“Turku is the best city in the World” – Jay Boychuk
The city of Turku was founded in 1229. Before Helsinki took over in 1812, Turku was the Capital of Finland. Nowadays, Turku is an interesting combination of old and new. There’s everything for the urban youth, but also for tourists interested in history. The city has around 35,000 higher education students in 6 institutions.
As a former European Capital of Culture, there’s a lot happening around the year, but mostly in the summertime. For example, the oldest rock festival in Europe, Ruisrock is held in Turku a week before Euros. Though Turku is the official Christmas City of Finland, it’s definitely at its best in the summer.
The best way to travel to Turku is by plane. The closest airport is the Helsinki airport with direct flights from most major European cities. There is a direct bus from the Helsinki airport to Turku. It takes a bit over 2 hours and it leaves once an hour from platform 5 (Terminal 1) and 13-14 (Terminal 2).
Ryanair flies from Frankfurt (Hahn) to Tampere 3 times a week. There is a direct bus from Tampere to Turku and it takes 2,5 hours.
For a different experience, fly to Stockholm and take a 12-hour night ferry to Turku. It’s inexpensive and a lot of fun. The archipelago in both Stockholm and Turku is stunning!
Things to do
During the daytime on Euros weekend, you’ll find yourself busy having the time of your life and might not have a chance to see much of Turku. In the evenings, everyone is welcomed to the parties happening in prime locations in Turku. Yes, we know the World Cup final is on Sunday night, don’t worry about it. From the main event site and the host hotel Caribia, buses 50, 51-54 & 220 take you to the market square in 10-20 minutes. By foot, it takes about as long and you’ll save 3€ for the next refreshment.
If you stay in Turku any longer, consider taking a lunch or dinner cruise on the unique scenery of the Turku archipelago. The cruise ships depart from the river a bit away from the center. If you’re not physically too exhausted from the tournament, challenge yourself in Flowpark. It’s an eco-friendly adventure park where you’ll get in touch with your inner Tarzan or Jane. Or Cheeta. Bus number 9 takes you there. The near-by city of Naantali is the Finnish candidate in the ongoing competition for the most pittoresque old town in the World. Take bus 6 or 7 to get to Naantali in half an hour and for 3€. All the buses leave from Turku market square.