Nesta Heuer

Written by Nesta Heuer

Modified & Updated: 02 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Turku is a vibrant city located on the southwest coast of Finland. As the former capital of Finland, Turku boasts a rich history that dates back to the 13th century. Today, it is known for its stunning architecture, beautiful waterfront, and vibrant cultural scene. In this article, we will explore 45 fascinating facts about Turku that will unveil the city’s charm and allure. From historical landmarks to cultural events, there is so much to discover in this captivating city. Whether you are a history buff, an art enthusiast, or someone looking to explore a new destination, Turku has something to offer for everyone. So, let’s dive into the various facets of Turku and uncover its hidden treasures.

Key Takeaways:

  • Turku, the oldest city in Finland, offers a rich history, vibrant cultural scene, and stunning natural attractions, making it a must-visit destination for history buffs, art enthusiasts, and nature lovers.
  • From medieval castles to modern festivals, Turku is a city of diverse experiences, including sailing, cycling, and culinary delights, making it a lively and dynamic destination for all.
Table of Contents

Turku is the oldest city in Finland.

As the former capital of Finland, Turku has a rich history dating back over 800 years. It was founded in the late 13th century.

The Aura River runs through Turku.

One of the city’s defining features is the Aura River, which divides Turku into eastern and western parts. It is a popular spot for leisure activities and has a lovely riverside promenade.

Turku Castle is a major landmark.

Located on the banks of the Aura River, Turku Castle is a medieval fortress that has stood for hundreds of years. Today, it serves as a museum and a venue for various events.

The Turku Archipelago is a breathtaking natural attraction.

Turku is surrounded by thousands of islands in the Archipelago Sea, offering stunning scenery and opportunities for boating, fishing, and exploring nature.

The Turku Cathedral is an impressive example of Finnish architectural heritage.

The Turku Cathedral, also known as the Church of Saint Mary, is a prominent symbol of the city. Built in the 13th century, it exemplifies Gothic architecture with its towering spires and intricate details.

Turku is known for its vibrant art and cultural scene.

The city boasts numerous museums, galleries, and theaters, showcasing a wide range of artistic expressions. The Turku Art Museum and the Turku City Theatre are popular cultural destinations.

The University of Turku is one of Finland’s leading academic institutions.

Established in 1920, the University of Turku is renowned for its research and education in various fields, including medicine, law, social sciences, and humanities.

Turku is a hub for sailing enthusiasts.

With its strategic location on the Baltic Sea, Turku attracts sailors from around the world. The city hosts sailing events and regattas, making it a haven for water sports enthusiasts.

Turku is home to the largest medieval festival in Finland.

The Turku Medieval Market is an annual event that takes visitors back in time, immersing them in the atmosphere of the Middle Ages with reenactments, crafts, and historical performances.

The Moomin World theme park is located near Turku.

Moomin World, based on the beloved Finnish cartoon characters, is a popular attraction for families. It offers a unique, whimsical experience with its Moomin-themed buildings, shows, and activities.

Turku has a thriving culinary scene.

The city is known for its diverse range of restaurants, offering both traditional Finnish dishes and international cuisines. Local specialties include smoked salmon and Archipelago-style bread.

Turku is a cyclist-friendly city.

The city is equipped with an extensive network of bike lanes, making it easy for residents and visitors to get around on two wheels. Bicycles can also be rented for exploring the city and its surroundings.

Turku is a green city with many parks and gardens.

There are numerous green spaces in Turku, such as the Kupittaa Park and the Turku University Botanical Garden, providing opportunities for relaxation and outdoor activities.

The Turku Market Square is a vibrant center of activity.

The Market Square is a lively gathering place where locals and tourists can find fresh produce, local crafts, and delicious food. It is also a venue for various events and concerts.

Turku is known for its high-quality education.

In addition to the University of Turku, the city is home to other renowned educational institutions, such as Turku School of Economics and Turku University of Applied Sciences.

Turku has a rich maritime history.

Given its coastal location, Turku has been a significant maritime hub throughout history. The Maritime Museum of Finland showcases the city’s maritime heritage.

Turku is host to music festivals throughout the year.

Music enthusiasts flock to Turku to attend various festivals, including the Ruisrock Festival and the Down by the Laituri music festival, showcasing a wide range of genres.

Turku is home to the Turku Science Park.

The Turku Science Park is a hub for technology, innovation, and research, fostering collaboration between businesses, academia, and public institutions.

Turku is a city of islands.

With its surrounding archipelago, Turku offers opportunities for island hopping, where visitors can explore the diverse landscapes, visit traditional fishing villages, and enjoy the tranquility of nature.

Turku has a vibrant nightlife.

The city’s bar and club scene caters to a variety of tastes, offering a range of venues for live music, dancing, and socializing.

The Turku River Boat Race is an annual sporting event.

Teams compete in a boat race held on the Aura River, attracting both participants and spectators from near and far.

Turku has Finland’s oldest public theater.

The Turku City Theatre, founded in 1756, is the oldest continuously operating public theater in Finland. It stages a variety of plays, musicals, and operas.

