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Things to Do in Turin: The 20 Best Places to visit + Highlights

Turin, in Italy, is a former industrial city that was completely redesigned for the 2006 Olympics. It’s now one of the most pleasant Italian cities to visit!

Just like other more visited Italian cities such as Rome or Venice, Turin clearly deserves to be visited for a weekend or a few more days.

With its world-class museums such as the National Cinema Museum and National Automobile Museums, royal residences, magnificent squares and churches you will find in Turin everything that makes Italy charming.

In order to help you plan your stay, I have created this guide of the best things to do in Turin. You will find all the activities and points of interest you need to see during your stay in town!

And at the end of the article, I will give you itineraries to visit Turin in 1, 2, 3 or 4 days as well as a list of the best accommodations in town depending on your budget.

So, what are the best places to visit in Turin? Where to stay? Let’s find out!

Visit Turin: The 20 Must-See Attractions

Before starting my list of the top things to see in Turin, I’ll give you THE best tip to visit the city and save money: purchase the Torino + Piemonte card.

Depending on the duration of your stay in Turin, you can choose the 1, 2, 3 or 5 days version. They will grant you access to almost all cultural sites free of charge and to promotional offers for some of them.

it costed me 35€ for 3 days. As museum entrance fees are all around 10€, it was really worth it, as I didn’t have to pay a single euro for all the visits I did!

The card’s validity time will begin the first time you will use it.

If you visit your first museum on Monday at 2 pm., you can use the card until 2pm on Thursday for a 3-day card. This card isn’t a “skip the line” ticket.

You can buy the 2 days card here and the 3 days card there.

1. Piazza Castello

Let’s start with the famous Piazza Castello square and the historical monuments surrounding it. You simply can’t miss it during your stay in Turin, as it’s where some of the must-see monuments like the palazzo Madama or the Palazzo Reale are located.

In summer, this square is also popular for its refreshing water jets or as a great place to enjoy a good Italian ice cream. There are numerous gelateria (ice cream shops) around the square and in the nearby streets.

On the other side of Piazza Castello, where the towers of the Palazzo Madama are located, you can see the First World War mermorial, in tribute to Emanuele Filiberto, 2nd Duke of Aosta.

Piazza Castello Turin

The other side of the piazza Castello, view from the back of the palazzo Madama

2. Palazzo Reale

The main entrance of the Palazzo Reale is on Piazza Castello. Built in 1646, it served as a royal residence until 1865. Today, you can visit various sections of the palace:

  • The king’s apartments, with gilded luxurious decoration everywhere.
  • The Royal Library and its 200,000 books, including masterpieces such as the self-portrait or the Codex on the Flight of Birds by Leonardo da Vinci.
  • The Royal Armory and its impressive collection of stuffed horses with their armored riders.
  • The galleria Sabauda, which exhibits paintings from the 14th century to the 20th century
  • The Royal gardens (free entrance)

This magnificent palace is clearly a must-see during your stay in Turin. I really loved the Royal Armory, it’s the most impressive I have seen to date.

Turin palazzo Reale

A richly decorated room of Turin palazzo Reale

3. Palazzo Madama

Another palace located on Piazza Castello is the palazzo Madama, a building with an atypical architecture. It was first a medieval castle before becoming a palace with a baroque façade!

Inside, there is the Turin City Museum of Ancient Art, housing a nice collection of ceramics, drawings and sculptures. During the visit, you can go in the small garden to admire the walls and towers of the palace from the inside.

In addition to the museum, the highlight of the visit is for sure the stunning view from the top of the towers!

By taking the elevator or the stairs, you will reach the top of the tower and will be able to admire a very nice panorama of the city of Turin and its iconic monument: the Mole Antonelliana. I tell you more about it just below!

palazzo Madama Turin

The palazzo Madama

4. The cinema museum / Mole Antonelliana

Located in the Mole Antonelliana, the National Museum of Cinema is for many the best museum of the city. Very few people know this: Turin is the birthplace of Italian cinema! It’s no wonder that the city needed to have an amazing museum dedicated to the 7th art.

The exhibitions are very well done and retrace the history of cinema with all kinds of objects, from the first cameras to the helmets of the Star Wars saga.

In the huge main room, cinema seats are even arranged to watch movies displayed on 2 giant screens on the ceiling.

But if so many people visit the museum, it’s above all for its unique attraction: the panoramic elevator with transparent walls that will take you to the Mole platform. The perfect place to enjoy a 360° view of Turin.

Be patient because the waiting line is often several hours long! But it’s really a unique experience to live during a stay in Italy.

if you want to take the elevator, you will need to pay an additional fee to the museum entrance. The Torino card gives you a discount.

All the information about Turin Cinema museum is on the official site.

If you don’t take the Torino Card, I recommend you to buy the Skip the line tickets for the Cinema Museum + panoramic elevator. You will save a lot of time!

Turin Cinema museum

Turin Cinema museum

5. Palazzo Carignano

The Carignan Palace is the third palace-museum to visit, after the Palazzo Reale and the palazzo Madama. It houses the Italian Risorgimento Museum and presents the history of Italy through numerous texts, documents, films and superb paintings.

Don’t miss the hall where the first Italian parliament met.

Just behind the Carignan Palace, at the entrance of the Risorgimento museum, you can also see the Carlo Alberto square, with the equestrian statue of Charles Albert of Sardinia. This square is very photogenic thanks to the beautiful facade of the museum in the background.

As in every squares of Turin, you will also find food and drinks there.

Palazzo Carignano

The Palazzo Carignano

6. Museo Egizio (Egyptian museum)

Not far from the Carignan Palace is one of Turin’s greatest museums. With its 4 floors and numerous exposition rooms, this recently renovated Egyptian museum is the second largest in the world, after the one in Cairo!

The collection includes statues, sarcophagi and mummies, so you can immerse yourself in ancient Egypt for at least 2 hours.

If you don’t purchase the Torino Card and want to visit the museum, you should buy skip the line tickets in advance by clicking here.

