What makes a Turku summer?


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Turku is simply the best summer city - as you probably already know. Summer in Turku is guaranteed to include a riverside full of atmosphere, a city full of events, and host of enticing adventures waiting to be spontaneously fulfilled. Here are a few tantalising highlights that are well worth the wait.

A small selection from the summer calendar

Kesärauha, 10th-12th June

The perfect peace of summer returns with Kesärauha. Turku's latest alternative and indie music festival has quickly gained great popularity and the hearts of Finns everywhere, despite only being two years old. If you didn’t know, Kesärauha was chosen as Festival of the Year 2021 - which pretty much tells you all you need to know.

The castle park surrounding the legendary Turku Castle makes for a top festival atmosphere. As you dance around to modern sounds, medieval history looms in the background. This summer, the festival experience expands to within the walls of Turku Castle, with the new electronic music stage, Elektrolinna.

Paavo Nurmi Games, 14th June

The most important event of the Finnish Athletics Summer. At the Paavo Nurmi Stadium, don’t take your eyes off the field so you see who comes out on top. P.S. There’s another important event carrying the name of the Turku running legend. The Paavo Nurmi Marathon takes place on the 19th & 20th of August.

Medieval Market, 30th June - 3rd July

If you're fascinated by the Middle Ages then head to Finland's largest ancient and medieval event at the Old Great Square. Immerse yourself in the past, explore amazing market stalls, and enjoy watching the fun and exciting performances.

Ruisrock, 8th-10th July

Finally, after a break of a couple of years, glide along the legendary via Dolorosa into the open arms of the Ruissalo National Park, wade into the sea in front of the Rantalava stage and wave to cruise ships floating past. One of the most important cornerstones of Turku's summer - you wouldn’t dare make other plans.

Turku Castle Tournament, 14th-17th July

Don't miss when the courtyard of Turku Castle turns into an historic battlefield. The inquisitive crowd watches from the sidelines as armored knights take measure of each other with their swords and lances.

Housing Fair in Naantali, 15th July - 14th August

This summer, it’s entirely possible that you’ll get a strong dose of house fever instead of sun exposure. The popular Housing Fair will be held this year in Naantali, in the embrace of the seaside surroundings of Luonnonmaa. Bribe your friend or partner by promising a little fun in Naantali alongside the fair, and turn your outing into a nice mini-holiday.

Down by The Laituri, 28th-30th July

DBTL is as much a part of Turku’s summers as jam is part of a Bishop’s doughnut. The city festival is celebrated in the great historical atmosphere at the heart of Turku, in the area of the Cathedral Square and the adjacent Brahe Park. Come down to see what kind of a show we’ll get from Earth, Wind & Fire and the Village People.

Turku Sea Jazz, 29th-30th July

The urban seaside festival puts on a collection of home-grown and international stars of jazz in the forecourt of the Maritime Centre Forum Marinum. The event is part of the Archipelago Sea Jazz festival series, and busy in the background making it happen - who else but Jazz City Turku.

Photos Aleks Talve.

August’s Mega-Weekend, 12th-13th.

Knotfest, 12th-13th August – Knotfest, one of the most famous heavy metal music festivals in the world, will land in Turku in August. The main star of the hard-hitting, two-day festival is of course Slipknot, along with an impressive lineup of heavy friends, from Nightwish to Lamb of God.

Aura Fest, 12th-13th August – In August, Kupittaa Park is filled with fresh pop and happy festival revelers. For many, the energetic Aura Fest is often the end of the summer season, where the last joys of the festival summer are let loose. So why change now?

Turku Touring Pyöräily, 14th August – The largest annual cycling event in Southwest Finland is taking place for the 20th time. The good mood event is something the whole family will like, and you don’t need to be in top condition to participate. All cyclists are welcome.

N.B! Be prepared - this weekend is already fully booked for Turku hotels.



Turku Music Festival, 15th-28th August – The Turku Music Festival is known for its artistic quality, which brings the international stars of classical music to Finland. This year, the programme will also be full of sumptuous music, from opera arias to Olavi Uusivirta.




Children's Summer Highlights

Seikkis Adventure Park turns 40! 8th June

Seikkis Adventure Park has its anniversary celebrations in June! The paradise of adventure for the whole family has been fun for forty years, and the birthday party opens the Seikkis summer. Balloons and treats, the debut of an anniversary song, as well as a surprise programme are at least on the agenda.

Jukupark – Full of amusements, Finland's most amazing water park is sure to be found in the summer plans of any family with kids. Jukupark’s interactive pirate world and 16 water slides keep the kids busy for hours. The location is easy, just 3 km from the city centre.

Other great summer tips

Riverside Hangout – Turku's national landscape is packed during summer until late in the night. Pitch up for a picnic or take an atmospheric tour from one end to the other. Best of all, along the riverbank are all the top museums, cafes, restaurants and terraces. And, of course, the iconic riverboats.

Cathedral Terraces – During summer, the Cathedral Square and park will once again become one huge common terrace. Truly a terrace location for all time - quite amazing! Go for lunch or an afternoon drink, or hang out late into the night with the live music vibes.

A Summer’s Day in Ruissalo – Believe it or not, there’s quite a lot more to Ruissalo than the music festival. Daydream about owning your own delightful villa, lie on the beautiful beach of Saaronniemi, or explore the shores on a SUP-board. Kuuvannokka is known to be a great spot for watching the sunset. Best ways to get there are by waterbus or a Föli bike.

Ruissalo Boatyard – One stop of the Föli waterbus is the Ruissalo Boatyard, so jump ashore and soak up the ruggedly cool milieu on offer at the boatyard area. In addition to restaurants, maritime vistas and boats, the boatyard event venue includes a summer theatre. Enjoy this summer’s performance from Linnateatteri, entitled FÖLIN ALTA – päätön revyy, an exhilarating political satire about the world of Turku.

Luostarinmäki – The museum area finally opens on 18th June after a long renovation. Come again or for the first, it doesn't matter, as the fascinating history of the museum block is sure to delight. Take a look at the artisan’s homes and workshops and keep the historical atmosphere going at the museum’s café - a wooden house from the 1850s.

Food Walk – Summer is a time to treat yourself, so take a self-guided restaurant tour and walk from plate to plate along the riverside summer scenery. With the Food Walk card, you can enjoy the delicacies of five different restaurants in Turku. Take a couple of appetizers, your main course and your desserts from entirely separate locations.

Turku Market Square – The grand renovation of the Market Square is starting to take shape, and it’s looking pretty good, so go and check out the situation. Browse the market stalls and grab some fresh strawberries, peas and other delicacies for a nice picnic. Towards the end of summer, there will be a new restaurant in the market - Agnes. But you’ll have to wait till Turku Day in September to celebrate the opening.

Samppalinna & Kupittaa Outdoor Pools – Turku locals make great use of the outdoor swimming pools during summer. Head to either oasis for a refreshing summer dip and to soak up the summer sun. In Samppilinna, the high-driving tower brings a little more excitement to the swimming trip, whilst at Kupittaa, you can’t be without sliding down the large water slide at least twice. Okay, maybe five or six times.

The Samppalinna outdoor pools open on the 10th May, with Kupittaa outdoor pools opening on the 1st June.

Text Jemina Sormunen. Photos Terri Vahtera, Jussi Virkkumaa, Lina Lohiluoto, Aleks Talve and Visit Turku.

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