65 Best Things to Do in Turku Finland (by a local)

Turku Finland is a charming city that offers a wealth of activities and attractions to it’s visitors. From historical landmarks and museums to bustling market square or taking a stroll along the picturesque Aurajoki. Turku truly has something for everyone.

To help you plan your trip, we’ve compiled a list of 65 best things to do in Turku! By a local, and his wife who knows more about what’s happening in the city then him.

That would be me, Jasmin. I’m an American that moved to Finland after falling in love with my husband Tuomas.

If you’re interested in exploring the city’s rich cultural heritage and want to see all the sights worth seeing. Or perhaps you would rather indulge in Turku’s vibrant up-and-coming culinary scene? Either way this guide has got you covered. 

So, pack your bags and get ready to experience the best that Turku has to offer!

Make sure to save this page, trust me you don’t want to lose this list 😉

Getting Around in Turku 

Getting around in Turku is easy with a variety of transportation options. The Föli bus is a popular and affordable option, with numerous routes connecting various parts of the city.

To find out more about public transportation in Turku be sure to check out Föli’s Website here.

Additionally, there are e-scooters and e-bikes that can be rented during the spring all the way through the fall.

For a unique summer experience, the Föli boat provides transportation along the Aura River. With stops at several popular attractions, including Ruissalo and Naatanali. 

For those who prefer driving, cars are available for rent from the train stations. This allows for greater flexibility in exploring Turku and its surroundings.

Taxis are also readily available and can be hailed on the street or booked in advance. Just keep in mind that it might be better to show the address of where you are trying to go to.

With these transportation options, navigating Turku is a breeze. Making it easy to discover all that this charming city has to offer.

Things to Do in Turku Finland: Adventure 

Ride Water Slides and Chill Poolside at Jukupark  

Summertime in Finland is short so when it’s here you have to enjoy it to the fullest. One way to do that is at Jukupark. Enjoy the day by one of their 3 pools or by riding all 9 slides! 

Jukupark is a great experience for families. Their perhelippu (family ticket) is around 88€ for four people, and their päivälpput (day tickets) are 23€ per person.

The water park is located right outside of the main center of Turku. You can reach the park with the bus system

Climb High in the Trees at Turku’s Flowpark 

From May to October you and your friends can climb high into the tree tops at Turku’s Flowpark. 

I was reading on their website that you can do a free-fall jump from 12 meters high. 😳

It’s even recommended as an activity to do right before you get married!! Honestly, I’m good on doing something like that.

Instead I would much rather do their low course so if I have to fall I won’t fall far. 😂

The Flowpark is located next to Skanssi, a popular mall that is accesible by bus. After a day of climbing through the trees you can enjoy lunch and some shopping as well. 

Take a Short Cruise in the Archipelago on the S/S Ukkopekka 

The S/S Ukkopekka is one of the things I must do in 2023! They offer both a daytime cruise to Naantali and an evening cruise to Loistokari. 

The daytime cruise to Naantali leaves from the Turku and heads back later in the day. There are options where you can take a one way trip to Naantali or do the round trip. 

If you’re interested in slowly enjoying Naantali then I recommend taking the one way trip. From there using Turku’s bus system (bus numbers 6 & 7) will take you from Naantali back to Turku Center. 

On both the day and evening cruises they offer dining services that are able to meet dietary requests. As long as you let them know in advance. 

During the evening cruise there is a live band. During the band’s performance you can dance the white night away on the top deck. This cruise is truly the highlight of the summer in Turku!!

Go for a Scenic Drive Along the Archipelago Trail

A lot of people say you can bike the Archipelago Trail but I would only suggest that to people who are experience cyclers. And, by experienced I mean comfortable with biking on the road next to cars. 

Sure there is a part of the trail that is for cyclers only. However, once you start getting into the heart of the archipelago you’ll be biking on the main road. 

It is also important to pay attention to the ferry schedules when planning this trip. You can check out ferry schedule on Finferries website.

I have mostly used the bus and car while traveling through the archipelago. Honestly, it’s just as pretty as I imagined a bike ride would be. 

You can stay close to the mainland and visit Korppoo. Or take some time to visit the smaller island’s in the archipelago like Utö.

You can read more about our adventure in Utö here from this blog post 👇

Discover the Charm of Utö Island: 7 Must-Do Activities in Finland’s Archipelago

Play a Round of Mini-Golf at Hohtogolf  

Hohtogolf is a popular indoor mini-golf course located in Turku’s Market Square. 

The course features 18 holes of challenging and entertaining obstacles designed to give you chills and thrills. 

The fluorescent colors and lighting, combined with spooky decorations and sound effects, create a unique and unforgettable atmosphere

Hohtogolf is a great option for those looking for a fun indoor activity, regardless of the weather outside. 

Plus, it’s conveniently located near many restaurants and cafes. So you can grab a bite to eat before or after your round. Don’t miss out on this fun and adventurous date idea in Turku.

Go Skiing at Hirvensalo Ski  

Hirvensalo Ski a short bus ride away from the main part of Turku. If you’re new to skiing, the resort also offers classes and lessons to help you get started. 

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time skier, Hirvensalo Ski caters to everyone’s needs. 

If you’re new to skiing, the resort offers classes and lessons to help you get started. The number of available ski hills may vary depending on the amount of snowfall. 

However, the resort has got you covered, by utilizing artificial snow to keep the main hill open. Ensuring that you can enjoy skiing in anytime during the season.

So, grab your skis and head over to Hirvensalo for a day of skiing fun.

Things to Do in Turku Finland: Outdoors & Nature

Take a Stroll Along the Aurajoki

The Aurajoki is a stunning river that runs through the heart of Turku, Finland’s oldest city.  During the summer months, the riverfront comes to life as it’s a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. That come to enjoy it’s scenic beauty.

