Turku Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Turku

  • Turku Castle

    by sabsi Updated Jul 4, 2004

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    Turku Castle

    Turku Castle is the first building I saw of Turku when I once arrived here by ferry from Stockholm. Now that I came back to Turku for a day trip I finally visited it.

    The castle was built as a small fortification in the 13th century and developed into what it looks now over the centuries. An impressive Renaissance Floor was built in the 16th century. The whole tour through the castle brings you to different rooms and there are so many of them that I lost count. There's a prison, a ball room, a chapel, lots of stairs and small windows etc etc.

    As nowadays the castle hosts the Historical Museum of Turku with changing exhibitions on your way you can see pottery, clothes, toys etc etc. You could spend ages in here if you read and look at everything there is. After a while it was too much actually and we were trying to find the way out. HAHA Which isn't as easy as it sounds by the way ;)

    Once we were out we had a look at the beautiful yard of the castle and the park around it.

    The admission of € 4,50 is definitely worth it considering how much you will get to see here and how much time you can spend here.

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  • Kauppahalli (Market Hall)

    by sabsi Updated Jul 4, 2004

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    Kauppahalli in Turku

    The market hall of Turku is about as beautiful as every market hall I had seen in Scandinavia. I just love the mix of typical architecture, the smell, the food and little cafes in these market halls.

    There's one thing that makes the Turku market hall special though: The train cafe. Have a look into my restaurant tips for more.

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    Turun kaupungin historiallinen museo

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Sep 22, 2006

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    Turku - Historical museum
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    In 1890th a prison was removed from the castle then it was turned to a museum. In 1941 the castle strongly suffered from bombardments, and it should be restored. Restoration works came to an end in 1961. Celebrations are spent in memory of Duke Juhan in the castle annually in August-September in medieval spirit.

    Constantly operating exposition of the City historical museum acquaints with the history of Turku (Turun kaupungin historiallinen museo). Exhibits give representation about suits, traditions and a decor of interiors XVII-XIX centuries. Archeological finds, historical suits, the weapon ornaments and so forth are exposed in halls of the main building. The collection of a medieval wooden sculpture is collected in the church of the castle (Turun Linnan kirkko).

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

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  • Suomen Joutsen

    by sabsi Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Suomen Joutsen

    Just a few metres after you have passed the Sigyn you will get to another tall ship, the Suomen Joutsen (Finnish Swan). This one was built in France in 1902. It was used as a navy training ship until the second world war and then again from 1949 until the 80s. In 1991 the Suomen Joutsen was given to Turku and now serves as museum ship as part of the Forum Marinum.

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  • A boat trip to Vepsä

    by sabsi Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Veps��

    This is the trip through the archipelago which we took - basically because we were too late to go on the other trip. It was a wonderful option though so I don't know if the other one would have been nicer ;)

    We took a boat to Vepsä which is a small wild island in the archipelago of Turku. Unfortunately we could only take the last boat there which leaves Turku at 5 so that we had to go straight back because it was also the last boat from Vepsä back to the mainland. So I can't tell you anything about Vepsä other than that it has Mökkis and that it looks like heaven for a weekend away ;)

    However, the boat trip was really nice!! It takes approx. 1 hour to Vepsä and obviously 1 hour back. You pass by the museum ships at Aurajoki, then the port and after that all you pass by is Finnish nature at its best - woods, wooden houses, saunas, beaches, rocks etc etc.

    We were almost on our own on the boat so that we could enjoy the scenery and the Finnish music on the boat very intensely ;-)

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  • Turku Card

    by sabsi Updated Jul 4, 2004

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    In the yard of the castle

    Because of my work I got a Turku Card for 24 hours for free. So I had the chance to try out what you can do with it. Here's my opinion about it:

    I put the Helsinki Card under tourist traps and the Turku Card under "Must See Activities" because I think that the one in Turku might be more valid for your stay in Turku. However, maybe I just think so because I know Helsinki quite well and it was the first time for me in Turku.

    The 24 hours card costs 21€. With it you can visit a lot of the museums for free, you can use public transport, get special deals in shops and restaurants and even the sightseeing tour is free with it. Turku is small enough to see a few museums in a day and to go on an organised sightseeing tour hence I think the card is worth it.

    I used the card for public transportation and the castle. We wanted to use it in a restaurant and for a sightseeing tour as well but unfortunately we were too late for the tour and in the end we were running out of time for the restaurant. So I didn't use it enough - just like in Helsinki. But I think I could use it better than there...

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  • Minelayer Keihässalmi

    by sabsi Written Jul 4, 2004

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    Minelayer Keih��ssalmi

    The Minelayer Keihässalmi is another museum ship of Forum Marinum. It was built after second world war and then it was the first minelayer of the Finnish navy.

    I don't know about you but I like to see these boats when they are used as museum boats. Like this they can't mess up anything ;)

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    Turku Castle

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Sep 22, 2006

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    Turku Castle
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    The most ancient and biggest castle of Finland stands on the right (northern) coast of Aurajoki near its mouth. It is one of the beautiful monuments of the Finnish national culture, leading its history from 1280 when Castle was constructed by Swedes.

    Originally it represented a quadrangular strengthened camp and served as a residence for the deputy of the Swedish king.

