About Turku

The oldest city in Finland has much to offer for people participating in meetings and parties. Historical meeting and banquet venues in Turku include Turku Castle, the Old Academy Building and the Turku Volunteer Fire Brigade Building, the foundations of which were laid down in the Middle Ages. In addition to boasting prestigious historical buildings, Turku is also gaining new high-class buildings equipped with unique technology at a steady rate. Additionally, modern technology is being incorporated into historical buildings such as the former Kakola Prison and Turku’s legendary Hamburger Börs hotel.

The leisurely flowing Aura River is the heart and living room of Turku and an important element in Turku’s image. The Aura River also plays a key role in Turku’s cityscape. A five-kilometre-long pedestrian and cycling route follows the river on both banks, travelling through the Finnish national landscape. At the end of the harbour, passers-by have a lovely view of Turku Castle, while walking towards the upper reaches of the river will take them to Turku Cathedral. Along this route, there are various market squares, such as Varvintori Square, Vähätori Square, Cathedral Square and the Old Great Square. Most of the city’s museums, restaurants, hotels and attractions can also be found on the banks of the Aura River.

Turku is a charming combination of history and modern urban culture, with the maritime experiences offered by the Turku archipelago adding their own touch. Turku is a city of opposites and meetings. In Turku, history meets the present and comes together with beaty and internationality in a unique way. Turku evokes emotions. Every Finn feels something when they hear the name Turku. We have an overwhelming advantage when it comes to our position in people’s hearts.

Why choose Turku? The pleasant banks of the Aura River, magnificent architecture, a shipbuilding tradition spanning centuries, an unforgettable archipelago, cruises to Stockholm, a fascinating range of cultural activities, and beautiful natural sites. An evolving 800-year-old, growing stronger year by year. Turku will turn a respectable 800 years in 2029. Turku’s ambitious goal is to be a carbon-neutral city by this anniversary. We want the time spent in Turku to be the best for residents and visitors alike.

Walkable and compact city

In Turku, everything is nearby. There are magnificent footpaths running along the Aura River on both banks, offering a scenic view of the city for pedestrians out on a walk, across a distance of several kilometres. High-quality restaurants can be found all along the route, allowing visitors to explore the excellent and continuously growing restaurant scene in Turku. Many museums and cultural sites can also be found along these footpaths. Turku is just the right size, cosy and safe.

All the meeting hotels in Turku are located along the Aura River and in the city centre, near the Market Square. The meeting hotels are within walking distance of each other. Turku offers opportunities for holding large meetings and parties without a need for group transport arrangements, saving money and following the principles of sustainable development.

A city of sustainable solutions

Turku offers opportunities for organising a meeting or large party with a green approach, which is also a cost-effective solution. The partner companies are committed to providing services in keeping with the principles of sustainable development, each playing to their own strengths. The shared goal of the operators in the Destination Turku Finland network is to be green and respect future resources and values.

The City of Turku is at the leading edge of sustainable development in Finland. The city seeks to minimise climate emissions and waste, and avoid excess consumption. Turku aims to be carbon neutral by 2029. From that point on, Turku will be climate-positive, helping to keep the climate cool. This will also make Turku a healthier and more comfortable living environment, with cleaner city air and wider green areas ensuring comfort and biodiversity. Climate efforts are considered to be one of Turku’s major strengths.

Archipelago near Turku.

Turku archipelago

Turku is located in the embrace of a unique and beautiful archipelago. The whole formed by the Archipelago Sea’s 40,000 islands and islets leaves a strong impression and offers a fascinating destination for excursions throughout the year. The nearest populated islands can be accessed via bridges and by using ferries, while commuter vessels offer access to islands further away. An official tourist route known as the Archipelago Trail circles the Turku archipelago. The Archipelago Trail runs through the archipelago’s amazing natural and cultural landscapes. Extending roughly 250 kilometres, this trail features 12 bridges, nine ferries and many fine archipelago communities. 

The island of Seili is situated in the Turku archipelago, roughly 30 km south of Turku. Today, Seili is accessible by a commuter vessel that operates from the bank of the Aura River. Seili is well-known for its dark history. In the 17th century, a hospital for lepers was built on the island, even though the hospital provided no medical care and there was no returning from the island. The hospital later operated as a mental hospital, particularly for women. The Finnish Heritage Agency has designated the hospital, church, cemetery and other buildings on Seili Island as a nationally important built cultural environment.

Ruissalo, the most famous island in Turku, is located near the city centre. This piece of paradise in Turku has become well-known for its unique oak forests, idyllic villas built in the 19th century, and the Ruisrock music festival. Ruissalo is easily accessible by bus and bicycle, and in the summer by water bus.

Living like the locals

In the summer, Föli water buses transport passengers from the Aura River to Ruissalo and Hirvensalo. The trips are paid for in the same way as aboard Föli’s buses: with a travel card or a single ticket (€3) valid for two hours.

Föri, i.e. the city ferry, takes people across the Aura River free of charge throughout the year, between Tervahovinkatu (eastern bank) and Wechterinkuja (western bank). It takes Föri roughly two minutes to cross the river. Föri was placed into service in 1904. It is the oldest mode of transport in Finland that remains in daily commercial service. Föri can accommodate a maximum of 75 passengers at a time. Föri is a cable or chain ferry, which runs on electric motors.

The funicular completes the series of transport modes used in Turku that begin with the letter ‘f’. The funicular is the first outdoor inclined elevator in a Finnish city. It offers unimpeded access to Kakolanmäki Hill, which is not accessible by any other mode of public transport. Travelling on the funicular is free of charge. The track is 130 metres long, and the difference in elevation between the upper and lower stations is 30 metres. The travel time in one direction is roughly a minute.

Read more: https://www.visitturku.fi/en