Turku Things to Do

  • Aura river
    Aura river
    by mindcrime
  • Aura river
    Aura river
    by mindcrime
  • Aura river
    Aura river
    by mindcrime

Most Recent Things to Do in Turku

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    Turku Castle. Models of Castle

    by Oleg_D. Written Dec 14, 2014

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    There are a lot scale models of Turku (Abo) Castle in the exhibitions. These models excellently show the evolution of the castle from 1280 till nowadays and enable public to understand the development and history of military fortification in North Europe.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos and videos without flashlight and tripod.
    Open from Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 – 18:00.
    Closed on Mondays. Admission is 9 Euros for Adults and 5 Euros for children.

    Nowadays 1280 XIV c. XV c. XVI c.
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    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits

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    Turku Castle. Sture Chapel

    by Oleg_D. Written Dec 14, 2014

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    Sture Chapel was built about 1480 that’s why it is expressively gothic. Chapel received its name because it was built during the time when Sten Sture the Elder was the Castellan of Turku (Abo) Castle in 1469-1499. Today chapel boasts with the collection of ecclesiastic sculptures of XIII-XVI centuries. For me, especially interesting were the statues of military saints such as Saint George, Saint Martin of Tours and Saint Olaf. Statue of Saint Olaf made in XV century shows him as the knight in full suit of Gothic armor.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos and videos without flashlight and tripod.
    Open from Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 – 18:00.
    Closed on Mondays. Admission is 9 Euros for Adults and 5 Euros for children.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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    Turku Castle. The Knight’s Hall

    by Oleg_D. Written Dec 14, 2014

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    The Knight’s Hall of Turku (Abo) castle is typically late Gothic construction built in XV century. XV century latrine survived in side room.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos and videos without flashlight and tripod.
    Open from Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 – 18:00.
    Closed on Mondays. Admission is 9 Euros for Adults and 5 Euros for children.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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    Turku Castle. Thickness of its walls

    by Oleg_D. Written Dec 14, 2014

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    Although Turku (Abo) Castle turned in the residence of governors by beginning of XVIII century, from the very beginning it was constructed as real defensive structure. How strong and formidable were the castle’s walls you can judge if you have a look at the pictures of window’s embrasures. Such wall could endure even artillery of XVII century.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos and videos without flashlight and tripod.
    Open from Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 – 18:00.
    Closed on Mondays. Admission is 9 Euros for Adults and 5 Euros for children.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

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    Turku Castle. Exhibitions

    by Oleg_D. Written Dec 14, 2014

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    There are a lot of exhibition halls in the Turku (Abo) castle, some of them large and some very small. Anyway they are worth to be visited because they provide a lot of information about the castle, its inhabitants and their life behind the walls.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos and videos without flashlight and tripod.
    Open from Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 – 18:00.
    Closed on Mondays. Admission is 9 Euros for Adults and 5 Euros for children.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits

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    Turku Castle. Castle Church

    by Oleg_D. Written Dec 14, 2014

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    Castle church is typical Lutheran Church of XVIII century. It is very modest if we compare its appearance with Roman Catholic or Orthodox Churches of the same time. Anyway it was quite functional and quite able to admit several hundreds of believers.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos and videos without flashlight and tripod.
    Open from Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 – 18:00.
    Closed on Mondays. Admission is 9 Euros for Adults and 5 Euros for children.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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    Turku Castle. Royal Hall

    by Oleg_D. Written Dec 14, 2014

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    Royal hall of Turku (Abo) Castle is typical big audience hall of XVI-XVIII centuries. Here is no any luxury. This part of Finland belonged to the Kingdom of Sweden during mentioned period where Lutheranism was the state religion. And that explains why Royal Hall has so modest appearance.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos and videos without flashlight and tripod.
    Open from Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 – 18:00.
    Closed on Mondays. Admission is 9 Euros for Adults and 5 Euros for children.

