Turku – the oldest city in Finland brimming with art, culture, and cuisine

There's a saying in Finnish that goes: why visit Paris when you have Turku? As Finland’s oldest town, the city is full of old city charm and a thriving urban scene rich in art and culture. Turku is also a must-visit destination for foodies with some of Finland's best restaurants. Visit the former capital of Finland and see why it’s often referred to as “the Paris of Finland.”

Best reasons to visit Turku in a nutshell

Are you a history fanatic, a culture and art lover, or a gourmand? If so, Turku is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Walk along the lovely riverbank of Aura River from Turku Cathedral to Turku Castle to explore the heart and soul of the city. Stop by the historical site Luostarinmäki handicrafts museum to see the residential buildings that survived the Great Fire of Turku, or explore exhibitions of contemporary art and archaeology at the Aboa Vetus Ars Nova museum. Once you feel hungry, treat yourself at one of Turku’s exquisite restaurants on the ground or aboard a riverboat.

For culture and art lovers, there is a landscape of art to explore in museums, including the Turku Art Museum and Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art. One of the most prominent music museums in Finland, the Sibelius Museum, provides a house full of musical experiences ranging from exhibitions to concerts.

As Turku is famous for its location by the Baltic sea, must-see attractions include the collection of the magnificent boats and vessels at the Forum Marinum Maritime Centre. Turku is also the gateway to the Finnish Archipelago. Embark on your ultimate Finnish road trip along the Archipelago Trail by renting a car or a bike.

Top activities in Turku region

Discover some of the best things to do and see in Turku and the archipelago.

Credits: Visit Turku, Terri Vahtera

True taste of Turku Archipelago

Take this tour and enjoy some of the delicious flavours of the archipelago.

Best second-hand and vintage shops in Turku

Find treasures from clothing to home decor at the best vintage shops in Turku.

Credits: Maanantaimarket

Small Archipelago Trail

Experience the ultimate Finnish road – or bike – trip in the Turku Archipelago.

Family-friendly activities in Southern Finland

Looking for things to do with the kids? Don't miss Moominworld near Turku and other kid-friendly destinations in Southern Finland.

Credits: Moomin World

Useful things to know about Turku

Where is Turku?

Turku is located in the southwestern corner in Finland. It serves as a gateway to the Finnish Archipelago.

How can I get to Turku from Helsinki?

Turku is not far from Helsinki; it is a two-hour road trip from the capital city. The easiest and greenest way to get to Turku from Helsinki is by train. There are multiple direct connections every day and the trip lasts less than two hours. For schedules and more information, go to

What ferry connections are there to and from Turku?

Sweden is located close to Turku, providing plenty of ferry connections to Stockholm. The ferry route to Sweden typically includes a stopover in Mariehamn, located in the Åland Islands. For more information about the available ferry options, go to

How can I get around in Turku?

Easiest ways to get around in Turku is by foot, by bus, or by bike in the summer. You can check out bus routes with the Föli journey planner. Tickets can be bought on the Föli app. In summer, a convenient way to get around is to rent a Föli rental bike. Read more at

What is Turku famous for?

Turku is unique for several reasons. The city is most famous for its old city charm and historical sites, such as Turku Castle. Turku also has a thriving urban scene with exquisite restaurants and cafés. The charming River Aura, that runs through the city centre, adds to the city's charm with riverboats moored along the riverbank. Turku is also famous for its old port, and the proximity to sea and the archipelago.

What is the population of Turku?

The population of Turku is 195,000 citizens (2021). Turku is one of the biggest cities in Finland based on population.

Fun Fact!

Turku is the oldest town of Finland. The earliest records of the city date back to the 13th century. Turku is also the home of the first university in Finland, the Royal Academy of Turku. It was the only university that was founded when Finland was still a part of Sweden.

Must-see sights in Turku

Are you wondering about what to do in Turku? Click on the pins on the map to see some of the top tips on what to explore in the area.

Sustainable things to do

Here are some highlights of the best and most sustainable things to do, see, and experience in and around Turku.

Moominfamily with friends

Moominworld Theme Park

More articles about Turku and Finland

Here's a selection of articles about Turku, the Archipelago, and Finland for more information and inspiration for your next holiday. is a great source of inspiration and information about Turku. Find recommendations, local tips, and much more!