50 Super Exciting Things to Do in Turin, Italy’s Gem

I have a special place in my heart for underrated cities, and after uncovering dozens of the best things to do in Turin, Italy, I can safely say that it is indeed underrated.

To tickle your itchy travel feet, I’ll start by telling you that Turin was the capital city of the Duchy of Savoy, the Kingdom of Sardinia, and the unified Kingdom of Italy, which means it’s home to a whole lot of centuries-old royal residences of the House of Savoy.

It’s also the birthplace of brands like Lavazza and Fiat, and it’s a paradise for chocoholics, foodies, architecture fans, and museum lovers. Even a week in the northern Italian city wasn’t enough for me, so I just had to share my Turin bucket list with you.

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Looking for the best things to do in Turin Italy? Here's an extensive Turin travel guide with all the places to visit and travel tips for the northern Italian city.


Table of Contents

WHAT IS TURIN KNOWN FOR? IS TURIN WORTH VISITING?

As I’ve mentioned in the intro, Turin is known for quite a few things, including being the Italian chocolate capital, UNESCO-listed royal residences of the House of Savoy, Baroque architecture, incredible Piedmontese food, and remarkable museums, but there’s a lot more to it.

One of the biggest reasons to travel to Turin is that it’s a lot less touristy than other Italian destinations. And since this list includes dozens of things to do, you can guess that I wasn’t bored in this city (not even for a second) and that I definitely think it’s worth visiting.



WHERE TO STAY IN TURIN, ITALY

You’ll find things to do in almost every neighborhood of Turin, but the ideal place to stay in the city is the historic center (Centro Storico).

Since I was looking for a hotel for quite a lot of nights, it was tricky to find one in the center, so I booked a stay at Hotel Liberty.

It’s located in a quiet neighborhood called Crocetta and is only a 10-minute walk away from Via Roma, a shopping street connected to the rest of the city center.

The hotel is known for its impeccable service, and my room was clean, comfortable, and quiet. You can also have breakfast at the hotel for an additional cost, and you’ll find a kettle, cups, and tea bags you can use for free in your room. Read more reviews and book your stay at Hotel Liberty here.

To stay in the historic center itself, check out the highly-rated Casa della Contessa B&B and Savoia Suites Torino (the latter can be great for 3+ people). Alternatively, read my full guide to the best areas to stay in Turin.

interiors of Villa della Regina


TORINO+PIEMONTE CARD: IS IT WORTH IT?

Unless they’re really worth it, I’m not in a hurry to buy city passes. But in Turin, a city with lots of must-see palaces and museums that each costs 10-15 euros to visit, you’ll benefit from purchasing the Torino+Piemonte Card that lets you tour them for free.

Unlike other cards, it doesn’t offer unlimited use of public transport, but you’ll save quite a bit on Turin’s attractions, which is significant.

It also includes free entrance to points of interest in the entire region of Piedmont, so if you’re taking day trips or a road trip, it could be very useful.

Whether you’re buying the 2,3, or 5-day city card, you’ll surely return the initial investment (the 5-day card saved me A LOT of money).

See the full list of discounts here and buy your Torino+Piemonte Card here (you can easily pick it up at the information center at Piazza Castello).

Piazza della Consolata in Turin
Piazza della Consolata


BEST THINGS TO DO IN TURIN, ITALY: WALKING TOURS

FREE WALKING TOUR OF TURIN

Free walkings tours are always a great budget-friendly way to explore a city with a guide, and you’ll find one even in Turin.

You’ll obviously only get a taste of what it has to offer, but it’s always a nice activity to add to your itinerary. Check out this free walking of Turin and book it here.

UNIQUE TOURS IN TURIN

If you love taking alternative tours, consider taking this highly-rated evening tour that uncovers Turin’s mysterious side, these food tours, or this highly-rated underground tour.

Piazza Vittorio Veneto


BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN TURIN, ITALY: PALACES, MUSEUMS, AND RELIGIOUS SITES

MUSEI REALI

Every self-respecting list of the top things to see in Turin starts with the Musei Reali (Royal Museums), a group of sites that will take you through different eras in the city’s history.

Five of them are included in the same ticket and connected by one route, and you can visit the other two separately. Be sure to also wander through the lovely Giardini Reali (Royal Gardens), which are free to visit.

Note that you cannot use flash or a tripod when taking photos, and you need to contact the museums if you want to use them for non-personal purposes. I contacted them via Instagram (museirealitorino), and they replied right away.

A statue at the Musei Reali entrance
Piazzetta Reale, the entrance to the Musei Reali

1. Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace)

Dating back to the 16th-17th centuries, the Palazzo Reale is the first and most significant of the royal residences of the House of Savoy in the region of Piedmont. The dynasty ruled Turin for centuries, and this was its power center.

That’s why Palazzo Reale, along with other palaces, castles, and villas in the city and around it, was recognized as a UNESCO site called Residences of the Royal House of Savoy.

