Turun Linna

Top choice in Turku

Founded in 1280 at the mouth of the Aurajoki, mammoth Turku Castle is easily Finland’s largest fortress. Highlights include two dungeons and sumptuous banqueting halls, as well as a fascinating historical museum of medieval Turku in the castle’s Old Bailey. Models depict the castle's growth from a simple island fortress to a Renaissance palace. Guided tours in English run four to six times daily from June to August.

Swedish count Per Brahe ruled Finland from here in the 17th century, while Sweden’s deposed King Eric XIV was imprisoned in the castle’s round tower in the late 16th century. He was moved to several prisons, including Åland’s Kastelholms Slott, to prevent his discovery by rebels. Today most Finns recognise the castle's distinctive architecture as the logo for Turun Sinappi (Turku Mustard).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Turku attractions

1. Forum Marinum

0.23 MILES

Partly housed in an old granary, this excellent maritime museum offers a comprehensive look at ships and shipping, from scale models to full-size vessels…

2. Forum Marinum Ships

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Anchored outside the Forum Marinum is a small fleet of museum ships that you can climb aboard. The mine layer Keihässalmi and the corvette Karjala take…

3. Wäinö Aaltosen Museum


Naturalistic and cubist-tinged sculptures donated by artist Wäinö Aaltosen are on display in this gallery, along with temporary exhibitions of…

4. Turku Biological Museum


In a beautiful 1907 building surrounded by parkland, the Turku Biological Museum shows off Finland’s fauna and flora in 13 realistic dioramas, including…

5. Qwensel House & Pharmacy Museum

1.61 MILES

On the riverfront, Qwensel House is Turku’s oldest, built around 1700. It contains the small Pharmacy Museum, with an old laboratorium featuring medicinal…

6. Turun Taidemuseo

1.74 MILES

Turku Art Museum is housed in a striking granite building with elaborately carved pilasters and conical turrets, perched on a hill on the north side of…

7. Luostarinmäen Käsityöläismuseo

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When the savage Great Fire of 1827 swept through Turku, the lower-class quarter Luostarinmäki escaped the flames. Set along tiny lanes and around grassy…

8. Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova

1.85 MILES

Art and archaeology unite here under one roof. Aboa Vetus (Old Turku) draws you underground to Turku’s medieval streets, showcasing some of the 37,000…