Where to stay in Turku [Best Places to Stay for 2024]

 In this article, we are going to explore where to stay in Turku but first let’s learn a little about this vibrant and modern city, that boasts a rich ancient history and fascinating evolution. 

Turku, Finland -Aerial circle view on Turku Castle in Finland.

Turku is one of the largest cities in Finland, yet not nearly as well known as the likes of Helsinki and Tampere. Turku was in fact once the capital of the “ happiest country in the world” before being surpassed by Helsinki in 1812 and gradually falling into its shadow.

This has resulted in a hidden gem of tourism, as Turku has masses to offer the curious traveler, but you never have to cope with the crowds of the capital city.

Beautifully preserved historic sites and buildings, unique festivals, magnificent museums, and an influential harbour await you when you visit Turku. 

❤️ Best Area first timersTurku City
💸 Best Luxury HotelOriginal Sokos Hotel Kupittaa
👪 Best Hotel for For FamiliesScandic Atrium
🏨 Best Mid-Range HotelScandic Plaza Turku
🛏️ Best Budget HotelApartment near the Harbour
✨ Best HostelLaivahostel S/S Bore

Below are 6 of the best neighborhoods to stay in Turku to help you make the right decision when trying to work out best area to stay in Turku for you. We have tried to make the guide as easy to follow as possible.

We have also included some things to do or places to visit as well as some eatery suggestions of either our favourite places or some funky places to eat at within the areas in Turku so you can use this as a go to guide.

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Turku City – Where to stay in Turku for Tourists 

Why Stay in Turku City 

Turku City is a cosmopolitan hub of European life and a superb place to base your family when you visit the area as everything you need is on your doorstep. The city is divided into two by the River Aura which meanders through the middle.

The roads that run adjacent to the river banks are car-free and usually packed with pedestrians and cyclists, going about their daily business.

There are ten bridges that connect both sides of Turku in various spots along the river, plus there is a charming ferry that takes people back and forth too, free of charge.

Reliable bus routes service the city too, and the tickets are very reasonable making getting around the city simple and stress-free.

Many would say that the best hotels in Turku are ones that offer views offer the river. There are Turku hotels in the city to suit all budgets too. 

Things to do in Turku City 

  • Visit Turku Cathedral 

Turku Cathedral is one of the most important landmarks in the city and no trip would be complete without visiting it and observing its crucial place in the history of the area. It is over seven centuries old and is the burial place of Finnish monarchy.

You would be forgiven for finding the Cathedral’s external appearance slightly underwhelming. However, once you enter the interior is nothing short of spectacular.

You can easily educate yourself on the key information about this fascinating building by using your smartphone to scan QR codes containing facts and notes as you wander around. 

  • Step back in history at Turku Castle 

Sticking with the ancient, relevant building theme another must-see attraction in Turku City is the Turku Castle. This imposing fortress was first built in the early 13th century and so is one of the oldest buildings in the whole of Finland.

Strategically placed on the banks of the River Aura the castle has had many jobs over the years including a prison, a city guard, and a warehouse!

Today, the castle plays home to an information-packed museum which is one of the most popular attractions in the city with both locals and tourists. 

  • Stroll around Turku Market Square 

Turku Market Square is located in the heart of Turku City. Every weekday the square is home to a bustling, vibrant market, packed with stalls and all sorts of goods to browse and buy.

Plus, there are several restaurants and bars scattered around which are the ideal spots for brunch or a leisurely drink. 

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Turku City

Best places to stay in Turku City

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Turku City

Budget accommodation in Turku City

Mid range accommodation in Turku City

Family Friendly accommodation in Turku City

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Turku City

Turku, Finland -  Street and buildings in city center of Turku.

Port Arthur – Where to Stay in Turku with Family 

Why Stay in Port Arthur?

Port Arthur is a quaint little district tucked away to the west of the River Aura. This area is an ideal part of Turku for families to base themselves on.

It is located just outside of the hustle and bustle of the city meaning it is a quieter and more laid-back neighbourhood, where families, particularly with younger children, may feel happier.

Port Arthur is made up of cobbled streets, lined with wooden houses. There are plenty of family-friendly hotels and Air BNBs in the area. 

