Turin, a captivating city nestled in the northern part of Italy, where history, culture, and culinary delights seamlessly merge to create a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers. Known as the capital of the Piedmont region, Turin boasts a rich heritage, stunning architecture, and a vibrant atmosphere that appeals to both history enthusiasts and modern explorers. Join me as we embark on a journey through this charming city, discovering its top attractions, gaining insightful tips, and even crafting an exciting itinerary. Let’s go to discover what to see in Turin for an unforgettable vacation.
It doesn’t matter how much time you will stay. You have the chance to visit some of the best attractions you can imagine. Of course, one of them, the Egyptian Museum requires some hours, but anyway you can have a taste of all the 6 main places. Oh, don’t forget to taste also chocolate. Why? Read my guide: Is Turin famous for chocolate? Discover the best one.
What to see in Turin: top attractions
Here I list the unmissable attractions, but I have something more…
1. The Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale): A grand testament to Turin’s royal history, the Royal Palace is an opulent residence that once housed the Savoy family. The lavish interiors, adorned with intricate details and impressive artworks, provide a glimpse into the city’s aristocratic past.
2. Mole Antonelliana: An iconic symbol of Turin, the Mole Antonelliana is a towering structure that houses the National Cinema Museum. The panoramic views from its observation deck are simply breathtaking, offering a unique perspective of the city’s skyline.
3. Egyptian Museum (Museo Egizio): Boasting one of the most extensive collections of Egyptian artifacts outside of Cairo, this museum is a treasure trove for history buffs. From mummies to ancient hieroglyphics, the exhibits offer a captivating journey back in time.
4. Piazza Castello: The heart of Turin, Piazza Castello is surrounded by historic buildings and landmarks. Take a leisurely stroll in the square, visit the Royal Library, and soak in the city’s vibrant atmosphere.
5. Turin Cathedral and the Shroud of Turin: A site of both historical and religious significance, Turin Cathedral houses the Shroud of Turin. While the shroud is rarely displayed, the cathedral itself is a stunning example of Renaissance architecture.
6. Valentino Park (Parco del Valentino): Escape the urban hustle and bustle at this expansive park along the Po River. Perfect for a leisurely picnic, a boat ride on the river, or a visit to the Castello del Valentino within the park grounds.
What to see in Turin: hidden gems
While Turin’s well-known attractions are a must-see, the city also hides a treasure trove of lesser-known gems that offer a more intimate and off-the-beaten-path experience. For the curious traveler seeking to delve deeper into Turin’s soul, these hidden corners are waiting to be explored. If you want to know what to see in Turin, you can’t miss these amazing locations.
History and traditions
1. Borgo Medievale (Medieval Village): Tucked away within Valentino Park is Borgo Medievale, a charming replica of a medieval village. This architectural gem is a delightful escape from the urban hustle. With its cobbled streets, stone buildings, and medieval ambiance, it’s a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll and a step back in time.
2. Turin’s Secret Gardens: Beyond the bustling streets, Turin boasts a collection of serene hidden gardens. Orto Botanico, the city’s botanical garden, is a tranquil oasis with a diverse array of plant species. Giardino Roccioso, a rock garden nestled near the Mole Antonelliana, offers a peaceful retreat for nature lovers.
3. Porta Palazzo Market: While not entirely a secret, Porta Palazzo Market is often overshadowed by more famous attractions. This sprawling market is one of Europe’s largest open-air markets and is a sensory delight. From vibrant produce to local cheeses and artisanal crafts, the market offers an authentic glimpse into Turin’s daily life.
From church to car
4. Chiesa della Gran Madre di Dio: Standing on the banks of the River Po, this neoclassical church offers stunning views of the city and the river. Its location and architecture make it a hidden gem for both its spiritual significance and the picturesque panorama it provides.
5. Palazzo Madama Courtyard: While the Palazzo Madama itself is a well-known historic building, its interior courtyard often remains undiscovered. The courtyard’s elegant architecture, adorned with sculptures and a beautiful central staircase, creates a peaceful and romantic ambiance.
6. Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile Gardens: Adjacent to the National Automobile Museum, these gardens are a tranquil space to unwind. Sculptures, fountains, and greenery make it a hidden haven where you can relax after exploring the museum’s extensive collection of vintage cars.
7. Colle della Maddalena: For panoramic vistas of Turin, venture to Colle della Maddalena. It’s a bit of a local secret, offering breathtaking views of the city, especially during sunset. Pack a picnic and make your way up for a memorable evening.
8. Eataly Lingotto: Eataly might not be entirely off the radar, but the Lingotto location offers a unique experience. Housed in a converted Fiat factory, this massive food emporium combines gourmet shopping, dining, and cultural events under one roof.
What to see in Turin: insider tips for your visit
A few elements to know.
- Public transportation: Turin has an excellent public transportation system including buses and trams. Consider purchasing a Torino Card for unlimited travel and discounts on attractions.
- Culinary delights: Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in Turin’s renowned cuisine. Enjoy a cup of rich and creamy hot chocolate or savor a plate of traditional agnolotti pasta at local eateries.
- Language: While Italian is the official language, many locals in Turin also speak English, making communication relatively easy for tourists.
- Shop for souvenirs: Turin is known for its chocolate and confectionery. Treat yourself and your loved ones to delectable chocolates and pastries from local shops.
- Respect local customs: Italians often take a midday break known as “siesta.” Plan your itinerary accordingly, as some shops and attractions might close during this time.
3 days itinerary idea
I prepared an idea for a tour of the city, just to inspire you. Make it as you prefer.
First day: Historical Highlights
- Morning: Explore Piazza Castello and the Royal Palace.
- Afternoon: Visit the Egyptian Museum and enjoy lunch at a traditional trattoria.
- Evening: Take a leisurely stroll along the Po River and savor an authentic Italian dinner.
Second day: Cultural Immersion
- Morning: Discover the Mole Antonelliana and its cinema museum.
- Afternoon: Indulge in a chocolate tasting session and explore the Quadrilatero Romano, the city’s historic district.
- Evening: Attend a live music performance or theater show.
Third day: Art and Relaxation
- Morning: Visit the Turin Cathedral and view the Shroud of Turin (check for availability).
- Afternoon: Spend a relaxing afternoon at Valentino Park, rent a rowboat, and have a picnic.
- Evening: Enjoy a fine dining experience at a local restaurant, savoring Piedmontese specialties.
What to see in Turin: conclusions
Turin beckons with its rich history, captivating museums, and delightful cuisine. As you immerse yourself in its cultural tapestry, the city’s charm is sure to leave an indelible mark on your heart. Whether you’re a history aficionado, a culinary enthusiast, or simply seeking an enchanting getaway, Turin promises an unforgettable adventure. So pack your bags, embrace the allure of Turin, and let its stories unfold before your eyes.