The best things to do in Turin show this to be one of Italy’s most fascinating cities, where modern life hums among historical landmarks and majestic palaces. It may be famous for the Shroud, but you’ll hardly get to see that on most trips. Great palaces and museums make up for that, and Turin remains less crowded compared to Rome and Milan, for instance.

    This capital city of the famous wine and white truffle-producing Piedmont region can be great for foodies. There’s excellent dining in the heart of the city and by the River Po, while the glitzy shopping walk of Via Roma connects one grand piazza to another. Whether you’re in for the scenes or the flavours, check out our top picks for things to see, do, and try in Turin.

    What are the best things to do in Turin?


    Palazzo Reale

    Tour a grand palace and its royal gardens

    • History
    • Photo

    The Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) of Turin is the historical residence of the Duke of Savoy and his family. This UNESCO World Heritage site features a series of grand halls, gilded apartments, a royal museum, armoury and a royal library that you can visit on tours (all-access tickets are around €12). The royal gardens behind the palace is free to access. It’s within a 10-minute walk from Piazza San Carlo, along Via Roma. You’ll also come across the castle’s square with the Palazzo Madama at its centre.

    Location: Piazzetta Reale, 1, Turin, Italy

    Open: Tuesday – Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm (ticket office closes at 6 pm)

    Phone: +39 (0)11 436 1455


    Piazza San Carlo

    Enjoy coffee with the beauty of Turin and its twin churches

    • Couples
    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Piazza San Carlo is Turin's main city square, where you can soak up the city’s historical charm, surrounded by the neat rows of colonnades of its well-preserved 17th-century buildings. The square’s southern skyline is topped by its twin churches: the Santa Cristina with its bell tower and the Chiesa di San Carlo Borromeo. The bronze statue depicting the Duke of Savoy, Emmanuel Philibert, atop his horse stands in the centre. Hit the great cafés, Caffe Torino or San Carlo in the southern corner, for a cappuccino with views over the piazza.

    Location: Piazza San Carlo, Turin, Italy

    Open: 24 hours


    Egyptian Museum

    See over 30,000 artefacts of the ancient civilisation

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum) in Turin contains over 30,000 Ancient Egyptian artefacts. Founded in 1824, the archaeological museum is one of those places where there's always something to grab the kids' attention. Must-sees include the mummified remains of 24 humans and 17 animals, 

    Enjoy a journey through statues, sphinxes, sarcophagi, papyrus and monuments, including the Temple of Ellesyia and the well-preserved Tomb of Kha and Merit. Museo Egizio is within a 5-minute walk of Piazza San Carlo, Turin's main city plaza.

    Location: Via Accademia delle Scienze, 6, 10123 Torino TO, Italy

    Open: Monday from 9 am to 2 pm, Tuesday–Sunday from 9 am to 6.30 pm

    Phone: +39 011 440 6903


    Via Roma Walking Street

    Hit the shops on your way to Palazzo Reale

    Via Roma is Turin’s answer to London’s Oxford Street. The 700-metre-long walking street starts at the Piazza San Carlo square and ends at Palazzo Reale. Throughout the length, you’ll walk by beautiful colonnades at the base of historical buildings, lined with a series of designer fashion boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bershka and Swarovksi. Beyond the window shopping, you can enjoy the scenes of the buzzing city life, often with street musicians performing their best covers and original pieces.

    Location: Via Roma, Turin, Italy

    Open: 24 hours


    Porta Palazzo market

    Visit Turin’s grand marketplace

    Turin’s largest fresh market, Porta Palazzo, is in the southeast corner of the octagonal Piazza della Repubblica, north of the royal palace. Inside its so-called “Clock Market” building you’ll find stalls selling fresh Italian produce and clothes. Behind it, the Mercato dei Contadini is where farmers sell their own goods. The market has historically been influenced by Moroccans as they were among the city’s earliest immigrant communities. There’s plenty of fresh food stalls selling halal meats and exotic herbs and spices, as well as beautiful souvenir items such as Moroccan glasses and earthenware.

