Turin, a city in the northern part of Italy is often overlooked but I was surprised to find out that there are so many amazing things to do in Turin.
Where is Turin?
Turin (Torina in Italian) is located ~1 hour from Milan in the northern part of Italy. It is the business and cultural hub of Italy and is one of the 3 cities that make up the Industrial Triangle. But don’t let the talk of business and industry fool you into thinking that Turin is a great Italian city. Turin is part of the Piedmonte region.
The city is located on the western bank of the Po River and at the foot of the Susa Valley. Turin is surrounded by mountains and there are several national parks in the region, which is perfect if you are looking for things to do outdoors in Turin.
It is a foodies dream, an adventurers haven and the perfect place to stroll around and enjoy Italian culture, coffee, and chocolate. So put on your best walking shoes and let me take you through the best things to do in Turin.
The Top 10 Things To Do In Turin
Stupinigi Hunting Residence
Stupinigi is so much more than just a hunting residence, it is much more like a summer palace to be honest. It may not match the Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace Turin) in grandeur but the tour through the residence and surrounding park are worth a few hours of your time. You can catch a city sightseeing bus to the residence but if you love the outdoors and being active then I would recommend renting a bike and cycling there. It is a great way to spend the day.
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Palazzo Reale (The Royal Palace Turin)
If you love visiting palaces then don’t miss out on this one. The Palazzo Reale was once the seat of power and home to the Savoy family. The palace was originally built during the 16th Century and was renovated in the 17th century. The palace is known for its grandeur and stately design. It is one of the most beautiful palaces I have visited and that is saying a lot considering how many I have seen.
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The palace was turned into a museum in 1946 and is not considered a cultural center that houses some of the most beautiful and important artworks of the region. Enjoy a tour of the palace to learn more about history.
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The Palazzo Madama once housed the first senate of the Italian Kingdom and is now the Turin Museum of Ancient Art. But that isn’t the reason I have added it to my things to do in Turin list. At the top of the building, there is a covered viewing deck that has some of the best inner-city views. I would recommend taking a walk up to the top for the views.
Turin’s Maseo Egizio (The Egyptian Museum)
If you like museums you should definitely visit this one. The Egyptian museum is one of the most popular things to do in Turin, and there is a reason why. The museum houses some important Egyptian artifacts including the Tomb of Kha dating back to 3500BC. The museum was originally opened in 1824. The exhibitions vary and they even offer 3D rendering of life and cultural practices of the ancient Egyptians. Take a guided tour and get the most out of the experience.
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Looking for somewhere to sit, enjoy a cup of coffee and some chocolate and watch people go about their day? Then visit the Piazza Castello. This is probably one of the most relaxing things to do in Turin. The Piazza is named after the nearby castles. There are a variety of coffee shops, restaurants, and chocolate shops that will keep you busy for hours. Take a tour and taste the best chocolate in Turin.
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Let’s Not Forget Gelato Tasting!
What is any trip to Italy without some great Gelato? I indulged at Gelati Pepino, a gelateria that’s been in business since 1884 where you can walk in and request a gelato tasting – just tell them how many courses you would like.
Gelato Pepino is the gelateria that invented the Pinguino (Penguin in English), the world’s first chocolate-covered gelato on a stick. While you’re there make sure to try a liquid lemon sorbet, the most refreshing thing you will ever have on a hot summer day.
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Visit A Historic Cafe
While we’re on food and indulgence, make sure to visit one of the many historic cafes in Turin. Cafe Bicerin is the oldest having opened in 1736. While you’re at it make sure to pair your Italian coffee with some hand made chocolate.
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The Parco del Valentino
This is probably Turin’s most popular urban park and it has countless things to do. You can take a stroll through the relaxing pathways where you will cross paths with small burbling streams. Enjoy views of the banks of the Po River where on a perfect day you will see people rowing on the river. Or enjoy a cycle through the park on the designated bike paths. Try a cycling tour through the city and the Parco del Valentino.
The Basilica of Superga
The Basilica of Superga is located 10km outside of Turin. It was built in the 18th Century and sits majestically on the top of Superga hill overlooking the city.
It is a great day trip outside of the city and you can get there by taking one of the historical trams up the side of the mountain. There are also some great hiking trails that start from the same site so there is plenty to do.
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Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso
The park was the first national park in Italy and was declared in 1922 by the Savoy family. This park was originally declared to protect the declining Ibex population. The park is easily reached from Turin via train or bus and is a great way to get out of the city for a day. This park is a great place where you can take part in cycling, hiking, climbing and other fantastic outdoor activities. If your visiting in winter the park offers great activities such as skiing and snowshoeing. The park is also home to some rare birds such as the golden eagle.
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Accommodation in Turin
Spoil yourself at the Royal Palace Hotel & Spa. The hotel has a traditional palace-like decor that will make you feel like royalty. Enjoy the pampering area that comes equipped with a spa and sauna. Enjoy the brilliant views from your room balcony and the great buffet breakfast served every morning.
Principi di Piemonte is an epitome of luxury. The hotel offers its own wellness spa and Turkish baths. The room decor is simple yet elegant and the bathrooms have been styled in beautiful grey marble.
The DoubleTree by Hilton Turin Lingotto is housed in a building that was once a car factory. This unique hotel has a glass-roofed hall and a running track on the roof which is accessible to all guests. Enjoy a great buffet breakfast at this centrally located hotel.
The NH Torino Santo Stefano is located 150m away from Turin’s Cathedral. The hotel has a great roof terrace with amazing views. Enjoy local and international cuisine at the hotel restaurant.
Adalesia Hotel & Coffee is perfectly located with many small restaurants and coffee shops in the neighborhood. You can explore the many things to do in Turin easily from this hotel. There is a coffee shop at the entrance which is perfect if you just want to find a quiet place to relax outside of your room.
Hotel Roma e Rocca Cavour is surrounded by lush gardens where you can relax and enjoy an afternoon glass of wine. Guests have given the hotel great reviews and it comes highly recommended.
Tours in Turin
If your looking for something different to do then try the underground tour of Turin. You will discover the history and legends of the underground tunnels.
You can also get a Torina/Piemonte passes that will give you access to all the major attractions and more. It is an economical way to see all the sights.
If your looking for something weird and wonderful then take a night tour of Turin. The tour is all about the history of magic in Turin and is highly rated as fun and informative.
Turin is a fantastic city that is perfect whether you’re vacationing there in winter or summer, you will find plenty to keep you busy, even if it is just eating chocolate.