Turin || creative commons photo by Luca Galli

Turin || creative commons photo by Luca Galli

Turin is a sizeable city in northern Italy, but it doesn’t often feature on a vistor’s itinerary. When Turin hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics it was certainly in the spotlight, and it’s home to a famous relic of the Catholic church that draws many people, but it still flies a bit under the radar. That’s a shame, as it’s a beautiful city, there are usually fewer tourists, and the regional culinary scene is phenomenal.

How to Get to Turin

There are two airports serving Turin. The larger one, Turin-Caselle Airport (TRN) has connections with many major international carriers, along with a few European discount airlines. The smaller, Cuneo-Levaldigi Airport (CUF), is where most budget airlines have their Piedmont home base. It’s also further from Turin’s historic center.

If you’re coming to Turin from within Italy, it’s well-served by Italian high-speed train network. The trip from Milan to Turin takes about an hour on the high-speed line.

What to Do & See in Turin

Perhaps Turin’s most famous attraction is the relic that bears its name – the Shroud of Turin. The real thing is kept in a sealed reliquary in the Turin Cathedral and is only put on display every few years at special occasions, but there’s a very good museum dedicated to the shroud that has an exact copy you can look at year-round.

Here’s an incomplete list of some of Turin’s most popular attractions:

  • Museum of the Shroud
  • Turin Cathedral
  • National Cinema Museum
  • Mole Antonelliana
  • Automobile Museum
  • Palazzo Reale
  • Egyptian Museum
  • Turin Chocolate Festival

Guided Tours in Turin

Where to Stay in Turin

Central Turin is quite compact and walkable, so you can choose accommodation anywhere in the center and be relatively close to nearly everything you want to see. Like many other historic cities in Italy, Turin has a larger and more modern city surrounding the old center – that’s the part you want to avoid. If you don’t feel like walking everywhere in the city center, there’s a good tram network that you can take advantage of to get around.

Here are a few things to keep in mind about Turin accommodation:

  • Star ratings for hotels in Italy don’t correspond to the ones you may be familiar with. Historic buildings that have been converted into hotels naturally have smaller rooms, and this means they have fewer stars – even if they’re top quality and have a good location. Don’t be afraid to check out two- and three-star hotels if the location looks good.
  • There are hostels in Turin as well as hotels, and some have private rooms, which is another great way to save money on lodging.
  • For those staying longer than a few days or traveling with a group, you might want to consider an apartment rental instead of a hotel room. These can be an especially good idea if you’re keen on having your own kitchen – either to experiment with Italian cooking or to save money by making some of your own meals.

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