Top things to do in Torin
Turin, once an industrial city, completely redesigned for the 2006 Olympic Games, today presents an incomparable cultural richness.
Like other more touristic Italian cities such as Rome or Venice, Turin deserves a visit, whether for a weekend or for a few more days.
World-class museums such as the cinema or the automobile, royal residences, magnificent squares and churches. You will find in Turin everything that makes Italy so charming.
So what to do in Turin? What are the must-see places of interest?
We give you all the tips in our complete guide: the best activities, where to stay and itineraries to visit Turin in 1, 2, 3 or 4 days!
1. Place Castello
We start with Piazza Castello, and the historical monuments that surround it. During your stay in Turin, you will inevitably pass by, if only to admire the Palazzo Madame or the Royal Palace from the outside.
In hot weather, it is also appreciated for its refreshing water jets or to enjoy a good Italian ice cream with the many gelateria around the square and in the adjacent streets.
On the other side of Piazza Castello, where the towers of Palazzo Madame are, you can see the commemorative monument of the First World War, in homage to Emanuele Filiberto, 2nd Duke of Aosta.
2. The Royal Palace
The Royal Palace is a must-see in Turin, located in Piazza Castello. Built in 1646, it served as a royal residence until 1865. Today the royal palace comprises several sections:
- The king’s apartments are luxuriously decorated with gilding throughout
- The royal library and its 200,000 books including masterpieces such as the self-portrait or the Turin codex by Leonardo da Vinci
- The Royal Armory and its impressive collection of stuffed horses with their armored riders.
- The Saubada gallery which presents paintings from the 14th century to the 20th century
- The royal gardens which are also accessible free of charge
To visit absolutely during your stay in Turin, it is one of the places of interest that I preferred.
We found this palace magnificent and older children will certainly appreciate the part dedicated to the armory which is really well done.
3. Madame Palace
Another palace located on the Castello square, the Madame palace with its atypical architecture since it was first a medieval castle before becoming a palace with a Baroque façade.
Inside is the municipal museum of ancient art with its collection of ceramics, drawings and sculptures. Also visit the gardens to get a closer look at the walls and towers of the palace.
But the highlight of the show is at the top of one of the towers!
By taking the elevator (broken down during our visit) or the stairs, you will reach the top of the tower and can admire a very pretty panorama of the whole city of Turin and in particular of the mole Antonelliana which I will tell you about below.
4. The cinema museum / Mole Antonelliana
Located in the Mole Antonelliana, the Cinema Museum of the City of Turin is for many the best museum in the city.
Few people know it, but it was in Turin that Italian cinema was born, so the city had to have a museum dedicated to the 7th art! The exhibitions are very well done and retrace the history of cinema thanks to all kinds of objects, from the first cameras to the helmets of the Star Wars saga!
In the large main room, cinema seats are even arranged to be able to watch films projected on 2 giant screens on the ceiling.
But if so many people visit the museum, it is above all for its unique attraction: its panoramic elevator with transparent walls which will take you to the Mole platform to enjoy a 360° view of Turin.
Arm yourself with patience because the line is often several hours to be able to go up. A unique experience to live during a circuit in Italy. The elevator ride is in addition to admission to the museum, but the Torino card entitles you to a reduction.
All information on the official website of the Turin Cinema Museum.
5. The Carignan Palace
The Carignan Palace is the third palace-museum to visit, after the Royal Palace and the Madame Palace. It houses the Museum of the Italian Risorgimento. This museum presents the history of the unification of the states of Italy through numerous texts, documents, films and superb paintings.
Don’t miss the hall where the first Italian parliament met.
Also worth seeing, just behind the Carignan Palace, at the entrance to the Risorgimiento Museum, is Place Carlo Alberto. With the equestrian statue of Charles Albert of Savoy in its center , this square is very photogenic thanks to the beautiful facade of the museum in the background.
As in all the other squares in Turin, you will also find something to eat or drink there.
6. The Egyptian Museum of Turin
Not far from the Carignan Palace is one of the largest museums in Turin. The recently renovated Egyptian Museum is a veritable labyrinth over 4 floors.
It is the second largest in the world devoted to Egypt, after that of Cairo. The collection brings together statues, sarcophagi and mummies, enough to immerse you completely in ancient Egypt for at least a good 2 hours.
If you don’t take the Torino Card, I recommend that you buy your skip-the-line tickets for the museum right here.
7. Place San Carlo
Piazza San Carlo is one of the main squares in Turin. With its arcades that go all around it, its 2 twin churches (the Santa Cristina church and the San Carlo Borromeo church) which border it and the equestrian statue of the Duke of Savoy, Emmanuel Philibert, this square is large and very elegant. .
It also often hosts cultural events. Under the arcades, you can go shopping or drink a coffee in peace without the noise of traffic since cars are prohibited there.
8. The Automobile Museum of Turin
The Automobile Museum is the other famous museum in Turin. According to The Times, it is one of the 50 best museums in the world.
With nearly 200 cars from 80 different brands ranging from steam cars to late model cars, the museum presents one of the finest collections of rare vehicles in the world.