You’ll also see people to catching up with friends and reading books. Or just celebrating life’s little moments with a bottle of champagne. 

Along the river, you’ll find many attractions. Such as the Turku Cathedral, Turku Castle, the Forum Marinum maritime center. Not to mentioned a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops. 

Throughout the summer the Aurajoki is known for hotsting various events and festivals. Including the Medieval Market, the Tall Ships Races, and the different music festivals.

Walking along the Aurajoki is a must-do activity in Turku. As it offers stunning views of the city’s architecture, ships, and historical landmarks.

Get More Recommendations from VisitTurku 

If you are interested in finding a maps, brochures, and other useful resources to help you navigate the city. Then it is worthwhile to head in to the VisitTurku center.

The VisitTurku located in Monitori on the first floor or the KOP Kolmio building. Which is located right next to the Market Square. 

I’m not going to lie, Monitori, can be quite difficult to navigate as a tourist. Because it is also home to other city based services in Turku.

When you go into Monitori there is usually someone there to great you. You can ask them to show you directly to where VisitTurku is located. 

Or you can just walk straight in and veer slightly to the left and you’ll see their kiosk. 

Rent Your Own Boat at Låna 

If you’re looking for a unique way to enjoy the beauty of the Aurajoki River. Then you should consider taking a boat tour with Låna

Låna is located next to Turku Library and can offer you a romantic excursion along the Aurajoki. Or it can be used asa fun day out with friends or family. Renting your own boat at Låna is an experience not to be missed in Turku.

After your tour, relax on their laid-back terrace and enjoy small snacks and refreshing drinks. While taking in the beautiful views of Turku. 

Go For a Picnic at Vartiovuori Park

If you’re looking for a peaceful outdoor activity in the heart of Turku. You should consider going for a picnic on Vartiovuori Park

This beautiful park is located on a hill overlooking the city and offers stunning panoramic views of Turku.

The park is spacious and has places where you can put a blanket down and set up a picnic. You can bring your own food and drinks from the grocery store and enjoy eating in the outdoors.

With its tranquil atmosphere and breathtaking views. Vartiovuori Park is a perfect spot for a relaxing picnic or a late night stroll. 

Get closer to nature at Kurjenrahka National Park 

For those who love nature, a visit to Kurjenrahka National Park needs to be added to your list!. The park is located about 30 kilometers from Turku and is accessible by bus during the summer time.

The National parks offers several hiking trails, including the popular Lake Savojärvi trail. The trail is approximately 6.5 kilometers long and takes you through beautiful forests, wetlands, and over boardwalks. 

There is the Karpalopolku trail, which is a circular wheelchair and stroller accessible trail, that is around 1.7km.

For those who want to explore the park more extensively. There is the Vajosuo Mire trail that is about 30 kilometers long and includes several camping sites for those who want to camp overnight. 

Additionally, the park is home to a variety of nature and wildlife. Making it a great place for berry picking, and bird watching. 

Stop to Smell the Flowers at Turku University Botanical Gardens

Visitors can stroll through the gardens’ various sections, each representing a different type of environment. They have environments from the tropical rainforest to the Arctic tundra. 

In addition to the plants, the gardens also house a butterfly house. Where visitors can observe these colorful insects up close. 

The gardens are open year-round, with different blooms and events depending on the season. 

Take a ride on the Jokke Tourist Train

If you’re looking for a fun way to explore the city of Turku, Finland. Then the Jokke Tourist Train is an excellent choice. 

The train, takes you on a scenic 50-minute ride along the Aura Riverside, with stops at key landmarks along the way. 

During busy periods, the route can take longer than an hour. Jokke, the name of the train, stops for a 20-minute break every day at Restaurant Rantakerttu between 1-2:30 p.m. 

You can locate Jokke on the map provided or reach them by phone during tour hours. 

It’s important to note that Jokke only accepts cash payments. You should also ensure that there is enough room on the train before purchasing a ticket on the day of the ride at www.lyyti.in/jokke.

Experience Sauna, Kota, and Jacuzzi at Onnenpaikka 

If you are looking for a warm place to relax then you have to visit Onnenpaikka. Onnenpaikka is a community built for people who are into relaxing, meditating, and just wanting to have a peaceful experience. 

Onnenpaikka has a public sauna, kota, float tank and jacuzzi. They also offer massages and yoga classes. 

Their website is mostly in Finnish. If you are interested in finding out more information in English you can message them on Instagram or send them an email which can be found on their website. 

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Take a Dip and Experience Avanto at Villa Järvelä

Avanto is a winter activity where places will cut a hole in the ice and you take a plunge into the freezing cold water. 

I know, I’m really doing a great job of selling the idea to you, but hear me out. 

According to the Finns, avanto’s purpose is to help increase blood circulation and metabolism. The plunge into the cold water also provides you with a boost of energy, which is definitely needed during the winter months. 

I have not tried Avanto yet but honestly it sounds so exciting and something that I at least want to try once. 

If you’re in Turku I recommend checking out Villa Järvelä.

Be sure to check back to this blog post for updates on the experience!

Things to Do in Turku Finland: Historical

Discover the Turku’s Past at Turku Castle

Turku Castle is a journey through time that takes visitors back to the Middle Ages. Located on the banks of the Aura River in Turku, Finland. The castle was originally built in the late 13th century and has since been restored and renovated several times. 

Today, the castle serves as a museum, showcasing the history of Turku and the castle itself. Visitors can explore the castle’s various rooms and halls, including the grand banquet hall, the chapel, and the castle keep, which offers stunning views of the surrounding area.

The castle also houses a museum shop and a café, where visitors can enjoy traditional Finnish treats while taking in the castle’s majestic atmosphere. 

Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a unique cultural experience, a visit to Turku Castle needs to be on your list.

