What to see in Turin: guide with practical tips about the city

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

City of art, culture and history, the ancient capital of the Savoy kingdom, a romantic and at the same time dynamic corner of Italy. Turin expresses itself in its different and colorful shades between precious pieces of ancient and fascinating history and examples of an architecture that captivates the eyes and the soul.
Yes, because that's how Turin is, it fascinates and amazes, fascinates and captivates. A city with a multifaceted breath and an eccentric soul, that's it what to see absolutely in Turin.


  1. Mole Antonelliana and Cinema Museum
  2. Piazza Castello and the Royal Palace
  3. Museum of Egyptian Antiquities
  4. Senate
  5. Valentino Park
  6. Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista and the Holy Shroud
  7. Venaria Reale
  8. Gam Museum
  9. Monte dei Cappuccini
  10. Leumann village
  11. Piazza San Carlo
  12. Villa of the Queen
  13. Royal Museums
  14. Sanctuary of the Consolata
  15. Covered galleries
  16. Automobile Museum
  17. Porta Palazzo market
  18. Other attractions to visit
  19. 5 things to do in Turin
  20. User questions and comments

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1 - Mole Antonelliana and Cinema Museum

You cannot get to Turin and not visit its symbol: the Mole Antonelliana. Built in 1863 as an Jewish temple, it was sold to the Municipality in 1878 which dedicated it to King Vittorio Emanuele II. The official inauguration, which took place with the positioning of the statue of the winged genius on the spire, dates back to 1889. His 167 meters high allow it to dominate the city from which you can enjoy an unparalleled view from the Tempietto (85 meters). La Mole now houses the National Cinema Museum and it was also the film set of a very special film dedicated to the love for films.
It is also possible combine ticket and visit with the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour. Info and prices here.
The Mole and the Cinema Museum are included in the Torino Piemonte Card.

Panoramic lift: do not miss the opportunity to get on the panoramic lift of the Mole, to enjoy a boundless view of the city! Info and prices here.

  • via Montebello. Bus n. 13, 15, 55, 56, 61 Po stop. N. 68 via Rossini stop. N. 16 Corso San Maurizio stop - Get directions
  • for the panoramic lift on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00. Saturday from 10:00 to 23:00. For the Museum from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 to 20:00 and on Saturdays from 9:00 to 23:00
  • € 8,00 lift, € 11,00 museum, reduced € 6,00 / € 9,00; lift ticket + museum € 15,00, reduced € 12,00

2 - Piazza Castello and the Royal Palace

The beating heart of Turin, the main artery where the four most important streets join: via Roma, via Pietro Micca, via Po and via Garibaldi. It is in this square that many of the most beautiful buildings in the city are located such as the Royal Palace, the Government Palace and the Regional Council, Palazzo Madama. Piazza Castello has always represented the history of Turin, precisely since in 1584 it was designed by the architect Ascanio Vitozzi at the request of the Duke Carlo Emanuele I. The porticoes that frame it are suggestive. It is said that it is the most positive point of Turin and that it is a good omen to exchange a kiss before entering the square.

The Royal Palace is also really interesting: inside, in addition to the splendid garden, you can discover the sumptuous Royal Apartments, the huge Royal Armory in the Beaumont Gallery, the Chapel of the Shroud and the Royal Library, which houses the portrait of Leonardo. To visit it at its best, we recommend a guided tour of the Royal Palace.

Make a stop and join guided tours: admire the lively stroll of the square while enjoying the typical Piedmontese specialties in one of the bars under the arcades. Most of the guided tours of the city also depart from here, which we highly recommend for a first approach and to identify the main landmarks together with a guide.

3 - Museum of Egyptian Antiquities

Unmissable place and a must for those who are passionate about art but not only, the Museum dedicated to the art and culture of ancient Egypt in Turin, also worth a visit for those who don't understand too much about art. In fact, this museum is second only to that of Cairo in terms of antiquity and the importance of its collections. Made in 1826 when the king of Sardinia Carlo Felice bought a large collection of Egyptian works, today the collection counts as many as 30 thousand pieces, which leads the Museum to be one of the most famous in the world.
Due to its importance, a priority guided tour is strongly recommended: in this way, you will not only skip the line at the entrance, but will discover all the mysteries, anecdotes and stories of the richest Egyptian heritage in Europe.

