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. If you base yourself here for a few days, you’ll be able to explore the fascinating coastal inlets and islands in the surrounding area.

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

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Finland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
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
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month