While you’ll only get to see some of the palace’s rooms, it’ll be enough to give you a sense of historical importance, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the mix of Neoclassical and Baroque architectural styles, which is mesmerizing. You can also book a guided tour of the palace.

Palazzo Reale ceiling
Palazzo Reale

2. Royal Armory (Armeria Reale)

Even though it’s not as famous as the Imperial Armory of Vienna or the Royal Armory of Madrid, Turin’s Armeria Reale is considered one of the world’s most important collections of royal weapons and armor.

Founded by the House of Savoy, some of its items are now displayed to the public and housed in an impressive hall with a beautifully-painted ceiling.

Royal Armory of Turin
Armeria Reale

3. Galleria Sabauda

Boasting a collection of paintings the House of Savoy has acquired over the centuries, the Galleria Sabauda is a paradise for avid art lovers, featuring works by Rembrandt, Botticelli, and many other painters.

4. Museo Di Antichita (Museum of Antiquities)

Going back much further in time, the Museum of Antiquities will transport you to ancient history (and even prehistory) through its three sections. 

The first one is dedicated to archeology in the region of Piedmont, the second showcases the history of Turin (and overlooks the remains of a Roman theatre), and the last one depicts antiquities from outside of Italy.

5. Cappella della Sacra Sindone (Chapel of the Holy Shroud)

Dating back to the 17th century and designed by the architect Guarino Guarini, this Italian-Baroque-style chapel is one of the most religiously significant places in Turin.

Not only is it known for its marvelous dome but also for housing for several centuries the Shroud of Turin (Sindone di Torino), an old linen cloth many believe is the burial garment of Jesus.

Chapel of the Holy Shroud

6. Biblioteca Reale (Royal Library) & Sale Chiablese (Chiablese Hall)

Beyond the five sites I’ve mentioned, you can access the Royal Library’s reading room for free or visit the Chiablese Hall (a part of the Chiablese Palace), which is open to the public when it hosts temporary exhibitions.

7. Opening hours and tickets

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10 AM to 7 PM (the ticket office closes at 6 PM).

Price: €15 (only €2 if you’re 18-25 years old). Free admission for disabled people, kids/teenagers under 18, or holders of the Torino+Piemonte Card.

You don’t have to reserve your spot in advance, but you can do it here. Be sure to select the right type of admission (you’ll even see one suitable for the Torino+Piemonte Card).

Exterior of Palazzo Reale in Turin

DUOMO DI TORINO (CATTEDRALE DI SAN GIOVANNI BATTISTA)

How can one visit an Italian city without seeing its duomo?

The Duomo di Torino (Turin Cathedral or Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist) is a 15th-century cathedral located right next to the Chapel of the Holy Shroud. Today, it is here where the Shroud of Turin is kept.

The cathedral is also the burial place of some members of the House of Savoy and the seat of the Archbishops of Turin, so it’s easy to understand why it’s such an important landmark.

Duomo di Torino (Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist)

MOLE ANTONELLIANA (NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CINEMA)

Sightseeing in Turin has to include the number one building that stands out (literally) in the city’s skyline and appears on every postcard – the Mole Antonelliana.

Surprisingly, it was built to serve as a synagogue (love that fact!), but the Jewish community rejected it when the project got too expensive and architecturally unsuitable.

Today, the Mole is one of Turin’s biggest symbols, and it houses the National Museum of Cinema (Museo Nazionale del Cinema), which is the world’s tallest museum!

The museum is extremely well-thought-out and impressive, but I highly recommend avoiding visiting it on weekends as it can get a bit too crowded and claustrophobic.

You can also take the panoramic lift (which passes through the main space of the museum) to get to the top of the building and enjoy the views over the city.

Opening hours: Wednesday – Monday, 10 AM – 7 PM (the ticket office closes at 6 PM).

Price: Museum – €11, lift – €8, combo ticket – €15 (free admission to visit the museum and discount to take the panoramic lift with the Torino+Piemonte Card). You can also book a guided tour.

I highly recommend booking your tickets in advance to avoid the LONG lines, especially since you might not be able to take the lift because daily visits are limited.

Purchase them here and be sure to select the right type of admission (you’ll even see one suitable for the Torino+Piemonte Card) and note that there is a €1.5 online-booking fee (funny, I know).

Mole Antonelliana building
What to see in Turin – the Mole

PALAZZO MADAMA

Located in the central Piazza Castello near Palazzo Reale, Palazzo Madama is a Baroque masterpiece and one of Turin’s Unesco-listed Savoy residences.

The building was the first Senate of the Kingdom of Italy, and today, it houses the Turin City Museum of Ancient Art. Apart from visiting the museum, be sure to check out the palace’s rear part, which looks like a medieval castle.

Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM, Thursday 1 PM – 9 PM (the ticket office closes one hour before closing time).