Family area: if you are visiting with your family, take advantage of SpazioZeroSei, an area dedicated to children up to 6 years old, with services, games and stories. The Egyptian Museum is included in the Torino Piemonte Card.

  • via Academy of Sciences. Bus n. 13, 55, 56, 72. Metro Portanuova stop - Get directions
  • Tuesday-Sunday from 8:30 to 19:30
  • € 9,00 in promotion, reduced € 2,00

4 - Palazzo Madama

Built on the ruins of the Porta Romana, Palazzo Madama was the fortress and castle of Maria Cristina of France first and of Giovanna di Savoia Nemours later. Today it houses the headquarters of Civic Museum of Ancient Art where ten centuries of Italian and European art history can be admired. On four floors, in the basement there is the Medieval Lapidary, on the ground there are Gothic sculptures and precious objects of the 600th and 700th centuries, on the first floor there are the arts of the th and th centuries, the second floor houses the Arts Decorative

  • Piazza Castello. Tram 4, 13, 15, 18. Bus n. 11, 12, 51, 55, 56, 61, 68 - Get directions
  • Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 18:00. Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00
  • € 10,00, reduced € 8,00

5 - Valentino Park

How not to walk in the Valentino Park, one of the most famous parks in the Belpaese. Not far from the heart of the city, redesigned in the 800th century by Barrilett-Dechamps, it is for the Turinese a place for walking, jogging and cycling; for tourists, however, it represents a moment of relaxation from the intense itineraries of the city. Seat of the fascinating Castle, Unesco World Heritage Site, which in turn houses the faculty of architecture of the Polytechnic. Do not miss a visit to the medieval village, a reproduction of a 400th century village built for the International Exhibition of 1884. It represents a perfect setting for the already very suggestive city park and is a free attraction.

Give yourself at least a couple of hours: it is not just a park where the Turinese go jogging, but a place to breathe the real air of Turin. Allow yourself at least a couple of hours to spend inside, to visit the village as well. And especially if you are with children, bring some peanuts to give to the many squirrels in the park, they will be happy to get them!

  • Corso Massimo D'Azeglio. Bus n. 9, 16, 42, 45 - Get directions
  • Castle on Saturdays from 9:30 to 12:00. Borgo (Monday-Sunday) from November to March from 9:00 to 19:00, from April to October from 9:00 to 20:00
  • free entry; Reservation required to access the Castle

6 - Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista and the Holy Shroud

Built in the Renaissance style between 1491 and 1498, the Cathedral is dedicated to the patron saint of the city, San Giovanni Battista. In the th century it was renovated to add the Chapel of the Holy Shroud by the architect Guarino Guarini. The Shroud is a linen sheet which, according to the Gospel stories, was used to wrap the body of Christ; and, perhaps by a miracle, the Holy Shroud escaped the 1997 fire that broke out from one of the scaffolding, during a restoration. In 2015, the vision of the Shroud was granted thanks to its Exposition.

Limited visits: the Cloth is kept inside a conservation case, located in the Cathedral of Turin, and is visible only during public exhibitions.

  • via XX Settembre. Bus n. 18, 55, 57. Tram n. 15 - Get directions
  • every day from 7: 30 to 19: 30
  • free. Access to the Chapel is included in the Royal Museums ticket.

7 - Venaria Reale

Built between 1659 and 1679 at the behest of Carlo Emanuele II, this palace is one of the most beautiful ducal residences in Piedmont and also one of the most visited in Italy. Developed along 2 kilometers that connected the village, which can still be visited today, the Royal Palace has been declared by Unesco World Heritage Site in 2007. Of impressive beauty, the immense gardens, which can also be visited separately, just to enjoy the floral art and the many varieties of flowers that populate it without haste. The Reggia, with its Juvarriane Stables, is also a venue for exhibitions and events.

