Wednesday, 2 January 2013

WitW: Turku, Finland

Introducing Finland's one-time capital, Turku. In 2011, along with Tallinn, it was the European Capital of Culture and, in 1996, (sit down if you aren't already) became Finland's official Christmas city. (Actually, that's kind of a big deal since northern Finland is basically Father Christmas' stomping ground.)

Turku doesn't have an enormous population: 170,000 people, give or take. However, thanks to its location (down at the bottom of Finland... the warm part, I guess) about a million folks pass through it to take a ferry.

In a word, Turku is adorable. It has adorable architecture, adorable boat bars (boats moored in a general vicinity that are bars; I knew you'd get it) and an adorably dorky medieval festival.

They even had a visit to their adorable music festival by Apocalyptica, who I would call adorable as well if I weren't a little bit afraid of them.

Less adorable is the public toilet re-imagined as bar. But Turku makes up for that with the bank that's been turned into a bar and is, by all accounts, quite grand. If you're looking for something in the middle, the old Swedish school -- which, needless to say, is also a bar these days -- might suit you.

Contrary to the portrait I've painted, Turku is not a fog-swamped harbour town consisting wholly of pubs. (Athough there is an ex-kindergarten bar. I'm done.) Turku Castle hosts a collection of appropriately old artefacts from Turku's glory days as capital. You know: lots of lovely rugs and goblets and things.

See what I mean? But, more than anything else, Turku seems to be a place to wander in. Let's be honest with ourselves: you don't visit this place for its (seemingly endless) stream of maritime museums. You visit to walk around and say, "UGH! So beautiful! Too beautiful! Too charming!"
Because, quite simply, it is.

All credit to my sources: TripAdvisor, Virtual Tourist, Wikipedia, Medieval Market, Turku Castle, the Guardian, FanPop, Will Go To, Get In Travel.

Where in the Wednesday is my weekly excuse to trawl through Google Images. It's a profile of the place I wish I was in and an attempt to draw my eye away from classic travel destinations. I write in the hope that you'll enjoy reading about all these places as much as I love learning and writing about them. Anywhere you think I ought to write about, from the obscure little town in your state to that place you visited in 1989? I'm at

No comments:

Post a Comment

It's a thousand times super to hear from you! Don't be shy.