Turku

Turku

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You can be forgiven for instantly thinking ‘Helsinki’ when Finland is brought up, but there is plenty more to this country than its capital city. The former capital, for example. Turku is arguably even more important Helsinki in the grand scheme of things when it comes to Finland. This is where the country was born and where the country flourished, and if it wasn’t for a strange commitment to being on fire then it may well have been the capital today.

But we’re not going to cry over burned milk — we’re too busy enjoying the museums, galleries, architecture and sightseeing on offer here. This isn’t the largest city in the world, it isn’t even the largest city in Finland, but you’ll struggle to find a better collection of museums in such a small place. What’s more, a lot of these establishments are found just a stone’s throw from the Aura river, the waterway that runs through the city. Culture and riverbanks? Count us in.

You’ll also find two of the most important buildings in Finland right here in this gorgeous city. Turku Cathedral is the epicentre of religious life in the country, an iconic cathedral with spirit and beauty in spades, a house of worship that wasn’t spared by the fire but rose from the flames like, yes, like a phoenix. And Turku Castle? The most visited museum in Finland — that tells you all you need to know.

Turku is an exciting city in the modern age, regardless of history. This is a creative town that doesn’t rest on its laurels, a modern charmer with an intangible confidence that can only come from centuries of importance and the knowledge of a job well done. Think Finland is Helsinki and little else? Think again.
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