Co-host of the European Capital of Culture during 2011 (along with Tallinn), Turku was once the national capital, but lost its status in 1812 and most of its buildings in a ferocious fire in 1827. These days it’s a small and sociable city, bristling with history, culture and a sparkling nightlife, thanks to the students from its two universities.

To get to grips with Turku and its pivotal place in Finnish history, cut through the centre to the Aura River which splits the city. This tree-framed space was, before the great fire of 1827, the bustling heart of the community.

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Finland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

In pictures: brushing shoulders with bears in Finland’s newest national park

In pictures: brushing shoulders with bears in Finland’s newest national park

In 2017, Hossa – an area of pristine wilderness with superb hiking near Finland’s eastern border – will become the country’s 40th national park. Photog…

19 Sep 2016 • George Turner insert_drive_file Article
Brave new world: the quirks of Finland’s saunas

Brave new world: the quirks of Finland’s saunas

To Finns, it is the most natural thing on the planet: disrobing, sweating it out naked in front of strangers in temperatures of 80°C, occasionally self-flagell…

11 Aug 2016 • Luke Waterson insert_drive_file Article
18 beautiful pictures of Finland

18 beautiful pictures of Finland

Professional travel photographer Tim Bird shares his love of photographing Finland.  "I’ve been based in the Finnish capital Helsinki for more than thirty…

12 May 2015 • Tim Bird insert_drive_file Article
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