Watch out for queues: the queue to buy the ticket can also cross the entire square in front, so we recommend that you buy tickets online. The option we suggest is a combined ticket with entrance and hop-on hop-off bus tour.

  • piazza della Repubblica 4, Venaria Reale. Train Turin Dora-Ceres line Venaria stop. GTT bus n. 11, 72 - Get directions
  • Tuesday-Friday from 9:00 to 17:00. Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 to 20:00
  • € 20,00 complete, € 5,00 Giardini only

8 - Gam Museum

If it is true that Turin is considered one of the main centers of international art, it is also true that it cannot be left aside Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art which today it holds 45 thousand works between paintings, sculptures, installations and drawings. A collection that tells of centuries of art history, precisely from 700 to the present day. Built between 1891 and 1895, the Gam Museum is one of the most interesting attractions on a trip to the Piedmontese capital. The Museum also acts as a reference point for families and for educational and inclusion projects, with the creation of numerous special activities and workshops.

  • via Magenta. Bus n. 5, 14, 33, 52, 64, 68. Tram n. 9, 15. Metro 1 stops Vinanzio and Re Umberto - Get directions
  • Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00
  • € 10,00, reduced € 8,00

9 - Mount of the Capuchins

The Monte dei Cappuccini in Turin is an unmissable stop for two reasons: first of all, you can enjoy it a breathtaking view over the whole city, as well as on the Alps; moreover, it is a place shrouded in mystery and a suggestive charm. In fact, there are several legends that see him as the protagonist, such as, for example, the one concerning the tongues of fire that protected the consecrated hosts from looting. On the mountain, in fact, it also rises the Church of Santa Maria al Monte, whose origins are due to some deeds of the Savoy, who donated the land of the mountain to the Capuchin friars.

The Monte dei Cappuccini is located in piazzale Monte dei Cappuccini. It can be reached on foot, leaving the car in one of the car parks at the foot of the hill. Bus n. 33, 52. Tram n. 4, 16 CS - Get directions. It is free and always accessible.

Come at sunset: it is known as the Turin Hill, thanks to the view it offers over the city. We recommend a walk at sunset, to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding woods.

10 - Leumann village

An unusual attraction of Turin, and for this reason to be undoubtedly included in the itinerary, the Leumann village was built at the end of the 800th century at the request of the Swiss entrepreneur Napoleon Leumann, as accommodation for his employees and still inhabited by some of them today. The village becomes interesting because inside are kept, perfectly preserved after a restoration work, the liberty style buildings, as well as the period station Torino RiFlights, the Church of Santa Elisabetta, and the old elementary school. Today, the village is also supported by an Association that promotes not only cultural events related to it, but also guided tours to discover its entire history.

The Leumann Village is located in Collegno. Metro stop Paradiso. Bus n. 36 from Corso Francia towards RiFlights Novalesa stop - Get directions. It is free and always accessible.

It is a district of the city, which allows a free visit. But, to understand the historical importance of this place, entrust the associations that enhance it.

11 - Piazza San Carlo

Known as the "Living room of the city", Piazza San Carlo owes its name to the elegance and architecture of the buildings and monuments that surround it. Among the historic buildings, they stand out the most the Solaro del Borgo Palace, the Guido Villa Palace and the Monument to Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia which, while depicting a warrior on horseback, is actually a symbol of peace. Moreover, among the most important works, we also mention the two "twin churches", that of Santa Cristina and that of San Carlo.

But Piazza San Carlo is not only history and architecture, but also meeting place for its coffees. In fact, there are several historical places that crowd this square and which, even in the past, were frequented by nobles and famous intellectuals. Among the most illustrious cafes, Caffè San Carlo, frequented by Cavour and Giolitti, and Caffè Torino which, on the other hand, seemed to be Cesare Pavese's favorite place.

From the Porta Susa train station, you can reach Piazza San Carlo with the underground line 1, or with buses 56 and 57 - Get directions. The square is free and always accessible.