And if you want to learn everything aout Ancient Egypt, you should definitely book this guided tour in English. It’s just perfect!

To book it, simply click on the button below:

Egyptian Museum of Turin

Collection of statuettes from the Egyptian Museum of Turin

7. Piazza San Carlo

Piazza San Carlo (San Carlo Square) is one of Turin’s main squares. This large and elegant square is my favorite in the city.

With its arcades, its 2 twin churches (the church of Santa Cristina and the San Carlo Borromeo church) and the equestrian statue of Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, it’s extremely photogenic! Under the arcades, you can go shopping or have a coffee in one of the peaceful coffee shops. No noise, it’s a pedestrian only area.

The Piazza San Carlo also often hosts cultural events.

Piazza San Carlo Turin

The Piazza San Carlo with its twin churches, in Turin

8. Museo dell’automobile

The Automobile Museum is the other famous museum in Turin. According to The Times magazine, it’s one of the 50 best museums in the world.

With nearly 200 cars from 80 different brands ranging from steam cars to the latest models, the museum presents one of the world’s finest collections of rare vehicles.

Automobile Museum Turin

Turin Automobile Museum

9. Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista

The Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista is the main church of Turin. It’s especially famous for housing the holy shroud, that is said to have enveloped the body of Christ. Its authenticity is of course questioned, but this does not prevent visitors from rushing into the cathedral.

It should be noted, however, that the relic rests under a watertight seal and is covered by a sheet, so you won’t have the pleasure to admire it.

Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista - Turin

The Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista

10. Porta Palatina

Porta palatina, located not far from the cathedral and the palazzo Reale, was one of the 4 entrances of Turin during the Roman period.

The building is composed of a central door with 2 entrances for chariots, 2 pedestrian entrances dating from the Roman period and 2 towers with battlements added during the medieval period.

It’s one of Turin’s oldest monuments.

Porta Palatina Turin

Porta Palatina, a Roman and medieval vestige

11. Mercato di Porta Palazzo

The Porta Palazzo market is located close to the Porta Palatina and occupies almost all the piazza della Repubblica, which is almost 50,000 square meters. It’s the largest open-air market in Europe.

With about 1,000 stalls, you can find everything: fruit and vegetable, deli meats, cheese, but also clothes, pots, pans and all sorts of household items. And all this at very attractive prices, especially for food!

Porta Palazzo Market Turin

Porta Palazzo Market

12. Santuario della Consolata

The Santuario della Consolata ( Church of the Virgin of the Consolation ), a masterpiece of Baroque art, is one of the oldest churches in Turin.

In its bell tower, you can find the largest bell in Piedmont and a saint is buried there. The sanctuary is especially devoted to the worship of the Virgin Mary, with a procession and ceremony dedicated to her every year in June.

Santuario della Consolata

Santuario della Consolata

13. Parco del Valentino

Spreading over 42 hectares, the Valentino Park is a popular picnic or stroll spot for Turinese families. For you it will be an opportunity for a nice walk in the shades, or along the Po river. Perfect to enjoy a bit of freshness!

Don’t miss the Fontana di Dodici Mesi (Fountain of the Twelve Months) and the Arco del Valentino there.

Pont Isabella, à Turin - Parc du Valentino

Isabella Bridge, in Turin – At the southern entrance of Parco del Valentino

14. Borgo Medievale de Torino

The medieval village of Turin is located in the heart of Valentino Park. It was created in 1884 for the general Italian exhibition that took place in Turin. It recreates the atmosphere of a typical 15th century Piedmontese town: you can see a drawbridge, craft shops and even a chapel.

You can also visit the fortress, a reconstruction of a Seigneurial residence. Inside, you can see the weapons room, the dining room, the kitchens and undergrounds housing the prison.

Turin medieval village

The medieval village of Turin

15. Castello del Valentino

Built in 1620 by Duke Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy, the Valentino castle today houses the University of Architecture and isn’t open to visitors.

When walking in the park, you will however be able to admire the outside facade and walk around it. The facade on the city’s side is inspired from French castles while the one overlooking the river, all in red bricks, is Italian style architecture.

Valentino castle, in Turin

Valentino castle, in Turin

16. Piazza Vittorio Veneto

Another beautiful place to see in Turin: the Vittorio Veneto square. It offers a very nice view of the river, the Gran Madre di Dio church and Turin surrounding hills.

It’s also the ideal place for an ”aperitivo” or a meal in one of the good restaurants located on the square.

Vittorio Venetto square

Vittorio Venetto square

17. Chiesa della Gran Madre di Dio

The Gran Madre di Dio Church was built in tribute to Victor Emmanuel I, for his victory over Napoleon in 1814.

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It was built in neoclassical style, directly inspired from the pantheon of Rome. The interior is entirely dedicated to the Virgin Mary, with bas-reliefs depicting her life.

Anecdote: the Holy Grail would be buried outside the church, between the two statues representing Faith and Religion.

Gran Madre di Dio Church

Gran Madre di Dio Church

18. Monte dei Capuccini

On the right side of the Gran Madre di Dio church, you can take the road leading to the Monte dei Capuccini. The hill’s name comes from the fact it was given to the Capuchins by the house of Savoy to build a church and a convent.

At the top, you will find the most famous view of Turin and enjoy a beautiful scenery overlooking the city and the Alps on the horizon. You can also enter the Santa Maria Church, and visit the recently renovated Museo della Montagna.

Don’t hesitate to do it, especially if you have the Torino card: you will not pay anything and you will have access to the roof panoramic terrace for an even better view of the city.

Monte dei Capuccini Turin

View of Turin from the Monte dei Capuccini

19. Villa della Regina

The Villa della Regina (Queen’s villa in english) is worth a visit, especially for its great location on a hill overlooking the city and the Po river. A great place to admire a beautiful view of Turin

It was built in 1615, following the Roman model, to serve as a residence for Savoyan queens.

To see inside: the magnificent Chinese cabinet and the main living room featuring frescoes and paintings. It’s also famous for its amphitheatre-shaped garden with a beautiful fountain, small waterfalls, the vineyard (still in activity) and the panorama of the city.

