12 reasons why you should travel to Turku instead of Helsinki

Darya Kiyevskaya 14 January 2021 2119 views 9 min. read

Finland has not disappeared from the sight of hundreds of thousands of tourists for many years. And this is not surprising at all! In the ranking of the happiest countries in the world, this country deservedly takes the first place. And there is incredibly beautiful nature, clean air, friendly and smiling people, the famous Finnish saunas, the Northern Lights and the whole village of the real Santa Claus. Finland is one of the world's northernmost countries and, naturally, is subject to a harsh climate, which is why most of the population is concentrated in the Southern part of the country. However, it gives the opportunity to develop wildlife and various winter animals. Bears, wolverines, fabulous reindeer, as well as whales and seals-animal lovers, will be satisfied. brown deer Helsinki is the beautiful capital of Finland, which becomes the main contender for Finnish tourists to visit every year. The largest city in the country with a harbor, where about 300 cruise ships dock. Here you can admire many interesting sights, just walk around the beautiful city. But I want to suggest that you travel to Finland in a slightly different way. After all, in addition to the capital, there is a whole country, there is Lapland, and there are wonderful cities that are not inferior to the country's main city. And if you are already in the capital, then there are comfortable two-hour buses and train from Helsinki to Turku - the city I will tell you about today. Are you wondering where is Turku? Turku is a modern European city on the southwest coast of Finland, which, in addition, perfectly preserved the Middle Ages' features. Castles, cathedrals, market squares, all kinds of festivals-all this is about Turku. And so now I will tell you in more detail why it is still worth travel to Turku Finland, and not to Helsinki. Everyone knows about the modern capital of Finland but Turku is - the oldest city in this country, founded in the 13th century! It turns out that it was considered the capital and the main city for a long time, can you imagine what historical and cultural heritage this fascinating place holds? Just walking around the city, you can feel the spirit and richness of history. And here are the sights of Turku, which I advise you to visit when you come here.

1. Turku Castle

turku castle

Are you wondering what to see in Turku? Turku castle is more than 700 years old, it is located at the mouth of the Aura River. For many centuries, the castle was transformed from a simple defensive fortress into a majestic palace, the administrative center of the country, was a prison and even a warehouse and barracks, but after the bombing during the Second World War, it remained in ruins. After it was restored and now it is a real work of art, a museum and a valuable cultural monument. The exposition of the castle is its history from 1280 to the present day. Here is the Bailey Hotel, whose rooms are decorated in an elegant style with antique furniture and valuable items from the museum's collection. There is also a children's castle on the territory, where the young generation can fully plunge into the atmosphere of the Middle Ages and even try themselves as a brave knight or a little princess. Costumes for children can be purchased at the museum store. And another nice bonus - in the basement of the hotel there is a small cafe where you can have a delicious snack and relax during the tour break.

2. Naantali City

snowy day

Southwestern Finland, located 14 kilometers from Turku. Getting there will not be difficult for you. However a walk around the sunny town is just a must. Here, almost without stopping, all sorts of festivals, concerts are held, and the holiday does not end on the streets. Here is the second oldest medieval church in Finland. The beautiful white stone church was built for a Catholic monastery. Over time, the buildings of the monastery territory were destroyed, and only the Naantali Church was restored.

3. The World of Moomins

animal

Opposite the monastery of Naantali, which was mentioned earlier, is the beautiful island of Kailo. In 1993, a fairy-tale park dedicated to Tove Jansson's books was opened here. This theme park is not like other parks, here you will not find Turku attractions that take your breath away, there are no wild roller coasters. This place is like a separate fairy-tale world. If you want to visit a fairy tale, step into the world of magic, then Moomin World is a must-visit. Fabulous Moomins welcome you every summer. It is an ideal place for relaxation and entertainment for the whole family. Admission is allowed with children from 1 to 7 years old. Many kids will be happy to cuddle with their favorite fairy tale characters. Members of the merry Moomin family will read you fairy tales, arrange interesting performances, theaters, and teach you witchcraft. There is a beach, a fairy trail, Moomintroll house and many other cool places.

