Turku – Urban legends since 1229

Big small town

Turku has always had a special role among Finnish cities. European art, science, religious and political movements have found their way to Finland through Turku since the 13th century. This history has given the city a distinctively civilised and cultural atmosphere. Turku is also multicultural, as evidenced by the myriad nationalities, languages and customs. The city is home to people of over 130 nationalities, who speak over one hundred different languages.

Finnish civilization began from the block surrounding Turku Cathedral, and more history is made in Turku even today.

For centuries, the residents of Turku have cultured and, fished and traded with Novgorod, St. Petersburg, Reval – today known as Tallinn – Riga and Stockholm. The archipelago outside the city has always been a crossroads for new cultures, ideas, doctrines and commodities, and its tides have swept far into the inland areas of Finland.

Skills that are seen and heard

Turku is distinctively a city of science and research, the development of which relies on high-quality education and specialised scientific research. The higher education institutions in Turku – University o Turku, Åbo Akademi University and Turku University of Applied Sciences – are an important resource and pull factor in the entire region of Southwest Finland.

Students at the Cathedral steps, by Joonas Salo

There are about 38 000 students in Turku, whose influence on the city is easily seen, and every now and then even heard, on the streets.

Turku wants to be the best city for students in Finland. It has excellent prerequisites for this: over 170 education options, reasonably priced housing, compactness that makes the city perfect for walking and cycling, a public transport network with good coverage and a wide selection of events around the year.

Turku Science Park is a community of leading ICT and biotechnology companies and research and edu-cation institutes that conducts research and business in the fields of biotechnology, electronics and information technology.

The City of Turku is actively involved in several Finnish and international research networks, specializing in urban studies and research related to the Baltic Sea. Many feel Turku is the best city in Finland to be a student.

Creativity in sea, land and air

Turku is the economic centre of its region. Its diverse economic structure is supported by a vast selection of education opportunities. Our top fields of expertise are life sciences, ICT, maritime industry, logistics, pharmaceutical and food industries and tourism. The creative industries are also becoming more and more important.

Meyer Turku shipyard, by Meyer Turku

Turku is a player larger than its size on the Baltic Sea.

Roughly 40 per cent of the Finnish maritime industry’s total annual turnover is generated in Southwest Finland. The Turku region is home to Finland’s most significant and diverse cluster and network of mari-time industry companies and universities.

The historical trade route formed by Stockholm, Turku, Helsinki and St. Petersburg remains significant even today, above all as a corridor of expertise- based growth and development and also as a concrete logistical passage between East and West.

Nearly four million passengers pass through the Port of Turku annually. There is regular freight traffic to several countries and a railway connection via Helsinki to St. Petersburg and, from there, to other parts of Russia. The logistics facilities located around the airport serve suppliers across Finland.

Urban culture embraced by the archipelago

Old culture merges seamlessly with the new in Turku. Examples of cross arts events that are held annu-ally are the Christmas Market and Medieval Market, the Night of the Arts, the Turku Music Festival and Ruisrock, which is the second-oldest outdoor rock festival in Europe. Tall Ships’ Races, one of the largest public events around the Baltic Sea, regularly brings tall ships alongside the banks of the Aurajoki river.

Turku has a lively restaurant scene of national renown, and people travel to the city simply to try new foods. The city’s new restaurants are all about respecting local food, local food producers in the archipel-ago and around the city, and the best Nordic raw materials. > Tästä Eat my Turkuun ja kokonaisuus Sin-ua saattaa kiinnostaa -osuuteen

High-grade sports arenas, such as the HK Arena (formerly Turkuhalli), the Paavo Nurmi Stadium and the sports centres in Kupittaa and Impivaara make Turku a prime location for quality events in a variety of sports, and are an important part of the city’s active image.

Renovated in the old railway workshop, Logomo is an exciting and international centre for culture, the arts and creative economy where something is going on at all times.


Split by a river, surrounded by an archipelago


The Aurajoki river is the public living room of Turku. Every summer, the riverfront is teeming with sun-bathers and events, and its many restaurant ships are full of customers who enjoy the long sunny hours.

Genuine Turku culture is best discovered at the riverfront. Cycle or paddle upstream or to Ruissalo, to visit its lush oak woods and the shoreline that is dotted with charming 19th century ornamented villas.

Turku is surrounded by the Archipelago of Turku and the Archipelago Sea that comprises over 40 000 islands and islets. It is the largest archipelago in Europe, stretching through Åland all the way to Stock-holm. This unique network of islands was formed by the Ice Age and is now connected by bridges and ferries that welcome visitors to explore the archipelago, for example, along the Archipelago Trail.

The daily passenger ships between Turku and Stockholm offer another good way to marvel at the beauti-ful archipelago. Or you could take a water bus or a charter cruise from downtown, along the Aurajoki river and to the archipelago.