Sights and Attractions in Turku, Finland

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Turku is Finland’s oldest city, its original Capital, and is currently the third largest city in Finland. Turku has Finland’s most important year-round ice-free port, and is a major gateway to Stockholm.

Although Turku is the official Christmas city of Finland, and it sure sounds like a nice place to be around Christmas time, you’d probably be better off visiting in July. This is not only because July is the warmest month, but you’ll want to catch the Medieval Market Festival held throughout the month.

Turku has a wealth of museums, including the Turku Art Museum and the Waino Aaltonen Museum of Art. If you’re a music fan, you’ll want to visit the Sibelius Museum, which is the only museum in Finland that specializes in the field of music. You’ll also want to visit the Turku Castle which has been a functioning historical Museum since 1881. In fact, there is such an abundance of culture in Turku that the city is going to be European Capital of  Culture in the year 2011. In light of this, the City Council has approved a number of projects designed to boost the image of the city for this honor.

The river Aura winds its way through the center of the city. The river is lined with small boats and features green parks all around, along with some of the cities most modern buildings through the city. And there is no shortage of restaurants, bars and coffeehouses in downtown Turku. Don’t forget to come to the morning market on the big square at Kauppatori, and you’ll love the flea market in Aninkaistentori. Then head over to the diverse Hansa shopping mall in the town center for all the shopping you could possibly want to do.

The great Turku fire destroyed most of the city in 1827. However a few buildings survived including the Turku Cathedral, which was damaged but rebuilt. Also a survivor of the fire is an area called Luostarinmaki, featuring late 18th century housing and now functions as a handicrafts Museum.