Turku Summer Bucket List 2021

What are all the things that make a Turku summer? Here is an ultimate collection of summer activities, events and other nice ideas.

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Let's take a little look at what goes into a Turku summer. At the very least, hangouts by the riverside, strawberries from the market square, swimming trips and spontaneous adventures. This year, Turku is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the European Capital of Culture, which is marked by various events throughout the summer.

Here comes the Turku summer bucket list, full of ideas and inspiration!

NB! Some of the events in this article may be postponed or cancelled due to an uncertain corona situation. Please check the current information on the site's own pages to ensure that there are no tears.

Summer events x 5

Paavo Nurmi Games 7–8 June – In the legendary Paavo Nurmi Games, you can see live and up close how the world's top athletics measure-up against one another at the Paavo Nurmi Stadium.

Turku Sea Jazz 30–31 July – The urban city festival combining jazz and a maritime setting is the hottest novelty this summer. In the historic and rugged surroundings of ​​Ruissalo Shipyard, enjoy jazz in its many forms.

Kesärauha (Summer Peace) 6–8 August – The spark of hope for a Turku festival summer is still alive! This summer, the Kesärauha Festival will move to the more spacious park of Turku Castle, where there is 3 times more space to celebrate and get that festival feeling.

Turku Night of the Arts 12 August – Turku Night of the Arts at the city centre and on the river bank has a packed and enticing programme. Stroll around the city and enjoy the vibrant cultural offerings, street art and performances until late at night.

Book of Rooms 13–29 August – Artwork that goes to a whole new level and which you can literally walk into. A group of hundreds of artists turn an empty building into a labyrinthine of stunning art experiences. New fascinations through every door!

A couple of exhibitions

WAM – Turku's most anticipated cultural spark this summer is definitely the exhibition from pottery queen Anu Pentik. Pentik's latest artistic production is presented through a complete narrative and the spatial possibilities of WAM's exhibition halls. Pentik's vintage dishes are hot stuff at present – and so is this exhibition.

Anu Pentik – In the beginning there was a seed, 4 June – 19 September, in WAM

Turku Art Museum – The Turku Art Museum is also home to a summer of ceramics, when the museum is filled with ceramic animal sculptures by Michael Schilkin and Lotta Mattila. And it’s sure to also please the family’s smallest museum visitors.

Michael Schilkin feat. Lotta Mattila 11 June – 12 September, Turku Art Museum

A summer of adventure will not disappoint

This summer in Turku Adventure Park (also known as Seikkis) will not be a disappointment! Activities and play equipment are always available, and in summer the park hosts many fun events for children.

Sign the little monsters into an art workshop or camp, bringing their own special adventures. Kupittaa Park’s activity programme is open next door, and the bird sanctuary, traffic park and outdoor swimming pool are firm favourites in summer.

The best beaches in the Turku region

Kaarina Beaches When heading in the direction of Kaarina, take a dip at the beach – there are up to six different ones to choose from. We recommend the popular beach at Littoinen lake.

Saaronniemi Beach  The beach at the tip of Ruissalo is a wonderful place. In addition to swimming, you can also rent SUP boards or take part in a Aavameri kayaking trip on the open-sea, out into the archipelago.

Ispoinen Beach The beach in Uittamo is great for swimming. There is also a private beach for dogs, so bring your hairy friend.

Ekvalla Beach  Cozy swimming spot on the island of Satava with a wheelchair accessibility ramp! It's also a nice little bike ride to the beach.

Brinkhall Beach  A charming sandy beach on the island of Kakskerta, next to the magnificent Brinkhall Manor.


In summer, we sleep in a tree

Ruissalo Spa  Ruissalo Spa offers the most exciting summer accommodation experience. You can spend the night on the cliffs near the spa in a tent stretched between the trees. The hanging accommodation is fun and exotic, allowing you to really access a night of nature and adventure. And the best part is the spa facilities are included in the price.

Check out the Tentsile accommodation on the Ruissalo Spa website

A summer of cruising has arrived!

Hopping aboard our wonderful Viking Line boats has been sorely missed. Take a picnic cruise for the day into the scenic Archipelago Sea. Depart from Turku in the morning, change ship in Mariehamn and return to Turku by nightfall. The easiest escape of the summer.

No need to hurry when on board – just eat, shop and enjoy being somewhere other than at home.

Let's toast the summer

Kirkkopuisto terrace – During summer, the cathedral park and market place will once again become a huge open terrace area. Historically speaking, there is no better setting for coming together! Go for lunch or the afternoon, or hang out late into the night enjoying some live music.

Walo Rooftop Bar & Kuppis Rooftop BarTurku's couple of rooftop bars serve up lush landscapes, delicious drinks and an amazing atmosphere, right at the centre of Turku. Above the rooftops of the hotel, you can admire Turku's landmarks from a bird's eye view, whilst sipping a summer cocktail or mocktail. Little pleasures make life great!

A summer’s day in Naantali – or maybe the whole weekend?

In Naantali, nice experiences for summer adventurers are available for a few hours, a day or even an entire weekend. Spend an interesting day at the museums, meander along the Path of Love Trail or climb the Kuparivuori cliff for a picnic. Visit the Kultaranta gardens, stroll along the alleys of Naantali’s old town and pop into the adorable boutiques. Alternatively, go on an evening cruise in the archipelago scenery or explore Naantali’s cycling routes. With so much to do, it’s hard knowing where to begin?

Grab a Föli-Bike and head towards the swimming beaches or city attractions.

● Combine culture with outdoor activities and embark on an adventure along Turku's Cultural Exercise Routes.

● Would you rather chill than hike? Choose the restaurant of your choice, pick up a take-away lunch and set up camp in the nearest park.

● Could there be a more historic hiking trail? Go hiking along Turku’s Pilgrimage Routes.

● Do you have a nature vacation in your sights? Then pack your binoculars and get to know the nature trails of the Turku region.

Biketaxi – no surprise, it’s a bike and a taxi, and also the hottest way to travel in Turku this summer. The electric bicycle can accommodate 2-3 passengers at a time. The rickshaw is equipped with a canopy for rainy days. The added bonus is your ecological footprint – the bike is free from pollution! Grab a ride on the fly or call and pre-order. Guided tours are also possible.

● J & M Launokorpi from Kimito Island organises delightful package bus tours. In addition to making part of the trip by bus, you also go boat, bike and hiking. Trips can be made, for examples, into Turku’s archipelago and to Åland. Check out J & M Launokorpi’s summer package tours.

● Purchase summer excursions, guided tours, entry tickets and other great things in advance. Check out the selection of the Kiss my Turku online shop. (Shop is only in Finnish, sorry)

Text Jemina Sormunen. Photos Terri Vahtera, Jemina Sormunen, Kim Allen-Mersh & Visit Turku.

Published | Updated

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