12 - Villa of the Queen

The Villa della Regina is one splendid Savoy residence located on the hill of Turin from which, among other things, you can enjoy a magnificent view. It was built with the aim of hosting the Savoy sovereigns, first of all the wife of Maurizio di Savoia, Ludovica, to whom the villa was registered. Only later, from Villa Ludovica, the residence was called Villa della Regina, thanks to its subsequent illustrious guests. After centuries of splendor, the Palace fell into neglect following the numerous bombings that took place during the Second World War. Fortunately, in 1994, the residence was considered an artistic asset of the state, which took care of its recovery. Today, it is accessible to visitors and its unmissable ones fine Chinese cabinets.

In autumn, this place will be surrounded by the colors of the foliage, in all shades of red and orange. If you can, schedule a visit during this time.

  • from Turin Porta Susa station, tram 56 in about half an hour - Get directions
  • Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00
  • € 7,00, reduced € 2,00

13 - Royal Museums

A real journey through the history of the old capital of Italy, through a complex of over 3.000 square meters. In fact, the pole of the Royal Museums includes theRoyal Armory Royal Library, Royal Palace Sabauda Gallery, archaeological Museum, the Royal Gardens and Chiablese salt, which can be visited with a single ticket and departure from Piazza Castello. Due to their importance, the Royal Museums are rightfully among the most popular attractions in Italy and, in recent years, have reached peaks of over 500.000 visitors. The treasure presented concerns about 2000 years of the city's history, from the first Roman settlements, to the period of the Savoy domination, up to the years of the Unification of Italy, moments in which Turin played a leading role.

Beware of restrictions: in all buildings of the Museums it is possible to take photographs for personal use, but remember not to place tripods and not to use the flash!

  • Piazza Castello. Tram 4, 13, 15, 18. Bus n. 11, 12, 51, 55, 56, 61, 68 - Get directions
  • Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00
  • € 15,00, reduced € 2,00

14 - Sanctuary of the Consolata

Officially called the Church of Santa Maria della Consolazione, the Sanctuary of the Consolata is a baroque masterpiece, as well as the most important place of worship in the city of Turin. There are several curiosities related to this building: first of all, it must be remembered that before becoming a symbol of the Baroque style thanks to the intervention of Filippo Juvarra, the church was originally a Romanesque structure. Only starting from 1700, did it change its architecture, until it reached the aspect we know. Moreover, the story of the icon of the Virgin is also linked to it, which several times over the years, has disappeared and reappeared. Today, the icon is present inside the crypt, but it is a copy.

The sanctuary is located in piazza della Consolata and can be reached by bus 19 or tram 13 - Get directions. Admission is free.

15 - Covered galleries

A peculiarity of the city of Turin, which unites it with romantic Paris, are the famous covered galleries, also known as "passages": in fact, covered passages inside buildings, which allowed, especially the nobles of the past, to be able to walk even on rainy days. Even today they host bars, clubs and shops and continue to be a pride of the city. The most famous are three and, specifically, they are: the Galleria dell'Industria Subalpina, inside a nineteenth century building; the Galleria Umberto I, which was the seat of the Mauritian Hospital; the San Federico Gallery, the first historical headquarters of the newspaper La Stampa. The Galleries are located in the historic center. They are free and always accessible.

To feel like a noble of other times, take a walk on a rainy day, being able to enjoy the light that passes through the windows of the buildings.

16 - Museum of the Automobile

The Turin Automobile Museum, also known as MAUTO, is one of the most important museums dedicated to cars and is currently named after Giovanni Agnelli. Naturally, a city like Turin, which has been a great protagonist in the history of this sector, could not fail to boast a similar presence. The Museum was founded in 1932 thanks to the intuition of some car enthusiasts and, over the years, it has achieved ever greater importance, which has also become an immense space to occupy. The exhibition itinerary is divided into three floors and is conceived as a journey through the history of cars, from vintage to futuristic cars, thus observing more than 200 models. Since 2016, the MAUTO has then been enriched by the Restoration Center, aimed at enhancing the old models, which are then kept inside the Open Garage.

