Turku – the summer city: 5 tips for river bank (and some a bit further)

Turku seems to be my destiny. Not a bad one though. And it seems that there is a huge, growing interest in this ultimative summer destination as my Turku restaurant post last summer was the most popular ever. There were thousands of readers already in the first days!

Like last year, I was teaching  Hebrew this summer in Turku Summer University.  

I spent all together 14 days out of a month long period in Turku and as my lessons were in the evening, I had plenty of time to wonder around, see and taste things in the daytime. There is always something new to discover and some of those will be brought to you this time by mobile pictures.

Tips along the river bank

When the Turku people talk about “the other side of the river” it can be a bit confusing. The “right side” is the side where the dome church, Turun Tuomiokirkko, is located. My friends visiting Turku simply loved the river bank when we spent long, warm evenings sitting in the cafes, bars and river boars. So just a two hour journey from Helsinki takes you on a small trip abroad 🙂

My 7 year old daughter came to Turku and after she got out of the bus and we were walking along the river bank, she asked me: “Mom, what language do they speak here?” And then I explain her that it is Finnish…
Turku jokivarsi

  1. Sitting, sipping and eating! 

When this sculpture designed by Russian Andrei Kovaltshuk “The meeting in Turku 1812” arrived to its locations year 2012, it wasn’t received in open arms by all Turku residents. I, however, find that the sculpture of Alexander I of Russia and the crown prince Karl Johan fits very well this landscape.

Next to these gentlemen is one of the best places to sip your coffee: Cafe Art where they bake their own cakes and pullas. There is always a queue but it is worth waiting so take your time! The coffee is good and the cakes taste like heaven.
WP_20160607_14_49_40_Pro

At the cafe I met this handsome guy, Korean origin Juri. He had been living in Finland for two years but was going to return to his homeland soon.

Another place to taste is  Tiirikkala. I got a gift voucher from my students to this lovely cafe-restaurant and ate there this wonderful cheese salad.

Tiirikkala Turku Aura-joki salaatti

I found an another lovely spot at Pub Niska which pizzas are hard to beat.
Jokilaivat Aura-joki Turku jokivarsi InstagramCapture_08ced1ee-0a62-4115-8ba0-190c4da48668 (1)

2. Ride a bike!

Bike is the best transportation in Turku. Everybody cycles here – it feels almost like Amsterdam and you will find bicycle lanes cycle routes everywhere, also in the center area.

3. Sleep by the river

I spent most of the nights at Radisson Blu Marina Palace from where I got this wonderful “granny bike”. It took me just in minutes from the hotel to the university. The hotel itself also earns a recommendation. I got a room with a river view and the breakfast was one of the best hotel breakfasts I’ve ever eaten in Finland. I started my day with a morning shot made with buckthorn berries and you can squeeze your own orange juice with a big press.
Forum Marinum Turku Aura-joki jokivars 4. Suomen Joutsen and Forum Marinum 

I and my little visitor walked along the river bank down until the maritime center Forum Marinum and the famos sailing boat Suomen Joutsen (the Swan of Finland) built in 1902. The little visitor, however, found the huge daisy much more fascinating. 🙂

Forum Marinum Turku Aura-joki jokivarsi

There are small ships to play with….
Turku jokivarsi Aura-joki 5. Jogging, walking… 

Walking the river banks is an enjoyable activity itself. If you are into history and culture, continue 5 minutes walk from Forum Marinum and you will reach the Turku castle.

For jogging take the opposite direction to Halistenkoski, a rapid and a dam. My longest trip outside the city center was to  Vanhalinna, located in Lieto. You will get stunning views from the hill top and you will be standing on a piece of history at the same time. There were findings

J, joka on yksi maamme tärkeimpiä muinaismuistokohteita. Liedon puolella sijaitsevassa Vanhalinnassa on tehty löydöksiä pronssi- ja rautakaudelta saakka.Lisää infoa retkeilymaastoista Turun lähettyvillä löytyy Aurajoki.netin esitteestä. Vanhalinna Turku Lieto Vanhalinnan maisemia – ei uskoisi, että melkein kaupungissa ollaan! Polkupyörällä tuli huristeltua sitten muuallakin. Keskustasta kivenheiton päässä oleva Portsa eli Port Arthurin kaupunginosa on kiva pikku tutustumisretki vanhoine puutaloineen ja ihastuttavine sisäpihoineen. InstagramCapture_2c707339-9423-4e5c-b99f-eaee5468c93aIf you want to head a bit further, Ruissalo is the destination! I was invited to a press trip organized by Visit Turku and we spent a beautiful and sunny afternoon by the sea making smoked salmon and ‘robber’s roat’, a roast cooked in an earth oven with Ruissalo Spa chef Sami Kiviranta. I guess this pictures tells everything – you can’t go wrong with this set!

 

Ruissalo Spa loimulohi rosvopaisti nokipannukahvit Ruissalo

Voisilmäpulla Honkapirtti Ruissalo TurkuThese huge homemade pulla at Ruissalo Honkapirtti are big enough to be shared.

 

On se Turku vaan mahtava paikka. Tuntemattomat juttelevat toisilleen Tintån terassilla (yksi lempipaikoistani – jokivarressa sekin). Usein kaupungilla törmäsin johonkin tuttuun – kollegaani tai entiseen oppilaaseeni. On tainnut tulla pyörittyä Turussa jo tovi 🙂 Mutta ei tarina tähän pääty. Lokakuun lopussa jatkan taas opetusta Turussa. Ja sitä ennen kerron  vielä Food Walkista, kiva ohjelmanumero kesäretkelle Turkuun. Pikku ballerina

My little guest watching the cars at Hotel Seurahuone.
Matkalaukku North Face TrolleyBye bye Turku! My loyal travel companion by North Face trolley (no hidden sponsorship here but I am happy to advertise it because it is difficult to find a better one!) traveled back and forth with me. I never drove to Turku by car as the cheapest tickets by Onnibus cost me only 5 euros and also train tickets sold by VR can be found starting from 10 euros including a seat in a work cabin which I always took an advantage of if one was available).