An exchange student in Turku - Loving the nature

Vieraskynä / Visiting author | 28.2.2020

Noemi came to Turku in August 2019, to do her Erasmus exchange at the Turku University of applied Sciences (Tuas). Does she like the City of Turku and her own neighborhood, Luolavuori? And what does Noemi think about the quiet Finns?

Spanish exchange student Noemi wearing a winter jacket on a terrace by the sea in Turku.
I came from Spain to study in Turku. © CYF

First impressions about Turku

The first thing I thought, when I arrived in Turku, was that the city was very small but also very clean and safe. I didn’t see any strange or threatening people so I felt comfortable walking alone in Turku during the night.

Another thing that impressed me was how calm the streets were. When I travel by bus, for example, all people are quiet or speak very softly, which does not usually happen in my country. However, I have to say that I prefer it this way.

Retrodorm accomodates exchange students in Luolavuori

Aerial picture on top of the hill of Luolavuori. There is a top of Luolavuori hill, popular walking route and the city of Turku spreading in the horizon.
Luolavuori (“Cave hill”) gets its name after the caves inside a hill rising in the southern part of the neighborhood. It is a popular outdoor area for recreation, and there are plenty of trekking paths along the hills. © CYF

I applied for an accommodation for students, called Retrodorm hosted by the City of Turku. Retrodorm is located in Luolavuori, which is about 2 kilometers from Tuas Campus in Kupittaa. The residence is actually in the middle of a small forest, so I really like the area since I was surrounded by nature. Plus, sometimes I could see some animals such as deers, rabbits, squirrels, and even a fox passing by.

The only thing I can complain about is that you have to go up the hill to reach the place. But that makes the area more quiet so at the end, it is good.

The road that leads to Retrodorm in Luolavuori in Turku is covered with snow and surrounded by pine trees.
My route towards the Retrodorm. © Noemi
The forest of Luolavuori in the wintertime on a sunny day. There is snow on the ground and pine trees.
Forest and nature near Retrodorm in Luolavuori. © Noemi

From shopping malls to city parks

There are several points of interest in the nearby neighborhoods, but let’s start with the most important thing - the groceries. The K-Citymarket in front of the Kupittaa park is open 24/7, so you can shop there whenever you need. Also, there are several K-markets around, and Lidl is not so far away either.

There aren’t many restaurants in the area, although there is the Hesburger, which is always a good option to eat something cheap. You could find more variety in “Skanssi”, which is a mall situated just 5 km from downtown Turku in the Skanssi neighborhood. There you can find different shops to buy clothes, food, home supplies and so on; so, I recommend going there and having a nice time with friends.

The Kupittaa park is probably where the most interesting things in the area are. It is a perfect site to walk, cycle, or do any sports… there’s something for everyone! There are lots of sports establishments, a traffic park for kids, the adventure park, birds’ pond and outdoor cages, huge lawns where you can lay around or have picnics on a warm sunny day.

Aerial picture of Kupittaanpuisto or Kupittaa park where you can see all the activities available like Kupittaa Hall. Also the Turku Cathedral can be seen on the background.
Kupittaa Park is the biggest city park in Finland © CYF
There is Kupittaanpuisto or Kupittaa park presented on a day in November. There is a sandy road and a few trees in this picture.
Kupittaa park offers many kinds of outdoor activities, even during the darkest months of the year. © Noemi

On one end of Kupittaa park there’s an ice hall and on the other side next to the adventure park there’s the sports hall. Furthermore, there’s a skating track open to everybody since it is in the open space.

The iceskating rink in Kupittaa has a few adults and children iceskating on it on a sunny day. On the background there are modern apartment blocks.
Skating track in the Kupittaa Park is popular amongst children and adults. There is usually ice throughout the winter, despite the weather. © CYF

Busses take you here and there

Both Luolavuori ja Kupittaa are around 15 minutes by bus from the city center, and has generally good bus connections (Föli) since a lot of lines pass through these areas. You can always opt to go walking to, or through, the Kupittaa park for about 30 minutes or just cycling.

So, if you are looking for a green and calm space to stay, I recommend you to look for Luolavuori neighborhood. You won’t be disappointed!


P.S. Are you looking for a place to live in the Turku region? Check out the search engine for neighborhoods and find the best place to live.


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