9. Saint John the Baptist Cathedral
The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist is the main church in Turin. It is known to house the Holy Shroud, the shroud that is said to have wrapped the body of Christ.
Its authenticity is of course disputed but that does not prevent visitors from crowding into the cathedral.
Note however that the relic rests under a watertight chase and is covered by a sheet, so you will not have the time to admire it.
10. The Palatine Gate
The Palatine Gate, located not far from the Cathedral and the Royal Palace, was one of the 4 access gates to Turin during the Roman period.
The building is composed of a central door with 2 accesses for tanks and 2 accesses for pedestrians dating from Roman times and 2 towers with battlements added during medieval times.
It is one of the oldest monuments in Turin.
11. The Marché de la Porta Palazzo
The market is located near the Palatine Gate and occupies almost the entire piazza della Repubblica, nearly 50,000 square meters. It is the largest open-air market in Europe.
Suffice to say that with around 1,000 merchants, you can find everything: fruit and vegetable stalls, cold meats, cheese, but also clothes, pots and all kinds of household items.
And all this at very attractive prices, especially for the food!
12. The Sanctuary of the Consolata
The Consolata sanctuary, a masterpiece of Baroque art, is one of the oldest churches in Turin.
Its campanile houses the largest bell in Piedmont and a saint is even buried there. The sanctuary is more particularly dedicated to the cult of the Virgin Mary, with each year, in June, a procession and a ceremony dedicated to her.
13. Valentino Park
Extending over 42 hectares, Valentino Park is a very popular place for Turinese families for a picnic or a bucolic stroll.
For you it will be the occasion of a beautiful walk in the shade and at the edge of the Po to take advantage of a little freshness. Do not miss to admire the fountain of the twelve months and the arco del Valentino which are there.
14. The medieval town of Turin
The medieval town of Turin is located in the heart of Valentino Park. It was created for the Italian General Exhibition in Turin in 1884.
It recreates the atmosphere of a typical district of a Piedmontese city in the 15th century with a drawbridge, craftsmen’s stalls, and even a chapel.
You can also visit its fortress, which is a reconstruction of a stately residence of the time. Inside, you can see the arms room, the dining room, the kitchens and the underground passages housing the prison.
15. Valentino Castle
Built in 1620 by Duke Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy, the Château du Valentino now houses the faculty of architecture and therefore cannot be visited.
But during your walk in the park, you can admire the exterior facade and walk around it. The facade on the city side takes up the facades of French castles while the one overlooking the river, all in red brick, takes up the Italian style.
16. Place Vittorio Veneto
Another beautiful square to see in Turin: Piazza Vittorio Veneto. It offers a very pretty view of the river, of the Church of the Gran Madre di Dio and beyond on the hills of Turin.
It is also the ideal place for an “aperitivo” or a meal in one of the good restaurants that border it.
17. The church Gran Madre di Dio de Turin
The Gran Madre di Dio church was built in honor of Victor Emmanuel I during his victory over Napoleon in 1814.
It is in neo-classical style, directly borrowed from the pantheon of Rome. The interior is entirely dedicated to the Holy Mother of God with bas-reliefs retracing her life.
A little anecdote : between the two statues outside the church, representing Faith and Religion, the Holy Grail would be buried…
18. Mount of the Capuchins
Leaving the Church of the Gran Madre di Dio, on your right, you can take the hill leading to the Capuchin mountain. The mount was so named because it was given to the Capuchins by the House of Savoy to build a church and a convent there.
It is at the top that you will find one of the most famous views of Turin and enjoy a very beautiful panorama of the city and the Alps on the horizon.
You can also enter the adjoining church, the Santa Maria Church, and visit the National Mountain Museum which has been completely modernized recently.
Do not hesitate to enter, especially if you have the Torino card, you will not pay anything and you will have access to the panoramic terrace on the roof for an even clearer view of the city.
19. Queen’s Villa
A visit to the villa of the queen is worth the detour, in particular by its dominant position above the Po, on one of the hills dominating the city, and which offers a beautiful view of Turin.
It was built in 1615, according to the Roman model, to serve as residences for Savoy queens.
To see inside the magnificent Chinese cabinet and the main living room with its frescoes and paintings. It is also famous for its garden in the shape of an amphitheater with a beautiful fountain, small waterfalls, its still exploited vineyard and the panorama of the city.
20. The Basilica of Superga
Walking around Turin, it is impossible to miss it. From its height of 670 meters, the hill and the Basilica of Superga built on top attracts the eye.
Suffice to say that the view of the city and the peaks of the Alps is breathtaking. To get there, we advise you to get there by car or by taking the funicular for a more typical experience. If you want to go up there on foot, no problem, but we warn you the climb will be tough.
The basilica is remarkable for its huge circular facade topped with a dome. Inside is the crypt with the tombs of the kings of the House of Savoy as well as those of the princes and princesses.
You can also take a narrow spiral staircase to access the balcony at the top of the dome and enjoy a view of the surroundings of the hill.
The basilica is also infamous for the drama that took place there in 1949. The plane carrying Turin’s favorite football team, the Torino Football Club, crashed into the hill, demolishing part of the convent.