Light a Candle at Turku Cathedral (Tuomiokirkko)

Lighting a candle at Turun Tuomiokirkko is a meaningful and peaceful activity that can be enjoyed by visitors of all backgrounds. Located in the heart of Turku, Finland, the cathedral is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks-

Today, the cathedral serves as a place of worship for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and is open to visitors of all faiths. 

One of the most popular activities at the cathedral is lighting a candle, a simple yet powerful gesture that allows visitors to pause and reflect in the cathedral’s serene surroundings. 

A visit to Turku Cathedral is a must-do activity in Turku, whether you’re seeking a moment of quiet reflection or simply want to marvel at the cathedral’s stunning architecture and rich history.

Explore Ancient Ruins at Aboa Vetus Museum 

Exploring ancient ruins at Aboa Vetus Museum is a unique and fascinating experience that takes visitors on a journey through time. 

Located along the Aurajoki, the museum showcases the city’s rich history, with a particular focus on the medieval and early modern periods. 

The museum’s highlight is the underground ruins of a medieval Turku, which were discovered during an archaeological excavation in the 1990s. 

Visitors can explore the ruins and learn about life in medieval Turku through interactive exhibits and multimedia displays. 

In addition to the ruins, the museum also features a range of other exhibits, including collections of art, artifacts, and historical documents.

Aboa Vetus Museum offers a unique opportunity to explore the ancient ruins and rich history of Turku, making it an essential attraction for visitors to the city.

Take a Walk in 1827 Turku at Luostarinmäki 

Luostarinmäki is a fascinating and immersive experience that transports visitors back in time to 19th-century Finland. 

Located close to Vartiovuori,  Luostarinmäki is an open-air museum that showcases the traditional way of life in Turku before the Great Fire of 1827.

The museum consists of several wooden houses and workshops that have been preserved and restored to their original condition, offering a glimpse into everyday life in 19th-century Turku. 

Visitors can explore the houses and workshops, each showcasing different aspects of traditional Finnish culture, such as woodworking, weaving, and shoemaking.

The museum also features demonstrations of traditional crafts and skills, as well as opportunities to try them out for yourself. 

Things to Do in Turku: Cafe and Kahvi 

Grab a “Karhu” Coffee at Rebelle Cafe

Located in the city center, Rebelle Cafe is a cozy and charming cafe that offers a range of delicious coffee drinks, pastries, and light bites. 

The cafe has a trendy and feminine vibe, making it the perfect spot to catch up with friends, read a book, or simply enjoy a cup of coffee.

My personal favorite is their “karhu” coffee and britta cake, but honestly all of their cakes are delicious 🤤

Meet Some Friends For Lunch at Fontana 

Located in a prime location, Fontana is not only a pleasant café but also a lively restaurant that serves excellent coffee, tasty dishes, memorable cakes, and high-quality wines.

Whether you’re in the mood for a light lunch or a hearty meal, Fontana has a diverse menu that caters to all tastes and dietary preferences. 

With its stylish decor and friendly staff, Fontana is a great spot to spend a leisurely afternoon with friends or family. 

So, if you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy some great food and company, Fontana is a must-visit in Turku.

Check Out the Tea at Cafe Art 

In my humble opinion Cafe Art has the best tea selection in Turku. Located alongside the Aurajoki, Cafe Art is the perfect place to take a break, read a book, or catch up with friends over a lovely cup of tea.

During the summer Cafe Art has an outdoor terrace where you can soak up the sun and enjoy the picturesque views of the Aurajoki. 

While at Cafe Art you can taste their savoury Finnish pastries or get captured by the scent of their desserts.

Cafe Art is also a great place to go if your are on a solo adventure with it’s warm and inviting decor you would be tempted to stay the whole day, but there is so much more to see in Turku!!

Don’t Miss the Cake Buffet at Piece of Cake: M Bakery 

If you’re a cake lover then you need to head to Kauppahalli on Fridays. There you will find, Piece of Cake where locals and visitors alike will be enjoying the truly exceptional cakes, that have a taste that will leave you for wanting more. 

The cake buffet is from 10 – 5:30 every Friday and includes coffee or tea. 

And they usually have a wine special going on at the same time 😉

Each cake is made with high-quality ingredients and baked to perfection, resulting in a texture that is moist, fluffy, and oh-so-delicious. 

Whether you prefer a more classic flavor like chocolate or more unique options like lime and mango, there is a cake here for everyone.

Don’t miss your chance to indulge in this heavenly cake buffet and experience some of the most delicious cakes you’ll ever taste!

Enjoy High Tea at Cafe Qwensel 

Indulging in high tea at Cafe Qwensel is a delightful experience that provides a welcome break from the busy streets of Turku.

The vintage aesthetic of the cafe creates a charming atmosphere, transporting guests back to a simpler time.

 From the dainty tea cups to the elegant tiered platters, every aspect of the high tea experience is thoughtfully crafted and presented. 

The tradition of taking a break in the afternoon to enjoy a cup of tea and some treats has been enjoyed for centuries, and at Cafe Qwensel, you can truly appreciate this timeless tradition in a beautiful setting.

Just remember to book in advance!

Things to Do in Turku: Food

Taste the Best Seafood in Turku at Kauppahalli

As a resident of Turku for almost three years, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to find high-quality seafood in this region. 

That’s why I was ecstatic to discover Herkkunuotta at Kauppahalli, which offers some of the best seafood in Turku at an affordable price.

From fresh salmon to succulent shrimp, Herkkunuotta sources only the finest ingredients to ensure that every dish is bursting with flavor. 

Whether you’re a seafood aficionado or just looking to try something new, a visit to Kauppahalli and a taste of the delicious seafood at Herkkunuotta is an experience you won’t want to miss.

Check out What’s in Season at the Market Square Kauppatori 

One of the best things about visiting Market Square, also known as Kauppatori, in Turku is that it supports local farmers and businesses. 