Villa della Regina Turin

The Villa della Regina, Turin

20. Basilica of Superga

You can see it from afar when walking in Turin: the 670m heigh hill with the basilica di Superga built at the top catches the eye. From there, the view over the city and the Alps is breathtaking!

To get there, I advise you to go by car or by funicular for a more typical experience. If you want to go up there on foot, no problem, but I’m warning you, the climb will not be easy!

The basilica is remarkable for its huge circular facade with a dome. Inside there is the crypt with the House of Savoy king’s tombs as well as those of princes and princesses.

You can also go up a narrow spiral staircase to access the balcony at the top of the dome and enjoy a view of the surrounding hill.

The basilica is also sadly famous for the tragedy that took place there in 1949. The plane that carried the Turin football team (Torino football club), crashed on the hill, demolishing a part of the convent.

Since then, a funerary monument has been erected and Turinese people come to visit it every year on the anniversary of the tragedy.

Visit the Superga Basilica early in the morning to enjoy a visit without too many people. From 10 o’ clock onwards, the parking lot fills up quickly and the peace of the place is a little disrupted!

basilica of Superga Turin

A masterpiece of Baroque architecture, the basilica of Superga.

1 day in Turin

If you only have one day in Turin, you have 2 options:

Take a stroll through the city and admire the monuments from the outside:

  • Discover the historical centre, from San Carlo Square to Castello Square, around the palazzo Reale and the palazzo Madama.
  • Then head to the the Vittorio Veneto square to cross the bridge, passing in front of the church of Gran Madre di Dio and climbing the Monte dei Capuccini for a panoramic view of Turin.
  • Stroll in the Valentino park, the medieval village and along the Po river.

Focus on the 2 or 3 main attractions of Turin. I would suggest:

  • Palazzo Reale
  • The cinema museum and the Mole Antonelliana
  • Or the Museo dell’Automobile if you are a car lover.
  • When you arrive in Turin or on your departure, you should go to the basilica of Superga and at the Monte dei Capuccini to enjoy the view of the city.

Visit Turin - Gran Madre di Dio

2 days in Turin

If you will be in Turin for 2 days, it is worth taking the Torino Card. Here is my suggested itinerary.

  • Start with Piazza San Carlo and its 2 twin churches, go up to Piazza Castello, stopping at the San Federico gallery on the left of Via Roma.
  • Visit the Palazzo Reale with its armoury and royal library
  • Lunch break
  • Visit the Cinema Museum located in the Mole Antonelliana. You will have the possibility to take the panoramic elevator.
  • Go to Piazza Vittorio Veneto, cross the Emanuele I bridge and admire the church of the Gran Madre di Dio, go up the hill to the Monte dei Capuccini.
  • Start the day by going to the Catedrale di San Giovanni Battista, where the Shroud of Turin is located.
  • Go through Porta Palatina to reach the piazza della repubblica and the market. It’s open every morning.
  • End the morning with a visit to the Consolata sanctuary
  • Lunch break
  • Visit the Palazzo Carignano and its Risorgimento museum
  • Visit Turin’s Egyptian museum and immerse yourself in the Egyptian civilization.

3 days in Turin

For the beginning of your 3 days stay in Turin, take the program of the first 2 days.

  • Visit the Museo dell’Automobile
  • Lunch break
  • Relaxing afternoon in the Valentino park with a walk along the river and the visit of Turin medieval village.
  • Climb up to the basilica of Superga, a jewel of baroque architecture.

4 days in Turin

In 3 days in Turin, you’ve had time to discover the main points of interest.

For this fourth day, you can visit the other museums of the city as it has no less than 40 museums. 4 days in Turin can also be a good choice if you travel with your family, as the pace will necessarily be slower.

An excellent idea for this 4th day can be to go on a day trip to Milan, less than 1 hour away by express train. One day in Milan is enough to see the 3 main attractions of the city: the cathedral of Milan, the Vittorio Emanuel II gallery and the Sforza castle.

If you plan to visit Milan, you should read my article: The 10 best things to do in Milan.

Where to stay in Turin?

    : Youth hostel located about 15 minutes walk from the Palazzo Reale. Bed in dormitory from 24€. Strong points: welcoming managers, location, cleanliness and comfort of the rooms.
  • Torino 1854 Affittacamere: Located 700 meters away from the Egyptian museum, this hotel is brand new. Colorful and comfortable double room from 65€ per night. Strong points: its excellent location, quiet and close to the city centre, the modernity of the hotel. It’s the best value for money in Turin!
  • Matteotti 25: Located at 10 minutes on foot from the Egyptian Museum. Large modern and bright room from 95€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: its location, the copious breakfast.
  • NH Collection Torino Piazza Carlina: Located in the historical center of Turin. Elegant and comfortable double room from 200€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: The friendly abd very helpful staff, the interior design, the perfect quietness, the amazing breakfast and the ideal location to visit Turin on foot. The view from the terrace is also amazing! It’s the best choice for a luxury stay in Turin!

If you prefer to rent a full apartment to get more space and be able to cook a bit, I highly suggest you to have a look at Apart Hôtel Torino. They are located at 500 meters from Valentino Park. The apartments are modern, well equipped and the interior design is amazing. Starting at only 100€ per night. The best apartments in town!

Mole Antonelliana

The Mole Antonelliana, emblematic monument of Turin

Where to eat in Turin?

  • Porto di Savona: Located on the Vittorio Veneto square, this restaurant offers typical Piedmontese cuisine at an affordable price. I had a great time and I highly recommend the gorgonzola gnocchi, they melts in the mouth and are just delicious. Everything is home made, pasta and desserts. Booking is strongly recommended.
  • La Taverna dei Mercanti: Located in a street adjacent to the Consolata sanctuary, amazing typical Piedmontese dishes. Very warm welcome from the boss. After diner drink offered at the end of the meal.
  • Pescheria Ristorante Gallina: Located in front of the market, on the piazza della Repubblica. This fish shop-restaurant offers dishes based on fresh and succulent fish. Fixed menu for lunch at 15€ including dish + bottle of water + glass of wine + service. Reservations are not possible.