    Location: Piazza Della Repubblica, Turin, Italy

    Open: Monday – Friday from 7 am to 2 pm, Saturday from 7 am to 7 pm


    Palazzo Madama Museum

    Learn about Turin’s fortress and senate seat-turned-museum

    • History
    • Photo

    This majestic fortress in front of Turin’s royal palace complex serves as the city’s museum of ancient arts. It showcases a permanent collection over 4 floors, with classical paintings and centuries-old artefacts from all over Italy. Entry is around €10 for adults and free for kids under 18, but totally free on the first Wednesdays of each month. Temporary and collaborative exhibitions such as the history of perfumery and medieval paintings from the castles of France are frequently held throughout the year, so expect ticket price changes during such events.

    Location: Piazza Castello, Turin, Italy

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm, closed Tuesdays

    Phone: +39 (0)11 443 3501


    Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile

    See hundreds of vintage vehicles

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    Turin's Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile (National Automobile Museum) offers a journey through the history of automobiles. Besides displaying over 200 original cars from all over the world, the museum offers educational workshops on mechanics, physics and road safety.  

    Each car is connected to a historical, sporting, social or cultural breakthrough. There's a Fiat Model 4 from 1911 that was used by King Victor Emmanuel III for his travels during WWI, a 1950 Isotta Fraschini featured in the film Sunset Boulevard, and a Ferrari 312 T5 driven by Gilles Villeneuve.

    Location: Corso Unità d'Italia, 40, 10126 Torino TO, Italy

    Open: Monday from 10 am to 2 pm, Tuesday–Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +39 011 677 666


    photo by Pava (CC BY 3.0) modified


    The Dome of the Mole

    Climb up Turin’s iconic landmark for panoramas

    • Couples
    • History
    • Photo

    Mole Antonelliana (Antonelli’s Monumental Landmark, named after Italian architect Alessandro Antonelli) is one of Turin’s most iconic structures. You can climb up its grand cupola for panoramic views over the city. The Mole is around a 10-minute walk from the Royal Castle complex. Take the panoramic, free-floating lift that’s suspended in the centre of the building to the top for around €8. You can also get a combined visit ticket for around €15 that includes a trip to the on-site cinema museum.

    Location: Via Montebello, 20, Turin, Italy

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 8 pm. Closed on Tuesdays

    Phone: +39 (0)11 813 8560


    Quadrilatero Romano

    Have a drink at a bar or trattoria

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • History

    Turin’s Quadrilatero Romano (Ancient Roman Quarter) is a charming neighbourhood with a maze of narrow streets that connect palaces, Romanesque churches and some of the city’s hippest restaurants and shops. Your pleasant strolls here let you glimpse some of the landmarks and courtyards, before the sun sets. The quiet scene turns lively in the evenings as it’s one of the best areas to head to for aperitivo or happy hours at the many bars. Try the little square, Piazza Emanuele Filiberto, where trattorias serve up drinks and buffets from around €10.

    Location: Piazza Emmanuele Filiberto, Turin, Italy


    Teatro Regio di Torino

    See the works of Wagner and Verdi come to life on stage

    • Couples
    • History
    • Luxury

    Turin’s Teatro Regio is the city’s sole opera house and dates back centuries. The theatre is east of the royal palace square. A series of 9 to 13 ballets, symphony concerts and opera performances are usually held between October and June, with classical works such as Tristan and Isolde, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and many others, each usually lasting up to 5 hours. You can also go on guided 90-minute tours of the theatre between September and July, which covers the foyer and hall, as well as the technical aspects and its historical archives.

    Location: Piazza Castello, 215, Turin, Italy

    Open: Showtimes vary between 4.30 pm and 8 pm (box office open Tuesday – Friday from 10.30 am and 6 pm), Saturday 10.30 am – 4 pm

    Phone: +39 (0)11 88151


    photo by Josep Renalias Lohen11 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveller

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