Finland's oldest town
Built around a tree-lined river, Finland's oldest town has a striking cathedral, castle, historic handicrafts museum and a friendly buzz.
The city's cultural centre organises a number of regular events, most notably the Medieval Market in July each year.
There are also numerous museums, such as the Turku Art Museum and the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art. The Åbo Akademi University maintains the Sibelius museum, which is the only museum in Finland specialising in the field of music. Apart from these, there are also several historical museums that display the city's medieval period, such as the Turku Castle, which has been a functional historical museum since 1881, and the Aboa Vetus museum, built in the late 1990s over the 14th century archaeological site. The Luostarinmäki handicrafts museum, converted from residential buildings that survived the Great Fire of Turku in 1827, is well worth a visit.
The Declaration of Christmas Peace has been a tradition in Finland from the Middle Ages every year, except in 1939 due to the Winter War. The declaration takes place on the Old Great Square of Turku, Finland's official 'Christmas City', at noon on Christmas Eve. The declaration ceremony begins with the hymn Jumala ompi linnamme (Martin Luther's Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott) and continues with the Declaration of Christmas Peace read from a parchment roll in Finnish and Swedish.