My impressions of Turin

Visiting Turin was a beautiful discovery and a nice surprise. The museums have all been recently renovated, so they are modern, very well done and impressive.

The royal residences are also magnificent and very well maintained.

We can see that the city of Turin has invested in tourism while respecting as much as possible its history and highlighting its cultural heritage.

And, of course, as everywhere in Italy, the food is super good!

And you, what do you plan to visit during your stay in Turin?

Italy travel Guides

  • Buy the Lonely Planet Italy guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
  • Buy the Rick Steves Italy guide on Amazon.comor on Amazon.co.uk

You’re traveling in Italy? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Italy: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Italy are listed there.

  • Milan: The Top 15 things to do in the city and around
  • Rome: The 25 best things to do and see

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Visit Turin

Visit Turin: the 20 best points of interest

15 Best Things to Do in Turin (Italy)

Turin actually served as the first capital of Italy and has been a major cultural and economic centre for the country for many years. Located in the north westerly part of Italy, Turin is the capital of the Piedmont region and sits on the river Po. The city of Turin has a population of 892,000 and the greater metropolitan area has an estimated 2.2 million inhabitants.

As with many regions of Italy, Turin saw Roman activity and a military camp was held here. Once the Roman Empire had collapsed in Western Europe, Turin was occupied by various different nations and empires subsequently. During the 1300-1600’s the city saw great growth and gained much of its fantastic architecture and cultural buildings during this period.

Get the Torino+Piemonte Card for free or reduced entrance to museums, monuments, castles, fortresses and royal residences in Turin and the Piedmont region

In the modern era, Turin was rapidly rebuilt after WWII and its automotive industry became one of the defining influences in the Italian economic revival. The city is now a fantastic blend of old and new and provides a brilliant array of attractions.

Lets explore the best things to do in Turin:

1. Palazzo Reale

Palazzo Reale

Source: flickr Palazzo Reale

The Royal Palace of Turin is a magnificent building that was created in the 16th century.

Residing in the Piazza Castello, the Palace holds a central position in Turin and has stood as a symbol of power for hundreds of years.

A simple design was chosen featuring a square layout and a central courtyard – The front façade features white stonework and many small ornate windows creating a building that feels stately and official.

Inside is a myriad of richly decorated rooms with a style and elegance you would expect from an Italian Royal Palace.

Guided tours are available of the interior and allow you to admire such rooms as the Room of the Throne and the Daniel Gallery.

2. Palazzo Madama

Palazzo Madama

Source: flickr Palazzo Madama

Turin is packed full of extravagant palaces and historical buildings and the Palazzo Madama is the second palace to be located in the Piazza Castello.

Created in the first century BC, the original palace has stood for hundreds of years during the Roman Empire and was modified and built upon heavily during subsequent years.

Originally serving as a defensive fortification, it was not until the 13th century that the building became a palace.

Standing in the Castello square, the front façade of the palace features a row of ornate columns and a palisade decked with sculptures.

Inside the palace you can walk up the richly decorated stairways and admire the sublime decadence of the various rooms and hallways.

3. Mole Antonelliana

Mole Antonelliana

Source: flickr Mole Antonelliana

Possibly the most distinct building in the whole of Turin, the Mole Antonelliana towers above the surrounding skyline and its huge pointed basilica is an icon of the city.

Mole in Italian actually means a monumental building and this particular mole was created in 1889 although it looks much older.

Originally a Jewish Synagogue, the building now houses the National Cinema Museum and is actually the tallest museum in the world.

At night the basilica of the building is lit up and acts as a beacon that is visible from many points in the city.

A trip to Turin is no complete without viewing the Antonelliana and also the museum held within.

4. Turin Egyptian Museum

Turin Egyptian Museum

Source: flickr Turin Egyptian Museum

This fantastic and informative museum is located between the Piazza San Carlo and the Piazza Castello in the centre of Turin.

Dedicated to ancient Egyptian archaeology and history, this museum is a history buffs dream and contains a huge amount of artefacts and displays.

Created in 1833, the original collection was imported from other museums and has been expanded greatly over the years.

Notable items within the collection include various statues of Sekhmet, Seti II and Ramesses, a Sarcophagus of Ibi, scripts of detailed Papyrus full of hieroglyphics and different everyday earthenware jugs etc.

Guided tours are available to gain a great insight into the individual items or for those who wish to work at their own pace, an audio guide can be bought.

Skip-the-Line tickets available: Egyptian Museum Tickets and Guided Tour (This is a must-do)

5. Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista

Duomo Torino

Source: wikipedia Duomo Torino

Built on the site of three previous churches, the Duomo di Torino is a fine example of Renaissance architecture that was created in 1491. Located next to the Royal Palace this church is dedicated to the patron saint of Turin – Giovanni Battista.

The front façade is created from white marble and is simple but effective and the inviting steps thrust out into the Piazza san Giovanni.

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Inside the cathedral is a myriad of design features including some fantastic frescos and marble statues of famous religious figures.

A free standing bell tower actually stands next to the cathedral unconnected and this can be climbed for unbelievable views of the city of Turin.

6. Explore the underground tunnels and cellars

Turin Tunnel

Source: getyourguide Tunnels

Below the surface of Turin there’s a lot more to discover.

Learn about past times and experience the tunnels and cellars lying beneath the city.

7. National Cinema Museum

Museo Nazionale del Cinema

Source: flickr Museo Nazionale del Cinema

Located in the impressive Mole Antonelliana tower, this is one of the most visited museums in Italy due to its fantastic exhibitions and stunning building.

For all things cinema and movie related, this is the place to be! This gigantic collection includes historical cinematic devices such as magic lanterns to a large stock of film posters, movie reels, books and cinematic props and objects.

Spread across five different floors, the museum is split into different genres including sci-fi and horror.