The market is a hub of activity, with vendors selling everything from fresh produce and flowers to handmade crafts and souvenirs.

By shopping at the market, you can feel good knowing that you are supporting the local community and contributing to a sustainable food system. In addition to the social and economic benefits, the food at Market Square is also incredibly fresh and delicious.

With a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and meats available, you can find everything you need to create a healthy and flavorful meal. 

And if you’re looking for a quick snack or a meal to take on a picnic along the Aurajoki, there are plenty of options available to take away, such as freshly baked pastries, sandwiches, and cookies. 

Savor the Best Pea soup and Pannukaku in Turku at Honkapirtti

If you find yourself in Turku on a Thursday, don’t miss the opportunity to experience a longstanding Finnish tradition by visiting Honkapirtti for some pea soup and pannukaku. 

Luckily, Honkapirtti happens to serve Pea Soup and Pannukaku everyday so it’s okay to induldge in this experience on other days than just Thursday

Honkapirtti is located just outside the city center and is easily accessible by bus. The food at Honkapirtti is not only delicious but also steeped in history. 

The house was initially built as a camping destination but was later repurposed into club rooms for war widows and a meeting place for brothers in arms to reminisce about their shared war experiences. 

Today, Honkapirtti continues to serve as a symbol of the enduring bonds formed during wartime and a testament to the resilience of the Finnish people.

Dine at Michelin Star Restaurant Ravintola Kaskis 

Kaskis is a highly acclaimed restaurant in Turku,, that is committed to sustainability, reducing food waste, and is highly regarded for its culinary craftsmanship. 

The menu at this Kaskis is meticulously crafted and changes seasonally, highlighting the finest ingredients that are locally sourced and at their peak.

Recently, Kaskis was awarded a Michelin star for their exceptional cuisine and dedication to sustainability. They also have a close synergy with their sister restaurant, Kakolanruusu, and use all ingredients together to reduce waste.

And because Kaskis recently won a Michelin star, they are usually fully booked. If you are interested in dining at Kaskis during your stay in Turku then you would need to be on their booking site at 1st of every month at 10 am.

If you are short on time or unable to get a reservation then I strongly suggest dining at Kaskis sister restaurant Kakolanruusu located in Hotel Kakola 

Tuomas and I ate there for our anniversary and honestly we still talk about how great everything was. 

Taste Mediterranean Food with a Scandinavian Twist at Gustavo

Gustavo is a charming restaurant located by the riverside in Turku, Finland. The restaurant boasts an incredible view of the city’s iconic cathedral, making it the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a celebratory meal. 

Gustavo’s menu features a unique fusion of Mediterranean and Finnish cuisine, with dishes that are bursting with flavor and character. 

From the mouth-watering grilled octopus to the savory porchini pizza, each dish has a distinct Gustavo twist that is sure to delight your taste buds.

If you’re looking for an unforgettable dining experience in Turku, Gustavo is the place to be.

Have a Flavorful Experience at Rioni – Georgian Cuisine 

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience in Turku, look no further than Rioni – Georgian Cuisine

With a menu that offers something for everyone, including plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, Rioni is the perfect place to explore the flavors of Georgia. 

The food at Rioni is served in the traditional Georgian style, with dishes ordered in the middle of the table for the entire party to share. 

One must-try dish is the cheesy hatsapuri bread, which is crispy and flavorful and pairs perfectly with the sauces and stews on offer. 

And of course, no Georgian meal is complete without a glass of authentic Georgian wine. Whether you choose to order from their special supra menu or their à la carte options, a meal at 

Rioni is sure to be a flavorful experience that you won’t soon forget. Be sure to book your table in advance to secure your spot at this popular Turku restaurant.

Grab a Bite to Eat Next to the Train Station at the Golden Dragon 

If you’re in the mood for some international cuisine, head on over to the Golden Dragon, conveniently located next to the train station in Turku. 

While the restaurant is known for its delicious Chinese dim sum and other Asian-inspired dishes, the menu also features a range of other international favorites, including Uyghur Lamb Pilaf.

If you’re interested in trying out the juiciest and most flavorful melt-in-your-mouth lamb then you need to order it a day in advance  

One must-try dish is the homemade dumplings and wontons, which are made fresh daily and are sure to leave you with unique memories of your dining experience.

 And while the food is undoubtedly a highlight of the Golden Dragon, the restaurant also prides itself on its welcoming atmosphere and friendly service.

So if you’re looking for a spot to grab a bite to eat before or after your train journey, the Golden Dragon is the perfect choice.

Things to Do in Turku Finland: Beer, Cider, Booze

Drink Local Beer in a Old School Building Koulu Brewery 

For beer lovers, a trip to Turku isn’t complete without a visit to Koulu Brewery. Housed in a historic schoolhouse in the heart of the city, Koulu Brewery has been producing high-quality beers and ciders for 25 years. 

As Finland’s largest brewery restaurant, Koulu offers a wide selection of locally brewed beers, including some unique and seasonal varieties. 

On weekdays, visitors can even watch the beer master at work in the pub’s brewing area. If you’re looking to try some of Koulu’s delicious brews, you can enjoy them on-site or take them to go. And for those looking to learn more about beer or cider, 

Koulu offers training and tasting sessions, including wine tastings as well. So if you’re in the mood for some local brews in a unique setting, Koulu Brewery is the place to be.

Sip on Creative Cocktails at The Cow 

Using only the freshest ingredients, The Cow handcrafts their own liqueurs and syrups to create unique and flavorful drinks that are sure to impress. 

Whether you’re in the mood for a classic cocktail or something more adventurous, The Cow’s talented bartenders can whip up a drink to suit your tastes.

Their commitment to using fresh, high-quality ingredients means that each drink is bursting with flavor and offers a unique twist. 

So if you’re looking to sip on some expertly crafted cocktails in a stylish and inviting atmosphere, head on over to The Cow and enjoy their delicious drinks made from scratch.