4. Turku Art Museum

turku art museum

Just like the exhibits in this museum, the building itself is a real work of art. Built-in 1904 in Romanesque style, the museum's granite building is an outstanding landmark of the city. There are about 7,000 different exhibits - from classical creations to works of modern art. And in addition to the excellent exhibitions that are regularly held here, there are all sorts of events that attract visitors who want to enjoy the true beauty and have a good time with friends or alone - the indescribable museum atmosphere does its job perfectly. The Turku Art Museum's collection is considered a national treasure and includes works from Finland's Golden Age. As well as pop art, surrealism, exhibits made with an emphasis on Scandinavian culture. Even the Victor Cafe, where you can enjoy fresh pastries and aromatic coffee, is made in a special design style and is also a separate place imbued with the spirit of art.

5. Kurjenrahka National Park

kurjenrahka national parkThe National Nature Park

is within easy reach of Turku. In the local forest and swamps live a huge number of different birds and wild animals, such as cranes, forest owls or Eurasian lynx. There are also noticed gray wolves and brown bears, so when walking, you need to stick to a verified trail, especially since the total length of all these trails is more than 300 kilometers, so you will have somewhere to walk. Walking, breathing thick, clean air, enjoying the pristine nature, listening to birds singing, watching animals - a real rest for the soul and body. Here you can visit a tour lasting 2-3 hours, as well as a day / night walk. For disabled people or families with prams, there is a special route, which, however, is not supported in winter. In the courtyard of the hut in the park there is a kitchen shelter and a toilet. There is a functional parking lot at the entrance. Everything is for your convenience, so I strongly advise you to travel to Turku Finland.

6. Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova

baby

the unique and unusual building of the Museum of Modern Art, another great cultural attraction. It skillfully combines the new and the old, pieces of the Middle Ages and elements of interior and exterior design of our days. Like any museum, Aboa Vetus has several valuable collections - an artistic collection of works of art and archaeological finds from excavations on the museum grounds. There is also a collection of interesting photos, various archives and a reference library. It periodically hosts events that will not leave you indifferent. For example, Medieval Turku. During the tour of the city's historical sites, the museum staff, as specialists in the medieval period, accompany and tell about the life of women of different social strata in that period. There's also Art Night. Every August, as soon as the sun is completely hidden behind the horizon, the streets of Turku are filled with a fascinating spirit of art. Galleries and museums all over the city open their doors and work almost in the morning.

7. Walk on the Aura River

aura river

The city is located near this river and it is not surprising that almost all the main Turku attractions are located along the Aura. You can take a walk on the Feli Ferry, which regularly takes walks on the river. It is delightful in summer - local cafes open their doors, boats serving as water restaurants and pubs look forward to new visitors. Evening lights, a walk along the river, enjoying the beautiful views of an equally beautiful city and all the main places are within walking distance. This is an excellent place, but do not think that it is good only in the summer. In winter, the river freezes, snowfalls and everything take on a completely different shade and a different atmosphere. Sometimes the river freezes so much that people can skate there, and the cathedrals and museums dusted with snow are shown in a different, fabulous and exciting light. 

8. Museum Of Craft Luostarinmaki

museumMuseum Of Craft Luostarinmaki 

is one of the best places to visit in Turku. Luostarinmyaki is a whole area of wooden houses that survived a fire in 1827. When the area fell into disrepair, it was decided to demolish it, but Turku bought these houses and since then there is an open-air museum. Nothing was destroyed in order to preserve the historical heritage left by the ancestors. Some workhouses and workshops are equipped in the style of the 19th century so that visitors have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in that era and feel the spirit of history and its way of life. Local Turku craft workshops are located on the territory of the museum. The crafts that both men and women were engaged in were supported for a long time by demonstrations of tools, and now it is another incredible historical and cultural asset. You can still see small gardens of berry and fruit trees in the courtyards, and in the gardens planted crops of potatoes, turnips, and useful herbs and spices. Throughout the year, Christmas and Easter are celebrated here. And in the summer, the workshops are full of real craft activities. Masters make things for sale and to replenish the museum's exhibits.