    Related to:
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    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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    Turku Castle. Northern Exhibition Hall

    by Oleg_D. Written Dec 14, 2014

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    Main part of permanent exhibition of Turku (Abo) Castle is situated in the Northern Exhibition Hall. You shall be able to observe here many artifacts representing crockery, plates and dishes, furniture, cloth, porcelain, chest and other things. All thus stuff mostly from the period of XVII-XX centuries and give you general notion about the life here, in this part of Northern Europe.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos and videos without flashlight and tripod.
    Open from Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 – 18:00.
    Closed on Mondays. Admission is 9 Euros for Adults and 5 Euros for children.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits

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    Turku Castle. Exhibition of Round Tower

    by Oleg_D. Written Dec 14, 2014

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    Round tower was built in XV century and was supposed to withstand cannonball of newest siege weapon the guns. Here behind the walls five meters thick you will find the exhibition dedicated to the general history of Turku (Abo) Castle. You will be able to see medieval artifacts such as footwear, weapon and etc. found by the archeologists during their excavations in this castle. You will also see the life in the castle recreated with the means of excellent mannequins.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos and videos without flashlight and tripod.
    Open from Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 – 18:00.
    Closed on Mondays. Admission is 9 Euros for Adults and 5 Euros for children.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

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    Aura river

    by mindcrime Written Oct 28, 2013

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    Aura River (aurajoki ) is a 70km long river that departs from Oripaa and flows into the archipelago through Turku. It actually splits Turku in two, even the old original town of Turku was founded on the east side of the river which still houses the cathedral and the university along with the Old Great Square while on the west side you can see the modern city centre with market square which is the central square. But on the west side near the harbor you can see the Turku Castle that dates back from 13th century too like the old cathedral.

    The natural tree-lined promenade worth to be walked, from the cathedral down to the harbor is a scenic 3km long stroll where you can see several attractions, the city library, the pharmacy museum, the Waino Aaltonen Museum and near the harbor the old ships and marinum forum. But we walked only a small part of the riverfront because it was a rainy day and couldn’t really enjoy it. Along the river we noticed several tour boats, ferry café/restaurants etc.

    Aura river Aura river Aura river Aura river Aura river

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    Aboa Vetus and Ars Nova

    by mindcrime Written Oct 26, 2013

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    Centraly located, on the banks of river Aura this is probably one of the most famous museums in Turku, actually with one ticket you have access to two different museums.

    Aboa Vetus is the museum of history of Turku focusing on some underground ancient remains of the area and takes you through the history of Turku which was the first capital in Finland. I liked the fact that I was actually waling through the underground ruins which can be found underneath the main building (they discovered the ruins when they tried to expand the art gallery!) illuminating the life of ordinary citizens in Turku. There are a lot of activities focusing on small kids but it was interesting for us too. Dim lightning adds to the atmosphere as you visit the remains of medieval Turku (mainly cellars and basements of medieval buildings), much more interesting than to see single artifacts lying on a shelf. Helpful signs in English were also good and detailed so we didn’t wait for the guided tour.
    Pic 3 shows a cat skeleton from 17th century.

    Ars Nova is a museum of modern/contemporary art. I wasn’t impressed by the painting collection but the Ars Nova wasn’t my priority here so didn’t bother much and spent most of my 70 minutes visit in Aboa Vetus.
    Pic 5 is a 1964 work of Katarina Reuter. It’s series of paintings, 16 pairs, on top paintings in ink represent direct observation and the oil paintings below represent a more private perception of a place.

    It’s open daily 11.00-19.00
    The entrance fee is 8euros (free with Turku card)

    By the way I noticed much more people at museum’s restaurant than the gallery rooms, on Saturdays they have jazz brunch for about 17euros.

    Aboa Vetus Aboa Vetus Ars Nova Ars Nova
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    Cathedral

    by mindcrime Written Oct 26, 2013

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    The cathedral (Tuomikokirkko) is the seat of Lutheran archbishop of Finland and country’s national shrine. Although it fails to impressive from outside although its towers rise up over the Aura river, the setting is nice with several benches around where you can rest for a while.

    The original parish church was erected in late 13th century with wood when Turku was an important trading center. The area was called Sheep’s Knoll back then, a pagan worship ground.
    The church was expanded in 14th and 15th centuries with stones but damaged during the Great fire of Turku in 1827 when most of the city’s buildings burnt. So what we see today is the cathedral that was rebuilt in 19th century, including the 101 meters high spire of the tower.

    But when we got inside we loved it due to some nice beautiful details (of course there’s no comparison with cathedrals in Italy etc). Some side chapels but also the alter piece (depicting the Transfiguration of Jesus) worth to be seen along with some interesting romantic frescos. Many former kings have been buried here. Pic 5 shows the Chapel of Corpus Christi or the Tavast chapel.
    Its open daily 9.00-20.00 (19.00 in winter)

    There’s no entrance fee for the cathedral unless you want to visit the small museum (tuomiokirkkomuseo) upstairs featuring religious items.