Enjoy Local Craft Beer at Kakola Brewery 

For those looking to sample some local craft beer, Kakola Brewery is an essential stop in Turku. 

Founded in 2018 by three friends who are passionate about making everyday living better, the brewery is located in the Kakolanmäki neighborhood and prides itself on using only the highest-quality ingredients in their small-batch brews. 

Kakola Brewing Company’s commitment to simple and effortless design is reflected in their stylish taproom, which offers visitors a cozy and inviting atmosphere to enjoy their delicious beers. 

Whether you’re in the mood for a crisp lager or a hoppy IPA, the brewery’s selection of handcrafted brews is sure to satisfy. And with a focus on humor and a human touch, 

Kakola Brewery is a place where visitors can feel right at home while enjoying some of the best beer Turku has to offer.

Try Over 180 Beers and 30 Ciders at Cosmic Comic Cafe 

Cosmic Comic Cafe is a beer lover’s paradise located in the heart of Turku, right next to Scandic Hamburger Börs. With over 180 beers and 30 ciders on offer, this establishment has one of the largest selections of craft beer and cider in the city. 

What sets Cosmic Comic Cafe apart from other bars is its focus on beers from all over Finland, showcasing the best brews from local breweries as well as lesser-known ones from more remote areas of the country. 

The atmosphere of the cafe is relaxed and laid back interior that’s perfect for enjoying a cold beer or cider. Whether you’re a serious beer aficionado or just looking to sample some of the best brews in the area, Cosmic Comic Cafe is definitely worth a visit.

Eat, Drink, and Dance the Night Away at Saaristobaari

Saaristobaari is a popular spot for university students and locals alike who are looking for a fun night out in Turku. 

This bar and nightclub is known for its lively atmosphere, cheap drinks, and spacious dance floor. The drinks list is impressive, with a wide selection of beers and cocktails to choose from. 

In addition to great drinks, Saaristobaari is also a hotspot for dancing, with DJ events and a spacious dance floor. 

With its central location and fun atmosphere, it’s no wonder that Saaristobaari is a go-to destination for university students looking to have a great time on a budget.

Grab a Break Ale at Aurabiljardi 

Beer and biljards what more do you need? Aurabiljardi has their own special beer the Break Ale as well as offer different beer of the months, and other speciality cocktails. 

Aurabiljardi also has customers of all ages. I have seen families, university students, couples, and older people enjoying the atmosphere at Aurabiljardi. 

I was surprised to find out the billard culture that is in the Turku area. There are at least three pool halls in the center of Turku but our favorite it Aurabiljardi 

Aurabiljardi offers a great atmosphere, a lot of pool and snooker tables, and even some special tables that I can’t quite remember the names of. 

It doesn’t matter if you are new to playing pool or a seasoned veteran the place fits all your needs.

Additionally, there is an international vibe that is unique to Aurabiljardi, so don’t be afraid of the language barrier at Aura. 

Watch the Midnight Sun at Hamburger Börs Rooftop Bar 

One of the most unique experiences to be had in Turku is watching the midnight sun. There’s no better place to do it than at the Hamburger Börs Rooftop Bar

Situated on the top floor of the historic Hamburger Börs building in the city center, this rooftop bar offers stunning panoramic views of Turku and the surrounding area.

During the summer months, visitors can experience the midnight sun in all its glory, as the sun stays above the horizon for almost 24 hours. The midnight sun is truly magical sight, one that is made even more special when enjoyed with a refreshing drink in hand. 

Go to the Best Wine Bar in Turku The Tasting Room

If you’re a wine lover, like myself, then The Tasting Room is the place to be. Widely regarded as the best wine bar in Turku, The Tasting Room offers a cozy and welcoming atmosphere where you can relax and enjoy a glass of your favorite vintage. 

With an extensive wine list featuring bottles from all over the world, as well as a knowledgeable and friendly staff who are happy to offer recommendations and answer any questions you may have, The Tasting Room is the perfect place to explore new wines and expand your palate. 

Enjoy a Drink on Turku’s Summer Terrace 

If you’re looking for a perfect way to enjoy the summer breeze in Turku, there’s no better place than one of the city’s summer terraces. 

And if you’re wondering what makes the Summer Terrace at Tuomiokirkko so special, it’s because of the story behind them. In the spring of 2020, a brilliant idea was born to help local restaurants struggling with the epidemic restrictions: a large common terrace where they could serve customers outside when indoor dining was not an option. 

This quickly became a popular concept, with nearly eighty thousand visitors during the first summer alone. The success of the terrace made it clear that it should continue, and it has since become a staple of the city’s urban culture.

Catch a Ride on a Floating Bar Jakke River Ferry  

If you’re looking for a unique way to enjoy the beautiful riverside scenery of Turku, hop aboard the Jakke River Ferry, where you can not only catch a ride but also enjoy a cafe, liquor-licensed bar, and restrooms.

Jakke offers a different perspective of the city, sailing along the picturesque Aura River from dawn till dusk. You can catch the ferry from any of the pit stops along the river, with the route stretching from the Aura bridge all the way to the majestic Suomen joutsen. 

To ensure you don’t miss the boat, check the map below for Jakke’s current location or call them at +358 400 165 530 to arrange a pickup.

And once you’re on board, grab a refreshing beverage and soak up the hot summer sun. As the day turns to night, snuggle up with a warm blanket under the heat lamps because the cruise is far from over!

Personally, I have had so much fun on the Jakke River Ferry, and it’s an experience that I love sharing with my friends when they visit from out of town. It’s a fantastic way to showcase what makes Turku such a special place for us locals. 

There’s something magical about cruising down the Aura River, taking in the city’s sights and sounds, with the cool breeze in your hair and a drink in your hand. 