Since then, a funerary monument has been built and the people of Turin come to meditate there every year on the occasion of the anniversary of the tragedy.
Head to the Basilica of Superga early in the morning to enjoy a visit without crowds. From 10 a.m. the car park fills up quickly and the peace of the place is a little disturbed!
1 day Turin itinerary
If you only have one day in Turin, we offer you 2 options:
Stroll through the city admiring the monuments from the outside:
- Discovery of the historic center, from San Carlo Square to Castello Square, around the Royal Palace and the Madame Palace.
- Then head to Piazza Vittorio Veneto to cross the bridge, pass by the Gran Madre di Dio church and climb to Mount Capuchin for the panorama of Turin
- Stroll in the Valentino park, the medieval village and along the Po
Focus on 2 or 3 of Turin’s main attractions. We recommend you :
- The Royal Palace
- The Cinema Museum and the Mole Antonelliana
- Or the car museum if you like beautiful mechanics
- When arriving in Turin or on your departure, you can also make a stop at the Basilica of Superga and on the Capuchin hill to enjoy the view of the city.
2 days Turin itinerary
If you spend 2 days in Turin, it is worth taking the Torino Card. Here is our suggested itinerary.
First day :
- Start with San Carlo square and its 2 twin churches, go up to Castello square, stopping by the San Federico gallery on the left of via Roma
- Visit the Royal Palace with its armory and royal library
- Lunch break
- Go to the cinema museum located in the Mole Antonelliana. You will have the possibility to take the panoramic elevator
- Reach Piazza Vittorio Veneto, cross the Emanuele I bridge admiring the Church of the Gran Madre di Dio and take the coast to climb Mount Capuchin.
Second day :
- Start the day by going to the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist where the Shroud of Turin is located
- Go through the Palatine Gate to reach Piazza della Repubblica and the market held there every morning
- End the morning with a visit to the Sanctuary of La Consolata
- Lunch break
- Visit of the Carignan Palace and its Risorgimento Museum
- Then immerse yourself in Egyptian civilization by visiting the museum dedicated to it.
3 days Turin itinerary
For the start of your 3-day stay in Turin, resume the program of the first 2 days.
- Go to the car museum
- Lunch break
- Relaxing afternoon in Valentino Park with a walk along the river and a visit to the medieval town of Turin
- Climb to the Basilica of the Superga, a jewel of Baroque architecture
4 days Turin itinerary
In 3 days in Turin, you have had time to discover the main places of interest.
For this fourth day, you can visit the other museums of the city since it has no less than 40.
4 days in Turin can also be a good choice if you are traveling with your family, as the pace is not the same.
An excellent idea for this fourth day can be to make a round trip to Milan, located less than 1 hour by express train. Information, timetables and fares on this site: Omio – Reservation of train tickets.
A day in Milan is enough to see the 3 main attractions of the city which are the Milan Cathedral, the Vittorio Emanuel II Gallery and the Sforza Castle.
Accommodation in Turin
- Attic Hostel Torino : Youth hostel located about fifteen minutes on foot from the Royal Palace. Bed in dormitory from 24€. The pluses: the welcome of the managers, the location, the cleanliness and the comfort of the facilities.
- Torino 1854 Affittacamere : Located 700 meters from the Egyptian Museum, this hotel is brand new. Colorful and comfortable double room from 65€ per night. The pluses: its excellent quiet location close to the city center, the modernity of the hotel. It is our favorite for its performance/price ratio.
- Matteotti 25 : Located 10 minutes walk from the Egyptian Museum. Large, modern and bright room from €95 per night, breakfast included. Most: its location, the hearty breakfast.
- NH Collection Torino Piazza Carlina: Located right in the historic center of Turin. Elegant and comfortable double room from €200 per night, breakfast included. The pluses: the decor and the soundproofing of the rooms, the quality of the breakfast, the ideal location for visiting Turin on foot, the friendliness of the staff, the view from the terrace. This is our recommendation for an upscale stay in Turin.
If you prefer to have an entire apartment to have more space and to be able to cook, I strongly recommend that you book accommodation at the Apart Hotel Torino. They are located 500 meters from Valentino Park. The apartments are modern, fully equipped and the decor is just beautiful! From 100€ per night.
Where to eat in Turin?
- Porto di Savona : Located in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, this restaurant offers typical Piedmontese cuisine at affordable prices. We had a great time and I highly recommend the gorgonzola gnocchi which melt in your mouth and are just delicious. Everything is homemade, pasta like desserts. Please note that a reservation is strongly recommended.
- La Taverna dei Mercanti : Located in a street adjacent to the sanctuary of the consolata. Typical Piedmontese dishes, tasty and hearty. Very warm welcome from the boss who speaks French. Digestif offered at the end of the meal.
- Pescheria Ristorante Gallina : Located opposite the market, in piazza della republica. This fishmonger-restaurant offers dishes based on fresh and succulent fish. Lunch menu at €15 with main course + bottle of water + glass of wine + service. No reservation possible.
And you, what are you planning to visit during your stay in Turin?
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