The attractions of Turin are most associated by foreigners with the cult of the relics of the Shroud of Turin. However, although Turin is not the number one tourist trip to Italian cities, it also has many other interesting places and monuments to offer to visitors.
Interestingly, this city is called the least Italian place in all of Italy. The local architecture within the old town is mainly Baroque and Classicism. There are also squares, numerous sacred buildings, and interesting buildings that once belonged to eminent royal dynasties. Attractions in Turin are also interesting museums worth visiting and green parks where you can relax after a day of walking. The city is bustling with life around the clock, first thanks to the numerous local bars and cafes, and after dark in the local clubs and discos.
Attractions of Turin
Turin is a clean and quite elegant city, as befits northern Italy. It will be an ideal place for a short break for lovers of history and monuments, as well as those who like visiting museums. The city, located in the foothills of the Alps, also provides attractions for tourists who actively spend their free time. On the other hand, fans of team sports will certainly not miss the pleasure of participating in one of the local matches.
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Turin is one of the cities that is quite good to explore, especially on foot. The reason for this is the local chess-like urban layout. The entire city consists of large chunks of land, divided into more or less equal squares. For this reason, moving between the streets is simple and quite intuitive.
You need approximately one weekend to visit Turin. This is enough time to see all the major attractions of this city. You can visit it by walking, as we mentioned earlier, but the matter is even more facilitated by the local public transport. In Turin, we can reach every place of interest to us thanks to buses, the single metro lines and trams, which are not so common means of transport in Italy. There are also funiculars in the city. All this ensures quite quick and comfortable movement. One-day trips to Turin from nearby Milan are also a common practice among tourists.
The best time to visit Turin is from June to October. Then the weather in this region is good, and it is also a guarantee of cloudless and rainless days. In July and August you can come across real heat, but before and after the high season, visiting the city will certainly take place in much more pleasant weather conditions. Winter is also a good time to come to Turin. Especially the month of February not only guarantees snowfall, which is favorable to mountain tourism, but it is also then that the city takes place during the two-week long chocolate festival – Festa del Cioccolata.
Monuments in Turin
Let’s start exploring Turin from its monuments.
St. John the Baptist Church
The most important monument in Turin is undoubtedly the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. A 15th-century Renaissance building, it does not impress either from the outside or inside. There are many prettier and more impressive churches and temples in Italy. However, it is in the cathedral in Turin that one of the most valuable relics for Christians, the Shroud of Turin, is kept. It is precisely the linen cloth that concealed Jesus’ body after it was placed in the tomb.
It is placed in the left aisle in the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, but not in public view. This relic is rarely seen. The closest date of its public display is now 2025. On a daily basis, the Shroud of Turin is placed in a special box that protects it from light and air. To this day, researchers have not been able to confirm whether the reflection of Jesus’ face on it is genuine or not.
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Another significant monument in Turin is the local Royal Palace – Palazzo Reale di Torino. This building is considered to be one of the most beautiful royal residences in Europe. The Royal Palace of Turin was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997. The building was erected in the 17th century at the behest of Christine Bourbon. It was the most important residence of the Savoy dynasty until its incorporation into Italy.
Currently, it houses: the Royal Turin Museum, the Savoy Gallery, the Royal Arsenal and the Antiquity Museum. On site, you can admire the richly decorated royal chambers, including the Throne Room, collections of various weapons, galleries of Italian painting and exhibits from ancient times. In addition, it is worth paying attention to the palace gardens, which are open to visitors free of charge. It is in this place, in the middle of the city, that you can relax for a moment, among lush and often exotic vegetation.
St. Lawrence’s Church – Real Chiesa di San Lorenzo
An important monument on the map of Turin is also the Church of St. Lawrence – Real Chiesa di San Lorenzo. This is one of the most important baroque buildings in the city. At one time it was the royal chapel of the House of Savoy. It was erected on the orders of Prince Emenuel Filibert, who, after winning the battle, promised to rebuild the local church. He took his oath exactly on September 10, on the day of Saint Lawrence, hence the name of the temple.
St. Lawrence has a geometric shape, with no windows at the bottom. The light only comes through the holes in the dome, which makes the atmosphere inside a bit mystical. But the multitude of frescoes and decorations inside is delightful. Two clocks placed on the facade of the temple are also noteworthy. One of them is the normal pointer mechanism that beats on the hour. The second one is the sundial, which measures time according to the position of the sun.
San Carlo Square
Visiting Turin cannot be complete without a visit to one of the main squares in the city, that is San Carlo Square – Piazza San Carlo. It is located in the west of the city, close to luxury boutiques, shops and restaurants. This is one of the prettiest squares in Turin, paved with dark cubes and decorated in a barge style.
It is there that there are two twin churches of Santa Cristina and San Carlo Borromeo. San Carlo Square is flanked on both sides by a row of arcades which only add to its charm, especially when illuminated after dark.
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Tourist attractions of Turin
Our Turin travel guide must not miss its greatest tourist attractions.