For any film and cinema buff this is a brilliant venue to visit and will provide hours of fun and exploration.

8. Basilica di Superga

Basilica di Superga

Source: flickr Basilica di Superga

If you climb to the heights of the Superga mountain range to the east of Turin you will find the beautiful Basilica di Superga.

When stood in the city Centre of Turin, you can look towards the mountain and see the Basilica perched on top.

Constructed in 1731 and designed by Filipo Juvarra, the basilica features a baroque style and has a beautiful orange and white design with many columns and ornate decoration.

The main basilica towers above the church and is flanked by two beautiful towers whilst the interior is highly decorated with a dome that lets in a great deal of light through a series of arched windows.

Don’t forget to take a look at the breathtaking views down into Turin and the surrounding countryside.

9. Parco Valentino

Castello del Valentino

Source: flickr Castello del Valentino

Located on the banks of the river Po, the Parco Valentina is the second largest public park in Turin and covers an area of 500,000 m2. Created in 1856, it serves as the cities first public garden and has gone from strength to strength.

Inside the park you can find a magnificent Botanical garden, the Valentino Castle, and a replica medieval village.

Furthermore there is a myriad of footpaths and cycle routes, open pastures and a great walk by the river.

If you are looking for refreshment or food, you can also find several fine cafes and restaurants within the grounds of the park.

10. Porta Palatina

Porta Palatina

Source: flickr Porta Palatina

One of the many Roman ruins that still stands today in modern Turin, the Porta Palatina serves as the best preserved Roman Gateway in the world from the 1st century.

Originally, this immense gateway would have served as an access point to the inner city centre through the city walls that once surrounded ancient Turin.

Two large circular towers flank the gateway and are adorned with crenulations and a central wall section contains many individual arches.

Standing at 30m and 26m high respectively the gateway and towers dominate the surrounding area.

Sitting in a pleasant public park, the Porta Palatina and ruins are a great piece of history to explore.

11. Santuario di Santa Maria Consolatrice

Santuario di Santa Maria Consolatrice

Source: torinodailyphoto Santuario di Santa Maria Consolatrice

Also known as the Church of our Lady of Consolation, this basilica stands as one of the oldest places of worship in the city and has stood in some form since the early 11th century.

Located in the Piazza della Consolata approximately 5 minutes walk to the west of the Piazza della Repubblica, this small church has a great deal of character and charm.

A triangular pediment adorns the front entrance and is held in place by four large stone columns.

Inside the basilica there is a great deal of red marble, gold and religious iconography.

The main altar features several religious frescos and detailed paintings whilst the smaller altar and shrine feature a gold relief of the virgin Mary.

12. Piazza San Carlo

Piazza San Carlo

Source: flickr Piazza San Carlo

A baroque style square, the Piazza San Carlo was established and developed in the 16th and 17th centuries and pays tribute to Charles Borromeo who was an influential Cardinal and Archbishop.

In the centre of this square stands a bronze statue of the Duke of Savoy, whilst at the edges sit the churches of Santa Cristina and San Carlo Borromeo.

The square is framed by a series of archways and marble faced buildings that give it a beautiful symmetry.

If you are looking for a quite place to enjoy a coffee or a meal, this square offers the perfect choice due to the many cafes and restaurants that nestle under the archways.

13. Piazza Castello

Piazza Castello

Source: flickr Piazza Castello

This square is undoubtedly the most important and famous Piazzas in Turin and houses many iconic buildings.

Located in the centre of the old city, the Piazza Castello is a huge public space that is the life of the city.

Here you can find both the Palazzo Reale and the Palazzo Madama together with the Royal Armoury and the Royal Theatre.

Furthermore there is a host of cafes and restaurants and also some beautiful fountains and statues to admire.

When visiting Turin, this square is undoubtedly one of the best places to start a walking tour and take in the sights of the fantastic architecture and historical buildings found here.

14. GAM Museum

Galleria Civica d

Source: museotorino Galleria d’Arte Moderna

For art lovers, the GAM (Gallery of Modern Art) is a wonderful place that features a host of fine artwork and exhibits.

Turin was actually one of the first cities to open a museum for modern art and this particular establishment was first created in 1895. Containing over 5500 paintings, sculptures, installations and drawings, the collection is extensive.

Modern artists featured include Modigliani, Carra, Guttuso, Renoir and Chagall and this eclectic display of contemporary art is truly intriguing.

Located in the Crocetta district of Turin, the museum can be reached via the Porta Nuova line on the underground system.

15. Juventus Stadium

Juventus Stadium

Source: flickr Juventus Stadium

Possibly one of the most well-known football stadiums in the world, and home to the most decorated Italian club, the Juventus stadium is a true feat of engineering genius.

With a capacity of 41,000 it might not be the largest, but it has a huge amount of character and is a fantastic sporting venue.

Stadium tours are available on a daily basis and there is also a museum dedicated to Juventus football team.

If you are visiting Turin and happen to be a football fan, you should not pass up to visit the home of the iconic Juventus Football club.

Things to Do in Turin: The 20 Best Places to visit + Highlights

Turin, in Italy, is a former industrial city that was completely redesigned for the 2006 Olympics. It’s now one of the most pleasant Italian cities to visit!

Just like other more visited Italian cities such as Rome or Venice, Turin clearly deserves to be visited for a weekend or a few more days.

With its world-class museums such as the National Cinema Museum and National Automobile Museums, royal residences, magnificent squares and churches you will find in Turin everything that makes Italy charming.

In order to help you plan your stay, I have created this guide of the best things to do in Turin. You will find all the activities and points of interest you need to see during your stay in town!

And at the end of the article, I will give you itineraries to visit Turin in 1, 2, 3 or 4 days as well as a list of the best accommodations in town depending on your budget.

So, what are the best places to visit in Turin? Where to stay? Let’s find out!

Visit Turin: The 20 Must-See Attractions

Before starting my list of the top things to see in Turin, I’ll give you THE best tip to visit the city and save money: purchase the Torino + Piemonte card.

