Naantali is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful towns in Finland, and definitely my go-to place in a perfect sunny summer day. As I read the blog about visiting Moomin’s world by TYS’ Finnish blogger Johanna, it reminds me of my very own favorite things to do in Naantali. Besides spending a day in the magical world of Moomin’s family, there are other things for you to explore different sides of Naantali.
Getting to Naantali
Located in the south-western Finland, Naantali is about 14 kilometers away from the centre of Turku. The town is easily accessible by cars (15 minutes), bikes, public transportation (Foli buses number 6 & 7) or even by ferries in the summer. Taking the Foli buses is my go-to option since the buses are affordable, go very frequently even during weekends; and it takes roughly 40 minutes.
During summer, it is also possible to experience a smooth and relaxing cruise from Turku to Naantali while enjoy the view of most beautiful archipelago along the way. The unique experience is combined with delicious buffet lunches and desserts including the fine archipelago cuisines. There are different options for cruises, such as M/S Rudolfina or the old steamship Ukkopekka – where it’s possible to do some islands hopping.
Exploring the Old Town
The Old Town is one of Naantali’s best features since the sceneries are absolutely gorgeous and colorful. The streets is a combination of unique bars, stores, café and restaurants as each house is decorated with crooked and vintage details. From the old town, it is highly recommended to follow a trail to Kuparivuori. The trail itself is a beautiful path surrounded by nature and as soon as you find the rocks of the Kuparivuori, you will be amazed by the breathtaking view of the sea. It would be best to enjoy the view in a sunny day, since rainy weather makes the trip to the mountain Kuparivuori a little bit trickier and less enjoyable.
Back to old town center, you should totally pay a visit to the Medieval Stone Church nearby the harbor. Not only this is a historical icon of Naantali, but this church is also the second biggest medieval church in Finland. As you might already know, the biggest medieval church of Finland is the majestic Turku Cathedral located in the heart of Turku.
A wonderful characteristic of the old town is how each and every house is very unique and different. If you have some time, it is totally recommended to visit the souvenir stores and galleries there. The Old Naantali shop, for instance, is one of those that you should not skip.
Eat & Drink in Naantali
There are an abundant of options for eating and drinking for every kind of budget in town. Enjoy a chocolate ice-cream or a cup of coffee by the harbor is so far the most summer and student-friendly option. You can also find “the best waffles” in the world offered by Amandis cafe for reasonable prices from 10-12 Euros, accompanied with some tasty iced coffee or hot tea.
I’m not sure if they are the best waffles in the world, but they were definitely delicious.
There are many different restaurants, bars and café for your choices. For instance, Valborg restaurant offered a wonderful combination of delicious foods and drinks menu with hidden garden and vintage in-door settings. It is also easy to find archipelago-themed restaurants along the harbor if you’re fancy some exquisite fish and dark breads.
The dreamy old town of Naantali is certainly in full bloom during summer. If you’ve been there, what were your highlights?