Turku is located 168km west of Helsinki and 163km southwest of Tampere. We traveled to Turku from Tampere by train and the day after took an express bus from Turku to Helsinki airport.
We came by train from Tampere (1h 40’) but there are many trains daily from Helsinki (2h) and an overnight train to Rovaniemi. The main train station is north of the city center (10’ walk from market square) but some trains terminate down to the ferry terminal(Turun satama) if you want to catch a ferry.
We used the ExpressBus to Helsinki airport (2h 20’) from Turku bus station, we booked our tickets in advance online (one way ticket 29.50euro).
There’s also Omnibus that offer bus connection from Turku for low prices if you book in advance.
Turku Airport (TKU) is 8km north of the center, can be easily reached by bus #1 (single ticket 2,50euro)
Located next to turku castle the port houses Viking Line and Silja line that give access to/from Stockholm.
Take route E18 from Helsinki or route E63 from Tampere.
The city center is walkable, you can actually see most sites/attraction with no need to take a bus. We got out of the train station and walked 1km to Kauppatori (market square) which lies in the center of the city and is the starting point of the numerous local buses in case you need one. Turku cathedral and Aboa Vetus Museum are only 800m away from the square, near ABoa river.
The river splits the center in two, you can actually walk along its shore down to the harbor to visit Turku castle (from Aboa Vetus to the castle is about 3km)
Buses cover every corner of Turku, the transportation hub is on market square that houses 14 bus stops around the square for most local and regional buses. We used bus #1(from Kauppatori to the castle in the south and to the airport in the north) to reach the castle and return back to the center. Single ticket costs 2,50euro (valid for 120’) but you may want to buy a 24h ticket for 6,50euros (valid from time you validate it till next day the same time), also cards for 2 days (9e), 3d(12e), 4, 5, 6, 7 and 14days.
We preferred Turku Card that we bought at the Tourist Office, it costs 21euros (valid for 24hours also) that gives also free admission to most museums in Turku. There’s also a 48h Turku Card for 28euros.
During the summer you can take small cruise trips into archipeglago, to nearby Naantali, Ruissalo island etc
There is also a free Fori ferry that takes you across the Aura river (daily 6.15-21.00).
Turku is very well connected to the Finnish road and rail network, and ferry connections make onward travel to Stockholm . The Helsingintie road runs all the way to Turku port from Helsinki. Turku is the key point in the E18 road project that will connect Scandinavia via Finland to the St. Petersburg area and via Russia further afield to the east.
The journey time on Silja vessels is approx 12 hours from Turku to Stockholm
You can choose from several airlines serving the airport of Turku. It is simply by connected flights to get to Turku from many places in the world.
From the airport to Turku you can get by bus, which departs every 30 minutes.
Take bus number 1. It is regular and is part of the Turku's public transport. The price is the same as in any other bus in the Turku's public transport. It costs 2.50 Eur. It is preferable that you have the exact amount to grant to the driver because thay don't have always change. The route goes from the airport through the central bus station and the central market square.
I went to Turku by train (InterCity2) from Helsinki.
The route between Helsinki and Turku is served almost hourly.
The 160 km trip takes about 2 hours and a single train ticket costs about 23 Euro (2002).
Turku's train station is located a 10 minutes walk northeast of the city centre.
Turku centre is rather small and if you need to get to somewhere around the city it is just a short trip, from the railway station, bus station or harbour it is just few minutes to the city centre by taxi, so you can easily use it if needed.
There's a very good bus service between Helsinki and Turku. When landing in Helsinki, you can catch the bus right outside of the Helsinki-Vantaa airport terminal and buy your ticket right on board the bus. Please visit the company's website (below) in order to see the schedules of the buses. Formerly the search was not available in English (when I originally posted this tip, 6 years ago) but now it is!! Just click on the British flag on the upper right corner in order to get the english version of the site. Or, you can search for the departure times this way:
Choose the option "Aikataulut" on the menu and you should see a screen with the title "AIKATAULUHAKU" (timetables) on it. Then on the first field (from) you type "Helsinki-Vantaa" and on the second one (to) "Turku". Then click on "HAE AIKATAULU" (search) and you will find various departure & destination bus stops to choose from; once you pick the ones you need you'll be able to see the departure & arrival times of the buses from Helsinki to Turku.
In most cases you'll have to switch buses a few kilometers ahead of the Helsinki airport, but that's absolutely no problem and it takes you only a few minutes. The driver will let you know when you have to change buses... It's easy even if you don't speak Finnish - like me! I didn't get lost myself!
Then when you want to go back from Turku to Helsinki you just have to catch the same bus at the local bus station (information about the schedules is available at the same web site, and you can either get down at the airport or continue to the downtown area if you need to).
All the former explanation was given to me in detail by my friend Kalle, too.... Thanks for your help!!!
Fares 2008: EUR 27.50 for a single trip, EUR 49.50 round trip
There is a very modern and comfortable train that takes you from Turku to Helsinki or viceversa.... the Express Bus I took from the Helsinki Vantaa airport to Turku and back (please see previous tip) is most convenient if you need to go to the airport, rather than the downtown area. But in case you do need to go to downtown, the train might be a better option, as the price is just about the same (26 EUR one way ticket) and you will be right in the heart of Helsinki in only 2 hours instead of 3.....
You can take one of the modern Pendolino trains which are quite fast. It takes 2 hours one way from Helsinki to Turku. Unfortunately, there is no decent map nor a tourist information in Turku station, so if you arrive by train without a map like me, you may be a bit lost.
I used a summer ticket from the Finnish railway company which allowed me to use trains for 3 days for a good price.
If you are going from Sweden to Turku (or Åbo as is its swedish name) then you might want to consider taking a ferry. It's cheap and you'll get the chance to do some serious partying. Sometimes it's crappy and sometimes it's great. But that's every party place for you.
Some of the boats have exellent sauna facilities, where you can sit in the sauna an look out the huge glass windows at the archipelago going by as the ferry moves along.
Other that that they have the ususal stuff. A small cinema, a couple of bars a small casino. Well I use the term casino loosly but they have slots and black jack and roulette anyway.
Sea Wind are a small ship line, well, small compare to the big ones, Silja Line and Viking Line. They have Turku – Stockholm ferry line with can be good deal for money if you are just interested to cross to the other side of the Baltic sea.
Finland was a transit country for us. We have taken an advantage of E18 motorway to pass from a border of Russia through Finland to Turku. Our way across Finland from Valimma up to Turku has made 350 kilometers.
E18 motorway represents mostly an autobahn though still there are some parts where it represents an usual highway. Restriction of speed on a motorway is 120 kilometers in an hour, on highway - 100 kilometers.
Therefore the whole distance can be overcome easily for 4 hours.
Departure of the ferry is at 21.15. It is necessary to arrive with a car by 20.15. Loading on the ferry occupies about an hour.
Time in a way up to Stockholm is about 9 hours. According to a difference in time between Finland and Sweden which is 1 hour a ferry arrives to Stockholm at 7.00.
It is very convenient to overcome 300 kilometers at night and have a good sleep!
The basic sight of Turku for us became a ferry. For this reason we have appeared in this city. Our task was to be forwarded through the sea from Finland to Sweden.
There are some variants of the decision of this task. We have chosen Turku and have not regretted.
Ferry Silja-line has two regular cruise in day up to Stockholm - in the day time and at night. We have chosen a night cruise.
The price of one cabin of a tourist class has made 68 euros for two persons. The price of transportation of our car - 42 euros.