Depending on the duration of your stay in Turin, you can choose the 1, 2, 3 or 5 days version. They will grant you access to almost all cultural sites free of charge and to promotional offers for some of them.

it costed me 35€ for 3 days. As museum entrance fees are all around 10€, it was really worth it, as I didn’t have to pay a single euro for all the visits I did!

The card’s validity time will begin the first time you will use it.

If you visit your first museum on Monday at 2 pm., you can use the card until 2pm on Thursday for a 3-day card. This card isn’t a “skip the line” ticket.

You can buy the 2 days card here and the 3 days card there.

1. Piazza Castello

Let’s start with the famous Piazza Castello square and the historical monuments surrounding it. You simply can’t miss it during your stay in Turin, as it’s where some of the must-see monuments like the palazzo Madama or the Palazzo Reale are located.

In summer, this square is also popular for its refreshing water jets or as a great place to enjoy a good Italian ice cream. There are numerous gelateria (ice cream shops) around the square and in the nearby streets.

On the other side of Piazza Castello, where the towers of the Palazzo Madama are located, you can see the First World War mermorial, in tribute to Emanuele Filiberto, 2nd Duke of Aosta.

Piazza Castello Turin

The other side of the piazza Castello, view from the back of the palazzo Madama

2. Palazzo Reale

The main entrance of the Palazzo Reale is on Piazza Castello. Built in 1646, it served as a royal residence until 1865. Today, you can visit various sections of the palace:

  • The king’s apartments, with gilded luxurious decoration everywhere.
  • The Royal Library and its 200,000 books, including masterpieces such as the self-portrait or the Codex on the Flight of Birds by Leonardo da Vinci.
  • The Royal Armory and its impressive collection of stuffed horses with their armored riders.
  • The galleria Sabauda, which exhibits paintings from the 14th century to the 20th century
  • The Royal gardens (free entrance)

This magnificent palace is clearly a must-see during your stay in Turin. I really loved the Royal Armory, it’s the most impressive I have seen to date.

Turin palazzo Reale

A richly decorated room of Turin palazzo Reale

3. Palazzo Madama

Another palace located on Piazza Castello is the palazzo Madama, a building with an atypical architecture. It was first a medieval castle before becoming a palace with a baroque façade!

Inside, there is the Turin City Museum of Ancient Art, housing a nice collection of ceramics, drawings and sculptures. During the visit, you can go in the small garden to admire the walls and towers of the palace from the inside.

In addition to the museum, the highlight of the visit is for sure the stunning view from the top of the towers!

By taking the elevator or the stairs, you will reach the top of the tower and will be able to admire a very nice panorama of the city of Turin and its iconic monument: the Mole Antonelliana. I tell you more about it just below!

palazzo Madama Turin

The palazzo Madama

4. The cinema museum / Mole Antonelliana

Located in the Mole Antonelliana, the National Museum of Cinema is for many the best museum of the city. Very few people know this: Turin is the birthplace of Italian cinema! It’s no wonder that the city needed to have an amazing museum dedicated to the 7th art.

The exhibitions are very well done and retrace the history of cinema with all kinds of objects, from the first cameras to the helmets of the Star Wars saga.

In the huge main room, cinema seats are even arranged to watch movies displayed on 2 giant screens on the ceiling.

But if so many people visit the museum, it’s above all for its unique attraction: the panoramic elevator with transparent walls that will take you to the Mole platform. The perfect place to enjoy a 360° view of Turin.

Be patient because the waiting line is often several hours long! But it’s really a unique experience to live during a stay in Italy.

if you want to take the elevator, you will need to pay an additional fee to the museum entrance. The Torino card gives you a discount.

All the information about Turin Cinema museum is on the official site.

If you don’t take the Torino Card, I recommend you to buy the Skip the line tickets for the Cinema Museum + panoramic elevator. You will save a lot of time!

Turin Cinema museum

Turin Cinema museum

5. Palazzo Carignano

The Carignan Palace is the third palace-museum to visit, after the Palazzo Reale and the palazzo Madama. It houses the Italian Risorgimento Museum and presents the history of Italy through numerous texts, documents, films and superb paintings.

Don’t miss the hall where the first Italian parliament met.

Just behind the Carignan Palace, at the entrance of the Risorgimento museum, you can also see the Carlo Alberto square, with the equestrian statue of Charles Albert of Sardinia. This square is very photogenic thanks to the beautiful facade of the museum in the background.

As in every squares of Turin, you will also find food and drinks there.

Palazzo Carignano

The Palazzo Carignano

6. Museo Egizio (Egyptian museum)

Not far from the Carignan Palace is one of Turin’s greatest museums. With its 4 floors and numerous exposition rooms, this recently renovated Egyptian museum is the second largest in the world, after the one in Cairo!

The collection includes statues, sarcophagi and mummies, so you can immerse yourself in ancient Egypt for at least 2 hours.

If you don’t purchase the Torino Card and want to visit the museum, you should buy skip the line tickets in advance by clicking here.

And if you want to learn everything aout Ancient Egypt, you should definitely book this guided tour in English. It’s just perfect!

To book it, simply click on the button below:

Egyptian Museum of Turin

Collection of statuettes from the Egyptian Museum of Turin

7. Piazza San Carlo

Piazza San Carlo (San Carlo Square) is one of Turin’s main squares. This large and elegant square is my favorite in the city.

With its arcades, its 2 twin churches (the church of Santa Cristina and the San Carlo Borromeo church) and the equestrian statue of Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, it’s extremely photogenic! Under the arcades, you can go shopping or have a coffee in one of the peaceful coffee shops. No noise, it’s a pedestrian only area.

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The Piazza San Carlo also often hosts cultural events.

Piazza San Carlo Turin

The Piazza San Carlo with its twin churches, in Turin

8. Museo dell’automobile

The Automobile Museum is the other famous museum in Turin. According to The Times magazine, it’s one of the 50 best museums in the world.

With nearly 200 cars from 80 different brands ranging from steam cars to the latest models, the museum presents one of the world’s finest collections of rare vehicles.

