Turin, located in the northwestern corner of Italy near Switzerland, is a place that many travelers overlook when planning their Italy vacations. Other than skiers, this city doesn’t see nearly as many tourists as it deserves. While this city may not have the size or wow factor of some of Italy’s other cities like Rome, Naples, and Florence, Turin offers plenty of great things to do and is a much more interesting place than you may be giving it credit for. I really enjoyed my visit to Turin, and if you check out some of the things in this post, I think you will too! Hopefully by the end of this post, the answer to the question “Is Turin, Italy worth visiting?” will be pretty obvious.
Best Things to Do in Turin
Turin is a very unique city, and the best things to do vary greatly. From world class sporting events and iconic religious artifacts to Roman and Egyptian history, Turin has something to interest every traveler. This is my list of the 5 best things to do in Turin, but it is only scratching the surface!
1. Admire the Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin is one of the most disputed artifacts in all of Christianity. It is an ancient piece of cloth that is suspected to have been the burial cloth that wrapped the body of Jesus Christ. The faint image of a crucified man can be seen on the cloth, and there are blood stains at the hands, feet, and side – the place where Jesus was pierced.
Some historians are skeptical about the validity of the shroud, and the Catholic Church itself has not taken a stance confirming or denying its validity. However, the Shroud of Turin remains one of the most visited Christian relics in the world, ranking alongside other global icons like the Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
Unfortunately, visitors can’t actually see the Shroud of Turin. Unlike the Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe, visitors can’t just hop on a conveyor belt and admire the cloth and take all of the pictures they want. While historians can’t verify if the cloth is from Jesus’ time or not, they can confidently say it is at least as old as the 1100s. As a result of poor care over the years by the families that have protected it, it must remain in a temperature-controlled space in a basilica nearby.
What visitors can do is visit a museum dedicated specifically to the Shroud of Turin, plus attend special events and visit special stores dedicated to the commemoration of it. Even if you aren’t a practicing Christian, the Shroud is a really fascinating artifact and a lot of interesting research has been done on it over the centuries. Visiting the museum of the Shroud of Turin is definitely the best thing to do in Turin!
2. Go Skiing Like an Olympian
Turin is at the foot of the Alps, making it one of the best gateways to premier skiing in all of Europe. Many people pass through Turin on their way to some of the best ski resorts in Europe. Turin hosted the Winter Olympics in 2006, proving that it really does have some of the best slopes in the world!
There are countless great ski resorts near Turin, and most of the good ones can be reached within a two hour drive of the city. Two of the most highly recommended ones are Sauze D’Oulx and Bardonecchia, which are both located only about an hour and 20 minutes away from downtown Turin. Both of these ski resorts hosted some Olympics events in 2006 and are definitely worth checking out!
3. Visit the World’s Biggest Egyptian Museum Outside of Egypt
The Egyptian Museum in Turin is one of the finest in the world. In fact, it has the largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts outside of Egypt! The museum is truly giant, and you probably will not be able to see it all in one visit. There is so much to see and learn, including history, art, culture, and more here, and odds are you will only make it through a couple of the floors.
Egyptian history is really cool, and there are some pretty interesting things in this museum – even if you aren’t really a history person. The Egyptian Museum in Turin has 24 human mummies, 17 animal mummies, a 5 ton statue, and a single papyrus scroll that is over 60 feet long. Trust me, this place is seriously cool and while it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of visiting Italy, it is definitely one of the best things to do in Turin.
4. Check Out the Mole Antonelliana
The Mole Antonelliana is an old Synagogue built in the late 1800s that has since become the most iconic building in all of Turin. Its unique shape and design coupled with its very tall height make it stand out distinctly in the Turin skyline. While it used to be a house of Jewish worship, the Mole Antonelliana is now the home of the National Cinema Museum and is the tallest museum in the entire world.
In addition to the National Cinema Museum, visitors can also take a panoramic elevator up to the top of the building where there is an observation deck. From this height, you can see stunning views of the city and the Alps in the distance. If you decide to head to the National Cinema Museum, buying a ticket to the observation deck is a must.
5. Attend a Juventus Soccer Match
When in Italy, it’s almost a crime not to go to at least one soccer match. Soccer is a major component of Italian culture, and anywhere you go in the country will have its beloved rooting alliance. If you are in Turin, you have the chance to witness as good as it gets in Italy! Juventus has long been one of the best soccer teams in Italy, and they compete in the Champion’s League. From 2018 to 2021, this is the team and city that the best player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, called home.
The Juventus season runs for the better part of the year, meaning odds are they will be in season when you visit. The only time they are off is in July and August. If you want to go to a Juventus match, you can find all you need to know on their website.
How to Get to Turin
Turin is a major city, meaning it has its own major airport. Turin Airport (TRN) is located just a 20 minute train or bus ride northwest of the city. Flying into Turin Airport is a great option if you can find an affordable or doable flight route, but if you are looking to save money, there is an even better option. As Turin Airport is on the smaller side, its international flight options are limited and you will probably need to layover somewhere and pay a higher airfare.
