The Turku annual events calendar is plenty full, with rock festivals making the most noise (as they tend to do). It could be said that the city is the rock festival capital of Finland, and in a country as riff-mad as this that is one impressive feat. In fact, the best annual events in Turku are almost a coverall picture of how the Finns like to celebrate things.
Medieval Market (Jun/Jul)
History goes way, way back in this part of the world, and the people of Turku aren’t shy about showing their appreciation and respect for that which came before. The annual Medieval Market is the best example, a four-day festival of arts, crafts and culture that features a whole lot of traditional garb and the occasional animal skull.
The Finns seriously like a rock festival, and they’ve been rushing in their thousands to worship at the altar of the riff for decades. Ruisrock is the main event, the second oldest rock festival in Europe that seems to get bigger every year. The island of Ruissalo hosts around 100,000 revellers over a noisy weekend in July. Past bands include Nirvana, Faith No More, Rammstein and Soundgarden.
Down by the Laituri (Jul)
Another rock festival in this rock-obsessed part of the world, Down by the Laituri has a distinctly more domestic flavour than its bigger international counterparts. The festival takes place every July in the heart of the city right next to the river, and is the largest city centre festival in the country.
Paavo Nurmi Marathon (Aug)
Looking for a reason to run 26.2 miles in the summer Turku heat? The Paavo Nurmi Marathon is here to answer your weird, weird, prayers. Named after the ‘Flying Finn’ who dominated distance running in the early 20th century, the marathon has been a staple of Turku’s calendar since its first edition in 1992. The course record was set way back in 1994, if you’re after the history books.
Turku Music Festival (Aug)
A little more sedate than the other music festivals in the city, the Turku Music Festival is a celebration of all genres, from jazz to classical via everything in between. Talent is key here, with some of the world’s most impressive musicians plying their trade across 10 melodic days in August.
Challenge Turku (Aug)
Okay, a marathon requires a centre amount of insanity, but an ironman? Wow. Turku holds its own annual ironman every August, encouraging people to swim, cycle and run until they can do so no more, with medals, trophies and ambulances waiting at the finish line. An incredible show of determination and courage, to say the least.
Lovers of art, be sure to set your watches and smartphone calendars for Turku’s Konstrundan. The Art Circuit is a celebration of all things creative, with artists, craftsmen and designers taking centerstage in the city and all along the coast. Learn the methods behind the madness and embrace the opportunity to buy some unique gifts straight from the artists themselves.
Food & Wine Fair (Oct)
Food and wine go together like, well, food and wine, and any excuse to try masses of both is an excuse we will grab with all the limbs we can. Turku’s food and wine fair takes place in October, just when the weather truly starts to turn, and we can think of no better way of warming up than eating a load of magnificent food and getting absolutely blasted on domestic wine.
Turku Day (Oct)
As the name of the festival suggests, Turku Day is the time to celebrate all things Turku. A mass of events take place across the city, regaling in the history, art and culture of this most impressive of cities. There will be booze.
Christmas City (Dec)
It doesn’t get any more festive than Christmas in Finland’s official Christmas City. Turku gets that billing, although there is more to it than presents and hot booze. Christmas Peace is declared here every Christmas Eve at noon, marking the real beginning of a time of love, harmony and understanding. Turku might just be our favourite place to spend Christmas.
Put our app in your pocket