Things to do in Port Arthur 

  • Visit St Michaels Church

St Michaels Church is Port Arthurs answer to Turkus Catherdral and while smaller is equally as impressive.

Popular with locals as a wedding venue, this neo-gothic church was built in 1905 and many think it looks like something from a fairy tale.

  • Take a trip to Kakolanmaki Hill Museum 

Kakolanmaki Museum is located inside what was the prison wardens’ accommodation. The museum is not very big but it is packed full of interesting items and information on what the prison would have been like for the prisoners way back when.

Many of the items on display were given to the museum by families of Kakola’s former prison guards. Kakola’s priest photographed his work and his photos are now showcased in the museum too. 

Top 4 favorites accommodation options for Port Arthur

Best places to stay in Port Arthur

Budget accommodation in Port Arthur

Mid range accommodation in Port Arthur

Family Friendly accommodation in Port Arthur

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Port Arthur

View of old wooden houses in Port Arthur district with locals and visitors in Turku Finland

Turku Harbour – Where to Stay in Turku on a Budget 

Why Stay in Turku Harbour?

Turku Harbour is a thriving ferry and cargo port. It is very busy and is one of the most important shipping points in the whole of Finland.

Although this may not suit everyone’s desires when it comes to a holiday base, it should be considered by those traveling on a budget.

Due to the influx of temporary ferry customers and the slightly industrial backdrop, Turku Harbour provides some of the best-priced accommodation Turku offers. Turku Harbour is also a great base for those wanting to find hostels in Turku. 

Things to do in Turku Harbour

  • Take a walk around Forum Marinum Maritime Centre

The Forum Marinum is a national museum packed full of all things nautical, located right next to Turku Harbour.

You can enjoy lots of fascinating information about the high waters, as well as be entertained by some myths and stories too.

It is an attraction that can be enjoyed by the whole family, as it showcases modern, interactive displays as well as ancient artifacts too. 

  • Admire the Daisy Sculpture 

Enjoying a lovely location, on well-manicured lawns between the Forum Marinum and Suomen Joutsen the Daisy sculpture is a giant depiction of this versatile much-loved flower.

It was erected to remind passers-by of the wonder of nature and the responsibility of all of us to do our bit in preserving every part of it. Children particularly love this art piece and climbing on the stem is encouraged. 

Top 4 favorites accommodation options for Turku Harbour

Best places to stay in Turku Harbour

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Turku Harbour

Budget accommodation in Turku Harbour

Mid range accommodation in Turku Harbour

Family Friendly accommodation in Turku Harbour

Turku, Finland - Aerial view on Turku harbour.

Klosterbacken – Where to Stay in Turku for Nature Lovers 

Why Stay in Klosterbacken?

Klosterbacken is made up of wooden houses that have been in place for two hundred years. Original homes and farms together create a unique rural area right in the heart of the city.

It is the perfect spot for those who love simplistic living and the chance to connect with nature. 

Things to do in Klosterbacken

  • Relax and Enjoy the Abundant Green Spaces 

Finnish cities are known for having plenty of green spaces in comparison to other European cities. Klosterbacken in Turku has plenty of parks and fields which are ideal for picnics, ball games, and general relaxation. 

  • Indulge in a Finnish Sauna

Why not take some time for yourself and visit the traditional outdoor sauna at the Klosterbacken public baths? Known for its rejuvenating properties, this treatment is the ultimate in self-care.

Top 3 favorites accommodation options for Klosterbacken

Best places to stay in Klosterbacken

Budget accommodation in Klosterbacken

Mid range accommodation in Klosterbacken

Family Friendly accommodation in Klosterbacken

Beautiful sunset in Finland in the vicinity of Turku

Kupittaa – Where to Stay in Turku for Foodies 

Why Stay in Kupittaa?

Kupittaa is located in the southeastern region of Turku and is a haven for sports and food enthusiasts.

A stay here will give you a great insight into day-to-day living in the city. There is an abundance of eateries serving various cuisines as well as street food stalls too. 

Things to do in Kupittaa

  • Have fun at Kupittaa Park 

You can enjoy some good old-fashioned family fun at Kupittaa Park. There are play areas to suit children of all different ages.

Vast green spaces, bike ramps for kids, playgrounds, ponds packed with birdlife, and an open-air pool are just some of the features of this great park. Bike rental is available for all ages. 

