2011 European capitols of culture: Turku & Tallinn

So I’m changing my travel plan significantly in order to make sure I see and hear as much as possible in the 2011 European capitols of culture: Turku & Tallinn.

Turku was actually recommended by a few Finns the other day who my wife had in one of her tour groups.

Days 1-3 = Helsinki, we fly into Helsinki so we ought to see it. I’m told that while it’s a modern city that lacks some of the old-Europe feel travelers look for it’s also quite nice and not too touristy.

Days 3-10 = Turku, the big addition based on a recommendation and it just makes sense to see both capitols of culture when they are so close together.

Days 10-15 = Up in the air for now but I am leaning toward Tartu, one of the few leftovers (along with Tallinn and Helsinki of course) from my first travel plan. Estonia’s second biggest city is supposed to be a university town with a pretty old town and a laid back cafe culture.

My concern is losing a day traveling from Turku to Helsinki, Helsinki to Tallinn, and then Tallinn to Tartu. As much as I think I’ll enjoy Tartu, it might make more sense to do something in Finland. Rauma is near Turku, not too far from Helsinki, and recently added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List on its 550th anniversary. Tampere would make a very nice triangle with Turku ant Helsinki, has some well-known museums. My wife and I are only good for a couple of museums a week though. Rajaportin sauna sounds good though…

Days 15-22 = Tallinn, the co-capitol of culture and the home of the University of Tallinn where my conference is being held. I’ll also be hitting the Brigitta Festival and the Song of Freedom concert.

Days 22-24 = Helsinki, time to see a few more things before the flight back home.

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  1. Matthew says:

    The trip from Helsinki to Turku doesn’t take long, especially if you’re taking one of the high speed VR trains.

    Why not fly directly into Turku first? Then go to Helsinki, ferry to Tallinn, then to Tartu?

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