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Get charmed by Naantali

A jetty with a single lamp post beside the sea in Naantali.
Photo: Visit Naantali

Naantali is a must-see gem, just a stone’s throw away from the buzzing city life of Turku. Here are five reasons why this charming coastal town will soon have you under its spell.

#1: A magical atmosphere

The most well-known sight in Naantali is the picturesque Old Town and its colourful wooden houses. Combined with the guest harbour, medieval church, and shining sea, there is an undeniably enchanting atmosphere in this scenic town.

Visitors walk down a street in Naantali, lined with colourful wooden houses.
Hattu, Isokarhu, Jeremias…every building has a name of its own in the Old Town. Learn more about the history of this unique area on an Old Town walking tour. Photo: Visit Naantali

#2: Cosy cafés and harbourside restaurants

You can easily spend hours in the Old Town, admiring the architecture, galleries, and boutiques. There are also plenty of delightful cafés and restaurants to explore. Have a cuppa in The Peculiar Café and Teahouse, filled with curiosities featured in Moomin stories, or tuck into the chanterelle risotto at Uusi Kilta, one of the many harbourside restaurants.

Visitors walk beside the guest harbour in Naantali, lined with restaurants.
Make your way to the harbour when hunger strikes: it's lined with popular restaurants and cafés. Photo: Visit Naantali

#3: Peculiar traditions

A visit to Naantali is like travelling back in history, where stories are told through wooden houses and local traditions. One of these peculiar old ways is to throw an unsuspecting person into the sea at the crack of dawn, while the public cheers on. Selecting a yearly sleepyhead as part of the Sleepyhead Day Festival is a decades-old tradition and many politicians have been given this early morning wake-up call. 

Visitors look on as a person is a thrown from their bed into the water in Naantali.
The annual Sleepyhead Day Festival always brings a cheerful atmosphere to Naantali. Be sure to catch the procession as well as the much-awaited throw into the water. Photo: Visit Naantali

#4: A summer vibe

Naantali has been the summer home of Finland’s presidents since 1922. Known as Kultaranta, the residence is famous for its 105-year-old villa and beautiful garden area. But Naantali also has a wide range of accommodation options for regular folk: take your pick from luxurious holiday resorts, welcoming B&Bs, or well-equipped apartments in the Old Town. 

Naantali is an easy place to while away the summer and renting a bicycle is a great way to explore the city and its surroundings. Take a tour of the Old Town, seaside boulevards, or head out to the nearby islands for an adventure.

Visitors walk by a fountain in the Kultaranta garden.
The beautiful Kultaranta garden has often been described as a ‘mini-Versailles’. You can admire the greenery on a guided tour during the summertime. Photo: Visit Naantali

#5: Love and romance

The beautiful town of Naantali has always inspired artists and romantics alike. There is even a pathway called the Path of Love, which takes lovers over the hills, next to the Old Town, to the observation points of Kuparivuori Hill. The rocks here will give you the best view over the Naantali bay, Old Town, Moominworld and Kultaranta. Take a book with you or a picnic basket to share and enjoy the charms of Naantali. 

Visitors watch the sunset from Kuparivuori Hill in Naantali.
Fall in love with Naantali as you take in the view from Kuparivuori Hill. Photo: Visit Naantali