  • Enjoy a meal at Roster Turku 

Roster Turku is one of the most highly regarded restaurants in the whole of the city and is not far from some of the best hotels in Turku Finland, and the Kupittaa region.

Serving exquisite food created with passion by some extraordinarily talented chefs, be sure to book well in advance as Roster Turku s where every foodie wants to enjoy dinner!

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Kupittaa

Best places to stay in Kupittaa

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Kupittaa

Budget accommodation in Kupittaa

Mid range accommodation in Kupittaa

Family Friendly accommodation in Kupittaa

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Kupittaa

Old traditional wooden house architecture in beautiful nature at Northern Europe Turku Finland

Pohjola – Where to Stay in Turku near the Train Station 

Why Stay in Pohjola?

Your hotel in Turku may be in the Pohjola area which is very convenient if you plan to travel around the surrounding areas and to other cities during your stay in Turku.

This is because Pohjola is home to Turku Train Station. This is a busy part of the city, thriving with activity throughout the day and into the evening. 

Things to do in Pohjola

  • Get Cultural at Turku Art Museum 

Turku Art Museum is one of the nicest attractions that Turku offers tourists and is an easy leisurely stroll from the Pohjola district.

Quality and diverse collections of art are housed within a charming stone building on the top of a hill looking out over the city.

The museum hosts lots of cultural activities and has a cosy cafe that serves homemade fayre and refreshments. 

Top 3 favorites accommodation options for Pohjola

Best places to stay in Pohjola

Budget accommodation in Pohjola

Mid range accommodation in Pohjola

Family Friendly accommodation in Pohjola

Turku, Finland - Turku Abo railway station.

Areas to Avoid in Turku 

Turku is largely considered to be a relatively safe and family-friendly city. There are certain areas that offer different features that will suit some people more than others.

For example, outdoorsy, nature lovers won’t particularly enjoy staying near the port due to the noise and industrial outlook. Locals consider the areas of Halinen and Varissuo to be the least savory and the ones to be avoided by tourists. 

Car-free boulevards run along both banks of the river, thronged with pedestrians, cyclists and sunbathers (it was a balmy 25C in May). Ten bridges cross the water, and a free ferry, the Föri, has been chugging back and forth since 1903.

There’s no old town to hang out in – Turku lost most of its historic buildings in the Great Fire of 1827 – but the flower-filled riverbanks do the job nicely. We rented an electric picnic boat and cruised down to the river’s mouth and back in about an hour (€59 an hour, up to eight people

urku is a modern European city on the southwest coast of Finland, which, in addition, perfectly preserved the Middle Ages’ features. Castles, cathedrals, market squares, all kinds of festivals-all this is about Turku.

Aerial view on Tower of Turku Cathedral (Finnish: Turun tuomiokirkko) at summer day in Finland.

So now I will tell you in more detail why it is still worth travel to Turku Finland, and not to Helsinki. Everyone knows about the modern capital of Finland but Turku is – the oldest city in this country, founded in the 13th century!

It turns out that it was considered the capital and the main city for a long time, can you imagine what historical and cultural heritage this fascinating place holds?

Just walking around the city, you can feel the spirit and richness of history. And here are the sights of Turku, which I advise you to visit when you come here.

is well-known for its vibrant harbor, marvelous Gothic cathedral, medieval castle, and large student population.

The official languages spoken in Turku are Finnish and Swedish.

The harbour of Turku is an important port. Many ships go from there to Mariehamn and to Stockholm. Turku Airport is also one of Finland’s busiest airports.

Turku is located near the mouth of Aura river, and is spreads at both sides of the river. There are ten bridges over the Aura river in Turku.

Turku castle is probably the best-known building in the city of Turku. It is almost as old as the city itself. The construction of the castle began in the late 13th century.

During its history, the castle has been a defense building, a residential building, an administrative building, a prison, an army barracks and a storage building. Nowdays Turku Castle is a popular museum.

It’s a great place to visit during the summer when the sun is shining and the locals are making the most of the Great Outdoors.

Winter is equally enchanting and the perfect time to make the most of Turku’s many museums and galleries such as the Turku Art Museum and the Sibelius Museum

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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