Travelling to & around Turku
Turku is tucked away in the southwestern corner of Finland, just a two-hour road trip from Helsinki. But driving is not the only way to get here. Read on for the best advice on how to travel to and around Turku.
Getting to Turku is a piece of cake. The city has an airport, harbour, bus depot, and three railway stations, so you’re bound to find an option that’s just right for you. Remember to consider eco-friendly alternatives when planning your journey and do your part to keep our planet green.
If you choose to fly, we encourage you to take a direct flight, pack lightly, and offset your flight’s carbon footprint when you purchase your ticket. Nowadays, Finnair, SAS, airBaltic, and Wizz Air operate direct flights to Turku from cities like Stockholm, Riga, Gdansk, and Skopje.
Turku Airport is about eight kilometres from the city centre, but it’s only a 25-minute journey on a Föli bus. Click here to check out Turku Airport’s website and get the latest info on flights, connections, and much more.
TO TURKU FROM:
KRAKOW,GDANSK, KAUNAS, SKOPJE
Turku–Helsinki 166 km, approx. 2 hrs.
Bus connection from the Helsinki–Vantaa International Airport operates on an hourly basis.
The COVID-19 pandemic may affect operating routes. Please check the updated connections, latest travel information and restrictions from the websites.
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Turku is not that far from Sweden and ferries travel back and forth between Stockholm and Turku, with a stopover at Mariehamn, every single day. It’s around an 11-hour journey and you’ll find tax-free shopping, live entertainment, dining options, and even a sauna or two on board.
Viking Line and Silja Line are the main ferry operators, and both have been striving to reduce their carbon footprints in recent years. In fact, Viking Line just launched the first passenger ship in the Baltic Sea to be powered on LNG (liquefied natural gas).
At just over three kilometres from the city centre, the harbour is within easy walking distance. But if you’ve got luggage, you can also hop aboard a Föli bus.
If you’re looking to make your way to Turku from another city in Finland, why not travel by bus? It’s a popular and inexpensive option, especially when you book in advance. Plan your journey using Matkahuolto’s new reittiopas (route planner), which gives you lots of options to get from one place to the next.
Train travel is another convenient way to get here. VR manage the railway network in Finland, and trains are clean and punctual. There are also regular services to Turku from cities like Helsinki and Tampere.
Turku has three stations, but odds are that you’ll arrive and depart from Turku’s main station, which is less than a 15-minute walk to the city centre. Of course, you’ll want to get off at Kupittaa station if you’re staying nearby, or Turku Port station if you’re heading straight to the harbour.
The only thing easier than getting to Turku is getting around once you’re here. The city has bike-friendly paths, a stress-free bus system, and even waterbuses in the summertime. It’s also incredibly compact, so keep your stay as eco-friendly as possible and lace up those walking shoes.
There’s no better way to experience Turku than by strolling through the city. You’ll find most hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance of the centre. Plus, it’s almost impossible to get lost. All you need to do is follow the Aura River (it’s the yellow brick road of Turku).
If you travel on foot, you’ll also be able to take a ride on Föri, the city’s beloved pedestrian ferry, and the funicular, which will take you to the top of Kakolanmäki Hill.
As you walk around Turku, you’re bound to notice the bright yellow bikes. These are managed by Föli, who run the public transport system here, and are available for anyone to use. Simply register online and then pick up a bike from any bike station. There are more than 40 dotted around the city.
The bikes are designed for short-term use and it only costs €2 for the first 30 minutes. Just return the bike to a bike station when you’re done.
If you truly want to put your legs to the test, rent a bike from Carfield Bike Rental or 10Bikes. Carfield Bike Rental has more than 30 pick-up points throughout Southwest Finland, so you can rent a bike from one location and return it to another.
Föli maintains a first-rate bus network. Just like their bikes, Föli buses are bright yellow and affordable. A single adult ticket costs €3 and it’s valid for two hours. If you would like even more flexibility, you can purchase a one-day ticket or a multi-day pass.
There’s no need to worry about sticking close to the centre. Föli oversees public transport in the surrounding region, so you can travel as far as Kaarina, Raisio, Naantali, Lieto, or Rusko, and it’s still the same price. Use the Föli journey planner to get up-to-date info on routes and timetables.
Turku is not only a coastal town; it’s the gateway to a spectacular archipelago, comprising some 40,000 islands and islets. It begins at the mouth of the Aura River, which turns into the city’s living room on a sunny day, and stretches far west towards Åland.
With all this water laying around, it’s no surprise that it’s easy to get around by boat. You can hire a private river taxi, or even cruise down the Aura River in your own electric boat.
Föli also runs two waterbuses to the nearby island of Ruissalo in the summer months. It takes around 45 minutes and it’s no more expensive than a regular bus ticket. You can also travel to Naantali or Loistokari on S/S Ukkopekka, a classic steamship that was built way back in 1938. If you would like to head even further out to sea, Rosita Cruises runs daily excursions to the popular island of Vepsä.
Taking a taxi is a convenient solution when you’re short on time. There are loads of operators like Taxidata, 02 Taksi, and Menevä, and you can rest assured, knowing that Finnish taxis are safe, secure, and reliable.
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not take a rickshaw? It’s the latest way to get around Turku and they work just like taxis: either give Biketaxi a call or flag one down in the city. Plus, the rickshaws are electric, so the environment will be just as happy as you.
While Turku is bound to captivate you, there is also plenty to explore in the surrounding region. Renting a car is easy, affordable, and perfect for those excursions that take you beyond the city limits. Operators like Avis Car Hire Turku offer a wide range of models, suitable for every type of traveller and journey.
Text Kathleen Cusack. Photos Jemina Sormunen, Terri Vahtera and Visit Turku.
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