The great charm of the city of Turku is ever-present. The forbearer for commerce and culture to the country as the former capital, it continued this role in 2011 becoming the European Capital of Culture. The River Aura was central to the city’s significance and is recognised as the heart and soul of Turku. The riverbanks are lined with exciting restaurants and main attractions, all of which are within walking distance from each other.
Turku is a must visit place for foodies. The town has been gaining such a reputation for its rich restaurant culture that it is now being referred to as the Food Capital of Finland. Whether you want to explore the many new arrivals to Turku’s restaurant scene, or visit classic spots like the Turku Market Hall, there are plenty of choices catering to every taste.
A convenient and versatile way to discover the city’s food culture is with a Food Walk card, which, for a fixed affordable price, allows you to dine in five restaurants of your choosing.
Turku is also the central gateway to the breathtakingly beautiful archipelago. With over 40,000 islands and islets it is, by number, the largest in the world. The Turku Archipelago is a natural playground waiting to be explored. Try a typical Finnish sauna, jump into the sea, spend time island hopping or participate in a variety of excursions and outdoor activities.
The various transport options throughout the archipelago include ferries, rental cars and bikes or even kayaking if you're feeling adventurous. The archipelago begins at the very mouth of the River Aura, at the edge of the city centre. A popular starting point for discovering the vast archipelago is Ruissalo Island. The island, partly a national park, is only 20 minutes from the city centre, and is filled with scenic routes for hiking and bicycling, beaches, historic villas and cottages as well as unique nature.
Turku is Finland's first city, and for centuries it was the largest in the country. Reminders of this rich history are all over the Turku region with the most prominent being the national monument and national shrine - Turku Castle and Turku Cathedral. These ruggedly medieval monuments are located on the opposite ends of the central Turku area, within easy reach via a stroll along the Aura riverside.
If you are a history buff, remember to check out Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova. As well as doubling as a modern art museum, it also houses the archaeological ruins of medieval Turku. For traditional tourists and real culture enthusiasts, the Museum Walk card is thoroughly recommended, providing access to all of the twelve participating museums. Other benefits are also included.