the 1840s, and it remains a regional capital and an important business and cultural center.
Because of its long history, it has been the site of many important events, and has extensively influenced Finnish history. Along with Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, Turku was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2011. In 1996, it was declared the official Christmas City of Finland.
Due to its location, Turku is a notable commercial and passenger seaport with over three million passengers traveling through the Port of Turku each year to Stockholm and Mariehamn.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Turku Art Museum