9. The Trail Of The Archipelago

trail

250 km trail for cycling, driving or walking. The route begins in Turku itself, and gradually the urban landscapes are replaced by corners of the untouched nature of remote islands. There are ferries between the islands, so choose a suitable schedule and travel, enjoying the incredible views, the setting sun, the picturesque scenery. In such places, warm memories can usually come flooding back or inspiration to write a picture or book... Who knows, maybe you will leave Turku as a famous writer or artist?

10. Gastronomic Tourism

coffee shop

Separately, I wanted to talk about gastronomic tourism. A huge selection of all kinds of coffee shops, restaurants and cozy cafes with a diverse list of hot, baked, delicious coffee will make you forget about diets for a while, if there are any. You can purchase a Food walk card - a walk with food - and visit ten exclusively local Turku restaurants with an impressive selection of food and drinks. In comparison with the same capital of Finland, Helsinki, where modern culture takes over in the network of establishments, Turku is different in that it tries to preserve the cultural component of the gastronomic business. In addition, the monetary component of this issue can not but rejoice. Also, who doesn't know the famous Karelian pastries in Finland? So, in the center of Turku, you will have the opportunity to cook something delicious yourself!

11. Bars and Pubs

pub

Well, what is tourism without a normal visit to bars and pubs? Such alcoholic establishments, which abound in the city, also attract a lot of attention. There are also special places to visit in Turku - retro bars in Turku. For example, the Uusi Pharmacy pub. Yes, from the name, it is obvious that this is the home of an old pharmacy, which now houses dozens of first-class beer, whiskey, and cider varieties. Or another great place-Waterloo Pub, located on Puutori. And once this building served...the station toilet! However do not be alarmed, now it is an entertaining British pub, beautifully equipped with a large selection of fresh beers, as well as fun music and mischievous dancing at night discos.

12. Port

port

And of course, it is worth saying that Turku is a port city, which greatly simplifies the possibility of traveling from Russian cities, in particular. Close relations are established with such a city as St. Petersburg. From the latter to the city of Turku arrange three-day sightseeing tours on the route St. Petersburg Turku. A center has been set up in St. Petersburg to explore opportunities for cooperation with the Southwestern region of Finland and promote the city's ideas and goals. In general, St. Petersburg and Turku have been closely cooperating for quite a long time and are in friendly, almost fraternal relations. The possibility of sea and river trips to the cities of other countries definitely belongs to the advantages of a port city. As, for example, ferry Turku to Stockholm. That is, you can walk around this wonderful city, enjoy the magnificent views during the day, and in the evening without problems and a big waste of time and money to visit the capital of Sweden. sunset alongside the river Another interesting feature is that the second largest after the University of Helsinki in Finland is located here. This educational institution is extremely popular not only in its native country, but also abroad. In addition, as mentioned earlier, the close proximity of many friendly countries greatly simplifies the possibility of studying at this university. The University of Turku is chosen for its high-quality presentation of material, experienced mentors, as well as for a convenient campus with a cozy atmosphere of student life. Of course, the price issue is also of concern to many holidaymakers. Looking at the prices of well-known and not so well-known hotels in Helsinki and Turku and comparing them, you can see that the prices for temporary housing in Turku are slightly lower. Let not much, but excellent single rooms here start their cost from 6000 rubles, while in Helsinki most of the same good hotels have a price of 8000-10000 rubles. Even moving or flying from Helsinki to Turku will not waste much of your time and money. wooden houses Turku attractions, which there are a huge number, one of the most popular educational institutions - the University of Turku, reasonable prices, convenient communication between neighboring countries - the same ferry Turku Stockholm - these reasons are more than enough to visit this wonderful ancient city. So, I wish you good luck and have a great time exploring wonderful Finland and wonderful Turku!

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