Automobile Museum Turin

Turin Automobile Museum

9. Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista

The Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista is the main church of Turin. It’s especially famous for housing the holy shroud, that is said to have enveloped the body of Christ. Its authenticity is of course questioned, but this does not prevent visitors from rushing into the cathedral.

It should be noted, however, that the relic rests under a watertight seal and is covered by a sheet, so you won’t have the pleasure to admire it.

Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista - Turin

The Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista

10. Porta Palatina

Porta palatina, located not far from the cathedral and the palazzo Reale, was one of the 4 entrances of Turin during the Roman period.

The building is composed of a central door with 2 entrances for chariots, 2 pedestrian entrances dating from the Roman period and 2 towers with battlements added during the medieval period.

It’s one of Turin’s oldest monuments.

Porta Palatina Turin

Porta Palatina, a Roman and medieval vestige

11. Mercato di Porta Palazzo

The Porta Palazzo market is located close to the Porta Palatina and occupies almost all the piazza della Repubblica, which is almost 50,000 square meters. It’s the largest open-air market in Europe.

With about 1,000 stalls, you can find everything: fruit and vegetable, deli meats, cheese, but also clothes, pots, pans and all sorts of household items. And all this at very attractive prices, especially for food!

Porta Palazzo Market Turin

Porta Palazzo Market

12. Santuario della Consolata

The Santuario della Consolata ( Church of the Virgin of the Consolation ), a masterpiece of Baroque art, is one of the oldest churches in Turin.

In its bell tower, you can find the largest bell in Piedmont and a saint is buried there. The sanctuary is especially devoted to the worship of the Virgin Mary, with a procession and ceremony dedicated to her every year in June.

Santuario della Consolata

Santuario della Consolata

13. Parco del Valentino

Spreading over 42 hectares, the Valentino Park is a popular picnic or stroll spot for Turinese families. For you it will be an opportunity for a nice walk in the shades, or along the Po river. Perfect to enjoy a bit of freshness!

Don’t miss the Fontana di Dodici Mesi (Fountain of the Twelve Months) and the Arco del Valentino there.

Pont Isabella, à Turin - Parc du Valentino

Isabella Bridge, in Turin – At the southern entrance of Parco del Valentino

14. Borgo Medievale de Torino

The medieval village of Turin is located in the heart of Valentino Park. It was created in 1884 for the general Italian exhibition that took place in Turin. It recreates the atmosphere of a typical 15th century Piedmontese town: you can see a drawbridge, craft shops and even a chapel.

You can also visit the fortress, a reconstruction of a Seigneurial residence. Inside, you can see the weapons room, the dining room, the kitchens and undergrounds housing the prison.

Turin medieval village

The medieval village of Turin

15. Castello del Valentino

Built in 1620 by Duke Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy, the Valentino castle today houses the University of Architecture and isn’t open to visitors.

When walking in the park, you will however be able to admire the outside facade and walk around it. The facade on the city’s side is inspired from French castles while the one overlooking the river, all in red bricks, is Italian style architecture.

Valentino castle, in Turin

Valentino castle, in Turin

16. Piazza Vittorio Veneto

Another beautiful place to see in Turin: the Vittorio Veneto square. It offers a very nice view of the river, the Gran Madre di Dio church and Turin surrounding hills.

It’s also the ideal place for an ”aperitivo” or a meal in one of the good restaurants located on the square.

Vittorio Venetto square

Vittorio Venetto square

17. Chiesa della Gran Madre di Dio

The Gran Madre di Dio Church was built in tribute to Victor Emmanuel I, for his victory over Napoleon in 1814.

It was built in neoclassical style, directly inspired from the pantheon of Rome. The interior is entirely dedicated to the Virgin Mary, with bas-reliefs depicting her life.

Anecdote: the Holy Grail would be buried outside the church, between the two statues representing Faith and Religion.

Gran Madre di Dio Church

Gran Madre di Dio Church

18. Monte dei Capuccini

On the right side of the Gran Madre di Dio church, you can take the road leading to the Monte dei Capuccini. The hill’s name comes from the fact it was given to the Capuchins by the house of Savoy to build a church and a convent.

At the top, you will find the most famous view of Turin and enjoy a beautiful scenery overlooking the city and the Alps on the horizon. You can also enter the Santa Maria Church, and visit the recently renovated Museo della Montagna.

Don’t hesitate to do it, especially if you have the Torino card: you will not pay anything and you will have access to the roof panoramic terrace for an even better view of the city.

Monte dei Capuccini Turin

View of Turin from the Monte dei Capuccini

19. Villa della Regina

The Villa della Regina (Queen’s villa in english) is worth a visit, especially for its great location on a hill overlooking the city and the Po river. A great place to admire a beautiful view of Turin

It was built in 1615, following the Roman model, to serve as a residence for Savoyan queens.

To see inside: the magnificent Chinese cabinet and the main living room featuring frescoes and paintings. It’s also famous for its amphitheatre-shaped garden with a beautiful fountain, small waterfalls, the vineyard (still in activity) and the panorama of the city.

Villa della Regina Turin

The Villa della Regina, Turin

20. Basilica of Superga

You can see it from afar when walking in Turin: the 670m heigh hill with the basilica di Superga built at the top catches the eye. From there, the view over the city and the Alps is breathtaking!

To get there, I advise you to go by car or by funicular for a more typical experience. If you want to go up there on foot, no problem, but I’m warning you, the climb will not be easy!

The basilica is remarkable for its huge circular facade with a dome. Inside there is the crypt with the House of Savoy king’s tombs as well as those of princes and princesses.

You can also go up a narrow spiral staircase to access the balcony at the top of the dome and enjoy a view of the surrounding hill.

The basilica is also sadly famous for the tragedy that took place there in 1949. The plane that carried the Turin football team (Torino football club), crashed on the hill, demolishing a part of the convent.

Since then, a funerary monument has been erected and Turinese people come to visit it every year on the anniversary of the tragedy.

