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Turin, a captivating city located in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, offers visitors a mix of historical sites, cultural attractions, and stunning landscapes. In this mini-guide, we will delve into what to do in Turin and its surroundings and we will also list nearby attractions in France and Switzerland.
So what to do in Turin itself?
Mole Antonelliana and National Cinema Museum
This architectural masterpiece, standing at 167 meters (548 feet) tall, dominates the Turin skyline. Originally designed as a synagogue, it now houses the National Cinema Museum, featuring exhibits on the history of cinema and interactive displays.
Established in 1824, the Egyptian Museum in Turin is home to over 40,000 artifacts, including mummies, statues, and sarcophagi. It is considered one of the most important collections of Egyptian antiquities outside Egypt, providing an in-depth look at ancient Egyptian civilization.
The Royal Palace of Turin was the official residence of the House of Savoy from the 17th to the 19th century. This grandiose complex includes royal apartments, the Royal Library, the Royal Armoury, and the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, showcasing the opulence and power of the Savoy dynasty.
This central square is the political and cultural heart of Turin. It is surrounded by several important buildings, including Palazzo Madama (housing the Civic Museum of Ancient Art), the Royal Theatre, and the Royal Church of San Lorenzo, which features a stunning Baroque façade.
Built in the 15th century, this cathedral is home to the Shroud of Turin, a religious relic believed by some to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. The Shroud is only displayed on rare occasions, but the cathedral’s beautiful architecture and artwork make it worth a visit.
Parco del Valentino
This expansive park stretches along the banks of the Po River and offers walking paths, gardens, and the Borgo Medievale, a replica of a medieval village with craftsmen’s workshops and a castle.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what to do in Turin.
Nearby attractions in Italy
Basilica of Superga (9 km from Turin)
The Basilica of Superga, perched atop a hill, is an 18th-century Baroque masterpiece designed by architect Filippo Juvarra. It houses the tombs of the House of Savoy and offers panoramic views of Turin and the Alps.
Venaria Reale (13 km from Turin)
The Royal Palace of Venaria is a stunning example of Baroque architecture, featuring lavish rooms, beautiful gardens, and a vast park. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site “Residences of the Royal House of Savoy.”
Asti (55 km from Turin)
This historic town is famous for its wine production, particularly Asti Spumante, and features medieval buildings, churches, and an annual Palio horse race.
Alba (63 km from Turin)
Known for its white truffles and wine, Alba is a food lover’s paradise. The town also features a charming historic center with narrow streets, medieval towers, and a beautiful cathedral.
Lake Maggiore (130 km from Turin)
This stunning lake is surrounded by charming towns and lush vegetation, perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway.
Milan (142 km from Turin)
Italy’s fashion and design capital is just a short train ride away, offering a mix of history, culture, and shopping opportunities.
Cinque Terre (205 km from Turin)
This UNESCO World Heritage site is a collection of five stunning coastal villages along the Italian Riviera, known for their colourful houses and breathtaking landscapes.
Chamonix (170 km from Turin)
This alpine town is a popular destination for skiing, mountaineering, and hiking. It offers stunning views of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps, and is home to the Montenvers railway and the Aiguille du Midi cable car.
Lyon (293 km from Turin)
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Lyon boasts a rich history dating back to Roman times. Notable attractions include the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, the Roman Theatre, and the historic district of Vieux Lyon. The city is also renowned for its culinary scene and vibrant cultural life.
Nice (423 km from Turin)
Located on the French Riviera, Nice offers a blend of beautiful beaches, a charming old town, and fantastic museums. Key attractions include the Promenade des Anglais, Place Masséna, and the Russian Orthodox Cathedral.
Marseille (463 km from Turin)
As France’s second-largest city, Marseille is a diverse and vibrant metropolis. Key sights include the Old Port, Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica, and the Calanques National Park, known for its limestone cliffs and turquoise waters.
Lake Geneva Region (240 km from Turin)
The cities of Lausanne and Geneva offer picturesque lakefronts, historic sites, and museums. Key attractions include the Chateau de Chillon, the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, and the Jet d’Eau fountain in Geneva.
Bern (360 km from Turin)
The Swiss capital is known for its UNESCO-listed old town, the Zytglogge clock tower, and the Bear Park. Visitors can explore the cobbled streets, visit the Swiss Parliament, and enjoy the city’s lively atmosphere.
Lucerne (395 km from Turin)
This charming city sits on the shores of Lake Lucerne and is surrounded by the Swiss Alps. Key attractions include the Chapel Bridge, the Lion Monument, and the Richard Wagner Museum.
Interlaken (410 km from Turin)
Located between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, Interlaken is a popular base for exploring the Jungfrau region. Visitors can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and paragliding, or take a scenic train ride to the Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in Europe.
Zermatt (420 km from Turin)
This car-free alpine village is the gateway to the Matterhorn, one of the most iconic peaks in the Swiss Alps. Visitors can enjoy excellent skiing, hiking, and mountaineering opportunities or explore the charming streets of the village, lined with traditional chalets.
Turin and the nearby regions provide an extraordinary array of attractions and experiences for visitors. This region is a real treasure trove waiting to be explored. With numerous options for what to do in Turin and beyond, this enchanting part of Europe is sure to leave a lasting impression on every traveler.