The Jakke River Ferry is undoubtedly a must-try for anyone visiting Turku, as it offers a unique perspective on the city’s riverside beauty that is hard to find anywhere else.

Order Some Cider at Teerenpeli Turku 

If you’re a fan of cider, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to sample some of the best in town at Teerenpeli Turku

This charming establishment is located in an old bank hall within an idyllic stone building, right by the city marketplace. It offers a cheerful atmosphere and a range of tasty craft products that are sure to satisfy your taste buds. 

Teerenpeli’s Lempi ciders, in particular, are well-known for their rich taste, thanks to the use of fresh, real wild berries and fruits. 

Flavored with apple, lingonberry, and blueberry, their Lempi blueberry cider is one of the brewery’s first ciders and is still one of their most popular among customers.

Things to Do in Turku: Art and & Culture 

Try to Ride the Funicular

If you’re looking for a unique way to experience Turku, why not try riding the Funicular?

Although it’s often the subject of jokes amongst locals and throughout Finland due to its high cost and inconsistent functionality, the construction of the Funicular began in March 2018, with a total cost of EUR 5.6 million

Despite that, the Funicular offers a fun and unimpeded way to access the Kakolanmäki hill, where there is no other public transport available.. which is why travelling on the Funicular is completely free of charge!

It runs on weekdays from 4:30 am to 01:00 am and on weekends from 05:00 am to midnight, making it a convenient option for visitors to Turku. 

With stations located at both the lower and top ends of the hill, you can hop on and off at your leisure and enjoy the unique experience that the Funicular has to offer.

But please don’t get your hopes up, everyone celebrates when it’s working and complains when it’s not.

If anything you’ll get to experience Turku like a local 😆

Embrace the music at the Sibellius Museum
If you are a music lover then you must visit the Sibelius Museum in Turku. is a must-visit 

The Sibellius Museum’s goal is to bring to life the rich history of Finnish music from the 18th century to the present day, and we welcome all genres of music to flourish within our walls.

They have also started digitizing our archives to make them more accessible to everyone. In addition, our concert series, Sibbe Live!, offers live music and unexpected musical encounters in our very own concert hall. 

The Sibelius Museum is the most comprehensive music museum in Finland and is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to embrace the rich and diverse musical culture of Turku.

Get to Know the Statues of Turku on the Sculpture Walk

If you’re looking for an engaging and cultural activity in Turku, be sure to explore the Sculpture Walk. 

Divided into three route options, you can choose to explore the area around the Turku Cathedral and University, the Samppalinna hill, or the Aura riverside and Puolalanmäki. 

Whether you prefer to walk, run or cycle, the Sculpture Walk is a great way to get some exercise while also discovering the many statues and artworks that adorn the city of Turku. 

So why not embark on this cultural journey and find out more about the fascinating history and stories behind the city’s impressive public art.

Dive into Turku’s Maritime Scene at Forum Marinum 

Experience the rich maritime history of Turku at the Forum Marinum Maritime Centre, which offers a unique and interactive approach to exploring the sea. 

The centre is home to both the National specialist museum for Maritime History and the Finnish Navy Museum, providing a comprehensive look at the city’s maritime scene.

 Among the highlights are the fascinating exhibitions that change regularly throughout the year, and an impressive collection of museum vessels, including two tall sail ships, four naval ships, and several smaller vessels, which range from a steam harbour tugboat to a police boat. 

While the museum ships are only open during the summer months, the exhibitions are open year-round, making Forum Marinum a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the sea and its history.

Fall in Love with Classical Art at Turun Taidemuseo 

Turku Art Museum is a must-visit destination for all art lovers. The museum offers an exceptional collection administered by the Turku Art Society with art pieces ranging from the classics to the contemporary. 

The museum showcases a representative selection of works from the golden age of Finnish art from the turn of the 20th century, Finnish surrealism and pop art, as well as self-portraits. In addition to the rich exhibition program, the museum hosts events in a beautiful setting that invites visitors to interact and relax. 

The museum building, designed by professor Gustaf Nyström and completed in 1904, is a fine example of national romantic style and is one of the most prominent landmarks in Turku.

Immerse Yourself into Contemporary Art at Wäino Aaltonen Museum 

Located in the heart of Turku, the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art is a must-visit destination for lovers of contemporary art. 

The museum showcases an impressive collection of art from the 20th and 21st centuries, with a focus on Finnish artists.

Visitors can expect to see everything from paintings and graphics to miniature and large-scale sculptures. 

The museum’s building, designed by Irma and Matti Aaltonen, is a work of art in its own right. The spacious exhibition rooms, specifically reserved for different types of art, are a testament to Wäinö Aaltonen’s influence. 

The museum’s centerpiece is the sculpture hall, an 11-meter high space that provides a unique setting for large works of contemporary art. The museum’s atmospheric atrium, featuring a bronze sculpture by Aaltonen and a pool, is a serene oasis in the middle of the city.

Discover Turku’s Architectural Charm on the ArchitecTOUR Walk

Turku’s architectural charm is one of the city’s main attractions, and what better way to explore it than by taking the ArchitecTOUR walk

This route takes visitors through the city center and showcases the evolution of the city’s architecture over the years. Whether you prefer to walk, run, or cycle, this tour is a great way to explore the city’s buildings and learn about their history.

There are two route options available, a shorter and a longer version, both of which cover a total distance of 9.63 km. 

Along the way, visitors will ask themselves the age-old question: Täl puol jokke (this side of the river) or Tois puol jokke (the other side of the river)? 

And there is only one right answer.

Sip Tea and Explore the Old Pharmacy at Qwensel House & Pharmacy Museum 

Qwensel House & Pharmacy Museum is located on the western shore of the river Aura in Turku. The building dates back to the 18th century and is one of the best-preserved bourgeois houses of its kind in the Nordic countries.

