Things to do in Turin

Things to do in  Turin

Chocolate, anyone?

Grand, stately, regal: Turin may be Italy’s most underrated—and beautiful—major city. The capital of the northerly Piedmont region often is overlooked in favor of nearby Milan, but the lack of crowds only adds to its appeal. With the Alps as a dramatic backdrop, Turin attracts visitors to its sweeping piazzas and covered arcades, its landmark Egyptian Museum, and monuments like the Royal Palace and Mole Antonelliana. And, one of the best things to do in Turin is grab an aperitivo—here, vermouth is the drink of choice.

Top 15 attractions in Turin

Holy Shroud of Turin (Sacra Sindone)

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In Turin’s Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista, the faithful and curious from across the globe gather to view the Holy Shroud of Turin (Sacra Sindone), one of most famous and controversial religious relics in Italy. This linen cloth is said to have been laid over Jesus’ body after his crucifixion, though its authenticity remains debated.More

Egyptian Museum (Museo Egizio)

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With over 26,000 ancient Egyptian artifacts gathered between the 18th and 20th century, Turin's Egyptian Museum (Museo Egizio) houses one of the largest collections of Egyptian antiquities in the world. The galleries were extensively enlarged, renovated, and reorganized, reopening in 2015, and the result is both spectacular and engaging.More

Royal Palace of Turin (Palazzo Reale di Torino)

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Elegant Turin, which was the seat of the Duchy of Savoy before briefly becoming the first capital of unified Italy, is home to a number of sumptuous historic palaces and castles. The Royal Palace of Turin (Palazzo Reale di Torino) is among the most opulent, and today it houses the Royal Museums, with an extensive art collection, armory, and gardens.More

Mole Antonelliana

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Turin’s most recognizable landmark—and home to the National Museum of Cinema—the Mole Antonelliana dates to 1889. This soaring tower, with its pyramidal dome and 551-foot (168-meter) spire rises above the Turin skyline, and its viewing platform offers top-notch city vistas.More

Piazza San Carlo

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Of Turin’s many baroque squares, Piazza San Carlo is a standout. Lined with porticoed palaces housing historic cafés, and the twin churches of Santa Cristina and San Carlo Borromeo, this square on Via Roma between Piazza Castello and Piazza Carlo Felice is one of the liveliest in the city.More

Piazza Castello

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To stroll through Turin’s Piazza Castello is to walk through the city’s history, as this vast square is home to sumptuous buildings like the Savoy Royal Palace and Palazzo Madama, the first seat of the Italian parliament. Lined with elegant porticoes, shops, and cafés, the square is a highlight of this vibrant city.More

Valentine Park (Parco del Valentino)

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Turin’s oldest public park, theValentine Park (Parco del Valentino) is also one of the city’s prettiest green spaces. Measuring nearly 125 acres (50.5 hectares), the landmark made its debut in 1852 and hugs the River Po. In addition to prime picnicking turf, the park also contains attractions ranging from a replica medieval village to the grand Castello del Valentino.More

National Cinema Museum (Museo Nazionale del Cinema)

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The soaring square dome and spire of the Mole Antonelliana is Turin’s most recognizable landmark and home to the National Cinema Museum, where the vast collection of silver-screen memorabilia draws film buffs from around the world. Take the glass elevator to the top of the dome for sweeping views across the city.More

Carignano Palace (Palazzo Carignano)

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Dominating Turin’s majestic Piazza Carignano, the ornate brick Palazzo Carignano is one of the city’s most important baroque palaces, and its main facade is Italy’s only example of the use of the undulating concave–convex–concave shape created by architect Francesco Borromini for a civic, rather than religious, building.More

Via Po

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Via Po is one of the most important and stately thoroughfares in the center of Turin, running in a wide, straight line from Piazza Castello to Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Its soaring pedestrian porticoes along both sides adorn some of the city’s most elegant boutiques, prestigious book shops, and historic cafés.More

National Museum of the Automobile (Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile)

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Turin is headquarters to Fiat and Alfa Romeo, so it's only fitting that the city is home to the National Museum of the Automobile (Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile), as well. With one of the largest collections of cars on display in Europe, this museum is a mecca for antique car enthusiasts as well as those interested in prototypes for cars of the future.More

QC Termetorino

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Turin is known as a fast-paced hub of industrial and financial business. Slow down and unwind within this bustling metropolis at QC Termetorino, an indulgent spa where you’ll find thermal and steam baths, relaxation rooms, massages, and other spa treatments.More

Piazza Statuto

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Ringed by neoclassical buildings, flanked by busy roads, and crowned with a statue that commemorates the workers who built the trans-Alpine Fréjus Rail Tunnel, the Piazza Statuto is one of Turin’s most prominent public squares. Completed in 1865, it was built while Turin was the newly formed Kingdom of Italy’s first capital city.More

Palace of Venaria (Reggia di Venaria Reale)

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Though it may not have the star power of Versailles, this baroque palace just north of Turin is one of the largest royal residences in the world. Built as a lavish hunting lodge, the building and its sweeping grounds have been completely restored and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular excursion from Turin.More

