A Weekend In Turku: Thursday

September 27, 2012

It’s hard to put a finger on what makes Turku so cool. As the former capital of Finland (and the country’s oldest city), it offers plenty in the way of historic sites and cultural attractions. It’s also a hip university town with plenty of bars, restaurants, live music venues and fantastic shopping. It’s perfect for a weekend trip from either Helsinki or Sweden. Come along and see how we spent ours…

turku aura river finland A Weekend In Turku: Thursday

Lovely views along the Aura river.

After settling into our room at the wonderful Radisson Blu Marina Palace, we headed out in search of an early dinner. One of the first things we noticed were all these young people in costumes.

turku costumes A Weekend In Turku: Thursday costumes turku A Weekend In Turku: Thursday

turku costume3 A Weekend In Turku: Thursday

Figuring we were missing out on some kind of fun party, we continued our search for food and ended up at local favourite, Tintå (Läntinen Rantakatu 9, tinta.fi). Even though we arrived quite early, there was only space at the bar. We’d heard such good things about the pizza there that we grabbed a couple of stools anyway and dove into the menu.

tinta turku A Weekend In Turku: Thursday

This place has over 100 different wines so it was tough to choose. We ended up asking our server for his recommendations, which did not disappoint. But never mind the wine (blasphemy, I know) – the food here is incredible!

tinta salad turku A Weekend In Turku: Thursday

We started with Tintå’s feta salad…


turku tinta bruschetta A Weekend In Turku: Thursday

…and also this organic bread with goat’s cheese and strawberry, which is seriously one of the most delicious things I have ever put to my lips.

tinta turku pizza A Weekend In Turku: Thursday

We loved our divine thin crust pizzas with beautiful toppings like salame piquante and marinated red onion for me (shown here) and tiger prawns and scallops for John.

With a couple of glasses of wine in our full bellies, it was time to begin the evening. We wandered the streets in the centre of town for awhile checking out the windows of the kind of cool shops we’d come to expect in Finland.

turku bookstore A Weekend In Turku: Thursday

Sammakon Kirjakauppa / The Frog’s Book Shop is a well-loved independent bookstore (Kauppiaskatu 3, sammakko.com).

We also spent a good hour inside Turku’s public library, which is so beautiful and interesting inside I’ve saved it for another post entirely (see link in this sentence). After stepping out of the library we encountered an interesting gang that included a long-bearded wizard, Batman and this pirate with a brilliant Scottish accent:

pirate turku A Weekend In Turku: Thursday

Turns out that the cast of characters around town were just the university students enjoying themselves. I wish I went to school in Turku!

Finally we found our first bar, the Cosmic Comic Cafe (Kauppiaskatu 42 in the forum, cosmic.fi), which as the name suggests, serves up beer and comics – as well as some local live music.

cosmic comic cafe turku1 A Weekend In Turku: Thursday


turku musician A Weekend In Turku: Thursday

Turku’s tourist bureau, Turku Touring, has developed this excellent website called Kiss My Turku (so cute, right?) that allows visitors to input their preferences and then receive instant recommendations from the locals on where to go and what to do in Turku. I think that’s brilliant and wish more cities would try to integrate the experiences of locals and visitors. So next time you’re in Turku, just use this website and you’ll find plenty of gems like our next and final stop for the evening, Alvar (Humalistonkatu 7, alvarbaari.fi). This lively bar offers a dozen beers and ciders on draught and many more in the bottle.

alvar turku A Weekend In Turku: Thursday

Many of the bars we went to in Turku had board games available – awesome!

Many thanks to Turku Touring for hosting us. Be sure to visit their website for more information about the region and when planning your visit to beautiful Turku.



  1. Comment by Antoinette | love.antoinette

    Antoinette | love.antoinette Reply September 28, 2012 at 12:04 am

    You guys are seriously having a ball at these places you’ve been visiting in Finland, from Helsinki to Turku!I Lovely “taking the journey” with you guys! :) love those wigs the gals are sportin’!

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers September 28, 2012 at 10:24 am

      Aren’t those cool? So happy you’re enjoying our posts! =)

  2. Comment by Adrian

    Adrian Reply September 28, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    OOO baby.. you got your perfect time in Turku… Honestly saying I am feeling somehow envious for your Turku visit. I had visited Finland in 2007 but it was my tight schedule I had to return immediately from there. Now for the next time , I will, damn visit turku. by the way the costumes of the people represent that the people of Turku are much broad minded. May I know , little bit about the costumes of those two girls as well? Just asking. thanks for the beautiful snaps Tough! Cheers!

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers September 29, 2012 at 10:16 am

      Ah cool – thanks for sharing the info about the meaning of the costumes – hope you get to go back to Turku soon – awesome place! =)

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers September 29, 2012 at 10:14 am

      You definitely would, Stephanie =)

  3. Comment by Bethany ~ twoOregonians

    Bethany ~ twoOregonians Reply September 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Oooh, that little goat cheese and strawberry spread looks delicious. Ted and I hope to make it up to Scandinavia someday. Thanks for adding more fun to our travel list :)

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers September 29, 2012 at 10:15 am

      Definitely don’t skip Finland – it’s not technically Scandinavia but well worth a look!

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  8. Comment by Ali

    Ali Reply October 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    That pizza looks so delicious! How hilarious that the people dressed up were just students having fun, for no specific reason!

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers October 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      I think one of the other commenters was saying that the costume event is actually organized – it’s to do with diversity – but still very fun! =)

  9. Comment by Emily in Chile

    Emily in Chile Reply October 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    That website sounds like a great idea, and Turku sounds like a fun city.

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers October 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      Definitely – I’m all for anything that gets travellers and locals together!

  10. Comment by Heinz

    Heinz Reply November 5, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Hi, Nice read about Finland. Thanks for sharing

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