Price: €10 (free admission with the Torino+Piemonte Card).

Palazzo Madama

VILLA DELLA REGINA

An unmissable site in Turin and another one of its UNESCO-listed royal residences is Villa della Regina.

Used by the House of Savoy in the 17th-19th centuries, this villa is not just about luxurious rooms but also beautiful exteriors with gardens, pavilions, fountains, and even vineyards that give it a fairytale-like look.

You’ll also be rewarded with scenic views of the city and the Alpes behind it, so though you’ll have to make the effort to cross the Po river and go all the way up the hill to visit it, it’ll be worth it.

Opening hours: Friday – Sunday, 10 AM – 6 PM (the ticket office closes at 5 PM). Reserve your spot if you visit on a Saturday.

Price: €7 to see the villa and the park (free to visit with the Torino+Piemonte Card).

Villa della Regina and its front facade

EGYPTIAN MUSEUM (MUSEO EGIZIO)

It’s not for nothing that the Egyptian Museum is one of Turin’s most visited museums. Boasting the world’s second-largest collection of Egyptian antiquities (the largest is in Cairo), it’s also the oldest museum dedicated to Egyptian culture in the world.

Now, I’m not gonna lie – some exhibits can be a bit hard to see (like actual mummies), but others are very impressive. From tiny figurines to papyrus to huge statues of the sphinx and Egyptian kings – these are not things you get to see every day.

Opening hours: Wednesday – Monday, 10 AM – 7 PM (the ticket office closes at 6 PM).

Price: €15 (free to visit with the Torino+Piemonte Card). You can also book a guided tour of the museum.

At the moment, it is mandatory to book your ticket online and pick a specific timeslot for your visit. Be sure to select the right type of admission (you’ll even see one suitable for the Torino+Piemonte Card). Purchase them here.

For your convenience, there is also a cloakroom where you can keep your backpack, coat, etc.

Egyptian Museum in Turin Italy

PALAZZO CARIGNANO

The 17th-century Palazzo Carignano is one of Turin’s UNESCO-listed royal residences, once the home of the princes of the House of Savoy-Carignano and the seat of the first Parliament of the Kingdom of Italy.

Located in the lovely and lively Piazza Carignano on Via Accademia delle Scienze, it’s also one of the most gorgeous Baroque buildings in the city and a fantastic photo spot.

I haven’t visited it on the inside, but it is possible to take a guided tour to see the Apartments of the Princes (Appartamenti dei Principi). The visit is free if you have the Torino+Piemonte Card, but be sure to read all the details here as a reservation is required.

Palazzo Carignano
Palazzo Carignano

MUSEUM OF THE RISORGIMENTO

The rear part of Palazzo Carignano does not only have a completely different facade (overlooking Piazza Carlo Alberto), but it also houses the National Museum of the Italian Risorgimento.

While the term Risorgimento refers to the unification of Italy in the 19th century, the museum is dedicated to the country’s history from the siege of Turin (1706) to the birth of the Italian Republic (1946).

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10 AM – 6 PM (the ticket office closes at 5:30 PM).

Price: €10 (free to visit with the Torino+Piemonte Card).

Museum of the Risorgimento in Turin
National Museum of the Italian Risorgimento

VILLA TESORIERA

In the heart of a public park away from the city center lies the 18th-century Baroque-style Villa Tesoriera (also known as Villa Sartirana). It had many noble owners throughout the years and is now home to a non-profit organization.

The park and the villa’s gardens are open to the public (the library is also supposed to be), so if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path photo spot in Turin, this place is for you.

CASTELLO DEL VALENTINO

Located in Valentino Park, another UNESCO-listed Savoy residence you need to see is Castello del Valentino, which dates back to the 16th-17th centuries.

The stunning Alpine-inspired castle owes its current look to Christine of France, the wife of Victor Amadeus I (Duke of Savoy), who wanted to use it for pleasure purposes.

Today, it belongs to the Architecture faculty of the Polytechnic University of Turin, and some parts of its garden are home to the Botanical Garden of the University of Turin, which you can also visit (from April to October).

Note that: Touring the castle itself is only possible at specific times on Saturdays. Get more details here.

Castello del Valentino in Turin Italy

REGGIA DI VENARIA REALE

With a picture-perfect Alpine backdrop, gorgeous Baroque architecture, and history tracing back to the 17th century, the Reggia di Venaria Reale is a Savoy residence you don’t want to miss (located in the nearby town of Venaria).

Commissioned by Duke Carlo Emanuele II of Savoy, the palace was built to serve as a base for his hunting trips in the area. It was damaged and renovated throughout the years until it finally opened as a museum in 2007.

On your visit, you’ll get to see the jaw-dropping Great Gallery, the Chapel of Sant’Uberto, the scenic gardens, and so much more. You’ll also find two cafes and even a Michelin-star restaurant in the palace’s complex.