This house is one of the few that survived the Great Fire of Turku in 1827. Since then is has also been known as the “Fortune quarter” (Fortuna-kortteli). 

One notable owner of the Qwensel House was Josef Gustav Pipping, a doctor of medicine and Finland’s first professor of surgery, who remodeled the house in the rococo and Gustav styles. The current furnishings represent that period. 

Today, part of the house is home to the Pharmacy Museum, where visitors can sip tea and explore the old pharmacy.

Take a Journey through Turku’s Flora and Fauna at the Turku Biological Museum 

The Turku Biological Museum is not only a fascinating destination for nature lovers but also a testament to architectural history. Designed by Alex Nyström and constructed in 1907, the museum is a wooden building that exemplifies the National Romantic style.

Despite being a century old, the museum has maintained its original appearance, providing visitors with an opportunity to appreciate the architectural heritage of Turku. 

The 13 dioramas within the museum allow visitors to take a journey through Finland’s flora and fauna, showcasing the natural wonders of the Turku archipelago to the fells of Lapland.

Since its first display in 1907, the main exhibition has undergone minimal changes, and the museum has done an exceptional job of preserving its original look and feel.

Things to Do In Turku: Festival & Events 

Celebrate Vaapu with the Students (First of May)

Vaapu is one of the biggest parties of the year in Turku, celebrated on May 1st with a lot of drinking and revelry.

 This long-standing tradition marks the end of the academic year and the beginning of the summer season, and is especially significant for the city’s student community. 

On this day, students from the University of Turku gather on the banks of the river Aura to celebrate with speeches, singing, and the wearing of traditional student caps. 

The festivities offer a glimpse into the lively atmosphere of Turku, and showcase the enthusiasm and pride of the city’s young people. The tradition of Vaapu is a unique and cherished aspect of Turku’s student life, that has been and will be continued for decades to come.

The day after Vaapu, May 2nd, is a time for adults to celebrate with a picnic, as most of the students are hungover. 

Known as the “Vappu Picnic,” this tradition provides an opportunity for people to relax and spend time with family and friend as well as celebrate the coming of summer. 

Get Lost in the Medieval Market 

The Medieval Market is an annual event that takes place in Turku, Finland, and is perfect for those who love history and medieval culture. 

Held around the last weekend of June beginning on July, this event offers visitors a chance to experience the medieval atmosphere at five different venues. 

From the bustling Medieval Market at the Old Great Square to the magnificent Turku Castle, visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, such as horse tournaments at the Rohan Stables, exploring the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova museum, and taking a tour of the stunning Turku Cathedral. 

The Medieval Market is organized by: the association Turun Suurtorin keskiaika ry, the Museum Centre of Turku, the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova museum.

As well as, Rohan Stables, and Turku and Kaarina Parish Union, who come together to create an unforgettable experience for all who attend.

Run in the Paavo Nurmi Marathon

The city of Turku, Finland, holds a special place in its heart for Paavo Nurmi. Not only was Nurmi born and raised in Turku, but he also trained and competed there throughout his illustrious running career.

In honor of Nurmi’s legacy and achievements, the city hosts the annual Paavo Nurmi Marathon. This marathon is a popular event that draws runners from all over the world to Turku to run in the footsteps of the legendary runner. 

The marathon course takes participants through the streets of Turku and past many of the places that were important to Nurmi during his life, such as his childhood home and the stadium where he trained. 

For the people of Turku, the Paavo Nurmi Marathon is a chance to celebrate the life of a true legend and to showcase their city to the world.

Rock Out at Ruisrock

Ruisrock is an event that brings people together through the power of music and culture. As one of the oldest and most popular festivals in Finland, it has gained a reputation for its magical atmosphere and stunning location in the national park of Ruissalo, Turku. 

Held annually in July, Ruisrock offers a diverse range of music, from up-and-coming local artists to internationally renowned headliners.

Festival-goers can dance the night away under the starry sky, indulge in high-quality food and drink services, and experience the sense of community and joy that Ruisrock strives to create. 

For those looking for an unforgettable summer adventure, Ruisrock is a must-attend event that celebrates the joy of life and the power of music to bring people together.

Dance in the Churchyard at Down By the Laituri 

Another much-loved event that Turkulaiset (people from Turku) celebrate annually is Down By the Laituri festival (DBTL).

Held in the heart of the city, DBTL features a diverse range of music from local and international artists across various genres. The festival attracts people of all ages and backgrounds, and the sense of community and togetherness is what sets it apart.

Alongside the music, there are food and drink stalls offering delicious treats and refreshing drinks to fuel festival-goers as they enjoy the music and atmosphere. 

With a range of venues spread throughout the city, including the beautiful Tuomiokirkkotori and Brahenpuisto, DBTL is a unique and vibrant celebration of music and culture that continues to captivate and inspire.

Find the Jazz Scene in Turku at the Sea Jazz Festival 

Turku Sea Jazz Festival is a vibrant celebration of jazz music that takes place in the heart of the city each summer. 

With internationally renowned jazz artists, as well as high-profile Finnish ensembles, the festival invites visitors to experience the best of contemporary jazz in a lively and urban setting. 

From the curated culinary experiences on offer by the Aura River to the exciting program of performances across multiple stages, Turku Sea Jazz offers a unique and unforgettable experience for music lovers of all ages. 

As part of the wider Archipelago Sea Jazz festival series, which includes established festivals such as Baltic Jazz and Korpo Sea Jazz, as well as newcomers Turku Sea Jazz and Åland Sea Jazz, this festival reaches out towards the archipelago and beyond, putting the jazz scene in Turku firmly on the map.

Celebrate Turku on Turku Day

Turku’s Day (Turun Päivä) is a much-loved annual event that brings the whole city together to celebrate the rich history and culture of Turku. 

