A Weekend In Turku: Thursday

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...

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.

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.

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!

We started with Tintå's feta salad...


turku tinta goats cheese and strawberry

...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.

turku tinta pizza

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.

sammakon kirjakauppa the frog's bookshop turku finland

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:

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.


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 bar turku Finland

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.


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7 years ago

Hi, Nice read about Finland. Thanks for sharing

8 years ago

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

8 years ago
Reply to  Emily in Chile

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

8 years ago

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

8 years ago
Reply to  Ali

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! =)

Sounds like a place I would really enjoy.

8 years ago

You definitely would, Stephanie =)

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 🙂

8 years ago

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

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