One of the greatest attractions of Turin is the local Egyptian Museum. Located in the 17th century palace, on two floors, each one is impressive. The exhibits related to the Egyptian civilization gathered here are the largest, right after those from the Cairo Museum. You can see, among other things, ancient statues, papyri with hieroglyphs, old jewelry and mummies – including a crocodile, and other everyday items of ancient Egyptians.
On the ground floor you can see large statues of the Sphinx and some pharaohs. On the first floor, there are more exhibits used every day by the ancient inhabitants of Egypt. On the second floor you can again admire monumental statues embedded in marble rooms.
A big tourist attraction in Turin is also the Mole Antonelliana, which is a tower that stands out in the city’s landscape. The slender structure, almost 170 meters high, was originally intended to be a synagogue. However, now it has become a symbol of Turin. Interestingly, Mole Antonelliana is the tallest brick building in Europe.
Inside, there is a panoramic elevator that can take you to the viewing platform on the dome. More importantly, it also houses the National Museum of Cinematography.
National Museum of Cinematography
The Cinematography Museum in Turin is a real treat for fans of cinema history. It is here on five floors that the history of cinematography is shown, from its very beginnings to the present day. You can see almost two million different exhibits and gadgets related to movies, including posters, costumes and cinema equipment. Among them are such famous film titles as: Indiana Jones, Alien, The Godfather or Star Wars. In addition, you can watch a silent film from 1914 on very innovative and comfortable armchairs.
Castello del Valentino
A big attraction for tourists in Turin is also the castle – Castello del Valentino. Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, now housing the Faculty of Architecture of the Turin University of Technology. The building has two faces, on the one hand it represents the defective style, on the other hand, it has a slightly more austere, medieval appearance.
The name Castello del Valentino probably comes from the Valentine’s Day balls organized there. The castle itself inside impresses with its richly decorated rooms, full of history and scientific wealth.
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What’s worth seeing in Turin?
Let’s check what else is worth seeing and visiting while spending time in Turin.
A place that is definitely worth seeing in Turin is the Automobile Museum. Spread over three floors, it was recognized in 2013 by the London Times as one of the best museums in the world. The Motor Museum in Turin was created to learn more about the history of car production. Today, you can admire not only old prototypes, but also the latest models of sports cars, which are often dream objects. In addition to the cars themselves, a visit to the Automotive Museum is made even more attractive by multimedia systems, touch screens and light installations.
Madama Palace is another place worth visiting in Turin. Its building combines various architectural styles. It used to be one of the royal seats, now it houses the Municipal Museum of Ancient Art. Here, on four levels, you can admire the exhibits that come from Piedmont and the surrounding area.
Their age dates back to Roman and medieval times. You can also admire baroque items, including jewelery, fabrics, ceramics and glassware, produced by the people living in these areas.
Basilica of the Superga
A place that is also worth seeing in Turin is the Basilica of Superga, located on the hill Monte dei Cappuccini. It was here at an altitude of 660 meters above sea level that the temple was erected, shortly after the victory over the French and Spaniards in the 18th century, in honor of the Mother of God. The biggest attraction of this place is not only the panoramic view stretching from the hill, but also the historic cogwheel train that takes us to the top.
The Superga Basilica itself is distinguished by a 75-meter dome, which allows it to be seen from different parts of the city.
Interesting places in Turin
What other interesting places in Turin are worth seeing and visiting, apart from the obvious attractions and monuments?
An interesting place in Turin, and certainly for football fans, will be the Allianz Stadium. It is the home of the world-famous Juventus Turin team. The Allianz Stadium can be visited and seen from the perspective of players, coaches or even VIP guests.
On site, it is also worth visiting the museum dedicated to the triumphs, one of the most successful football teams in Italy.
Parco del Valentino
One of the most interesting green areas in Turin is definitely the Parco del Valentino park. Situated on the banks of the Po River, it is an ideal place to rest, walk or meet friends. The most interesting part of it, however, is a kind of open-air museum – Borgo Medievale. A medieval town was reconstructed there, along with streets, shops and craft workshops. They were built in 1884 for the needs of two exhibitions.
In addition to Borgo Medievale in the Valentino Park, there is the aforementioned Castello del Valentino, as well as a rose garden and a horse police station.
An interesting place in Turin will also be the Roman gate, Porta Pallatina, which in the old days welcomed newcomers visiting the city from the north side. Its age dates back to over two thousand years, when the settlement that was located here was tightly surrounded by a 10-meter defensive wall.
Porta Pallatina was partially rebuilt, of course, but fragments of a real Roman floor have been preserved. Next to the gate, there are also other remains of the old settlement, including the ruins of an ancient amphitheater. Porta Pallatina is one of the oldest monuments in all of Turin.
Check also the official website of the city of Turin.
Tourist map of attractions in Turin
On the tourist map of Turin attractions you will find monuments and interesting places that are worth seeing and visiting:
What are your favorite Turin attractions and monuments? We are waiting for your opinions in the comments section below!