I always love reading about the new European Culture Capitals every year, because typically those cities get lots of cash to put on a good show and upgrade their tourism infrastructure. Â This year is no different, with two great nominees in the line up. Â Today I’d like to highlight Turku, Finland’s former capital city. Â I’ve mentioned it before as a great daytrip from Helsinki, and by the looks of it, Turku is planning on a wizz bang party for most of 2011.
River Aura inTurku by Joni-Pekka Luomala
Turku is one of the larger cities in Finland, so you’ll find a lot of great restaurants and bars/pubs. Â There’s a lot of old world architecture as well – a great balance between an urban area and a quiet town.
What’s on for the culture capital? Â Well, here are some things that caught my eye:
- A special event for Easter at the Museum of Agriculture. Â Something about Easter eggs perhaps?
- Live jazz nights all spring and summer
- A “modern electronic” music festival – Turku has a thriving club scene so I suspect this will attract some good European talent
- The Tall Ships regatta, which I’ve seen in Amsterdam and loved, will be in Turku in August
- “Pitch Black” gallery nights, where you’ll be led around a guided tour of an art gallery…in the dark.
- Comics Rule: over the summer, some of the road signage will be turned into comics. Â (It looks like they might be in Finnish, or Swedish – the city is bilingual – so they might be more funny if you ask a local for theÂ explanation.)
So looks like Turku should be on your travel itinerary for 2011.