As we really wanted to organize a new trip and didn’t have much time (and money as well ;), we decided to make another one-day-trip. We chose to visit Turku – the former capital and the oldest town in freezing cold Finland. Our trip took place in April and there was still chilly (about 3 °C) and even snowing for a while!
We were traveling from Gdansk one day in the really early morning and the next day going back about 8 a.m. Turku is so tiny that it’s possible to visit all attractions in just one day and go back even in the evening. A cost of an flight ticket was about €19 return, so it was an extremely good deal. This way we managed to visit Turku on a budget.
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION
After leaving the airport we saw a very nice scenery. There was actually nothing around apart from trees but we didn’t use to such views and that’s why it made an impression on us. It looked like a kind of desert and we had to make a long distance by bus till we saw some buildings. Turku is rather a quiet and not crowded spot with not so many tourists, especially in low season. That’s why we can say that this town is for those who look for calm and peaceful places. If you are looking for some entertainment it’s probably better to take the shuttle to Helsinki from the Turku airport or the center. It takes about 2 hours to get there.
HOW WE ORGANIZED OUR DAY
From the airport we caught the bus number 1 and got off next to the Turku castle. It is possible to go inside to see chambers, expositions and workers wearing fancy costumes. The disadvantage is that there is not so much English writings describing the expositions – instead there are mainly in Finnish and Swedish.
Then we went for a walk and saw the harbor with a few anchored ships. Next to the harbor there’s a nice construction of a huge daisy. It’s a great place to take some pictures, take a rest and admire the surroundings.
Next we got on a bus (the same line, but in the opposite direction) and went to the town center. The center involves the market square, nearby restaurants and Hansa shopping mall – the largest one in Turku. But for us the weird thing was that there was only one room with toilets on the top floor and you needed to buy something from the food court and enter a special code on the number pad to get in :) Maybe it’s not such a big problem, but we brought awareness to it, as we hadn’t met with something like this before.
Then we took a walk to Turku Cathedral situated beside the Aura River. By the way, in the area of the Cathedral, just next to the Abo Akademi (Swedish-language university) there’s a small fast food restaurant Arezzo, which serves a pizza with pieces of the REINDEER MEAT. We decided to try it and took a big one for €9. The reindeer meat tastes weird, can’t compare it to anything, but for sure it was an unique experience and the pizza was, all in all, pretty good.
HOW TO VISIT TURKU ON A BUDGET – CONCLUSIONS
That’s all what we saw in this town. But if we must have pointed out only one thing, which we will remember for long time, it would be the Terminal 2 of the Turku Airport. It was a little, scruffy box with nothing automated inside and only one gate. It was operating low cost carriers but now it is closed and only new Terminal 1 is in use.
SO IF YOU’RE STILL WONDERING, IF IT’S WORTH TO VISIT TURKU …
To sum up, the trip went well. Turku is a nice place to spend a peaceful weekend and explore a little bit of barely discovered Finland. Prices are relatively low for most goods and a few interesting spots are waiting for visitors. However one day is definitely enough to stay in this town, so we can totally recommend it to those, who want to visit Turku on a budget ;)