    The basic construction was completed in 1570 when it found shape of the magnificent stone castle of an epoch of the Renaissance, and in this view it was kept up till now. The castle maintained long sieges repeatedly. Blossoming of the castle became in the XVI - the period of board of Finnish duke Johan, the son of the Swedish king Gustav I Vasa and his wives Ekaterina Jagellonka (the sister of the Polish king Sigizmund II August. The true court life reigned there.

    At that time there were more than 500 persons of servants. In 1630th the castle was a residence of the general-governor of Finland, then it was partially used as prison and a quartermaster warehouse.

    The castle of Turku (Turun linna)
    (Linnankatu 80) It is opened: the middle of April - the middle of September daily 10.00 - 18.00. The rest of the year Tuesday - Sunday 10.00-15.00.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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    The Cathedral of Turku (Tuomiokirkko)

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Sep 22, 2006

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    Turku - The Cathedral of Turku (Tuomiokirkko)
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    The Cathedral was consecrated in 1290, expanded in XVI. The main Lutheran church of Finland and its national relic, which history is closely connected with centuries-old history of Finnish people, majestically rises on Unikankare hill, (in translation "a hill of a dream") on the left coast of Aurajoki.

    The Cathedral is the oldest and most valuable monument of history in Finland. It was kept since time of construction in the XIIIrd century. During its centuries-old history the Cathedral repeatedly burned, it was reconstructed and restored. In the Middle Ages chapels for Catholic priests were attached, but, despite of it, romantic style was still kept in its architecture. Nowadays the Cathedral is not only a church, but also a museum. On the eve of Christmas the ring of its bells announces approach of a holiday.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

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  • Sigyn

    by sabsi Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Sigyn

    The wooden tall ship "Sigyn" found its last port of call at Aurajoki in Turku. Under Swedish flag she sailed over the world's oceans from 1887 to 1939. Today she is a museum ship and part of Forum Marinum, the maritime museum of Turku.

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    The Sea center (Forum Marinum)

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Sep 22, 2006

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    Turku - The Sea center (Forum Marinum)

    The Sea center, more precisely, the Museum of trading and military fleet, up till 1999 settled down in a former observatory at Vartiovuori hill, and recently it was moved on a new place - to a building of a former granary (1894) near to the castle.

    Expositions tell about all aspects of sea history of Finland: development of its marine sea fleet, seafarers and pilots, ship-wrecks, work of sea patrols and customs, etc. There are presented models of various vessels, mines of times of the Second world war.

    Linnankatu 72, May-September daily. 9.00-19.00, the rest of the year Tuesday-Sunday 10.00-18.00, on Monday it is closed.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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    Three-mast sailing vessel "Sigyn"

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Mar 7, 2008

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    Turku - Three-mast sailing vessel

    The sea center posesses several true vessels which are laid up at the coast of Aurajoki. The most well-known - sailing frigate Suomen Joutsen, in translation "the Finnish swan". It was constructed in 1902 in Saint-Nazaire in France (thanks Jean-Louis for his correction!) and it was originally used for transportation of cargoes between Europe and South America.

    Then it belonged to Germans, and in 1930 - Finns bought it. They gave it the present name. During the Second world war the frigate served as a depot for submarines and hospital. From 1991 it is a ship-museum.

    Black three-mast sailing vessel "Sigyn" is last kept wooden bark, suitable for navigations at the open ocean. It was constructed in 1887 in the Geteborg (Sweden) and went to Canada, Africa, India and South America. In 1927 it was bought by Finns. From 1939 it's a ship-museum.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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  • A trip by steamboat Ukkopekka

    by sabsi Updated Jul 4, 2004

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    Ukkopekka

    This is the normal trip though the archipelago every Turku tourist takes I guess. The M/S Ukkopekka is an old steamboat (actually the only steamboat st the Finnish coast) which takes you on archipelago trips to Naantali.

    There are just two sailings every day in summer and as we arrived in Turku too late we missed the boat. But I bet our archipelago trip was at least as nice - yet a bit shorter. And we even met the Ukkopekka on our way...

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    Tuomiokirkkomuseo

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Sep 22, 2006

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    Turku - The Cathedral and Tuomiokirkkomuseo

    Saint Maria and the first Finnish bishop St Henrik are considered as patrons of the Cathedral. Up till the end of XVIII century under these arches the known people were buried there. They played an outstanding role in history of Sweden what memorable family boards and stone gravestones testify.

    The marble sarcophagus of the Swedish queen Katarina Monsdotter (the wife of Erik XIV) is interesting in the Kankajnen chapel. Wars, robberies and fires repeatedly caused damage to the Cathedral within centuries. However the part of treasures was kept and exhibited at a museum which is in the southern gallery.

    The exposition of a museum of the Cathedral tells about the basic stages in history of the Cathedral from XIV century. Medieval statues of sacred and subjects of church furniture are presented there.

    (Tuomiokirkkomuseo, April - September. Daily 9.00-20.00, the rest of the time daily 9.00-19.00, it is closed during divine services, www.tumnseurakunnat.fi)

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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    Turku Castle

    by mindcrime Written Oct 26, 2013

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    Turku Castle
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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.

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

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