    Turku Cathedral Turku Cathedral Turku Cathedral
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    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

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    Sibelius Museum

    by mindcrime Written Oct 26, 2013

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    After visiting Turku cathedral I headed to the Sibelius museum which is a few meters away, housed on a low modern concrete building. The museum was founded in 1926 by Otto Andersson.

    Obviously the museum is dedicated to Jean Sibelius(1865-1957) the famous Finnish composer of late romantic period, I guess most of you know his composition Finlandia. The small exhibition goes through his life and work and gives some information about him as a national symbol of Finland. The main exhibition of the museum focusing on several different music instruments (about 1400!) from all over the world, some of them very old, I liked the early pianos and viols.

    In june 2013 there was a special exhibition downstairs called Musica Cubana with lots of instruments, objects and photographs from Cuba.

    The museum hosts chamber music concerts on its main hall on winter Wednesday evenings, that would be nice to see and add much more to the atmosphere, now I just walked around looking at dead instruments.

    It’s open Tuesday to Sunday 11.00-16.00 (Wednesday also 18-20.00)
    The entrance fee is 3euros (2013 price) (free with Turku card)

    Sibelius Museum Sibelius Museum Sibelius Museum Sibelius Museum Sibelius Museum
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    Turku Castle

    by mindcrime Written Oct 26, 2013

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    The best way to visit Turku Castle is to walk along Aura riverside from the city center down to the harbor, it’s a scenic 3km long route but that day was rainy so we just took the bus directly there.

    Turku Castle (Turun linna ) dates back from 1280 (the larges surviving medieval building in Finland), originally a military fortress of swedish conquerors. It was expanded the next centuries with living quarters but the major expansion took place in 16th century. Modern renovation was completed in 1987 and now it’s the most popular attraction in Turku, no surprise it was the only place we saw many other visitors inside but again not so many to feel uncomfortable.

    We toured on our own through its numerous renovated rooms , there are some beautiful banquet halls, churches, dungeons and numerous rooms that house furniture, jewelry, costumes, paintings ceramics etc Many will love the knights room where you can dress up. Although everything is well displayed the castle is large (much larger than you may expect by looking at the castle from outside) so you better focus on specific rooms or take a coffee/lunch break at museum’s restaurant and then keep on touring, many rooms contain nothing so just pass through.

    There’s also a room with many miniature models of the castle that goes through the construction history of the castle. I love miniature models anyway so I enjoyed this room a lot.

    It’s open Tuesday to sunday 10.00-18.00
    The entrance fee is 8euros (free with Turku card), there is optional guided tour for 2euros but in almost every room there was someone explaining in depth about the hall’s history so I see no reason to take a guided tour

    There’s a souvenir store and restaurant/café.

    Turku Castle guide at Turku Castle Turku Castle Turku Castle Turku Castle
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    • Castles and Palaces

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    Maritime Forum

    by mindcrime Written Oct 26, 2013

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    After visiting the Turku Castle we walked to Maritime Forum, we were interested about the ships outside much more but we had free entrance with the TurkuCard so we gave it a try. The museum tells the history of seafaring in SW Finland and of the Finnish Navy.

    It was a bit boring for us but I guess people that are into different vessel types (as they say from Galley to Hovercraft) and archipelago culture will enjoy it a bit more or even get excited when they see a few hundred outboard engines. But we didn’t really care about Turku shipping companies, peasant or merchant shipping and I had the feeling of seeing a poor collection considering the fact Finland must have a long maritime history but I have to admit the videos, photos and radio recordings help a lot to get more from your visit although most explanations are only in finnish.

    The museum also works as a maritime center and is housed in the Kruununmakasiini building, which was built in 1894 as a state granary. The gift store has some nice items.

    It’s open daily 11.00-19.00 (October to april 11,00-18.00, closed on Mondays)
    The entrance fee for the museum is 8euro, there’s also a combo ticket including entrance to the ships on the river(16e), free with Turku Card (21e, free access to every museum in Turku)

    Maritime Forum Maritime Forum Maritime Forum Maritime Forum
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