Turku is often described as Finland’s summertime city, with its secluded beaches, waterborne activities and endless supply of quality restaurants. But another reason Turku draws thousands of visitors every year is the crazy number of events that pack the weekends and days in between. Keep reading below to discover just some of the best examples, according to Visit Turku.
Feel the rhythm (Music)
If you’ve not been to Ruisrock then clearly you’ve not been to Turku! Ruissi (as the locals affectionately call it) is not just a music festival but also an annual party pilgrimage for half the country. Somehow managing the best weather of the year –every year– friendship groups from every generation reunite and let loose on the beaches of the beautiful national park (5th-7th July).
Thousands of persons gather every summer to enjoy the Ruisrock music festival. Photo: Riikka Vaahtera.
For a touch more respectable and altogether more sedate musical experience, the Turku Music Festival (8th-22nd August) is two weeks of more traditional genres, including jazz, chamber music and classic orchestral. Concerts spread out across the city and, with Turku boasting plenty sites of cultural interest, many of the settings are an experience in themselves.
Other opportunities to get your groove on: DBTL 25th-27th July.
Now that’s satisfying (Food & Drink)
The Turku Food & Art Festival. Photo: Julius Konttinen.
With so many great restaurants popping up all over Turku, it’s little wonder the culinary spirit breaks out into full-blown festivals a couple of times a year. First up is the Turku Food and Wine Festival from 25th-27th July. Friends and foodies gather together on the courtyard of Forum Marinum to enjoy gourmet street food, pop-up restaurants and the best wines, beers and ciders, from near and far.
At the end of the summer, the Food & Art Festival (5-8th September) starts to slice a little bit deeper into our food culture. In the romantically renovated venue of the Ruissalo Shipyard, get up close and personal with award-winning chefs from home and abroad, as well as marinating on multisensory food and art through discussions, activities and, of course, taste experiences.
More mouth-watering morsels: International Grand Market 18th-21st July.
Flash from the past (History)
You don’t have to be into history or live action role-play to appreciate the experiences on offer at the Medieval Market (27th-30th June). Indulge for hours in the artisanal market stalls or get the kids involved in activities or some of the live demonstrations.
Turku Castle is a living encyclopaedia of Finnish history making it the ideal venue for the Turku Castle Medieval Tournament (11th-14th July). In their splendid regalia, armoured knights compete in traditional medieval combat, including skill at arms, the longsword and the joust. The event includes a market, history tours and the chance to meet the competitors. Right photo: Pette Rissanen.
Time to move (Sports)
A Turku legend and Finland’s most decorated athlete of all time, Paavo Nurmi was the original Flying Finn and continues to inspire a nation to put on a pair or runners and get active. The great runner not only has his own marathon, half-marathon and 10K event on 17th August but also a whole stadium named after him.
Racing along the River Aura and around Turku, Challenge Turku is the city’s triathlon event taking place on 10th August. Whether or not you’re competing, the event weekend also offers plenty of interest and excitement for enthusiastic spectators.
Photo: Paavo Nurmi Marathon.
Something to inspire (Culture)
Turku and the surrounding archipelago are like a magnet for aspiring artists. On the first weekend in September, there’s the chance to meet some of them in their homes and studios during the Konstrundan, Art Circuit event.
Combining the purpose of a business seminar with the relaxed vibes of a summer festival, the Shift business festival (29-30th August) brings inspiring speakers together with inquisitive minds. The themes of this trendy event are accessible to everyone and not just the hipster-techie clique.
Another worthy mention: Turku Animated Film Festival 21-25th August.