Turku has a strong connection to the arts and literature.

The city has been a source of inspiration for many Finnish artists and writers. The Turku Book Fair is a significant literary event held annually.

Turku is a melting pot of cultures.

Being one of Finland’s most international cities, Turku welcomes people from various backgrounds, which is reflected in its diverse cultural events and festivals.

Turku has a variety of architectural styles.

From medieval castles to modern marvels, the cityscape of Turku showcases a mix of architectural styles, representing different periods in history.

The Turku Biennial is a renowned contemporary art exhibition.

The Turku Biennial presents works of contemporary art by Finnish and international artists, attracting art enthusiasts and critics.

Turku has a strong cycling culture.

With its flat terrain and extensive bike lanes, cycling is a popular mode of transportation in Turku. The city also hosts cycling events, such as the Aurora Borealis Bike Race.

Turku is a gateway to the Turku Archipelago National Park.

The Turku Archipelago National Park is a haven for nature lovers, featuring pristine landscapes, hiking trails, and opportunities for wildlife spotting.

Turku has a rich Viking heritage.

The city was an important Viking trading center during the medieval period. The Turku Castle’s Medieval Market and the Forum Marinum Museum offer insights into this fascinating history.

Turku hosts the annual Christmas Peace Declaration.

Since the 13th century, Turku has been the place where the Christmas Peace Declaration is read, marking the start of the Christmas festivities in Finland.

Turku has a strong focus on sustainability.

The city promotes eco-friendly initiatives and is committed to improving sustainability in transportation, energy usage, and waste management.

Turku has a vibrant festival scene.

Throughout the year, the city hosts a variety of festivals, including the Turku Music Festival, the Medieval Market, and the Turku Food and Wine Festival.

Turku has a rich variety of museums.

From art and history to science and maritime heritage, Turku’s many museums offer an abundance of educational and cultural experiences.

Turku is a center for healthcare and medical research.

The city is home to the Turku University Hospital, renowned for its healthcare services, and the Turku Clinical Research Centre, contributing to advancements in medical science.

Turku is a city of festivals.

From music and literature to food and art, Turku hosts a wide range of festivals that celebrate various aspects of culture and entertainment.

Turku has a strong sports culture.

The city supports a variety of sports, with ice hockey and football being particularly popular. Turku is home to the Turku Castle Knights ice hockey team.

Turku has a vibrant design and fashion scene.

The city nurtures creativity and showcases local design talent through events like the Turku Design Festival and the Turku Fashion Week.

Turku is known for its excellent education system.

The city’s educational institutions, such as the University of Turku, consistently rank among the top in Finland and offer a wide range of study programs.

Turku has a dynamic startup ecosystem.

The city fosters entrepreneurship and innovation, with numerous startups emerging and thriving in various sectors, including technology, biotechnology, and gaming.

Turku is a paradise for book lovers.

The city is home to numerous bookshops, libraries, and literary events, such as the Turku Book Fair and the Turku Poetry Festival.

Turku is known for its beautiful parks.

Scattered throughout the city, Turku’s parks offer serene green spaces for relaxation, picnics, and outdoor activities.

Turku has a strong theater tradition.

The city has a thriving theater scene, with a wide range of performances, including plays, musicals, and experimental theater.

Turku has a strong connection to the sea.

With its maritime history and location on the Baltic Sea, Turku offers opportunities for sailing, boating, and exploring the archipelago.

Turku has a lively summer market.

The Turku Summer Market is a popular event where locals and visitors can sample delicious food, shop for local products, and enjoy live performances.

Turku is a city of festivals and events.

From music and art to food and culture, Turku hosts a year-round calendar of festivals and events that cater to diverse interests and attractions.


Turku, the historical city of Finland, has a rich tapestry of cultural, historical, and natural wonders. With its fascinating architecture, vibrant festivals, and breathtaking landscapes, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful city. Whether you are interested in exploring the ancient castle, immersing yourself in the local art scene, or indulging in delicious Finnish cuisine, Turku offers a unique experience that will leave a lasting impression. So, if you are planning your next vacation, consider adding Turku to your travel itinerary. It’s a hidden gem that guarantees an unforgettable adventure.


Q: What is the best time to visit Turku?

A: The best time to visit Turku is during the summer months of June to August when the weather is pleasant and many festivals take place.

Q: How do I get to Turku?

A: Turku has its own international airport, and you can also reach the city by train, bus, or ferry from Helsinki.

Q: Are there any famous landmarks in Turku?

A: Yes, Turku is home to the Turku Castle, Turku Cathedral, and the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum, among others.

Q: What local delicacies should I try in Turku?

A: Don’t miss the opportunity to try the local specialties like “saaristolaisleipä” (archipelago bread), “muikku” (small fish), and “silakka” (herring) dishes.

Q: Are there any outdoor activities in Turku?

A: Absolutely! You can explore the beautiful archipelago, go hiking in nearby national parks, or take a leisurely bike ride around the city.

Q: Is Turku a family-friendly destination?

A: Yes, Turku has plenty of activities for families including museums, parks, and the Moomin World theme park, which is a must-visit for children.

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