Discover southern Finland's authentic flavors on this weeklong culinary itinerary. Explore the market halls of Helsinki and Turku, sampling the local ingredients that fuel cafés, restaurants, and bars across the country. A focus on food doesn't mean you'll miss out on any major attractions, though. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds of Suomenlinna, an old Swedish fortress, and nibble on fresh pastries as you float down Turku's Aura river.


  • Browse the food stalls in the oldest indoor market in Finland
  • Visit Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site off the coast of Helsinki
  • Take a tour of a brewery located inside an old prison in Turku
  • Enjoy snacks with a view on a picnic cruise of the Aura River

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Helsinki Helsinki
Day 2 Old Market Hall & Suomenlinna Tour Helsinki
Day 3 Food & Beer Tour of Helsinki Helsinki
Day 4 Transfer to Turku Turku
Day 5 Walking Tour of Turku & Kakola Brewery Tour Turku
Day 6 Turku Gourmet Tour & Aura River Picnic Cruise Turku
Day 7 Transfer to Helsinki, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Helsinki

View of Helsinki from the water with Helsinki Cathedral, a boat in the harbor, and a ferris wheel in frame
A view of Helsinki from the water

Welcome to Helsinki, the capital of Finland! When you arrive, a private driver will transfer you to your accommodations in town. Then, spend the day exploring the colorful streets of the UNESCO-designated City of Design, known for its interesting mix of neoclassicism, Jugend (Finnish Art Nouveau), and modernist architecture. For a dose of nature, check out the nature trails and parks around the city. Before the day ends, consider trying out a traditional Finnish sauna to relax ahead of your adventure this week!

Day 2: Old Market Hall & Suomenlinna Tour

Scenic summer aerial view of Suomenlinna (Sveaborg) sea fortress in Helsinki, Finland
Suomenlinna is a free attraction in Helsinki
Explore both the city center and the outskirts of Helsinki today on a half-day tour. Start in the aptly-named Old Market Hall, which has been operating since 1889. Here you'll be sure to find vendors selling classic Finnish delights, like salmon soup, fish sandwiches, and the famous long drink. Then, take a 20-minute ferry ride to Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn about the history of the former Swedish fortress on a guided tour, and then explore the islands on your own before heading back.
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Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 3: Food & Beer Tour of Helsinki

young people with pints of beers in hand
Discover Finland's beer scene

Eat and drink like a Finn on a private gastronomic tour of Helsinki. First, enjoy another visit to the Old Market Hall to sample Finnish snacks and browse the local, seasonal ingredients purchased by professional chefs and home cooks. Then, your guide will bring you to a local brewery to learn about Finland's beer scene and taste the local brews. Cap off the tour at a Finnish restaurant offering traditional dishes—think smoked salmon, meatballs, lingonberry jam, and rye bread—and, of course, dessert.

Day 4: Train to Turku

Aerial view of Turku at sunrise. The sun shines from behind a cathedral and the Aura River flows through the middle of the scene
Turku is set up around the Aura River
This morning, take a private transfer to the train station for your trip to Turku, the oldest city in Finland. Once settled in, explore the city via the bike path, the bus system, or even water buses on the Aura River. Consider visiting the 13th-century Turku Castle or following the archipelago trail across some of the many islands in the nearby sea. And you can't go wrong with the local cuisine—Turku calls itself the restaurant capital of Finland, so wherever you dine, you'll be in good hands.

Day 5: Walking Tour of Turku & Kakola Brewery Tour

Aerial view of Turku Castle
Aerial view of Turku Castle

Today, explore Turku on a two-hour walking tour. A local guide will lead you through the 800 years of Finnish history, starting along the banks of the Aura River that flows through the town into the Archipelago Sea. Learn about the city's legacy as a trading hub when you visit the Old Great Square, rebuilt after the Great Fire of Turku in 1827. Enjoy the contemporary canteen and café culture that has earned the city the nickname the "Paris of Finland."

Later, go on a brewery tour in one of the most unexpected places—Kakola Brewing Company's current premises used to be part of Kakola Prison. The jail has since moved into a newer building, and the brewery now offers tours and tastings in its taproom. Learn how beer is made at this small brewery and how KBC's team crafts specialty flavors. Of course, you'll also get to taste the final product—each tour ticket includes samples of four different beers. Cheers!

Day 6: Turku Gourmet Tour & Aura River Picnic Cruise

Indoor Market
Explore an indoor market like this one on your tour in Turku

Check out Turku's famous food scene today, starting at Turku Market Hall. Taste local delicacies and pick up some gifts to take home—like chocolate bars from one of the most popular bakeries in the country, MBakery. From there, head to the Qwensel Café tucked in the courtyard of the Pharmacy Museum for afternoon tea. Finally, head up to Wiklund's Walo Roof Top Bar and terrace. Your guide will fill you in on the city's history and culture that contributed to its incredible food.

In the afternoon, hop aboard a riverboat for a trip down the Aura River! Snack on treats from a local bakery as the boat winds its way through Turku, gliding past bridges, churches, trees, and other river boats on its way toward the sea. A guide will point out important sites while regaling you with stories from the river's long history—after all, the area's first inhabitants settled here at least 6,000 years ago.

Day 7: Transfer to Helsinki, Depart

View from the water toward Helsinki Cathedral and Market Square
Helsinki Cathedral and Market Square at night

As today is the last day of your gastronomic tour of southern Finland, your driver will pick you up from your hotel and take you to Helsinki airport for your departing flight. Safe travels!

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Map of Southern Finland Culinary Tour: Helsinki & Turku - 7 Days
Map of Southern Finland Culinary Tour: Helsinki & Turku - 7 Days