Located just under two hours to the east is the massive city of Milan, which is equipped with three very large airports. If you are flying into Italy from a distant origin, like the Americas or Asia, you will have much better luck finding cheap flights and direct flight routes into Milan than into Turin. As I mentioned in my guide to finding cheap flights, utilizing hub airports is often the best way to find great flight routes and airfare.
Two of Milan’s airports are probably of less use to you if you are arriving from far away, as they tend to deal with inter-European flights and budget airlines. These are Milan Linate Airport (LIN) and Milan Bergamo (BGY). While they may be good options if you are visiting Turin from another part of Italy or another European country, the transatlantic flights routes are very limited if they exist at all.
The airport you will want to utilize for long-haul flights into Milan is Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP). This airport is very nice and is one of the biggest international hubs in Italy. There is a great chance that you will find a quick and affordable flight route into Malpensa from far away, and as it is located to the west of the city, it’s only a 90 minute drive to Turin. In fact, this proximity is what makes Turin one of the best day trips from Milan.
Italy has one of the best connected train systems of any country I have ever visited. If you have the time, getting around Italy by train is always a great choice. You get to see great views of the countryside while riding in very high quality train cars. If you are flying into Milan, you can take a train from the airport into Milano Centrale station and then onward to Turin.
If you are coming from any other part of the country and would like to look into taking a train, it could not be any easier. Trenitalia (the national train line) has a fantastic website and it is fully functional in both Italian and English. You can simply plug in your origin city, set Torino as your destination, pick a date, and see the options that are available! For more information, I wrote a whole post about the Italian train system.
Prices vary based on the amount of stops that the train makes. Local trains (regionale) are the cheapest but take the longest. InterCity is the middle option, which costs more than the regionale but arrives much faster. On the high end is the Freccia (arrow) series of trains, which run very direct routes and arrive in a fraction of the time that a regionale takes, but for significantly more money.
How to Get Around Turin
METRO | TRAM | BUS | BIKE
For its size, Turin has a pretty good network of public transportation options. For €1.7 per trip or €4 for a day pass, you can access the city’s broad network of buses, trams, and the metro. If you are comfortable using public transportation, this is a fantastic option. If not, taxis are very safe and reliable. Unfortunately, there is no Uber service in Turin.
The tickets and passes for the metro can be purchased at any station or at any tabaccheria. Tabaccherias, or tobacco shops, sell much more than just cigarettes and are actually a great asset to utilize when traveling in Italy. When in doubt, head to a tabaccheria!
In addition to cars and public transportation, Turin has a growing bike share program that can be very handy for getting around central parts of the city. If you are comfortable riding a bike in a major city, this is a great way to absorb the sights and sounds and smells of the city while also burning a few calories!
How Many Days Do You Need in Turin?
How many days you need in Turin depends heavily on what you want to do. If you just want to knock out some of the major tourist attractions like the Egyptian Museum and the Shroud of Turin, you can probably get away with just making this a weekend stop. However, if you really want to experience the city and its great culture, cuisine, and activities, I’d recommend stretching out your visit to four or five days. Especially if you plan on taking a day trip to go skiing, adding a couple of days to your Turin itinerary can help you to best experience the city. Plus, you want to make sure you’re in town for a Juventus match!
When Is the Best Time of the Year to Visit Turin?
Turin is located 800 feet above sea level and right at the foot of the alps. This positioning gives Turin four distinct seasons, ranging from snowy winters to hot and humid summers. Each season has its own beauty and draw, and for that reason there really isn’t a best time of the year to visit Turin.
If you are looking for the most comfortable weather to do some exploring around the city, your best best is either the late spring or the early fall. At these times the heat of the summer isn’t at full blast, but you’re safely insulated from any winter snow. This is also the least busy time of the year in Turin, meaning you will probably see shorter lines and less packed attractions.
The soccer season basically goes the entire year except for the peak summer months, so if you want to catch a Juventus match, you’re good all year long except for July and August. Check in advance to see if they will be playing at home!
Is Turin Worth Visiting?
After reading all of that, hopefully the answer to the question “is Turin worth visiting?” is obvious – yes! Turin is a beautiful northern Italian city with endless great things to offer. The food in Turin is spectacular like in any other city in Italy, the city is gorgeous, the museums are fantastic, and the proximity to olympic-quality ski resorts is an extra cherry on top.
Turin may not be the first city that you think of when planning an Italian vacation, and it is certainly much less frequented by tourists, but if you are looking for an authentic look at Italian city life, this is one of the best places to go. In fact, I even ranked Turin at third place on my list of the best cities to visit in Italy. If Cristiano Ronaldo chose to live there for 3 years, it must be worth visiting, right?
With that, our Turin travel guide is done! I hope this post accomplished its goal of answering the question “Is Turin worth visiting?” If you have any more questions, be sure to drop a comment in the comment section or shoot us an email at [email protected].
If you’re planning a trip to Turin, let us know! We’d love to chat ahead of time and answer any questions you have. Otherwise, have a wonderful day and stay present!