  • located outside the historic center, it can be reached by tram 18 from near Piazza Castello in 36 minutes and by metro 1 from Turin Porta Nuova station in 16 minutes - Get directions
  • Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00; Monday from 10:00 to 14:00
  • € 12,00, reduced € 10,00

17 - Porta Palazzo market

The Porta Palazzo Market represents the largest open-air market in all of Europe. For this reason, in addition to being the hub of daily shopping for the inhabitants of Turin, it is one of the most visited attractions in the city by tourists. It is housed in the center of Piazza della Repubblica, in the historic Borgo Dora district, a few steps from the center and the most important attractions. It is divided into a covered area and an uncovered area, within which they find space numerous product categories, from food, to clothing, from household items to footwear, including plants and fruit and vegetables. Initially, this market was held outside the city walls but, thanks to the redevelopment of the various inner districts, this daily appointment has been made available to everyone.

The Market can be reached by tram 4 from Turin Porta Nuova station in just 16 minutes and is accessible free of charge from Monday to Friday, from 07:00 to 14:00; Saturdays until 19:00 - Get directions

Every second Sunday of the month the Gran Balon is held, the antiques, vintage and collectibles market. A 27-year long tradition!

Other attractions to visit

Among other attractions that are worth a visit, we mention the Porta Palatina, an ancient gateway that once allowed entry to the city.

Among the palaces, Palazzo Carignano is a fine example of Piedmontese Baroque architecture (€ 5,00). In the evening, a must is Piazza Carlo Felice, not far from the shopping street and meeting place for nightlife lovers, thanks to the numerous bars and restaurants; while, if you love a more intellectual air for your moments of relaxation, you could visit one of the historic cafes and appreciate the ancient delicacies of the city.

Finally, another very lively meeting point in the city is Vittorio Veneto square (known simply as Piazza Vittorio), also full of clubs and located along the left bank of the river Po. Not far from the center, the Basilica of Superga, sadly known for the tragedy of the Turin football team and for the Savoy royal tombs (€ 5,00), and the Apartment Hunting Residence (€ 12,00).

Finally, about an hour from Turin, it is located the Sacra di San Michele abbey symbol of the Piedmont Region that deserves a half-day excursion.

5 things to do in Turin

  1. Turin underground tour: not only the architectural beauties on the surface, but also the undergrounds of this city fascinate and are absolutely unmissable. Info and prices here
  2. Occult Turin: it is understood that, due to its history, Turin is a city full of secrets and legends, so you cannot miss a tour of the Occult Turin! Info and prices here
  3. Go to the discovery of the Langhe: it is not far from the Savoy capital, but this region, famous for its vineyards, deserves a full day of visits and tastings. Info, excursions and prices here
  4. Kissing in Piazza Castello: before visiting the buildings that surround the square, stop at the most positive point of Turin to exchange a kiss with a loved one and collect a lot of luck
  5. Admire the view at sunset: for an unforgettable photo of Turin, climb to the top of Monte dei Cappuccini, preferably at sunset on a clear day, and look out over the entire city

Plan your stay in Turin: flights, hotels and advice

Turin is connected with 2 important stations (Porta Nuova and Porta Susa) to other Italian cities and to an international airport (compare flights). Once there, the suggestion is to stay overnight in the historic center (compare the accommodations on Booking - from € 51,00), to be able to move on foot to the attractions. The average costs of housing are not low, but the city is large and there are also low cost solutions.

Precisely because it is so large and full of things to see, if it is your first time in Turin we recommend a guided tour of the city, for a first approach and to identify the landmarks. Alternatively, there is the evergreen tourist bus.
If you want to enjoy a particular light, visit the city in autumn, when its avenues and parks are tinged with shades of orange.

If you are with family, you will love Turin! It is full of parks, pedestrian areas. Not only the riverside and the Valentino Park, but also the Doria Park, Borgo Rossini, and the gardens of the Royal Palace and Venaria. You can visit the Planetarium, the small cycling town, and go up to Superga with the "Dentiera", a small cogwheel train. And in general, museums are super-equipped for families.

For young people, the nightlife is concentrated in the Quadrilatero Romano, the western area of ​​the Centro district, or in the San Salvario district. Cenisia's is full of students.

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