The town itself is also pretty enchanting (at least the street leading from the bus station to the palace is). After your visit, head to the restaurant Antica Reggia for a fantastic Italian meal (the risotto with asparagus and burrata was seriously delicious).

A room at the Palace of Venaria
The Great Hall at the Palace of Venaria

Getting there: Take bus number 11 from Turin (leaves about every 10 minutes and has a circular route) and get off in front of the small train station Stazione di Venaria Reale. From there, it’s a 5-minute walk to the palace’s entrance. Alternatively, take the shuttle bus Venaria Express.

Opening hours: See here (closed on Mondays).

Price: €20 to see the palace and the gardens (called All in a Palace – free to visit with the Torino+Piemonte Card), but other types of tickets are also available. You can also book a guided tour of the palace.

At the moment, it is mandatory to book your tickets online and pick a specific timeslot for your visit (purchase them here). Be sure to select the right type of admission (you’ll even see one suitable for the Torino+Piemonte Card) and bring your passport too.

Reggia di Venaria Reale near Turin

CASTELLO DELLA MANDRIA

Although it’s located only 2.5 km (about 1.55 miles) from the Reggia di Venaria Reale and is reachable by the shuttle bus Venaria Express, I did not get to visit the Castle of La Mandria.

It is yet another UNESCO-listed Savoy residence (dating back to the 18th-19th centuries), but one of its biggest highlights seems to be the vast park surrounding it.

Opening hours: See here (closed on Mondays).

Price: €8 to visit the castle or €20 for a castle & Reggia combo ticket (free to visit with the Torino+Piemonte Card).

At the moment, it is mandatory to book your tickets online and pick a specific timeslot for your visit (purchase them here). Be sure to select the right type of admission (you’ll even see one suitable for the Torino+Piemonte Card) and bring your passport too.

NATIONAL AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM

It doesn’t matter how old you are or whether you’re a car fanatic or not, you’re going to love the National Automobile Museum (Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile), one of the top tourist attractions in Turin.

From 19th-century carriages to futuristic cars, you’ll be in awe of this museum’s collection, featuring vehicles by brands from Italy, France, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, and the US.

Opening hours: Monday 10 AM – 2 PM, Tuesday – Sunday 10 AM – 7 PM (the ticket office closes one hour before closing time).

Price: €12 (free to visit with the Torino+Piemonte Card).

Best places to visit in Turin - National Automobile Museum

CENTRO STORICO FIAT

Did you know that the name Fiat initially stood for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili di Torino (Italian Automobiles Factory of Turin)? Well, it’s true – the largest car manufacturer in Italy was born in this city and opened its first factory here.

Unfortunately, the brand’s museum – Centro Storico Fiat – was closed during my trip, but I would have loved to see its most legendary creations (beyond what is found at the National Automobile Museum). Read more about it here.

LAVAZZA MUSEUM

We’re so used to hearing the name ‘Lavazza’ that we might take it for granted, but this coffee empire, which was born in Turin, is a force to be reckoned with.

The interactive museum is dedicated to the company’s history and the coffee production process, and as you walk from room to room, you can see how much thought was put into it.

I’m not going to give anything away, because it is full of fun surprises, but I’ll say that people of all ages will enjoy it.

Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 10 AM – 6 PM (the ticket office closes at 5:30 PM). If you’re visiting during the weekend, you need to reserve your spot in advance.

Price: €10 (free to visit with the Torino+Piemonte Card).

A car at the Lavazza Museum
Lavazza Museum

ACCORSI-OMETTO MUSEUM

As if there weren’t enough palaces in Turin, the Accorsi–Ometto Museum is a private decorative arts museum that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into yet another one.

With more than 3000 pieces of furniture, ceramics, paintings, and much more, almost half of the museum’s rooms look like they belong in a centuries-old European villa.

I actually wasn’t sure about this museum at first, but I could admit that it was well worth the visit.

Note that you cannot use flash or a tripod when taking photos, and you need to contact the museum if you want to use them for non-personal purposes.

Opening hours: See here.

Price: €12 (free to visit with the Torino+Piemonte Card).

CHIESA DELLA GRAN MADRE DI DIO

The 19th-century Church of Gran Madre di Dio proudly sits on the banks of the Po river, overlooking the Vittorio Emanuele I Bridge and Piazza Vittorio Veneto.

Built to celebrate the defeat of the Napoleonic empire and the return of the House of Savoy from exile, any Turin itinerary should include it, especially because you must admire its beautiful Pantheon-inspired look.

Gran Madre di Dio Church

MUSEUM OF EASTERN ART

If you were intrigued by the Egyptian Museum, you might also like the Museum of Eastern Art (or Museum of Oriental Art/MAO). Not only is it housed in a 17th-century palace but also boasts a collection of Asian art considered one of the best in Italy.

Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM, Thursday 1 PM – 9 PM (the ticket office closes one hour before closing time).

Price: €10 (free to visit with the Torino+Piemonte Card).

PALAZZINA DI CACCIA DI STUPINIGI

Planning my Turin itinerary felt like doing a puzzle, and the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi (The Hunting Lodge of Stupinigi) had a spot on the last day.

It’s situated about 12 km (7.5 miles) from Turin’s center, but because it was snowing so heavily that day, I decided to stay in the city.

I’m regretting it as I’m writing this post because the Palazzina is one of the Savoy residences I was really eager to visit (I just couldn’t get enough of these palaces).

Dating back to the 18th century, the House of Savoy used this complex for leisure purposes, and it was even Napoleon’s residence for a little while.

I was hooked just by looking at photos of its front facade, gardens, and Italian-Rococo-style interiors, so do it for me and don’t skip out on this landmark.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 10 AM – 5:30 PM, Saturday – Sunday 10 AM – 6:30 PM (the ticket office closes half an hour before closing time). The palace is reachable by public transportation.

Price: €12 (free to visit with the Torino+Piemonte Card, and you’ll have to purchase your ticket at the ticket office). Reservations are not mandatory (only for groups), so if you do decide to book it in advance online, you’ll pay 15% more.

Stupinigi Hunting Lodge
“Stupinigi (1)” by robertorolla is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

JUVENTUS MUSEUM

European football fanatics – this one is for you.

To me, nothing compares to going to an actual football game because the energy is electrifying, but visiting a team’s museum is also a fun experience since you still get to see the stadium yet also learn about its heritage.

Juventus is a force to be reckoned with, being the most successful team in Italy (and one of the best in Europe), so visiting its museum is a must when taking a trip to Turin.

Opening hours: See here.

Price: €15 (free to visit with the Torino+Piemonte Card).

MONTE DEI CAPPUCCINI

Any classic postcard of Turin shows the views over the city, along with the Mole Antonelliana building standing out, and chances are the photo was taken at the Monte dei Cappuccini hill on the eastern side of the Po river.

Besides taking in the scenery, you can also admire the 16th-century Church and Convent of Santa Maria del Monte (built for the Capuchin monks), but the views are definitely the highlight here.

Note that buses only take you so far, and you’ll have to continue the ascent to the top of the hill on foot, so bring comfortable shoes.

BASILICA DI SUPERGA

A place I would have visited if I had one more day in Turin is the Basilica of Superga, perched on a mountain only 9 km (5.6 miles) east of the city and designed by the architect Filippo Juvarra.

After winning the Battle of Turin, Victor Amadeus II of Savoy ordered to build the Baroque complex at the beginning of the 18th-century out of gratitude to the Virgin Mary.

The basilica is also the Savoy family’s burial place, so you can understand why it’s such a meaningful landmark.

With its Pantheon-like front facade, yellow exteriors, and decorated dome, it definitely looks impressive in pictures, so I know I have to go back to see it in real life.

Opening hours, prices, and ways to get there: See here (free to visit with the Torino+Piemonte Card).

Basilica of Superga
Superga by epicioci from Pixabay

SYNAGOGUE OF TURIN

I am very proud of my Jewish heritage and always love seeing synagogues around the world, so apart from the fact that the Mole Antonelliana building was supposed to be one, I was also thrilled to know that there was a synagogue standing today in Turin.

Also known as Israelite Temple, the Synagogue of Turin is a stunning 19th-century neo-Moorish-style synagogue, commissioned by the Jewish community after it rejected the Mole.

It really is an architectural gem in the city and a landmark that probably gets overlooked by most travelers, so go off the beaten track and see this hidden gem in Turin.

As the name suggests, this is a great museum for modern and contemporary art lovers. It hosts both permanent collections and temporary exhibitions, which you can check out here.

Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM, Thursday 1 PM – 9 PM (the ticket office closes one hour before closing time).

Price: €10 (free to visit with the Torino+Piemonte Card).

SANTUARIO DELLA CONSOLATA

Santuario della Consolata (Church of the Virgin of the Consolation/Sanctuary of Mary the Consoler) has a history that traces back to the 10th century, though it was heavily remodeled in the 17th-19th centuries.

This church is one of the most religiously important buildings in Turin, and its impressive size and Baroque style are not to be missed. For a cup of coffee with a view, head to the historic Caffe al Bicerin that overlooks the basilica.

Best things to see in Turin - Santuario della Consolata

OTHER MUSEUMS TO VISIT

If you’re looking for smaller and/or quirkier museums, you can also head to:

  • CAMERA – Italian Center for Photography
  • Museum of Criminal Anthropology
  • Museum of Fruit
  • MAU – Museum of Urban Art (a free open-air museum)

I also wanted to visit Palazzo Barolo, which is considered one of the best-preserved Baroque nobility residences in Turin. But it only offers guided tours, which seem to be in Italian.

