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Finland, Turku – Port City

Published: 26.1.2022
The port city of Turku is situated about 2 hours of car ride west from Helsinki. You can take direct bus at Helsinki airport terminal or you can transfer to a small plane on intra-country flight Helsinki-Turku. The city is surrounded by diverse coastline of the Baltic Sea. The River Aura also flows into the sea. Turku was founded in the end of the 13th century. However, people lived in the area as early is in the Stone Age. Soon after the city was founded, Turku cathedral (Turun tuomiokirkko) was consecrated. The cathedral is situated in the center of the city and you can access it easily by public transportation. It is one of the most popular places there.

Walking along the river from the cathedral towards the port can get you to other points of interest. It always is a very pleasant trail. There is no traffic. However, you can always get closed to desired location by public transport. Moreover, almost every Finn speaks Englisch. Usually, they are very kind and helpful.

Orthodox church   the vista over the Aura river

on the leisury walk along the Aura river  leisury walk along the Aura river  leisury walk along the Aura river

Walking the river across the Kirjastosilta pedestrian bridge (built in 2013) and we continue down Kauppiaskatu street. Then we reach Turun Kauppatori square. There is a shopping mall, clubs, all kind of markets take place there. Also, by taking a bus you can get basically to any district in Turku and all of the islands in close proximity (e.g. Naantali, famous for the world of popular Finnish cartoon figures - moomin). An orthodox church dominates the square. There is even a Czech pub in one side alley. They have Krusovice beer there (not of Czech quality and price).

Czech pub in Turku   Kauppatori

When we return back on the leisury walk which follows the Aura River. We walk another 3 kilometers to Forum Marinum maritime museum. At the museum anchors the three-masted Suomen Joutsen (Finnish Swan) sail boat Bit further, there is a smaller sial boat Sygin. The tour in the musuem is also very interesting and I recommend it.

Suomen Joutsen sail boat

Bit down the road, we enter a park which surrounds Turku's medieval castle (Turun linna) which, just like the cathedral, was constructed in the 13th century. The castle houses a museum today. When walking the interior you can even try period costumes. The castle is situated almost on the Baltic Sea coast. Only a port separates it from the sea. Ferrys set seails form here to Åland (Mariehamn) or Stockholm, Sweden.

castle, Turku castle, Turku castle, Turku castle, Turku

Turku is a student city there is Turun yliopisto university. Many different events are held there throughout the year. It is great experience for tourists. Every student has a overall of different color depending to the faculty he belongs to. He or she stitch badges gotten  at different events. The largest and most popular event is Vappu – it is a holiday which begins on on May 1st. Apart from overall, high school students who are done with their final exams wear typical white caps (there is a moment when they put on these caps at this festival). All in all, it is a large party which looks like Majales in the Czech Republic.

Next to typical landmarks, there is even an interesting open air museum Luostarinmäki. There you can see original 18th-19th century dwellings. The museum covers the largest area which was preserved after the great fire (Turun palo) in Turku of 1827. Then it was the largest fire in the history of Finland..

Luostarinmäki open air   Luostarinmäki open air

Turku is surrounded with by nature. You can take wonderful walks around the city. There are many paths which can get you either to the sea or deeper into the woods. There you can, for instance, feed squirels.

walking around Turku  walking around Turku  walking in the suburbs of the city

GPS: 60°27'06.7"N 22°15'46.7"E

Text and photos: Veronika Schubertová

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