The Turku Central Station has passenger train connections along the Rantarata line to Helsinki and to the north via Toijala towards Tampere and Oulu. All trains are operated by VR and reservations can be made through their call center with English speaking staff.
Ferries to Turku are available with a wide range of cabin choices on Tallink and Viking Line ferries. Pets are welcome on board for an additional fee and must be kept on a leash or in a carrier at all times.
Located in Finland’s Southern Savonia region, Pieksamaki is an important junction for trains. It’s about a three-hour drive from Helsinki and just under two hours from Tampere. The town has beautiful natural surroundings that are perfect for hiking and fishing, and the area is home to a number of parks and nature reserves.
The Savo Railway Museum is also located in Pieksamaki, and the Diaconia University of Applied Sciences has a campus there. Several restaurants and cafés can be found in the town, as well as shops and markets.
There are four train routes a day from Turku to Pieksamaki. Each journey requires at least one change. Check the full schedule with Finnish Railways (VR).
Train service between Turku and Salo was halted on Monday morning after a fire broke out at an abattoir. The line between Tampere and Pieksamaki remained open. However, there are still delays and cancellations on other lines. For more information, visit the VR website.
In the nineteenth century, Turku was a bustling commercial centre with two railway stations serving passenger traffic to Helsinki and Joensuu (most services terminate in either Tampere or Pieksamaki). Unlike the iconic Helsinki Central station, the local station is relatively discreet, with its building blending into the surrounding scenery.
In addition to the main lines, the station also served commuter train traffic towards Paimio, Loima, Naantali and Uusikaupunki. These local lines were discontinued for lack of use, but may be re-established in the future, either as a museum railway line or as a form of public transport.
Moored at the quay outside the station are two heritage ships, Suomen Joutsen and Sigyn, both of which are open for visits. For a less crowded and much more relaxing way to see the islands, take a dinner cruise on the steamship S/S Ukkopekka. This is an excellent opportunity to admire the city’s architecture, including the medieval Turku Cathedral.
If you want to experience the natural beauty of Turku, it is a good idea to walk or bike around the city. A popular path is the archipelago trail which is a 250 km circular network of roads and bridges.
Alternatively, you can get to know the city by taking a stroll along the riverbank. The Aurajoki is the heart of Turku and a lively meeting place for locals. A fun way to see the riverbank is on the orange city ferry called Fori which offers beautiful views for free.
You can reach Turku by bus, train, and taxi. The main bus station is in the centre of town, and it has connections to Helsinki, Tampere, and other cities in Finland. If you plan to travel by train, it is a good idea to check out the schedules and purchase tickets online in advance as train tickets are fairly expensive when purchased on the day.
Things to Do
Turku is one of the most vibrant cities in Finland. As well as a busy train hub, it is also home to a raft of fascinating museums and attractions including the imposing Turku Castle, the Luostarinmaki Handicrafts Museum and Waino Aaltonen Museum of Art.
The city’s port is a major shipping center; it handles four million tons of cargo and nearly as many passengers each year. You can get a feel for its rich maritime heritage at Forum Marinum, which is part exhibition center and part fleet of museum ships. You can even step aboard the Suomen Joutsen full-rigged ship moored on the banks of the Aura River.
Another highlight is the Qwensel House, which offers a glimpse of life in Turku a couple of centuries ago. This wooden building once served as a pharmacy; the interior is decorated with all manner of pharmaceutical equipment, weird-looking medical instruments and bunches of dried herbs. The town is famous for its food too, particularly the kalakukko, which is a rye bread stuffed with fish and pork.