If you are visiting in winter, bundle up for the playground. The kids will want to play for hours, but it will be cold.
Good to know
There are lots of stairs in the castle and it is enormous, so prepare the kids to walk a lot. You can bribe them to keep going with the playroom at the end of the tour.
In the summer, visit the castle in the morning to avoid lines and crowds. Having the castle virtually to yourself is an incredible experience. In winter there are hardly any visitors.
Recommended time of the year
The castle and playground are open all year. However, summer is certainly more pleasant to be outside. Most of the castle experience is indoors so you will be comfortable. The castle has a cloakroom to drop-off large coats if needed.
Children under four are free at the museum.
About This Day
Discover the Turku Castle and the Seikkailupuisto in this half-day itinerary. The castle or “Turun Linna”, as the locals call it, is a great way to entertain the kids. It is over 700 years-old with many winding halls and rooms to explore. Boredom is nowhere to be found. When finished at the Turku Castle, head over to the Seikkailupuisto or “Seikkis”, also known as a child’s dream playground. This wonderland offers the most fun in Finland for kids. The sheer number of options the kids have to explore and play is astounding. It even has a mini-Turku for kids to drive through and learn traffic rules and etiquette. This fun-filled itinerary in Turku with kids won’t disappoint.
Turun Linna (Turku Castle) is a 700-year-old fortress built to protect Finland. The history of Turku Castle begins around 1280. Throughout the centuries the fortification gradually changed into a grand greystone palace and was inhabited through the 1800s. The castle is an excellent venue to visit in Finland for kids; in fact, Turku Castle is the most spectacular, open castle we've visited. It has more than 5 miles (8 km) of winding halls, rooms, staircases and more. Be prepared to walk a lot. The castle experience takes you through various periods in history and the exhibitions are interactive. There is plenty for children to do in the exhibitions, but the favorite is the children's room. It has coloring pages, costumes to play dress-up, puppetry, etc. The outfits are authentic with chain mail and armor. Help your kids with these as they are heavy.
DIRECTIONS From the center of town, hop on the Line 1 bus toward the harbor. The cost of the bus fare is $3 for adults and children under 12 are free. There is a stop right outside the castle.
TIP Don't let the kids get too far ahead of you in the castle as it is large and finding them again could take a while. There are plenty of docents around, but still try and avoid having to search the castle for lost nuggets.
The Seikkailupuisto or "Seikkis" park is a masterpiece. It’s a must-see in Turku with kids. Children will find numerous things to play on, most with moving parts. There is a rocking Jeep, a zip line, a shaking pirate ship, a labyrinth and drawbridge, as well as typical playground equipment. If that isn't enough to keep the kids busy, there is also a traffic park where kids can learn the rules of the road with a miniature version of Turku. There are real traffic lights, crosswalks and more. The Seikkis also has a zoo-like park area with animals (only open in the summer). In the summer, the park has a pavilion where theatrical shows are put on and kids can create craft projects with a guide. This park is second-to-none in Finland and your kids will love it.
DIRECTIONS From the castle, take line 1 back to the city center. Then, hop on line 15 or 42 to the park. You'll see it from the window, the park is huge.
TIP Bathrooms are located on the park grounds, but it may be a good walk to get to one depending where you are in the park.