Read more about Italy:



WHAT TO DO IN TURIN, ITALY: FOOD & DRINKS

Want to explore this side of Turin with a guide? Browse these food tours!

EMBRACE THE TRADITION OF THE APERITIVO

Italy wouldn’t be Italy without the aperitivo – pre-meal drink meant to tickle your appetite. But did you know that this cultural ritual was born in Turin? Mindblowing, right?

It all started in 1786 when Antonio Benedetto Carpano invented the vermouth, the famous fortified aromatized wine, which soon became a highly-popular pre-dinner drink amongst both royals and commoners.

The tradition has evolved over the years, and today, aperitivo in Turin usually includes a cocktail like Negroni (made of red vermouth, Campari, and gin), Martini, or Aperol Spritz, along with some bite-sized snacks, though some bars offer a full buffet table (this new custom is called apericena).

As the capital city of the aperitivo, Turin is THE place to immerse yourself in this tradition, and you can do so literally everywhere. From neighborhood cafes to restaurants to high-end lounges, you can enjoy Italian happy hour in almost every venue.

Be sure to check out Bar Zucca, Caffè Rossini, and Carpe Diem, or go on your own aperitivo adventure in Turin.

TRY SOME PIEDMONTESE FOOD

I hope you agree that Italian food is the best in the world and that trying the local food is a huge part of getting to know the local culture.

Piedmont’s regional dishes will surely take your trip to a whole other level, so here’s a taste of what you need to devour in Turin.

Agnolotti: I don’t eat meat, so I couldn’t try these little pieces of filled pasta, but it’s one of the region’s most famous specialties.

Gnocchi al Castelmagno: Gnocchi with a creamy white sauce made of Castelmagano, a Piedmontese hard cheese. It’s often topped with hazelnuts from the region and is the definition of joy.

Tajarin: This local egg pasta has a unique texture thanks to the high amount of egg yolks it contains, and it is served with various types of sauces.

Risotto al Barolo: Though you’ll also see lots of mushroom risottos on menus, this one is cooked with Barolo, a Piedmontese red wine.

You might also be surprised to know that Grissini breadsticks were invented in Turin centuries ago, and you’ll get them at the beginning of your meal, along with a piece of bread (both are, of course, not free).

To indulge in a hearty meal, my recommendations include restaurants such as Pastificio Defilippis, Poormanger (they serve the most amazing Italian-style stuffed potatoes), Piola da Cianci, and Trattoria AlleVolte.

Gnocchi al Castelmagno
Gnocchi al Castelmagno

HAVE A BICERIN AT THE CITY’S HISTORIC CAFES

An extremely fun thing to do in Turin is to savor a cup of Bicerin, a local drink made of chocolate, coffee, and milk, invented by the historic Caffe al Bicerin (established in 1763).

It’s pretty addictive since it tastes like dark hot chocolate with a hint of coffee, and Caffe al Bicerin also offers to serve it alongside some traditional biscuits.

Note that the original one is quite pricey (but worth it for the experience), so you can also have it at any other cafe. Some historic ones you can’t miss are Baratti & Milano, Caffè Mulassano, and Caffè Fiorio.

A cup of the local coffee drink in Turin called Bicerin
Bicerin

BUY GIANDUIOTTO AT THE BEST CHOCOLATE SHOPS

Turin and chocolate are practically synonyms and for a good reason. This city was the world’s first producer of solid chocolate, and it also introduced us to the heavenly combo of cocoa and hazelnuts.

Before Pietro Ferrero invented Nutella (which also happened in the region of Piedmont), the original chocolate-hazelnut spread, Gianduja/Gianduia, was born in Turin at the beginning of the 19th century during Napoleon’s reign.

A few decades later, one of Turin’s biggest brands, Caffarel, invented the triangle-shaped chocolate-hazelnut little treat gianduiotto. And after trying it, I can say that the world is a better place because of it and that paradise does exist. No jokes.

But beyond Caffarel, you’ll find so many drool-worthy chocolate shops in Turin, so go on the sweetest shopping spree, and check out places like Stratta, Guido Castagna, Guido Gobino, Gustavo Pfatisch, and Peyrano.

Gianduiotto chocolates
Gianduiotti

GET ADDICTED TO THE CITY’S PASTICCERIAS

It’s hard to beat the smell of freshly baked goods, and thankfully, you’ll get to enjoy a whole lot of it in Turin, a city with an outrageous number of pasticcerias – Italian bakeries/pastry shops.

From bread to “simple” pastries like croissants to more intricate patisserie-style desserts, they sell it all. Head to Pasticceria Venier, Pasticceria Sabauda, Pasticciotto, and Confetteria Pasticceria Guardia, though you’ll come across so many others.

Extra tip: Be sure to try some Piedmontese Baci di Dama (‘Lady’s Kisses’) cookies – they seem innocent, but trust me, they will become your new obsession.