Visit the Superga Basilica early in the morning to enjoy a visit without too many people. From 10 o’ clock onwards, the parking lot fills up quickly and the peace of the place is a little disrupted!

basilica of Superga Turin

A masterpiece of Baroque architecture, the basilica of Superga.

1 day in Turin

If you only have one day in Turin, you have 2 options:

Take a stroll through the city and admire the monuments from the outside:

  • Discover the historical centre, from San Carlo Square to Castello Square, around the palazzo Reale and the palazzo Madama.
  • Then head to the the Vittorio Veneto square to cross the bridge, passing in front of the church of Gran Madre di Dio and climbing the Monte dei Capuccini for a panoramic view of Turin.
  • Stroll in the Valentino park, the medieval village and along the Po river.

Focus on the 2 or 3 main attractions of Turin. I would suggest:

  • Palazzo Reale
  • The cinema museum and the Mole Antonelliana
  • Or the Museo dell’Automobile if you are a car lover.
  • When you arrive in Turin or on your departure, you should go to the basilica of Superga and at the Monte dei Capuccini to enjoy the view of the city.

Visit Turin - Gran Madre di Dio

2 days in Turin

If you will be in Turin for 2 days, it is worth taking the Torino Card. Here is my suggested itinerary.

  • Start with Piazza San Carlo and its 2 twin churches, go up to Piazza Castello, stopping at the San Federico gallery on the left of Via Roma.
  • Visit the Palazzo Reale with its armoury and royal library
  • Lunch break
  • Visit the Cinema Museum located in the Mole Antonelliana. You will have the possibility to take the panoramic elevator.
  • Go to Piazza Vittorio Veneto, cross the Emanuele I bridge and admire the church of the Gran Madre di Dio, go up the hill to the Monte dei Capuccini.
  • Start the day by going to the Catedrale di San Giovanni Battista, where the Shroud of Turin is located.
  • Go through Porta Palatina to reach the piazza della repubblica and the market. It’s open every morning.
  • End the morning with a visit to the Consolata sanctuary
  • Lunch break
  • Visit the Palazzo Carignano and its Risorgimento museum
  • Visit Turin’s Egyptian museum and immerse yourself in the Egyptian civilization.

3 days in Turin

For the beginning of your 3 days stay in Turin, take the program of the first 2 days.

  • Visit the Museo dell’Automobile
  • Lunch break
  • Relaxing afternoon in the Valentino park with a walk along the river and the visit of Turin medieval village.
  • Climb up to the basilica of Superga, a jewel of baroque architecture.

4 days in Turin

In 3 days in Turin, you’ve had time to discover the main points of interest.

For this fourth day, you can visit the other museums of the city as it has no less than 40 museums. 4 days in Turin can also be a good choice if you travel with your family, as the pace will necessarily be slower.

An excellent idea for this 4th day can be to go on a day trip to Milan, less than 1 hour away by express train. One day in Milan is enough to see the 3 main attractions of the city: the cathedral of Milan, the Vittorio Emanuel II gallery and the Sforza castle.

If you plan to visit Milan, you should read my article: The 10 best things to do in Milan.

Where to stay in Turin?

    : Youth hostel located about 15 minutes walk from the Palazzo Reale. Bed in dormitory from 24€. Strong points: welcoming managers, location, cleanliness and comfort of the rooms.
  • Torino 1854 Affittacamere: Located 700 meters away from the Egyptian museum, this hotel is brand new. Colorful and comfortable double room from 65€ per night. Strong points: its excellent location, quiet and close to the city centre, the modernity of the hotel. It’s the best value for money in Turin!
  • Matteotti 25: Located at 10 minutes on foot from the Egyptian Museum. Large modern and bright room from 95€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: its location, the copious breakfast.
  • NH Collection Torino Piazza Carlina: Located in the historical center of Turin. Elegant and comfortable double room from 200€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: The friendly abd very helpful staff, the interior design, the perfect quietness, the amazing breakfast and the ideal location to visit Turin on foot. The view from the terrace is also amazing! It’s the best choice for a luxury stay in Turin!

If you prefer to rent a full apartment to get more space and be able to cook a bit, I highly suggest you to have a look at Apart Hôtel Torino. They are located at 500 meters from Valentino Park. The apartments are modern, well equipped and the interior design is amazing. Starting at only 100€ per night. The best apartments in town!

Mole Antonelliana

The Mole Antonelliana, emblematic monument of Turin

Where to eat in Turin?

  • Porto di Savona: Located on the Vittorio Veneto square, this restaurant offers typical Piedmontese cuisine at an affordable price. I had a great time and I highly recommend the gorgonzola gnocchi, they melts in the mouth and are just delicious. Everything is home made, pasta and desserts. Booking is strongly recommended.
  • La Taverna dei Mercanti: Located in a street adjacent to the Consolata sanctuary, amazing typical Piedmontese dishes. Very warm welcome from the boss. After diner drink offered at the end of the meal.
  • Pescheria Ristorante Gallina: Located in front of the market, on the piazza della Repubblica. This fish shop-restaurant offers dishes based on fresh and succulent fish. Fixed menu for lunch at 15€ including dish + bottle of water + glass of wine + service. Reservations are not possible.

My impressions of Turin

Visiting Turin was a beautiful discovery and a nice surprise. The museums have all been recently renovated, so they are modern, very well done and impressive.

The royal residences are also magnificent and very well maintained.

We can see that the city of Turin has invested in tourism while respecting as much as possible its history and highlighting its cultural heritage.

And, of course, as everywhere in Italy, the food is super good!

And you, what do you plan to visit during your stay in Turin?

Italy travel Guides

  • Buy the Lonely Planet Italy guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
  • Buy the Rick Steves Italy guide on Amazon.comor on Amazon.co.uk

You’re traveling in Italy? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Italy: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Italy are listed there.

  • Milan: The Top 15 things to do in the city and around
  • Rome: The 25 best things to do and see

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Visit Turin

Visit Turin: the 20 best points of interest

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