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Turku (in Swedish: Åbo) is located in the southwest of Finland and is the third biggest city in the country after Helsinki and Tampere with about 300,000 people living in the total urban area. Until early in the 19th century Turku was Finlands capital, until that switched to Helsinki. Just like other places in the south of Finland the place is officialy bi-lingual with 95% of the people speaking Finnish, and a large minority speaking Swedish.
Turku houses the oldest cathedral in Finland. The earliest parts of the cathedral date back to the 13th Century.
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A short walk from the city centre, along the river Aura towards the sea, you will find the castle. The castle nowaday functions as a historical museum, and can be visited.
Turku has a moderate continental climate with generally warm summers and cold winters. During summer, temperatures average around 20 °C during the day. Sometimes, days of more than 30 °C are possible. Winters are cold with temperatures between -5 °C and -10 °C on average but nights can drop as low as -30 °C here as well. Precipitation in winter is mostly snow and this area is wetter than much of Finland, though Turku is not particularly wet though and days of sunny conditions with stable weather can last for weeks, especially during winter.
Turku has a small airport just outside the city. Blue1 has flights to Helsinki Airport, and also to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport. The number 1 bus, takes you from the city centre to the airport in about 20 minutes.
You can reach Turku by car from Helsinki when following the number 1 motorway. The number 8 motorway goes north to Pori and Vaasa. The number 9 and 10 motorways make their way to the northeast of Turku towards Tampere (number 9) and Hameenlinna (number 10).
|Hostel Turku||Linnankatu 39||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Harriet||Käsityöläiskatu 11||Hotel||-|
|Villa Rauhala||Rauhalantie 67||Guesthouse||-|
|Hotel Helmi||Tuureporinkatu 11||Hotel||-|
|Laivahostel Borea||Linnankatu 72||HOSTEL||-|
|Cosmo Central Guesthouse-Uudenmaankatu||Uudenmaankatu 4||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Cosmo Central Apartments- Eerikinkatu||Eerikinkatu 5A1||APARTMENT||-|
Internet is usually always broadband and fast. Most libraries have a free internet connection, so look for a sign "kirjasto" for a library. Internet cafes are not hugely popular, as most Finns have internet at home. Wifi hotspots are also increasingly common. 4G networks cover the capital region and major cities. You'll find wifi in many restaurants, cafes and in stations and on public transport.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The general emergency number is 112. Finland's country code is +358. The prefix for international calls (from local land lines) is 00, as in the rest of EU.
As you'd expect from Nokia's home country, mobile phones are ubiquitous in Finland. GSM and WCDMA (3G) networks blanket all of the country, although it's still possible to find wilderness areas with poor signal, typically in Lapland and the outer archipelago. The largest operators are Sonera and Elisa, a Vodafone partner, but travellers who want a local number may wish to opt for DNA's Prepaid package, which can cost as little as €6. Ask at any convenience store for a list of prices and special offers.
Public telephones are close to extinction in Finland, although a few can still be found at airports, major train/bus stations and the like. It's best to bring along a phone or buy one. A simple GSM model can cost less than €40.
Post is fast and reliable in Finland. You can receive mail simply by marking it Poste Restante, and the postal code of the town (check with the particular post office). First class stamps can be bought from machines or inside the office, and the fare is the same anywhere in the world up to 20 grams, so your postcards will be fine. The current rate for a stamp is €0.75. Heavier letters and postcards have different prices though, you can check them online at the Posti Website. There is also a 'track and trace' system available. Stamps are widely available and sold with the postcards, in kiosks, stationary shops and souvinier shops. Parcels abroad are expensive. You can buy all the packing from the post office, including boxes, tapes etc. For sending parcels internationally, you can also check companies like FedEx, TNT, UPS or DHL.
as well as Peter (2%)
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