Since 1961, Turun Päivä has had a diverse range of activities and performances, with something for everyone to enjoy. From the Posankka race to evening fireworks, Turku Day showcases the best that the city has to offer. 

Throughout the day, visitors can take advantage of free entries to several museums and explore participating organisations and companies that open their doors to the public.

 The City of Turku collaborates with local organisations, companies, and associations to organize this lively and vibrant event. 

The celebrations culminate in the traditional fireworks display at 9 pm on Samppalinna Hill, creating a magical and unforgettable end to a day full of festivities.

Taste a Little Bit of Everything at the International Market 

The International Market is an annual event, and one of my most favorite events, held at the end of September. 

The market offers a wide range of cuisine from different countries and cultures, allowing visitors to experience a taste of the world right in Turku. There are so many delicious options available, it’s easy to get carried away.

Especially by the cheese guys who have a knack for getting us to buy more cheese than we wanted! 

In addition to the food, the market also features a variety of collectible items such as art and jewelry.

Visitors can expect to find all sorts of novelty foods, such as American donuts, Finnish donuts, and Australian kangaroo burgers, making it a truly unique experience.

Whatever your taste, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the International Market.

Get in the Christmas Spirit at Turku Cathedral 

The lighting of the Christmas tree at Turku Cathedral is a long-standing tradition that dates back to the early 1900s with the first spruce tree was adorned with electric lamps.

Afterwards, the tradition of having a Christmas tree on the Cathedral square began in the 1930s. 

Although there were some interruptions during the war years, the tradition resumed in 1955 and has been going strong ever since. The lighting of the tree is a much-anticipated event that signals the start of the holiday season in Turku. 

Once the tree is lit, it brings a sense of warmth and joy to the city, lighting up the darkness and spreading holiday cheer.

Be Part of the Declaration of Peace: Christmas Eve 

On Christmas Eve, the city center of Turku is filled with people from near and far gathering to experience this truly ethereal moment. It is without a doubt my most favorite part of living in Turku

As you walk through the streets, you can sense the excitement and anticipation building, and there’s a certain joy that’s palpable in the air.

The tradition of reading the Declaration of Christmas Peace in Turku dates back to the 1300s, making it one of the oldest ongoing traditions in Finland. Every year on Christmas eve since 1997, Mika Akkanen reads the the Christmas Declaration of Peace (joulurauhan juhlistus) from the balcony of the Brinkkala building.

His reading of this iconic historic text is very symbolic as it is to remind people that Christmas peace has begun. As well as to advise people to spend the festive period in harmony, and to wish all a merry Christmas. 

Bringing some traditional Finnish treats, such as pulla and glögi, or getting them from a nearby café, is a great way to fully embrace the festivities and share holiday greetings with friends amidst the busy Christmas season.

Things to Do in Turku: Day Trips 

Meet the Moomins in Naantali 

Nostalgia fills the air at Meet the Moominworld in Naantali, Finland.

Whether you’re a child or an adult seeking to relive childhood memories, stepping into the whimsical world of Moomin Valley is an enchanting experience.

Moominworld is primarily geared towards children. However, adults or couples can also enjoy exploring the nature trails, lounging on the beach, and taking in the breathtaking views from the scenic lookout point. 

If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of Kultaranta, the summer house of the President of Finland, from the park’s high cliffs. 

When you see the Finnish flag flying over Kultaranta, you’ll know that the President is in residence. Moominworld is truly a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a fun and memorable experience in Finland.

Relax at the Beach Saaroniemi, Ruissalo 

If you’re looking to relax and unwind in Turku, Saaroniemi Beach in Ruissalo is the perfect destination. 

This beach is one of the busiest in Turku, thanks to its easy accessibility via bus. Located at the last stop of the 8 line, which has a stop in the center of Turku, you can easily hop on a bus and be there in no time. 

The beach offers a variety of activities, including hiking, swimming, sauna bathing, barbecue, minigolf, and beach volleyball. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a dip in the water during the winter months, and dry off in the on-site sauna.

Dog owners will be happy to know that there’s a designated dog park and swimming area as well. Café Villa Saaro, housed in a beautiful Empire-style villa, serves up delicious food and drinks. 

For those who want to stay overnight, the well-equipped camping area or indoor accommodations are available. 

With four barbecue shelters and two barbecue sites, it’s easy to have a fun and relaxing day at Saaroniemi Beach.

Visit the Pumpkin Week in Halikko, Salo 

The Pumpkin Week in Halikko, Salo is a relatively new and dearly beloved fall tradition in Southern Finland. 

If you’re planning an autumn trip to the area, be sure to visit in October when the Pumpkin Weeks take place. 

The Pumpkin park at the Rannikko garden in Halikko is the hub of all things pumpkin during this festive event, with thousands of jack-o’-lanterns on display. 

Many of the local cafés, restaurants, and other partners participate in the Pumpkin Week, making it the perfect time to indulge in pumpkin-themed treats and drinks while admiring the beautiful autumn scenery. 

I strongly recommend renting a car From Turku, as it’s an easy drive to Halikko and Salo. Each year the event gets bigger and bigger as the community of Halikko adds more explore. That being said, public transportation is also becoming more accessible to the pumpkin-weeks.

Still the American in me thinks car travel works best.

Wow, that’s a lot of things to do in Turku!

Next time someone says there’s nothing to do here, send them this page and watch their jaw drop. We had to stop ourselves from adding more to the list, because let’s face it, Turku has endless possibilities. 

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there’s always something new to discover in this beautiful city. So bookmark this page, start planning your itinerary, and get ready to experience the best of Turku! 

See you soon!

Check Out More Things to Do in Turku and the Archipelago

Where to Stay in Turku: 9 Best Accommodations in Turku, Finland

Discover the Charm of Utö Island: 7 Must-Do Activities in Finland’s Archipelago

Celebrate Spring in Turku: 10 Delightful Ways to Embrace the Season in Finland

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