The attractive port city of Turku, which straddles Finland's southwestern shore, is one of the country's most easygoing locations. Turku, Finland's oldest town and previously the nation's capital, was once the country's major city. It is known for its busy harbor, magnificent Gothic cathedral, medieval castle, big student population, and historic maritime past.
Turku has a lot to offer visitors, and this overlooked city is a terrific place to visit for a weekend trip. Whether tourists enjoy architecture, exhibition visits, dining, shopping, or simply relaxing in the parks, Turku has plenty to offer everyone.
The Historic and Revamped Turku
Although Turku was originally established in the 1300s and was once Finland's major cultural and commerce hub. However, little of the city's seven centuries of history can be seen due to a series of fire incidents, the most disastrous of which was the Great Fire of Turku in 1827, which destroyed about three-quarters of the town.
Carl Ludvig Engel, who also planned Helsinki, restored Turku with stone-and-brick structures, a grid layout, and wide streets. As a result, unlike most other European cities, Turku lacks a medieval center.
In a post–World War II renovation campaign, Turku likewise had practically all of its ancient wood structures demolished.
Top Attractions To Visit In Turku, Finland
Get Enchanted By The Biggest Medieval Castle In The Country- Turku Castle
Turku Castle is among Finland's most prominent landmarks.
It is Finland's biggest medieval castle, and it has undergone several alterations and extensions throughout its lengthy history. Turku Castle has operated as a castle, a magnificent residential palace, an administrative center, and a garrison, among other things.
It now houses a remarkable medieval Turku historical exhibition, which includes, among other things, a series of small-scale models depicting the growth of the castle grounds and its surroundings. Turku Castle is well worth visiting, especially if visitors are interested in history or castles. Turku Castle's meandering passageways and labyrinth-like halls transport visitors back in history.
Visit Turku Art Museum To See Artworks
The Turku Art Museum, the city's finest art gallery, is a must-see for all art connoisseurs. The museum is located in a lovely Art Nouveau-style stone structure that resembles a medieval castle.
The museum houses around 7,000 artworks, the majority of which were created by Finnish painters from the 19th to 20th centuries. The museum's exhibits of Finnish Golden Era masterpieces and contemporary art are excellent.
Apart from the paintings of Finland's national artist, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, there are other works by renowned Finnish painters such as Runeberg, Järnefelt, and Simberg on display.
Appreciate The Architecture Of Turku Cathedral
Turku Cathedral is yet another notable site in the town. Its magnificent western tower is visible from almost anywhere in town.
The cathedral is the mother church of Finland's Evangelical Lutheran Church and the country's most important medieval landmark. The massive brick cathedral honors the Virgin Mary and St. Henrik, Finland's first bishop.
Turku Cathedral was constructed of wood in the late 1300s, and it was extensively renovated in the 14 and 1500s. Following extensive damage during the Great Fire of Turku in 1827, much of the existing structure is from 19th-century renovations.
The interiors are sparse, despite the presence of exquisite stained-glass windows. Besides several remains and liturgical artifacts from the Medieval Era, it doesn't have any great wealth.
Discover The Maritime Past In Forum Marinum
Forum Marinum is among the top places to visit, considering Turku's rich and legendary nautical background. Forum Marinum is part naval exposition facility, part museum fleet anchored on the Aura River, featuring two tall sail vessels, four naval vessels, and many smaller ships.
A historic rebuilt granary building houses both the regular and temporary exhibits. Model ships, architectural plans, pictures, and audiovisual displays provide a comprehensive overview of Finland's maritime history, shipbuilding, fishing, and navy feats.
Explore The Qwensel House
Qwensel House, Turku's earliest surviving hardwood structure, is built along the shores of the Aura River. Constructed around the 1700s, the bourgeois residences Gustavian and Rococo décor have been meticulously restored and are well worth visiting. It depicts the gentry's life and house in 1800s Turku displaying modern décor.
The mansion also houses the Pharmacy Museum, a modest but charming museum that offers an insightful look into medicinal history. The museum displays the operating space and storeroom for traditional remedies and other pharmaceuticals.
Don't Forget The St. Michael's Church for An Architectural Delight
St Michael's Church is among the most picturesque structures in central Turku, with its Neo-Gothic style. The red bricks of the church shine in the summer light, blending beautifully with the Norwegian grey brickwork of the roofs, which gleam 77 meters into the sky.
The inside has a stripped-back elegance, recognizing that ideas are more important than aesthetics and conviction will always conquer surface appearance.
When Should You Visit Turku?
- The months of May through September are certainly the best for visiting Turku. The days are longer, the weather is pleasant, and the sun shines brightly. Another perk of traveling in summers is that all Turku's attractions are open to visitors.
- If visitors have a lot of sightseeing plans, they should avoid visiting Turku in the winter. The days are shorter, and it might be extremely cold or oppressively humid.
Turku was the capital of Finland for centuries, thus it is unsurprising that it is rich in cultural treasures. It's a fantastic spot to visit if visitors want to see architectural marvels, medieval age structures, or important historical sites. It is a must-visit town for anyone interested in learning about Finnish culture.