Desserts at DAF Elite cafe

EXPLORE TURIN’S CUTEST CAFES

Apart from old establishments, Turin is home to other cafes you’ll love, so here are a few of my own recommendations.

Farmacia del Cambio: While Del Cambio is a well-known historic restaurant in Turin serving gourmet food, the adjacent Farmacia del Cambio is a 19th-century pharmacy turned into a modern bistro/cafe/bakery. Be sure to try the Gianduiotto-style dessert, though it’s also known for its pastries.

DAF Èlite: From elegant, one-bite-size Italian desserts to other sweet creations, this cafe/pasticceria is a must-try in Turin’s city center.

Caffetteria Croissanterie RETRO’: If you’re staying in the neighborhood of Crocetta (as I did), you’ll love this cafe and its delicious filled croissants.

Caffetteria Vergnano Dal Tiepolo: Located near Valentino Park, this adorable cafe/bistro has lovely decor, and it serves great coffee, as well as pastries, cakes, and full Italian meals.

Coffee and dessert at Farmacia del Cambio in Turin
A Gianduiotto dessert at Farmacia del Cambio

SAVOR A GELATO

Just in case you need some more sugar in your body, Turin is also home to quite a few must-try gelaterias, so treat yourself with the most exquisite gelato at Gelateria La Romana, Gelateria Via Mazzini, and Alberto Marchetti.

STUFF YOUR FACE AT A PIZZERIA/FOCACCERIA

If you’re a dough lover like me, your taste buds are going to be happy. You see, I know it’s Italy, but I still wasn’t expecting to find so many eateries in Turin dedicated solely to pizza and focaccia.

Some are pretty tiny and only have a few tables and stools outside, but when you see the locals come and go, you know you’re at the right place.

A few of my own favorites are La Pinseria 1, Pizzeria L’Angolo Verde, and Focacceria Genovese Sant’Agostino, but you’ll find plenty others scattered around the city.

Pizza in Turin
Pizzeria L’Angolo Verde

ENJOY THE CAMPAGNA AMICA MARKETS

Dedicated to supporting Italian agriculture, the Campagna Amica Foundation operates farmers’ markets all across the country. They are a big part of everyday life, so even if I’m not buying anything, I love seeing the local produce and the locals doing their market shopping. 

In the city center of Turin, you can visit the markets at Piazza Palazzo di Città (open every first Sunday of the month), Piazza Cavour (open every second Sunday of the month), Piazza Vittorio Veneto (open every third Sunday of the month), and Piazza Bodoni (open every fourth Sunday of the month).

HAVE A MEAL AT EATALY

Nowadays, Eataly is a well-known brand, but surprise, surprise – its first indoor marketplace & restaurant venue opened in Turin.

So after a visit to the nearby National Automobile Museum, head to Eataly Torino Lingotto, where you can buy high-quality Italian produce while also feasting on a market-inspired meal.

If you have more than just a couple of days in Turin, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Cheese stand at Eataly marketplace in Turin
Eataly Lingotto marketplace

If you’re looking for non touristy girls’ trip ideas in Europe, Turin can be an ideal choice!



OTHER BEST THINGS TO SEE IN TURIN, ITALY

GRAN BALON & BALON DEL SABATO

Who doesn’t love a good old flea market? And Turin’s Balon del Sabato is extra special as it’s a historic one with more than 150 years of operation, taking place every Saturday from 7 AM to 6 PM.

Once a month, on the second Sunday, this event gets even bigger and turns into the Gran Balon, a market that goes on for miles and boasts more than 300 stalls selling books, furniture, clothing, and much more.

You’ll find both Balon del Sabato and Gran Balon at Borgo Dora street and its surroundings. They can get quite crowded, so be sure to watch your belongings.

Balon del Sabato - a flea market in Turin

FAMOUS PIAZZAS OF TURIN

Maybe it’s the historic buildings surrounding them, the energy of the people passing by, or magical dust spread through the air – Italian piazzas (squares) always seem to be irresistibly enchanting.

Luckily, you’ll find plenty of them in Turin, so don’t skip out on beautiful spots like Piazza Castello, Piazza San Carlo, Piazza Vittorio Veneto, Piazza Carignano, Piazza Carlo Alberto, and Piazza Statuto.

Piazza San Carlo at night
Piazza San Carlo at night

PALATINE GATE

Also known as the Palatine Towers or Porta Palatina, the Palatine Gate is one of the world’s best-preserved Roman city gates.

Dating back to 1st-century BC when Turin was a settlement called Augusta Taurinorum, it’s definitely a privilege to see it standing today.

Palatine Gate in Turin

COVERED ARCADES OF TURIN

If you’re looking for cool things to do in Turin, its city center is dotted with a few small yet architecturally-mesmerizing covered arcades that are just a delight to explore.

