Turku, a city on the southwest coast of Finland, straddles the Aura River. Dating from the 13th century, it’s known for Turku Castle, a medieval fortress with a history museum, perched at the river mouth. Restaurants line the cobbled riverside streets. On the eastern bank lies the Old Great Square, a former trade hub, surrounded by grand buildings. The nearby Turku Cathedral houses a royal tomb and a museum.
Aboa Vetus Ars Nova
Aboa Vetus Ars Nova Museum showcases both medieval history of Turku and world class modern art. In the “Aboa Vetus” (that is, Old Turku) part, the exhibits include authentic ruins, and one of medieval Turku’s main streets still runs through the museum area! The Ars Nova part of the museum hosts modern art on two floors. Aboa Vetus Ars Nova is one of the Turku area’s most visited sights and conveniently located by the beautiful River Aura.
Among Finland’s most prized pieces of national heritage, as well as one of its oldest buildings, Turku Castle took shape in the late-1200s during Finland’s Swedish period.It was built to defend their province of Eastland but took on all sorts of different roles over the next few centuries: It was a luxurious palace, administrative centre, seat of government, warehouse and then a prison right up to the end of the 1800s.Following a delay, the building was finally renovated in 1987 and is now a museum.Kids can dress up in armour at the Knights’ Hall and the castle’s rooms are decorated with period furniture.
Western Finland is renowned for its coastal beauty, so what better way to experience Turku area than to jump on board a steamship! Ukkopekka was built in 1938 and it is the oldest steamship in Finland still in commercial use. Due to its honourable age, the ship has also served in the Second World War. As a thank-you for its long service, its interiors have been renovated and now passengers can enjoy meals and refreshments on board. Finnish writer Tove Jansson, renowned for creating the Moomins, and comedian Bill Murray are included in Ukkopekka’s long list of passengers.
Turku Market Hall
Turku Market Hall is a great way to explore Finnish and Scandinavian cuisine – or just to grab a quick bite! Opened in 1896, Turku Market Hall is the second oldest market hall in Finland. Markets and market halls are a big part of Finnish culture, and in the city centre Turku Market Hall, you can enjoy your traditional salmon soup with local rye bread in an authentic atmosphere. With dozens of stalls selling everything from meats and vegetables to sushi and cheese, there’s plenty to choose for everyone.