Turku in the south-western corner of Finland is the oldest city and the first capital of Finland. It is located along the river Aura where all of the main places of interest are situated, including Turku Castle in the harbour area and the stately Cathedral close to the Old Great Square. The river also hosts a genuine fleet of boats serving as restaurants. The unique river ferry “föri” takes people for a mini cruise across from Turku to Åbo.
The history of Turku Castle stretches back to the 1280s. The permanent exhibitions in the bailey illustrate the history and culture of Finland, and Turku in particular. The castle also offers theme exhibitions, concerts and events for children and adults alike.
The city museums and art galleries are host to art-exhibitions and permanent collections which are highly regarded both in Finland and abroad. The Medieval Market is held at the end of July and the Old time Christmas market just before Christmas.
Things to see and do
* Turku Castle
* Kuralan kylämäki – Finnish farm close to the city center
* Turku provincial museum
* Turku cathedral
* Art Galleries
Cruise Season – March – Nov
Currency – Euro (€) (EUR)
Language – Finnish, Swedish
Land Area – 245.63 sq km’s
Population – 175,650 approx
Electricity – 2 round pins European style
Time – GMT plus two hours
International Country Telephone Code – + 358
Port Location – The port of Turku is located next to Turku castle and is easily accessible on bus line 1 from Market Square. The port also has its own train station.
Travel Links – The airport is located 8.6 km north of the city. There are domestic flights to a large number of destinations in Finland. International services are more limited, but there are scheduled flights to Stockholm, Copenhagen and Gdansk.
VR offers high-speed train (Pendolino) connections only to Helsinki (2h). There is also a direct line to Tampere (1:40). The train station is located in the northern part of the city. Note that some trains continue onwards to the Port of Turku (Turun satama), which is quite handy if connecting to the ferry.
The two biggest ferry lines are Viking Line and Silja Line. Each one has a morning and an evening departure from Stockholm, Sweden, with a brief stop in Mariehamn in the Åland Islands. For a scenic view, a morning departure is advisable. The steamer S/S Ukkopekka also offers cruises to/from nearby Naantali, the home of Moomin World.