Set where the River Aura empties into the Archipelago Sea, Turku is Finland’s oldest city and was the country’s first capital.
National monuments like Turku Castle and Turku Cathedral will bring Finland’s origins to light, and you can learn how vaunted cultural figures like Jean Sibelius and Wäinö Aaltonen helped to shape the nation in the 20th-century.
And don’t forget that there’s a world of little islands located right next to the city.
With a bicycle you could go on a hopping adventure, boarding ferries to discover little communities with distinct traditions and heritage.
1. Turku Castle
Among Finland’s most prized pieces of national heritage, as well as one of its oldest buildings, Turku Castle took shape in the late-1200s during Finland’s Swedish period.
It was built to defend their province of Eastland but took on all sorts of different roles over the next few centuries: It was a luxurious palace, administrative centre, seat of government, warehouse and then a prison right up to the end of the 1800s.
Following a delay, the building was finally renovated in 1987 and is now a museum.
Kids can dress up in armour at the Knights’ Hall and the castle’s rooms are decorated with period furniture.