Turku, Finland's oldest city, is located by the River Aurajoki in Southwest Finland. Turku is a city of art, history and culture believed to have been established in 1229.
The first capital city of Finland has been an important gate to the west throughout history. Turku continues to be a significant commercial port city, and passenger ships sail frequently from Turku to Mariehamn and Stockholm.
Turku has 180.000 inhabitants, which makes the city the fifth largest in Finland. Turku is officially bilingual, and a little over 5% of its inhabitants speak Swedish as their mother tongue.
There are three universities and four universities of applied sciences in Turku. Together, they have nearly 30.000 degree and post-graduate degree students.
The events and sights of Turku attract a large number of both national and international tourists every year. The city is made unique by the River Aurajoki flowing through the city centre, culture-historical surroundings and the beautiful and extensive Turku Archipelago. Historical attractions from the Turku Castle to the Turku Cathedral are among the city's most well-known sights. The city's year as the European Capital of Culture made culture a permanent part of Turku's cityscape.
From the viewpoint of travel, the most important attractions in the area also include Turku's neighbouring town, Naantali. The most notable sights of the historically rich Naantali include the beautifully preserved Old Town, the Kultaranta summer residence of the President of Finland and the Moomin World theme park based on the stories of Tove Jansson.
Other coastal cities, Pori, Rauma, Uusikaupunki, Hanko and Raseborg and their nearby areas also offer plenty to see and experience. It only takes a moment to move from the idyllic city settings and local attractions to peaceful natural settings. Those travelling to Åland get to experience fascinating attractions, such as Kastelholm Castle, ancient monuments, medieval stone churches and, of course, stunning sights of the sea.