All three of them – Galleria Subalpina, Galleria San Federico, and Galleria Umberto I – are a must-have on your itinerary (the first two are absolutely gorgeous), and a list of the best places to see in Turin is not complete without them.

The covered arcade Galleria Subalpina
Galleria Subalpina

VALENTINO PARK

Turin’s most famous park (and Italy’s first public garden, dating back to the mid 19th century) surely deserves to be mentioned here.

Some parts of it are not as pretty as others, but it is still a great place for a morning stroll and is home to quite a few visit-worthy points of interest.

These include Castello del Valentino, Botanical Garden of Turin’s University (which you can visit from April to October), Fontana dei 12 Mesi (Fountain of the 12 Months), the picturesque Giardino Roccioso (Rocky Garden), and the Medieval Village.

Other popular parks in Turin are Dora Park and Parco della Pellerina.

MEDIEVAL VILLAGE

Since it’s one of Valentino Park’s biggest highlights, I think the Medieval Village (Borgo Medievale) deserves its own section. Although it feels more touristy than authentic, it’s still a must-see spot in Turin (and a free one!).

Built almost 150 years ago, this replica of a 15th-century Piedmontese village is one of the most beautiful open-air museums you’ll ever visit. With its decorated houses, churches, and even a castle, this complex really does transport you to another world.

You’ll also find a few shops and a cafe there, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see some adorable squirrels running around.

Medieval Village in Turin Italy

PORTA PALAZZO MARKET & MERCADO CENTRALE

As if Turin isn’t amazing enough with all its inventions and the records it breaks, it’s also home to Europe’s largest outdoor market, Porta Palazzo, situated at Piazza della Repubblica and established in 1835.

You’ll find just about anything here, from clothing to flowers to vegetables to fresh pasta. There are even a few covered markets, including Antica Tettoia dell’Orologio and Mercato Centrale (Central Market), so be sure to dedicate enough time to this area to fully enjoy it.

Opening hours: See here (you need to translate the page).

Porta Palazzo market

TURIN’S FAMOUS STREETS

There’s no shortage of beautiful streets in Turin, but some are absolute must-sees.

You’ll surely love Via Pietro Micca & Via Po with their lovely porticos, the shopping streets Via Roma & Via Garibaldi, and the charming Via Monferrato, though you can easily discover others, especially in the Quadrilatero district.

Via Monferrato in Turin Italy
Via Monferrato

UNIQUE GOTHIC AND ART NOUVEAU BUILDINGS

With so many Baroque landmarks, it’s safe to say that Turin is a perfect city for architecture lovers. But it’s also home to some pretty photogenic Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings you might want to see on your trip.

If you’re looking for offbeat photo spots, head to Casa Fenoglio-Lafleur, Palazzo della Vittoria, and Villa Scott. Note that the villa is private property and a bit far from the city center. You can also check out this Art Nouveau walking tour.

Not as unique but still worth mentioning because of its name, the Fetta di Polenta (translating to ‘slice of polenta’) is a 19th-century Neoclassical building, located only a couple of minutes from the Mole Antonelliana.

CONDOMINIO 25 VERDE

Not too far from Valentino Park, you’ll find an incredibly bizarre residential building called Condominio 25 Verde.

It looks like a weird mix of a forest, a treehouse, and a garden, and indeed, it is an eco-sustainable project referred to as a habitable forest.

Its odd shape interweaving with countless trees and shrubs is quite hypnotizing, and it’s really fascinating to see the result of such a creative project.

A unique building in Turin called Verde 25

TURIN’S CUTEST SHOPS

When going on a city break, I love finding unique concept shops. Whether they are beautifully decorated or sell unusual items (not too unusual), they always put a smile on my face.

If you also love these kinds of hidden gems, check out the stunning Floris House, a combo of a perfumery shop and a cafe/bar that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a magical little world.

Next, head to Melissa Torino, a mesmerizing herb store, and if you’re visiting Turin in winter, you’ll love the Christmas-themed Spazio Adisco, which was actually a charity shop.

DAY TRIPS FROM TURIN

If after this entire list of things to do in Turin you still have extra time for day trips beyond Venaria and Stupingi, a few nearby towns and cities I still need to visit (which seem easily reachable by public transportation) include Moncalieri, Rivoli, Cuneo, Alessandria, and Ivrea.

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About Or Amir

Hey, I'm Or! I'm a passionate traveler with a severe coffee, chocolate, and pastry addiction (or any other carb for that matter). Obsessed with anything Spain-related, I'm always planning my next trip (and the excitement alone can bring tears to my eyes, not that it's difficult to make me cry).

4 thoughts on “50 Super Exciting Things to Do in Turin, Italy’s Gem”

  1. Turin looks like a beautiful city to visit. We meant to go when we were in Milan but sadly didn’t have time. Saving this guide for our trip there in the future!

    Reply

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