Civic Museum of Ancient Art (Museo Civico di Arte Antica)

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Among the most striking buildings on Turin’s Piazza Castello, Palazzo Madama is half fortified medieval castle and half sumptuous baroque palace. The building now houses the city’s Civic Museum of Ancient Art (Museo Civico di Arte Antica), with a sprawling collection spanning from the Roman era to the 18th century.More

Top activities in Turin

Turin: Egyptian Museum 2-hour monolingual guided experience in small group
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Cesarine: Small group Pasta and Tiramisu class in Turin
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Turin Egyptian Museum Entry Ticket Including Special Exhibits
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Turin Gourmet Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience
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Cesarine: Pasta & Tiramisu Class at Local's Home in Turin
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Magic Turin Evening Tour
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Magic Turin Evening Tour

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Turin Sweet & Chocolate Tour - Do Eat Better Experience
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Small-group Street food tour in Turin
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All about Turin

When to visit

Fall is when Turin’s handsome Savoy architecture really comes into its own against the colorful seasonal display and when the hallowed halls of its many museums beckon. It’s also when the Piedmont region’s famed white truffles are in season and when enjoying its blockbuster red wines on the side—including Barolo and Barbaresco—is particularly inviting. Alternatively, visit in spring to linger in Turin’s gardens and enjoy an alfresco meal or two.

Getting around

Turin’s international airport, Turin-Caselle Airport, makes the city easy to reach on a short-haul flight from a range of other European destinations. The city’s major train station, Turin Porta Nuova, is one of Italy’s busiest passenger stations and links Turin with other Italian destinations. To travel within Turin, take its metro line, use its bus and tram options, hop in a cab, or set off by bike or on foot.

Traveler tips

The Piedmont region may be known for its wine, but don't skip aperitivo hour in Turin. Vermouth has been associated with Turin for centuries, and it's worth indulging in a spritz or two before dinner. Note that some aperitivi come with such generous snacks on the side that they can even serve as a cost-effective dinner alternative, depending on your appetite.

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A local’s pocket guide to Turin

Serena Viscovo

Born in Turin, Serena loves getting around by bike in this city where everything from markets and museums to cafés and shops is within easy reach.

The first thing you should do in Turin is...

walk through the city center to discover the beautiful architecture and royal buildings of Italy’s very first capital city, birthplace of the Savoy Dynasty.

A perfect Saturday in Turin...

involves a walk along the river (through Valentino or Michelotti Park) and an exhibition (check out Camera), then lunch, a visit to an independent bookshop, and an aperitivo in San Salvario or Vanchiglia.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

the Egyptian Museum. The display has been recently renewed and the visit is a truly nice journey across ancient Egypt.

To discover the "real" Turin...

go to Porta Palazzo and discover Turinese diversity at one of Europe’s biggest open markets. Get great deals on all sorts of groceries or treat yourself to local delicacies in the stylish farmers’ area.

For the best view of the city...

head to Superga on the funicular tramway, still operating with trains from 1934. If Superga seems too far away, climb Capuchins Hill (Monte dei Cappuccini) instead.

One thing people get wrong...

is thinking about Turin as a post-industrial, boring, and gray place. It only takes a few hours in the city to change their mind.

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People Also Ask

What is Turin best known for?

Piercing the sky like a giant needle, Turin’s Mole Antonelliana is the symbol of Torino. Thousands of the faithful and curious flock to the city’s cathedral each year to stand in wonder in front of the Holy Shroud of Turin—one of the most famous religious relics in the world.

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How many days should I spend in Turin?

Turin is home to a clutch of excellent museums. You’ll need at least two days in the city to take in the sights in the elegant center and admire the collections in the Egyptian Museum, National Automobile Museum, National Cinema Museum, and the Royal Palace.

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What are three must-see sites in Turin?

Once the seat of the royal Savoy family, Turin is rich in elegant squares lined with sumptuous baroque palaces. In addition to the Mole Antonelliana, be sure to visit Piazza Castello (home to the Royal Palace, Chapel of the Holy Shroud, and Madama Palace) and Piazza San Carlo.

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How do I spend a day in Turin?

Book your tickets to the Mole Antonelliana, Holy Shroud of Turin, and Egyptian Museum (or other museums) in advance to make the most of your time. When you’ve finished taking in these headliners, explore the elegant city squares on foot, stopping for a bicerìn (chocolate-laced coffee) at a historic cafe.

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Is Turin worth visiting?

Yes. Turin is one of the most elegant historic cities in northern Italy. Often called Little Paris for its wide boulevards, storied palaces, and lively coffee houses, this city also is home to exceptional museums and excellent cuisine (especially chocolate, a local specialty).

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Is Milan or Turin better?

Milan and Turin offer different experiences, so which is better depends on what you seek. Turin is a little-known treasure of art and history with relatively few tourists and excellent cuisine. Milan is one of Italy’s most famous cities (and a major transportation hub) known for fashion and design.

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