Guide / Turku
Four distinctive seasons and unique destinations in ”the Paris of Finland”
The restauranteur and hotel manager shares her living habits of mixing nature and urban life in Finland’s oldest city
30 Sep 2022

Who are you?

— I’m a 35-year-old entrepreneur who used to live in Turku but is now based in the city of Loimaa, a one-hour ride northeast of town. I met my husband Ville via a TV program called Married at First Sight, so I am probably a little bit of a risk taker. For the past five years, I’ve been running my restaurant called Lanko — Finnish for ’brother-in-law’ — in central Loimaa. On top of that, in June this year, I started managing Hotelli Vihannonkulma where we opened a cafe within the hotel lobby.

For someone who hasn’t been to Turku, how’d you describe it?

— Turku is described as ’the Paris of Finland’. It is a beautiful river and seafront city with lots of culture and events to experience.

My favourite thing that makes me proud of Turku: 

— It’s very charming throughout all four seasons. During winter, Turku is Finland’s Christmas city and it has the tradition to state Christmas peace for the whole country. In spring, the city flourishes from the cherry trees. In summer, the riverboat bars, festivals and tourists come together to celebrate nightless nights. And in the autumn, the city dresses the raincoat and offers various nice sightseeing and places to visit indoors.

My favourite cultural spot:

— The old castle is the most fabulous cultural spot in the city. Also, Aboa Vetus Ars Nova is an interesting place to get to know its history.

My favourite place for dining out:

— There are so many great restaurants in Turku, but my favourite is called Blanko. My favourite dish is lamb pasta, it is fantastic!

My favourite place for a creative or business meeting:

— The Logomo venue transforms into many occasions and is great to organise bigger meetings, concerts, and gala events. In case you want to have more creative facilities for your event, a seaside place called Herrankukkaro is good for it and it is only a short way into the Turku archipelago.

My favourite breakfast place:

— The best breakfast is with Sokos Hotel Seurahuone. If you want anything else than hotel breakfast, go and try out the Mbakery within Turku Kauppahalli.

My favourite excursion or city escape:

— Escape from the city for me is to visit the larger city. As I am living in the suburban countryside, I occasionally miss the city. So if you are having a city break in Turku, it might be a good idea to visit the countryside here in Loimaa. It is 40 minutes from Turku by direct train, where you can see, for instance, the artworks of Alpo Jaakola, our agricultural museum called Sarka and the beautiful, old city surrounding it. The city of Naantali is also a very popular place to visit as it is a seaside town. The Moomins have their place there too which is very popular for families with kids. In Turku, there is a park called Kupittaanpuisto, which offers minigolf, an outdoor swimming centre, or just having a picnic.

My favourite local entrepreneur or creative I want to promote:

— A destination called Herrankukkaro in Rymättylä. It is a unique place, which the founder Pentti-Oskari Kangas created. He is a very innovative and also very chill-out person with an amazing career, accomplishments and life’s work for the hospitality business in Finland.

My favourite hotel for a staycation:

Hotel Kakola is an interesting private owned boutique hotel in the central city. It is built inside the old prison offering 151 rooms. If you’re looking for a special occasion, there is an option to sleep within high-security cells. The owner has invested a lot to recreate the prison to become a hotel, including restaurants and event spaces.

Hotel Kakola

My favourite route for a run or walk:

— The banks of Aura river offer amazing sceneries for walks all year round.

My favourite place for fashion:


My favourite space for great design: 

— A store called PUF, nearby the central library, offers rising brands and Finnish design for eyes to enjoy.


My favourite example of tech innovation in Turku: 

— There is a state-of-the-art medical biotech school in Turku, which provides world-leading research and development for the rising biotech industry globally.

My favourite local media:

— Look up the pages.

My favourite thing at home: 

— At home, I enjoy the peaceful environment, time with family and my hobbies like cross fit, baking, and catching up with friends.