For those recently arrived in Turku, transportation can quickly become a challenge. This is especially true when comes the time to reach a new or unknown area. To remedy this problem, here is a quick guide on how to find your way in and around Turku.
The beautiful Turku library.
Our beautiful city is one that is easily explored by foot, the city center area is especially nice to discover with this mean of transportation. Since it provides plenty of time to admire one’s surroundings, it is especially suitable for the areas with a high concentration of beautiful buildings or with a nice atmosphere.
My personal favorite, biking is one of the best ways to explore Turku and its surroundings. The abundance of bike paths means that almost any place in Turku is easily accessible by cycling. Even without venturing beyond the borders of the municipality, one can find a number of hidden gems. Since Turku is relatively spread, bike quickly becomes an essential mode of transportation to reach interesting locations. It is also a very convenient way to go around Turku in everyday life. May it be for groceries, classes, work, or any other reasons bike is often the cheapest, and sometimes fastest way to get from point A to point B.
Personal recommendations: the castle/harbor area, Naantali, Uittamo beach and sauna (available for 5€), and the beautiful Littoistenjärvi. (Although those locations can all be reached by bus, biking allows more flexibility in schedules).
Bonus: winter biking is a fairly common occurrence in Turku, and one that will provide plenty of thrills to those willing to risk it. Overall, however, it is not so dangerous if one knows the moves and dangers to avoid (especially ice and too sudden braking). Good tires also help.
Even the most ambitious cyclists sometimes have to rest, and bus is a very convenient way to get around in Turku. Using the extensive network of public transportation, one can go almost any places. The bus network is mostly organized around the Turku Kauppatori, through which most buses transit. The journey planner of the föli.fi website also offers an excellent tool to plan ahead, or search information on the schedules and fares. I strongly recommend getting a bus card, which can be used as part of different offers (you will save money in any case, whatever the offer you choose).
Personal recommendations: Lieto, Naantali, Ruissalo (home to at least two great public saunas, more on that in a future blog).
Bonus: this way to go around will also keep you warm this winter, a non-negligible advantage when the thermometer starts getting below zero.
Some days, the choice of taking the bus is easier…
Conclusion? try them all!
As the year advances, you will see your priorities change, and so will your preferred mode(s) of transportation. Buses and their comfort will quickly become attractive, so it can be good to become familiar to the schedules and fares. On the other hand, short and regular trips can often be easily done by bike or on foot. Sometimes they may even be quicker! (the trip from the student village west to the city center is an excellent example of such situation).
Have fun going around Turku!
The beach in Ruissalo Camping, at the end of the line 8 from Kauppatori. A public sauna is located to the right, with a perfect view on the sea. (There is also a hidden Finn in the photo, for those with sharp eyes)
Living in Finland for more than three years, Michel is a Canadian student who is now completing his master’s degree in ÅAU. His interests are quite diversified and include ice hockey, history, fishing, as well as many other things. He is also a member of the student ambassador network of South-West Finland.