Turku, Finland

Turku, located on the southwestern coast of Finland, is the country’s oldest city and its original capital. It’s a scenic setting at the mouth of the Aura Riover in the Coast and Archipelago region. The historic centre of Turku is on the east bank, near Porthaninpuisto. Just across the Aura Bridge is a ‘newer’ historic centre and the main commercial area. There’s some lovely running in Turku, with several central routes combining parks and paths lining the Aura River, and trail running in some of the oak forest areas near the city. One feature unique to Turku is the Paavo trails — routes that have been marked with blue runner marks on the streets and round markings on trees to facilitate walking/running in the city and connect to recreation paths.

The best places to run in Turku are accessible from the centre. Mix and match our ‘runseeing’ tour, paths on the Aura River (lower & upper sections), and our Turku Parks route. Further upriver is a scenic path through Virnamäenpuisto (park). In the eastern part of Turku, there are some nice trails in the Varissuo neighborhood. Ruissalo Island is one large conservation area, and offers wonderful running on a network of forest trails and open paths such as the Villa Promenade. Just south of the city, run some of the quiet roads on Hirvensalo Island.

Notes: The city is quite bilingual, so you’ll find signs in Finnish and Swedish. Note that Turku winters can be snowy. The city’s latitude means extremes in seasonal day length — many paths are lit at night in winter.

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Some of our favorite runs in Turku, Finland

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Turku Parks Route

Turku, Finland

A pleasant, green run on paths through and around four adjacent, centrally located parks: Urheilupuisto, Samppalinna Park, Vartiovuori Park, & Kupittaa Park. Each fairly modest in size, but added together make for a 7.5 km loop. Running track at Urheilupuisto.

Hirvensalo Island

Turku, Finland

Run on the pleasant, quiet roads passing by fields and farms in this residential community south of Turku that's also the site of a golf course, and a small ski resort/sledding hill. Create your own route or run the 14.5 km perimeter loop.

Turku has a humid continental climate, moderated by the Baltic Sea. Summers are mild, with daytime temperatures in the 22C (72F) range, and cool nights. Winter daytime highs are just below freezing, with lows dipping to -6C (20F). Turku is one of the snowier major cities in Europe — runners should be prepared for ice & snow in winter, and short day lengths.

We recommend staying in the hear of Turku, in the main commercial area just west of the Cathedral Bridge. There’s a good range of accommodations, and excellent proximity to the best places to run  in Turku.

There are two iconic running events in Turku.

Paavo Nurmi Marathon. August. Named after the Finnish running legend and held since 1992. Also a half and a 5k.
Challenge Turku. July. A triathlon with numerous distance options. Fun family event!