Best winter activities in Turku

What’s fun about winter in Turku? Read below for some cool ideas!

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An enchanting city walk

At wintertime, the snow-covered River Aura is a magical sight, both during a clear, frosty day as well as at night. Take a stroll and warm up in the cafes and restaurants that you pass by. Or pick up a cup of hot chocolate and cinnamon bun - a classic Finnish treat!

Another walk you must try out is on Ruissalo, through the beautiful nature of Turku’s island national park, covered in a snowy blanket. Stop into Ruissalo’s wonderful winter cafes in between enjoying the amazing scenery.

Turku saunas and sites for winter swimming

Winter swimming is a fantastic example of Finnish madness. It’s a perfect representation of the famous resilience that flows through our Nordic veins. We fear not plunging into an icy hole, nor the frozen and pitch-black water below – quite the opposite, Finns actually enjoy it and look forward to the experience!

From the freezing water, we dash to another crazy pastime - sweating in a small room, more commonly known as a sauna. And here’s the method to our madness! Baking steam-baths in between icy dips is the key to the whole experience.

Okay, so why is winter swimming so wonderful?

The health benefits of winter swimming are surprisingly many. Some of these are well-researched and factually based, whilst others are simply folklore or the experiences of individuals.

• Wellbeing - Winter swimming actually increases the production of happiness hormones such as dopamine and endorphin. (Maybe this is the reason why Finland is such a happy nation?)

• Speeds up the metabolism - Activates brown fat and the processing of waste products.

• Refreshing - Like throwing ice cold water on your face, but a full body version.

• Helps with pain - Cold treatment relieves pain and relaxes muscles.

• ZZZZZZ - The quality of sleep improves.

Winter swimming locations in the Turku region:

Villa Järvelä 
Järveläntie 133, Lieto

Masku Jääkarhut Assoc.
Maskuntie 248, Masku

Saaronniemi Saukot Assoc.
Tammirannantie 39, Ruissalo

Turun Avantouimarit Assoc.
Ispoinen Beach (also known as Uittamo beach)
Rykmentintie 51, Turku

Turun Posti & Lennätinurheilijat Assoc.
Saarontie 59, Turku

Ski rentals

If you’ve got some skiing on your mind then Impivaara is close at hand. Impivaara, more commonly known as Imppari, is located just four kilometres from the centre of the city. Best of all, from Imppari you can also rent skis and ski boots for just a couple of hours. You can find the ski rental tucked in behind the Impivaara Football Hall at Eskonkatu 1.

Let’s go ice skating

There are a couple of great outdoor skating spots near the centre of Turku. Either fly around the Kupittaa skating ring or twirl on the ice at the Parkki ice rink. It’s possible to rent skates from both Kupittaa and Parkki. Lace up the skates and try out some pirouettes and jumps as you dance around the ice.

Rent snowshoes

Did you know that the city of Turku rents sports equipment? In addition to skis and skates, you can rent snowshoes and go on an adventure through the snow drifts. Snowshoeing is definitely a winter activity worth trying.

Inviting slopes

In Hirvensalo, you will find the classic Hirvensalo winter ski resort, which has been operating since 1964. Hirvensalo offers several slopes, a ski rental and the possibility for private lessons. The ski resort also has a toboggan run and a children’s hill, offering winter fun for the whole family.

Text by Jemina Sormunen and Susanna Pietilä
Images provided by Visit Turku, Villa Järvelä, Turun Avantouimarit, Mika Okko and Riikka Vesander

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