Turku Tourist Attractions, Landmarks, Monuments and Sightseeing
(Turku, Finland Proper, Finland)
Home to a number of leading Finnish tourist attractions and famous landmarks, few come more impressive than the medieval Turku Castle, which was founded at the end of the 13th century and seems to have grown ever since. Another celebrated landmark is the Cathedral of Turku, which presides over both the city and the Aura River. The cathedral is a rather imposing Evangelical Lutheran building and is actually the important seat of the city's Archdiocese, being filled with historic attractions and interesting chapels.
Scenic cruises around the archipelago have long been one of the leading attractions for visitors to Turku during the fine summer months, offering the chance to enjoy some spectacular views of the many nearby Finnish islands. Something quite different and particularly appealing for young children is the Kuralan Kylämäki, which is a fully functioning historic village, complete with working farm with a strong feeling of the 1950s.
Tel: +358 02 262 0300
One of the most famous landmarks and tourist attractions in the city and indeed the country, the Turku Castle is quite huge and really a must see for keen sightseers. Attractions include two dungeons and some truly impressive banqueting halls. There is also an interesting castle museum, based around a selection of restored rooms within the castle's Old Bailey area. Also popular are the models of the castle, showing how it has changed its appearance over the years, starting as a relatively small fortress and becoming a much-loved medieval castle. To learn more about the castle whilst visiting, join one of the regular guided tours, which many of the tourists will be pleased to find are in English.
Open hours: mid-April to mid-September, daily - 10:00 to 18:00; mid-September to mid-April, Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 15:00
Admission: charge, guided tours extra
This famous landmark is without doubt one of the most important of all of Finland's churches and was consecrated as far back as the early 14th century, when it was built mostly from wood. Turku Cathedral has been rebuilt and extended a number of times over the years as a direct result of fire damage. The ceiling of the cathedral's interior is extremely high and boasts a lofty vaulted nave and many splendid wall arches. The side chapels are of particular interest and contain the tombs of Swedish war heroes and even a former queen of Sweden, Catherine Mansdotter. Opposite the cathedral are further attractions, which are based around the Vanha Suurtori, once the main town square in Turku and surrounded by countless elegant buildings, including the old town hall.
Open hours: daily, mid-April to mid-September - 09:00 to 20:00; mid-September to mid-April - 09:00 to 19:00
Admission: free, charge for cathedral museum
Kuralan Kylämäki (Village of Living History)
Address: Kalastajankatu 4, Turku, FI-20101, Finland, FI
Tel: +358 02 262 0111
Visitors to the Kuralan Kylämäki will find that attractions include numerous animals, such as cows, sheep and also chickens, along with period costumes, an archaeological workshop, scenic picnic spots, a gift shop and cafe, and views across the wilderness valley. If you time your visit right, you may even be able to see some newborn lambs and baby chicks. Although the Kuralan Kylämäki village is so close to Turku city centre, it has a definite feel of being in the countryside.
Open hours: April to September, Wednesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children, students and families, children seven years old and under are free
Numerous sightseeing trips take in the many islands, with most departing from the quay next to Martinsilta Bridge and are amongst the main summer attractions. Evening dinner cruises are always popular, were meals are either served on the boat or on the actual island of Loistokari. Look out for the trips onboard the historic steamship that is the SS Ukkopekka, which heads to Naantali daily between the months of June and August.
Open hours: daily, seasonal variations
Ruissalon / University Botanical Gardens
Address: Ruissalon, Turku, Finland, FI
An island and national park within the Archipelago Sea, Ruissalon is considered to be a district of Turku and is filled with quality attractions. The island of Ruissalon lies on the south-western side of the city and close to the island of Hirvensalo. Only just over 100 people actually live here, although there is plenty to see. Many people choose to stay at the campsite on the western side of Ruissalon, where a spa is also close by, while others prefer a stroll around the Botanical Gardens of the University of Turku, which enjoys a central location on Ruissalon and is always filled with colourful flowers in the summer season. Ruissalon is also home to an excellent golf course and is where the city's simply massive Ruisrock rock festival takes place.
Open hours: daily - dawn to dusk